CARES funds still available for past-due bills
At the start of the pandemic, the PUD immediately suspended late fees and ceased shutoffs for lack of payment. Not long after, Governor Inslee instituted a statewide moratorium on shut-offs for non pay. Currently that moratorium is in place until April 30th, 2021.
Whether or not the moratorium will be extended we don’t know. What we do know is that it will end sometime and very likely this year. At that time the PUD will return to its policy of instituting $5 late fees for each service with a balance due beyond 24 days and shutting off services for customers with balances greater than $75 past due more than 56 days after the initial bill was generated. When this happens hundreds of PUD customers will be at risk of losing services.
The PUD makes every effort to help customers avoid shutoff. We have multiple payment arrangement tools available for customers to manage larger unpaid balances. In December we also received $40,000 in federal CARES Act funds from Jefferson County to directly help business customers who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses can apply for the funds on the PUD website or by calling customer service during business hours. Funds can pay down a portion of past due balances of 60 days or more on PUD water, electric, and sewer services. Apply ASAP as much of the funds have been expended. Deadline is March 15.
Household customers with past due utility bills who’ve been financially impacted by COVID-19 should contact OlyCAP, who also received CARES act funds from Jefferson County. OlyCAP’s funding can be applied to non-PUD services like garbage, propane or City of Port Townsend water/sewer, as well as PUD utility services.
Call (360) 385-2571 or go to go to olycap.org to begin the process of applying for household utility bill help. Depending on income, OlyCAP may be able to offer additional services like rent relief, home heating help, or housing services.