CARES COVID-19 LIMITED GRANT FUNDS AVAILABLE. PUD 3 is a subrecipient of federal CARES funds from the County for PUD 3 residential customers who have suffered a financial hardship directly related to COVID-19. Funds are limited and available to qualifying applicants on a first come, first serve basis. Apply for the federal funds by filling out an application or calling PUD 3 customer service. The deadline to apply is November 10, 2020 and award payments will be applied as a credit to the eligible applicant's utility account by December of 2020. To learn more about eligibility, visit the PUD 3 Assistance Page. See how PUD 3 is responding to COVID-19 here.

CARES Online Application 

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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The Mason County Community Action Council (CAC) energy assistance opened today, September 22. Customers are encouraged to call CAC or go online to prequalify for help with their electric bill.

Online: To prequalify online, go to www.caclmt.org

By Phone: To prequalify by phone, call (360) 426-9726.

Please help us spread the word by sharing this information with anyone who may be in need of assistance. We encourage PUD customers to call as soon as possible as the funds are distributed on a first come, first served basis.

The CAC manages the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). LIHEAP is a federally funded program, helping families stay safe and healthy through financial help with energy costs. The program begins in the fall and continues until all funds are committed.

 

As a community-owned utility, we have taken immediate steps to help customers during the COVID-19 emergency. During this time, PUD 3 has suspended late fees and disconnections. We are working to connect customers to assistance. 
 
We are working closely with agencies like the Community Action Council, Economic Development Council and other local agencies, which have expressed their strong desire to be a source of assistance and information. There are many new and existing avenues of help available. 
PUD 3 Customer Service is available to make flexible payment arrangements, and discuss billing options such as Budget Billing, Prepay, or our Low Income Senior Citizen Discount. 
 
Call (360) 426-8255  or email hello@msonpud3.org to speak with a customer service representative who can help connect you with the assistance that is right for you.
 

Community Action Council

Help for residential customers with their electric bill. 
  • Project Share
  • Energy Assistance
  • Low Income Disability Discount
Call (360) 426-9726, or visit their website by clicking here
 

Economic Development Council

Information for commercial customers on loans/grants. 
Call (360) 426-2276, or visit their website by clicking here.
 

Other Assistance

See other types of assistance available on this page or contact our office for help. 
 

 

PUD 3's application for federal CARES funding from the County has been approved. Customers who have been impacted from the COVID-19 pandemic are encouraged to apply for the federal funds by filling out an application or by calling customer service at 360-426-8255. Funds are limited and available to qualifying applicants on a first come first serve basis, please apply right away.

PUD 3 is a subrecipient of federal CARES funds from the County specifically for PUD residential customers who have suffered a financial hardship directly related to COVID-19 at any time since March 1, 2020, due to job loss, reduction in work hours, layoff, illness or other circumstances. The deadline to apply is November 10, 2020 and award payments will be applied as credits to the eligible Applicant’s utility account by December of 2020.

Online Application

 

If you are unable to apply online, or upload files, use the print PDF application and submit via mail or drop at a PUD 3 dropbox location.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA & APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS: (print PDF instructions here)

Individuals seeking CARES funding through this program must:

  • Be a Mason County resident;
  • Be a Mason PUD 3 residential utility account holder;
  • Have incurred a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, such as a job loss, reduced work hours, lay off, illness or other circumstance leading to a significant reduction in household income or increase in expenses;
  • Priority will be given to customers subject to utility disconnect for non-payment that have been in communication with the PUD regarding their financial situation;
  • Have or will agree to enter into a payment plan for utility fee arrearages not covered by the CARES relief provided under this program;
  • Consent to disclosure and release by Mason PUD 3 to Mason County (and other agencies responsible for the administration of the federal CARES funding) of all information gathered during the application process and details of award granted under this program;
  • Grant limitations: one utility assistance grant will be awarded per household; 

DEADLINE TO APPLY:

Completed application and adequate supporting documents must be submitted to the PUD by November 10, 2020.

PROOF OF HARDSHIP:

Failure to attach documentation where requested below will delay your application. This documentation should show proof you had a financial impact directly related to COVID-19. Proof of covid-19 related hardship can be in one or more of the following categories:

  • Increased Household Expenses Related to COVID-19; and/or
  • Loss of Income Related to COVID-19; and/or
  • Other Financial Hardship Related to COVID-19.

Documentation will be required alone or in combination to show proof of hardship (examples include but not limited to):

  • Notice from employer of layoff or reduction in hours.
  • Paystub from pre-COVID-19 along with recent paystub showing a reduction in hours.
  • Proof of receipt of unemployment.
  • Letter from physician that you cannot work due to COVID-19 symptoms or positive infection.
  • Medical bill not covered by insurance.
  • Notice or letter from child’s school or childcare closure.
  • 2019 W2 with a recent paystub showing a reduction of income.

Note: If you have a hardship that does not fall into one of these categories or you cannot provide documentation, you will need to talk to your assigned customer service representative to see if it qualifies.

SIGNED APPLICATION SUBMISSION:

Since funds are limited, please go through the application carefully. If you are unable to apply online, or upload files, use the print PDF application and submit via mail or drop at a PUD 3 dropbox location.

Please fill out, sign the application, and submit along with supporting documentation to Mason PUD 3 using one of the following methods, or call Customer Service at 360-426-8255 for assistance.

  • Fill out an online application form (which includes an authenticated signature feature through Adobe Sign) and upload all supporting documents; or
  • Completed a printed application form with an ink signature and drop it with supporting documents at one of the PUD 3 dropbox locations (www.pud3.org/locations) or mail it to P.O. Box 2148, Shelton, WA 98584.

ATTESTATION REQUIRED:

Applicants must swear under penalty of purjury under the laws of the State of Washington that the application is true and correct to the best of their knowledge and belief and understand that the application may be audited by a state or federal auditor at a later date.

FUNDS AND TIMELINE LIMITED:

Please understand there is a limited amount of funding, and limited timeline to distribute. Once funds are depleted or deadline met, assistance will no longer be available.

 

During the coronavirus emergency, PUD 3 has suspended disconnections, disconnect notices, and waived late fees.

If you are concerned about keeping your account current, we can help you figure out how to move forward. The best thing you can do is call us at (360) 426-8255 or email us at hello@masonpud3.org and talk about your options. We can set up payment arrangements and get you in contact with agencies that can help you with your bills. PUD 3 partners with Community Action Council for the issuance of our project share fund and Energy Assistance, they can be reached at (360) 426-9726 or find more information on their website.

Below are a few other partners that may be able to help during these times:

  • Salvation Army - Belfair Community Church (360) 275-6031 Leave message for return call
  • Salvation Army - Matlock, Belfair, Hoodsport (360) 426-3091 Food and Gasoline Vouchers
  • Veterans Assistance – (360) 426-4546
  • Faith in Action – (360) 275-0535 providing services to seniors for food and medical
  • SPIPA – (360) 426-3990 ask for Debbie
  • Love Inc - (360) 426-3091 - Leave a message for return call
  • A Gift for Special Children - (360) 427-7058 - Leave message for return call
  • Turning Point – (877) 923-1212
  • Shelton Mason County Chamber 
  • Economic Development Council of Mason County
  • Olympic National Forest – Firewood Permit Information (360) 956-2402

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.

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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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!

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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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