Over a year into the Coronavirus pandemic, Grant Public Utilities District customers are falling behind on their utility bills.

According to Terry McKenzie, Grant PUD Senior Manager of Customer Solutions, 1,072 residential customers were more than 90-days past due on their electric bill as of the end of February, 2021. This is a stark difference compared to the 39 residents in the same situation at the end of February, 2020, prior to the beginning of the pandemic.

McKenzie reported the information at the commission meeting on March 23.

In 2020, these late payments totalled $1,012; this year they pile up to $286,395. Although the increase is significant, the PUD is optimistic they will be able to work with those customers to resolve their past due payments.

Grant PUD Customer Service Supervisor Taffy Couteau urged any customers struggling to pay their bills to call customer service to set up a flexible payment plan or apply for payment assistance.

Since last March, the PUD has halted disconnects and paused late payment charges for core customers.

Grant PUD can help customers access energy assistance programs offered by outside agencies as well as the PUD’s own Share the Warmth Program. Last year, nearly 1,200 families received support paying their electric bills.

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