PUD ratepayers are getting a reprieve because of the economic crisis created by COVID-19.
The Okanogan County Public Utility District (PUD) commissioners suspended a rate increase set to go into effect on May 1 in a teleconference meeting on Monday (March 23). The rate increase is suspended until the board votes to reinstate it.
The commissioners also authorized staff to suspend disconnections due to non-payment, and to work with customers to waive late fees and make payment arrangements.
The district needs to put ratepayers at ease that “nobody is going to turn their power off” during an already difficult time, Commissioner Bill Colyar said.
“For anyone with outstanding debt to the district, please call us and let us help you,” General Manager Steve Taylor said. With people spending more time at home, they may see higher power usage and, therefore, higher bills. Taylor encouraged customers to take conservation measures.
Customer-service representatives are still available over the phone, even though PUD offices are closed to the public. Call 997-2526 or (509) 422-3310.