[12/20/21] Payment Assistance For Okanogan PUD Customers
The Okanogan County PUD has given more than half a million dollars in payment assistance toward PUD bills in 2021, according to a report at the PUD Commission’s meeting last Monday.
In 2019, that number was just shy of $350,000, then in 2020 it was just over $360,000, that according to information from Customer Service Supervisor Mindy Morris. The funds came from state, federal and other non-profit coffers, especially due to the pandemic.
Although many utilities across the state are still struggling to catch up on arrearages after the state lifted its moratorium on disconnects, extra efforts by Okanogan PUD customer service in particular helped customers avoid large deficits. Morris said they have 17 long-term COVID payment arrangements for just over $8,000. Just under $4,000 is more than 90 days past due, better than in March 2020 when the pandemic began at nearly $6,000. Overall, Morris told commissioners that customer relationships and connections are keeping past-due amounts better than normal.
Also, the PUD did not assess more than 93-thousand dollars in late fees between April 2020 and this past September.
In other financial matters, the board heard that as of November, wholesale power sales revenue was more than budgeted by 109-thousand dollars, and as of October, retail power sales revenue was 1-point-1 million dollars more than budgeted.
In addition, the Okanogan PUD has installed 105 new fiber connections this year – by far the most for any other year. Because of fiber supply issues, the PUD has had to prioritize projects as they wait for supply orders to come in. Along with wireless subscribers, there are now 3,796 total end users.
The commission also approved the updated PUD district boundaries, required after the 2020 Census. The districts had only a few small changes in the Omak and Okanogan areas.