Utilities Information FAQ

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  • Utilities Information

    • Communications

      The California Public Utilities Commission has ordered communications companies under its jurisdiction to halt customer disconnections due to non-payment. This action is to protect people from being shut off from non-payment because they are unable to report to work due to illness, quarantine, or social distancing and applies retroactively to March 4, 2020 when Governor Newsom declared a state of emergency. For more information please visit:
    • Electricity


      MBCP continues to monitor the developing COVID-19 outbreak across our 4 county and 28 city service area. MBCP is committed to sharing available resources to support the Central Coast considering this pandemic. MBCP recognizes COVID-19 will impact customers and communities both economically and socially due to the shelter in place orders but MBCP will ensure it is up to date on all relevant information.

      Actions to support customers and communities:

      1. Effective, March 18, 2020, MBCP halted the implementation of its current policy of opting out nonpaying customers.
      2. Effective March 18, 2020, MBCP has closed its office in Monterey to the public and directed all staff to work remotely and adhere to all recommendations from local counties, state, CDC and WHO.
      3. MBCP’s call center is still open and our Energy Advisors are ready to support customers via or calling 1-888-909-6227.
      4. MBCP has suspended participation in all upcoming public events or outreach activities until further notice to limit potential exposure. MBCP staff is open to connect via phone or virtual meeting format to continue to engage with the community as needed.
      5. MBCP has canceled its March Community Advisory Council meeting but will still hold our April 8, 2020 Operations Board meeting to ensure continuity of business operations.
      6. MBCP is examining the economic impact of COVID-19 on electricity consumption and preparing to hedge accordingly.

      MBCP recognizes COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on our regional workforce and economy and MBCP will participate and collaborate on necessary measures to support our member agencies and customers.

      Lastly, electricity is delivered through a partnership between MBCP and PG&E. During the COVID-19 emergency, any questions related to billing, payments, or discounted rates should be directed to PG&E.


      Due to the COVID-19 pandemic PG&E has voluntarily implemented a moratorium on service disconnections for non-payment, effective immediately. This suspension will apply to both residential and commercial customers and will remain in effect until further notice.

      To further support customers who may be impacted by the pandemic, PG&E will offer its most flexible pay plans to customers who indicate either an impact or hardship as a result of COVID-19. PG&E will continue to monitor current events and identify opportunities to support our customers and communities. For a full summary of the services provided by PG&E for customers affected by COVID-19, including additional support for low-income and medical baseline customers visit PG&E's website here

    • Garbage

      Despite the impacts of COVID-19 and in their commitment to best serve the City of San Luis Obispo, San Luis Garbage Company continues to serve the community as normal with drivers picking up solid waste, recycling, and organics. Residents may experience delays to their scheduled pick up time, but please remain patient as these delays should be minimal. To support employee health measures and per direction by the County, San Luis Garbage has closed their doors to the public, reduced the number of people in essential meetings, and required social distancing amongst staff.

       For issues regarding your solid waste account, contact San Luis Garbage Company at 805-543-0875.

    • Gas

      SoCalGas released the following statement on 3/18/20:

      As the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to develop, we are doing everything we can to enhance the safety and well being of our customers and employees. We are also committed to providing safe and reliable service and we do not anticipate any service disruptions at this time. For more information from SoCalGas, please visit their website here.

      We are committed to helping customers experiencing hardships, including from the coronavirus. If in need of assistance, we encourage customers to call us at 1-800-427-2200. If you’re experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19, we are supporting our residential and small business customers by doing the following:  

      Residential Customers:

      • IMPORTANT INFO: Service Disconnects for our customers who are having a hard time paying their bills are temporarily suspended EVEN IF you receive an automated 48 hour shut off notice.
      • Offering assistance with paying your bill

      Small Business Customers:

      • Waiving late payment fee
    • Sewer

      Please do not flush disinfectant wipes or paper towels down the toilet. 

      State’s Wastewater Treatment Plants May get Overwhelmed, Consumers may face In-home Plumbing backups and Blockages 

      SACRAMENTO – While the State Water Board and other public agencies encourage Californians to follow the Centers for Disease Control recommendations to clean surfaces with disinfecting wipes to reduce the spread of COVID-19, it is important to discard those items in the trash, not the toilet. 

      Flushing wipes, paper towels and similar products down toilets will clog sewers and cause backups and overflows at wastewater treatment facilities, creating an additional public health risk in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Even wipes labeled 
      “flushable” will clog pipes and interfere with sewage collection and treatment throughout the state.  

      Wastewater treatment facilities around the state already are reporting issues with their sewer management collection systems. These facilities are asking state residents to not discard wipes in the toilet, but instead to throw them in the trash to avoid backups and overflow. A majority of urban centers are on centralized sewage collection systems depend on gravity and enough water flow to move along human waste and biodegradable toilet paper. The systems were not designed for individual nylon wipes and paper towels. The wipes and paper towels do not break down like toilet paper, and therefore clog systems very quickly. 
      Wipes are among the leading causes of sewer system backups, impacting sewer system and treatment plant pumps and treatment systems. Many spills go to our lakes, rivers, and oceans where they have broad ranging impacts on public-health and the environment. Preventing sewer spills is important, especially during this COVID-19 emergency, for the protection of public health and the environment. 

    • Water

      Is my drinking water safe?

      Yes. The City of San Luis Obispo’s water is safe to drink. The City wants to reassure our customers, the water at their tap continues to be of the highest quality and is completely safe to drink. There is no threat to your public drinking water supply and no need to use bottled water.

      The City’s water treatment processes are specifically designed to protect the public from all viruses and harmful bacteria. According the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Water Works Association (AWWA), current treatment methods used by the City of San Luis Obispo will disinfect water for viruses, including COVID-19.  The City also maintains a small and safe amount of chlorine within its water pipelines to ensure that the water delivered remains safe after it leaves the water treatment plant and is delivered to our community.

      Is tap water safe to use for hand washing?

      Yes. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that we continue to use and drink tap water as usual. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department, washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds helps prevent the spread of COVID-19.

      Will water continue be available?

      Yes. The City’s Utilities Department employs over 70 staff to ensure we maintain sufficient staffing requirements. Our water and wastewater facilities staff are utilizing social distancing practices, have ceased public tours of facilities, and have adequate supplies on hand to perform their duties.

      We are taking steps to protect our employees’ health and safety by sharing ways to avoid the spread of illness and requesting they stay home when sick. We have also implemented additional infection control measures including increasing the frequency of workplace cleaning, cancelling non-essential business travel, and utilizing teleconferencing in place of in-person meetings where feasible. The community can rely on the City for a safe supply of water.

      Can I pay my water and sewer bill from home?

      Yes. In order to support social distancing and limit person to person contact, the following options are always available to pay your bill and for other water account needs:

      Let us know if you need assistance with paying your bill.

      We understand these times can be challenging. To ease the stress of this rapidly changing situation, effective immediately, water service will not be terminated for non-payment of customer bills. We encourage customers to continue to pay what they can so that their overall balance does not grow to become insurmountable. This temporary policy will remain in effect until further notice. If you need assistance with paying your utility bill, please contact our Utility Billing Department for help specific to your needs.  Please contact: (805) 781-7133 or email