Going Paperless Saves Money, Time and Trees
Customer service receives a lot of mail. While this was clear before the pandemic, it became even more clear a year ago when all mail received by the PUD has to be packed into plastic bags and piled up in separated stacks that were processed by employees wearing masks, face shields, and gloves.
The PUD sends out over 15,000 paper bills each month. Another ~5,000 are delivered digitally only, via email notification with a link to pay view and pay bills online. Excepting customer preference for paper or a lack of access to computer, phone, or internet, there is no reason why the majority of our bills couldn’t be delivered digitally. The cost to send digital bills? Zero. The current cost to send paper bills? Over $12,000 a month. The time spent by staff processing digital bills? Also zero. Paper bills and checks? Over 150 hours per month, according to Services Director Jean Hall.
In order to reduce costs and free up staff time for other projects, of which Hall says customer service has plenty of, the PUD is asking customers to consider going paperless and paying bills online. It’s easily done through an application called Smart Hub, which can be accessed through the PUD’s website or downloaded as an app on a smartphone. All it takes to sign up is an email, a password, your PUD account number, and five minutes of your time.
In addition to being able to pay your bill online, Smart Hub gives you access to additional electric or water usage data, lets you report outages automatically, or sign up for outage alerts. Once on Smart Hub you can also choose to Go Paperless and stop receiving a printed bill each month.
Customers who choose Go Paperless and sign up for Autopay will get a $10 credit on their next bill. Autopay saves customers the time needed to log in and pay each month, and saves PUD staff time spent sending payment reminders when customers forget to log in (this happens with paper bills too, of course).
Hall thinks going paperless is a good deal all around, and would like to see as many customers who can receive the $10 credit. “It saves a lot of time, money, and trees. 15,000 bills and envelopes a month is a lot of paper, believe me!”
Sign Up Now: jeffpud.smarthub.coop