COVID relief funding awarded to PSE clears more than $20 million in unpaid customer bills

Thursday, December 22, 2022

BELLEVUE, Wash. (Dec. 21, 2022) – Puget Sound Energy (PSE) helped thousands of customers this holiday season pay off millions in past due bills.

The Washington State Department of Commerce (Commerce) awarded PSE $20.4 million in COVID relief funding authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act, passed in 2021. 

The money went toward paying off or reducing unpaid electric and natural gas utility bills for nearly 36,000 current and former customers.

“Ensuring every household can meet basic needs is essential for an equitable economy that provides opportunities for all. We are pleased to be able to support PSE in their commitment to make sure no customer has to choose between keeping the lights on and paying for food, medicine or other necessities,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown.

Eligible customers were those who received bill assistance during the pandemic and had a current outstanding debt of at least $10 accrued between March 2020 and Dec. 2021. PSE ended up crediting an average of $570 to the nearly 36,000 customers.

Customers who continue to need help can check on whether they qualify through PSE’s bill assistance program (Home Energy Lifeline Program), the government LIHEAP program, and the Salvation Army Warm Home Fund. 

All customers can participate in PSE’s payment arrangement plan and we will work with customers to create a manageable payment schedule.

In 2023, PSE plans to introduce a new discount rate for low-income customers and seniors, increased funding for low-income bill payment assistance, as well as a new pilot program that would help manage the debt of eligible customers facing significant past-due balances.


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