Why were utility shutoffs for nonpayment paused?
As we all struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic, Long Beach Utilities temporarily suspended shutoffs and late fees for those unable to pay their utility bills.
The city has suspended utility shutoffs for nonpayment since March 2020. During that time, more than $11 million in utility payment assistance has been credited to natural gas and water customers of Long Beach Utilities.
Shutoffs for nonpayment will resume starting on Aug. 15, 2023.
Why are shutoffs resuming starting on Aug. 15, 2023?
With the emergency of the pandemic behind us, we are returning to standard business operations.
In total, Long Beach residential customers currently owe $12.7 million in unpaid water, gas, sewer and refuse bills. In fairness to all ratepayers, Long Beach Utilities will pursue unpaid balances accumulated in the past three years.
Residential utility shutoffs for customers with unpaid debt will resume starting Aug. 15, 2023.
Ample advance notice will be provided to account holders ahead of any shutoffs and customers will have the opportunity to avoid shutoff by either paying any outstanding balance in full or, if unable to pay, by enrolling in a payment plan.
Qualified customers can also apply for direct payment assistance to offset arrearages, including the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program, or LIHWAP, and the Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP.
Find more information below.
How do I find out if I have an outstanding balance on my account?
If you have an outstanding balance, you will see an alert on your monthly utility bill. You can also log into your account at longbeach.gov/utilitybilling to see if you have an outstanding balance and, if so, what you owe.
We will also be sending mailed, emailed and phone notices in the coming months alerting customers who have an unpaid balance on their account.
And you can always give us a call at (562) 570-5700 for additional questions.
How do I pay my bill?
There are several options available to make a payment on your utility account.
- Pay cash at any local 7-Eleven or CVS
- Call (833) 408-8405 to pay by phone
- Log into your account and pay online at longbeach.gov/utilitybilling
- Visit City Hall, 411 W. Ocean Blvd., Monday-Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to pay in person
- Mail a check or money order, payable to City of Long Beach, to: P.O. Box 630 Long Beach, CA 90842-0001
I can’t pay my balance in full, what should I do?
If you can’t pay off your balance in full right now, don’t worry. We will work with you to get on a payment plan that works for you.
You can apply online at lbwater.org/billhelp or call us at (562) 570-5700. Print copies of the application are also available in multiple languages at our offices at 1800 E. Wardlow Road and at local libraries and community centers.
What if I can’t pay my balance, even on a payment plan?
We know nobody wants interruptions to their water or natural gas service, so we’re committed to doing everything we can to help you avoid a utility disconnection.
If you are struggling to pay, our customer service team will work with you to come up with a plan that works for your specific situation.
Approved income-qualified customers, those with medical conditions or disabilities and seniors can take advantage of assistance programs to reduce the amount they owe. Available help includes the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program, or LIHWAP, and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP.
There are also many community resources available for those who need extra help paying utility bills. Call your local nonprofit for information, or we can help direct you to them.
If I am on a payment plan, could my utilities still be shut off?
As long as you continue to make your agreed upon payments, your utility service will not be disconnected.
Make sure to stay in touch with any concerns or questions that come up. Whether you’re struggling to make payments or looking for greater assistance, we’ll do our best to work out a reasonable and affordable plan that works for you.
Are there any assistance programs available for my utility bill?
Income qualified residential customers can take advantage of direct payment assistance for overdue natural gas and water bills through the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program, or LIHWAP, and the Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP.
In addition, several ongoing discounts and assistance programs are available for qualifying customers, seniors and those with medical needs or disabilities.
Find more information by scrolling below or call us at (562) 570-5700.
Which utilities will be shut off if I don’t pay?
Depending on your account, either water and/or natural gas service could be disconnected if there is an unpaid balance on your account.
How will I be notified if my water or gas is going to be shut off?
Residential customers with unpaid utility debt will be contacted multiple times in the months before shutoffs for nonpayment are set to begin in August. If you’re unsure if you have an arrearage on your account, log into your utility billing account online, look at your most recent bill or give us a call at (562) 570-5700.
A final notification prior to shutoff will be mailed to the customer nine days in advance. A final courtesy robocall notice will be sent at least two days ahead of utility shutoff.
Those who do not contact Long Beach Utilities to get on a payment plan before Aug. 15 will receive two mailed letters and a robocall notice at least seven days ahead of utility shutoff.
I have more questions, who can I contact for help?
Our utility customer service team is here to help figure it out together!
If you have a question or concern that can’t be answered at lbwater.org/billhelp or longbeach.gov/utilityservices, feel free to give us a call at (562) 570-5700.