May 24, 2019
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Learn more about PUD 3's billing procedures.
As a valued customer of PUD 3, it is our goal to provide you with the right tools to help you become an expert on your energy usage.
If you have any questions, please call customer service at (360) 426-8255.
PUD 3 receives meter reads daily from the wireless advanced meters in its service territory and generates bills each work day of the month. PUD 3 bills its customers on a monthly basis.
A simple residential bill is calculated by multiplying your kWh usage by the energy rate and adding the daily system charge for the number of days in the billing cycle (plus applicable taxes and fees).
All bills are due 21 days from the bill date. Bills become delinquent 28 days from the bill date. If a customer has not paid their bill or made satisfactory payment arrangements within 28 days of the billing, the PUD will send the customer a past due notice and assess a late fee. The purpose of the notice is intended to inform the customer that failure to make a payment or satisfactory payment arrangements within seven (7) days may result in the disconnection of service without further notice. To avoid this, customers may choose a more convenient time of the month for their bill to be due.
Customers have the option to receive their monthly utility bill via email in addition to, or in lieu of, their regular paper bill.
The late fee is $7.50 or 1.5% of the total past due balance, whichever is greater.
While your bill is only sent once per month, customers are able to see their daily usage data on the SmartHub app or at my.pud3.org.
Customers may be required to pay a security deposit with the District to establish or continue service in the minimum amount of $100.00 or an amount not to exceed two (2) times the estimated amount for the highest billing period at the location where electric service is requested.
The full deposit policy is on page 3 of the District's Electric Service Rules and Regulations. The full fee schedule is at the end of that document.
The basic measure for electricity is the kilowatt-hour (kWh). One (1) kWh is the amount of electrical energy required to operate a 100-watt light bulb for ten hours.
Your electric bill shows how many kilowatt-hours are used, as measured by PUD 3's electrical meter at your house or business. This is similar to the odometer on your car. The meter continuously 'counts' the amount of kilowatt hours used.
Your electric bill is based on the amount of kilowatt-hours used (multiplied by the per kilowatt hour rate), plus a daily system charge.
The PUD calculates energy consumption with solid-state watt-hour meters and receives a reading from your meter on a daily basis. You can check your daily usage on the PUD 3 SmartHub app, at my.pud3.org, or read your own meter to monitor your consumption.
To read your meter, simply look at the digital display on the meter for the number of Kwh used since your meter was installed. Compare that number to the number displayed on your previous bill. The display will scroll through different registers, so wait until the letters on the left read "KWH." The difference between the two reads is the amount of electricity the home used since the last billing.
Ready to serve. Power when you need it. Sharing costs between part-time residents and the local folk. Those are the aims of a daily system charge.
Two things make up rates. The energy price that covers the cost of electricity PUD 3 purchases and sells to its customers, and the daily system charge - the cost to operate and maintain the system.
Many rural utilities design their rates to balance the cost of service for full-time residents and vacation home customers. The result is usually lower per kilowatt-hour rates and somewhat higher system charges when compared with more urban areas.
PUD 3 has a lot of vacation homes (over 25%). Our studies show that a daily charge mixed with a per kilowatt-hour rate better addresses spreading the cost more equally among seasonal and full time residents.
The system charge has been a part of PUD 3's electric rates since 1978. To explain the system charge, consider the case of a vacation cabin. Even though it is often unoccupied for long periods of time, there are still fixed costs for being ready to serve the cabin. Though power is not being used, the meter read is collected, the billing processed, and if there's a storm, the damage to the PUD's electrical system is repaired.
If those fixed costs were added to the price of each kilowatt-hour of electricity, the large users (such as local electric heat customers) would end up paying for the services used by that cabin. So instead, with the system charge, those costs are divided evenly among all customers connected to the system. That way, each customer is being charged the full costs of having their home connected and ready to be served by the electric system whether or not they consume electricity.
Low income discounts for senior citizens or disabled persons are available. This amounts to the removal of the daily system charge on your bill. Learn more about PUD 3's Assistance Programs for qualifying customers.
To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except the reliability of Mason PUD 3’s electrical service, and taxes.”
Washington State imposes two taxes on public utility district customers. For customers who live within the Shelton city limits, there’s an additional tax charged by the city.
For transparency’s sake, all taxes are calculated separately and shown on each bill.
Operators of certain public service businesses (such as electrical utilities) are subject to the Washington State Public Utility Tax. This tax is applied to PUD 3’s retail electric sales and services. The tax rate is 3.8734%. See RCW requirements here.
PUD 3 pays the Washington State Public Utility District (PUD) Privilege Tax in place of property taxes. It applies to the business of operating works, plants, or facilities for the generation, distribution, and sale of electric energy. The tax rate is 2.14%. See RCW requirements here.
The city of Shelton charges an Electric Public Utility District Tax for PUD 3 to operate works, plants, or facilities for the generation, distribution, and sale of electric energy within the city limits. Essentially, it pays for the right to do business in city right of way. The City of Shelton Utility Tax rate is 6%.
Unsure of how a prior rate increase affected your current bill? This is a handy tool that may be able to help.
Please contact customer service at (360) 426-8255 if you have any questions.
In some cases, meter readings are estimated and "Estimated Statement" is printed on the customer's bill.
In these cases, the billing system will estimate a customer's usage based on the length of the billing cycle, previous usage for corresponding billing periods, and PUD staff may make adjustments based on other factors and weather conditions.
If an estimated bill is issued, any difference between estimated and actual usage will automatically be corrected on the next bill when an actual read is obtained.