Late Fees Begin in October
Starting in October, a $5 late fee will be charged to any electric, water, sewer or combination residential PUD account not paid by the bill’s due date. A three business days’ grace period will be given before the late fee is assessed, and fees will only be assessed to accounts owing $50.01 or more.
For commercial accounts, the late fee is the greater of 1% of the amount due or $5. Three business days’ grace period applies to commercial accounts as well, as does the $50.01 fee threshold.
According to PUD Customer Service Manager Jean Hall, the late fee officially goes into effect for the billing cycle beginning on October 10th. Any late fees applied would not appear on the customer’s bill until November.
The PUD Board of Commissioners voted in July to approve the reinstatement of late fees, which were suspended in 2013 after the utility struggled with its billing systems following the transition to operating the county’s electrical grid.
According to Hall, the purpose of the fees is threefold: to help encourage delinquent customers to pay on time, to help recoup the extra labor costs incurred in dealing with past due accounts; and to take better advantage of automated processing abilities available within the PUD’s billing software.
The PUD Board approved the reinstatement of late fees on recommendation of staff and its Citizen Advisory Board, which studied the issue during the spring of 2018.