OLYMPIA, Wash. - More than half a million people in Washington state have overdue utility bills and are at risk of having their electricity, gas or water shut off as the state’s moratorium is now expired.
The state’s moratorium has been in place since April 2020 and it was to help customers struggling to pay their bills due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This ended on Thursday.
Customers are being urged to contact their utilities as soon as possible and have a plan ready to keep their services on.
"When the pandemic first hit, we committed that no customer should go without lights, heat or hot water," said Puget Sound Energy President and CEO Mary Kipp. "We stand by that as the pandemic continues to impact customers more than a year later with a level of assistance that is unprecedented and which can make a significant difference for our customers."
There are options for customer assistance and will differ across utility providers. These include: payment plans, financial assistance and federal assistance.
"This moratorium has provided hundreds of thousands of Washington families much-needed peace of mind during the pandemic, and now utility companies are eager and ready to help their customers make a plan that keeps their services on," said Gov. Jay Inslee. "I urge people, make that call as soon as they can. That call can give a family one less thing to worry about as fall and winter approaches."
Information for customers is available at commerce.wa.gov/utility-assistance in 36 languages.
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