Assistance Programs

Assistance Programs

We all need a hand sometimes. We're here to help.

customers.pngIf you or someone you know could use energy assistance, PUD 3 has programs for customers who are having difficulties paying their bill or need to adjust their energy use to keep their bills in control.

 

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Federal Low-Income Energy Assistance (LIHEAP)

Contact Community Action Council (CAC) at 360-426-9726 or visit their website at www.caclmt.org to schedule an appointment to find out if you qualify for Federal LIHEAP funds. Assistance amounts are determined by household size, income, heat source and the previous year’s energy usage and are based on availability of funds.

Senior Discount Qualifications: Must be at least 61 years of age; the PUD account must be in the applicant's name; the total yearly disposable household income cannot exceed $40,000; must be a permanent, year-round PUD 3 customer; and must not participate in a federally subsidized housing program. The discount amounts to the removal of the daily system charge. A discount application form is available from the PUD, or online here.

Low-Income Disabled Qualifications: The PUD account must be in the applicant's name; the total yearly disposable household income cannot exceed $40,000; must be a permanent, year-round PUD 3 customer; and must not participate in a federally subsidized housing program. This discount also removes the daily system charge. Call the Community Action Council at (360) 426-9726 to schedule a qualification appointment.

If financial problems make it unable for you to pay your bill, please call us or visit one of the PUD offices to make a payment arrangement.

We want to help, so be ready to clearly let us know what’s causing your payment problem. We’ll need a commitment on your part to work with us to take care of the unpaid balance.

Our customer service representatives work with all customers. They specialize in referring customers to assistance agencies that may be able to provide financial aid (such as the Community Action Council of Mason County).

Energy Assistance Appointments, with Community Action Council of Mason County, can be scheduled online.

 

Winter Moratorium for Electric Heat Customers

A customer may qualify for protection from disconnection of his/her electric service from November 15 through March 15 under the winter shut-off moratorium if he/she: notifies PUD 3 of the inability to pay the bill within five (5) business days of receiving a past due notice; has applied to the Community Action Council (CAC) for low-income energy assistance and is qualified to receive assistance on his/her PUD 3 account; has applied to CAC for low income weatherization assistance; and agrees to and maintains a payment plan.

For more information, please call PUD 3 at (360) 426-8255.

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How does Budget Billing Work?

Your unique Budget Billing amount is based on your location’s historical usage. The program works by estimating your yearly bill based on your past usage, and then dividing that estimated amount into equal monthly payments over a 12-month period.

Your actual energy usage is still calculated each month. We encourage you to review your monthly credit balance and usage throughout the year, and call customer service to discuss adjusting your budget amount. Paying too much or not enough, could have an adverse effect on your future budget bill amount. The goal is to have a zero balance after paying your May bill.

How does my bill change when I sign up for Budget Billing?

Your budget bill will have an "Account Budget Balance" section on the back, just below your account breakdown. This section shows your budget bill amount; payments on the account; your current (actual usage) charges; and any credit or balance variance.

When does my budget bill amount change?

Budget bill amounts are reviewed and recalculated in May. The annual May review takes into consideration the previous 12 months usage and any balance or credit on the account. A remaining balance or credit will be averaged out over the next 12 months budget payment.

What do I need to know before signing up for Budget Billing?

We recommend having 12 months of usage history prior to signing up for Budget Billing.

If you sign up for budget billing without 12 months of usage history, your budget amount will be based on the previous occupant’s usage.  Additionally, if there is no past usage for your location (for example, if you moved into a newly constructed home or building, or a previously vacant location), there is no usage history to base your budget amount on.  

You may sign up for Budget Billing at any time. The only requirement is your account must be current, with a zero-balance. However, we don’t recommend signing up for Budget Billing until you have at least 12 months of billing history. We believe a full 12 months of personal usage provides a better experience for our customers.

Call the PUD customer service department for help signing up at 360-426-8255 today!

Mason PUD 3’s electric assistance programs are very effective in providing a helping hand to customers in need. The Low Income Fiber Discount expands assistance programs to fiber Consumers and allows qualifying low income households to see a slight reduction in broadband access costs.

This discount amounts to a $10/month reduction in wholesale costs to the retail service provider. Participating retailers have made a commitment to not only pass on the discount to the end user, but to match it with an additional $10/month discount. This means, qualifying customers are eligible to receive a $20 discount on their internet bill.

The result of this partnership brings the estimated retail cost of high speed broadband on PUD 3 fiber (1000Mbps down/up) for qualifying low income customers to lower than the published DSL rates in Mason County. 

Mason PUD 3 is the first public utility in Washington State to offer assistance programs for fiber access.

Qualifying Consumers must meet the program requirements for Low Income Senior Citizens & Disabled Customers (see above). This offering is limited to locations where PUD 3 fiber access is available. The Fiberhood Construction Adder is not eligible for this discount.

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Project Share is an assistance program that was started in 1983 to assist low-income customers, as certified by the Community Action Council, with their electric bills. The program is a joint effort of  PUD 3, the Community Action Council (CAC), churches, interested citizens, and PUD 3 customers. 

Through the generosity of donors, low income families can receive help with a $175 payment on their account. To find out if you qualify call the Community Action Council at (360) 426-9726 or visit their website here

Mason County Community Action Council is open Mon-Thurs from 7am - 5:30pm.
Please call Monday mornings at 10am for Project Share appointments. 

PUD 3 offers a wide variety of programs that can improve energy efficiency for electrically heated homes. Incentives include upgrading a heating system, increasing insulation, rebates on new energy efficient appliances, and many more possibilities.

Our conservation web page has lots of information about these incentives and low cost tips on adjusting the way you use electricity that came make a large impact on your monthly bill.

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