Sponsor spotlight: PUD here to help those impacted by COVID-19

Impacted by COVID-19? The PUD wants to help.

Families in need of support during the COVID-19 pandemic have an ally in Snohomish County PUD, which recently took swift action to help customers affected by the virus.

That means if you or somebody you know has been impacted by the sudden loss of income or employment due to COVID-19, you could be eligible for financial support toward your PUD bill.

“We know these are challenging times for some of our customers,” said John Haarlow, PUD CEO and General Manager. “As a community-owned organization, we are committed to helping our neighbors who could use a little assistance, because we’re all in this together.”

As a provider of critical electric and water services, the PUD proactively moved to pause late payment fees and disconnections in early March, allowing customers more time to make bill payments without the fear of losing service.

The PUD’s new Community Support Plan goes even further, providing residential customers with bill credits if they are behind on payments or anticipate not being able to pay their next bill because of COVID-19.

Small businesses are also eligible for bill credits if their operations have been limited or closed due to the outbreak.

“We see this as a needs-based plan that can quickly serve our customers who have had their lives turned upside down,” said Pam Baley, Assistant General Manager of Customer and Energy Services at the PUD. “For customers in need now, we want to help with their utility bill so they can take care of what really matters.”

Customers can also save money by conserving energy. The PUD provides many useful and free tips on its website. For example, it’s recommended you set your thermostat to 68 degrees during the day and open the shades or curtains on south-facing windows. The sun will help naturally warm your home, taking pressure off your heating system. At night, close your shades or curtains to trap the warmth, then throw an extra blanket on the bed and lower your thermostat to 55 degrees. These steps alone could help you save as much as 10% on your electric heating bill.

The PUD’s Community Support Plan is temporary and will be continually assessed as circumstances evolve. Customers experiencing hardships due to the COVID outbreak are encouraged to call PUD Customer Service at 425-783-1000 (M-F, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) to get help.

— Sponsored by Snohomish County PUD

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