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EWEB Offering Payment Plans and Bill Credits for Customers Impacted by the Pandemic

August 05, 2020

Woman sitting on the floor with her dog, bills spread out around her

Customers with past-due balances will have a final opportunity to apply for assistance before normal collection processes resume on August 10, including service disconnections as a last resort. 

In August, we have once again doubled the amount of funding available for bill assistance programs.

EWEB's Customer Care program re-opened on Monday, Aug. 3 with $200,000 in bill assistance available to qualifying customers on a first-come, first-served basis. The $260 bill credit is available once per calendar year and you may qualify based on your income, or if you are unemployed due to the COVID-19 crisis.

So far in 2020, EWEB has provided more than $1.2 million in bill assistance to 4,560 customers. 

To avoid disconnection of services, customers with past-due accounts are encouraged to enroll in a repayment plan.

Recovery Programs are in place to help customers repay a past-due balance that has accrued as a result of COVID-19. We can offer re-payment terms on a past-due balance of up to $3,000 over a period of six months. Additional options may be available for business and non-profit customers.

More than 760 customers have enrolled in repayment plans since EWEB launched the programs in early July.

Special terms and/or crisis funding may be available.

We understand the challenges customers are facing, and we want to work with each individual to find solutions.

In addition to our bill assistance program and repayment plans, we may be able to offer special terms and/or crisis funding for customers who have unique circumstances due the economic impacts of the pandemic, such as those who lost their jobs and are still awaiting federal pandemic assistance or state unemployment benefits.

For customers with past-due accounts who have not enrolled in a repayment plan, EWEB will return to standard disconnection procedures effective Aug. 10.

During the first several months of the COVID-19 pandemic, EWEB responded by implementing short-term crisis programs for customers who were financially impacted by the economic downturn. We voluntarily issued a moratorium on service disconnections, temporarily extended the bill assistance credit to customers who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, increased funding for our bill assistance program, and allowed customers to defer existing loans.

Now, in order to be good stewards of our customers' financial resources and keep the utility operationally and financially resilient, we need to shift to measures that help customers bring their accounts up to date over time.

"We don't want to disconnect any customer, but we are not able to defer past-due balances indefinitely," said EWEB General Manager Frank Lawson. "If a customer doesn't contact us for assistance or enroll in a payment plan, this puts EWEB in the position of having to disconnect services, an action we take only as a last resort."  

Any customers struggling to pay their bills should call EWEB to discuss recovery and assistance programs.

We are doing everything we can to reach customers who are behind on their bills, to offer assistance programs and/or payment plans and avoid disconnection of services. We are contacting every single customer at risk of losing service by phone, email and direct mail. However, many customers who have fallen behind on their payments have not yet taken advantage of the programs.

We are asking all customers who may have fallen behind on their bill to contact us to avoid a disruption in service and additional fees.

We are here to assist you at 541-685-7000 Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.  

Visit our COVID-19 resource center for more information.