Is there assistance to help with this increase?

Yes, the City of Modesto offers a Utility Billing Assistance program for eligible applicants. Once approved, the customer receives a reduction of $45.00 off of their monthly charges. To qualify, the applicant must be listed on the City of Modesto utility account and must be enrolled in one of the following eligible assistance programs:

  • CalWorks
  • CalFresh
  • General Assistance
  • Medi-Cal
  • California Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
  • State Supplementary Payments (SSP)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Staff is proposing to increase the Utility Billing Assistance program amount from $35.00 to $45.00.  For those that qualify, this amount should adequately cover the average monthly water usage increases. 

The City is also a Direct Pay partner for the State of California Low Income Household Water Assistance Program. This program offers low-income households a one-time payment of up to $2,000 on a past due utility bill or up to $1,030 on a current utility bill. To apply or for more information, customers can visit the California Department of Community Services and Development website or call 1-866-675-6623.

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1. What are the primary reasons we have to raise our rates every year?
2. Do we have to have a rate increase every year or can we stagger them more and have every other year?
3. What happens if we don’t raise the rates every year?
4. Where do we get our water from?
5. Do we buy or sell our water? If so, from/to whom?
6. Do we have water quality issues and if so, what are they, how serious, how do they get addressed?
7. Is our drinking water safe and reliable? How does the City verify that?
8. What happens to our water and our rates in the event of another drought?
9. Why do some surrounding cities have lower rates?
10. Is there assistance to help with this increase?
11. How much will monthly rates increase for the average customer?