NEW HAVEN >> One-time annual assistance grants of $80 are available to qualifying South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority customers.

The RWA is partnering with Dollar Energy Fund to offer the new program aimed at assisting low-income customers in the RWA’s service territory pay their water bills.

Funded by the RWA, the Residential Water Assistance Program will provide grants that will be applied directly to a customer’s RWA account.

The grant comes at a time when the RWA is seeking new sources of revenue as water usage declines. See story Page 4.

The RWA includes Bethany, Milford, Orange and Woodbridge.

Grants of $80 will be dispersed on a first-come, first-served basis until the funding of $325,000 is depleted for RWA’s fiscal year ending May 31.

Grants cannot be used to cover security deposits or reconnection fees.

“Water is essential to life, and it is a resource no one should have to do without,” said Regional Water Authority President and CEO Larry L. Bingaman.

To qualify, RWA customers must be at or below 125 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines (income of $2,531 per month or $30,375 per year for a family of four).

The account must be in the name of an adult who is living in the home and be for a residential single-home or apartment served by its own water line.

Accounts in a landlord’s name or in the name of an adult not living at the service address do not qualify. Customers may apply regardless of collection status.

The RWA and Dollar Energy Fund work with a local network of community organizations to accept and process applications. Those who meet the eligibility criteria may apply for participation in the program by visiting a local agency partner.

Agency locations can be found at http://www.hardshiptools.org/AgencyFinder.aspx); 800-375-1388; http://www.rwater.com/customer-care/residential-water-assistance-program; or 203-562-4020.

For more information on the program, including guidelines, visit www.dollarenergyfund.org/need-help.