As the state moves toward reopening more businesses in the wake of COVID-19, Snohomish County PUD will implement a gradual and safe return of select field operations, including meter reading. Disconnections and late fees remain temporarily paused for PUD customers.
The PUD continues to offer its Community Support Plan for any customer experiencing a financial hardship related to the pandemic. Since late March, nearly 9,000 customers have sought assistance from the PUD through a combination of bill credits, expanded bill discount qualifications, and flexible payment plans.
When meter reading resumes June 1, customers will begin to transition off estimated bills. After a customer’s meter is read, the following bill will account for any variance in recent estimates, which are based on previously known energy use over time. For small businesses experiencing reduced hours or lower productivity, this may result in a bill credit.
For many residential customers, the extended time at home has likely resulted in higher energy use. This can include the extended use of lights, televisions, appliances, computers and electric heating or air conditioning. As a result, residential customer bills may be higher than expected. Any customer who needs assistance paying a PUD bill may contact Customer Service at (425) 783-1000. The PUD is proud to partner with customers on expanded payment options and flexible solutions.
“We realize the hardship even a typical bill may place on some families, especially at this time,” says Pam Baley, Assistant General Manager of Energy & Customer Services. “As meter reading resumes and estimates are balanced against actual usage, we are ready to help any customer whose bill is higher than expected.”
Meter readers returning to the field will follow strict social distancing guidelines for their safety and the safety of PUD customers, who are asked to please refrain from close contact. If meter readers feel unsafe for any reason, they have the authority to not read a meter, which would result in an estimated bill. Customers who believe their bill does not closely reflect their usage can call Customer Service at 425-783-1000.
“Our highest priority at the PUD is the safety and well-being of our employees and our customers,” Baley says. “We want our customers to know we are here to help.”