AWWU Coins Can Count Program is a Big Success
Contact: John McAleenan
Anchorage Water & Wastewater Utility’s Coins Can Count program works well and is a big success as it assisted its 100th customer in June 2011.
AWWU’s Coins Can Count program has collected over $27,000 in contributions from Utility customers who have elected to participate. This voluntary, innovative program was designed by AWWU to enable customers to help fellow customers who are having difficulties paying their water and/or wastewater bill.
AWWU in partnership with the Municipality of Anchorage Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) began the voluntary Coins Can Count program in July 2007. DHHS Safety Links office determines customer eligibility and partners with AWWU in getting eligible customers’ bills paid.
The program provides AWWU customers with the opportunity to round up their monthly bill to the next whole dollar in order to assist other Utility customers. This small contribution can make a huge difference to customers who cannot afford to pay for their basic water and wastewater services. These funds are kept in a separate AWWU account and can only be used to help other AWWU customers.
This program is a wonderful example of two municipal agencies in partnership for the betterment of its community members. It’s a win/win situation for all. Utility and DHHS staffs work together to make this program work.
There are 1,356 customers participating in the Coins Can Count program and, in summary, the program has assisted:
2007 – 2 families
2008 – 25 families
2009 – 30 families
2010 – 22 families
2011 – 21 families
There are federal and state programs that assist people with their energy and heating bills, but there is no such program that assists people with water or sewer bills. AWWU’s Coins Can Count program was the first local program available to meet these needs.