Customers with payment concerns urged to contact Grant PUD

| March 25, 2020 1:00 AM

EPHRATA — Grant County PUD customers who are having trouble paying their bills are being asked to contact the utility on its customer service line, 509-766-2505. Utility district facilities are closed to the public due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Utility district officials are asking customers who usually use cash to pay by money order, check or prepaid debit cards.

Senior manager of customer service Terry McKenzie said the PUD has options for people who are affected by the outbreak and are having trouble paying the bill.

“During the declared state of emergency, we will not disconnect power to customers in the residential, irrigation and commercial classes,” the PUD stated in a press release. “We have also waived late fees in the same categories.”

The PUD can’t waive the bill, because the PUD is a public utility and a waiver would be considered a gift of public funds. Utility district officials will work with customers to restructure payments, McKenzie said. The PUD also can connect people with other places where they may be eligible for assistance. Some may qualify for the PUD’s Share the Warmth program. It allows customers to donate money to help others pay their bills.