Snohomish County PUD customers outraged by recent bills had a chance to voice frustrations at today’s utility commissioners meeting. Unfortunately, the meeting was the same old questions with the same old answers.
The meeting focused on the accuracy of customers’ bills. Complaints of bills doubling or tripling since the utility moved from bi-monthly to monthly billing have been growing. Hundreds reacted angrily on my Facebook page about the switch.
“When we moved into this apartment my bills skyrocketed to almost $500 dollars and I’m confused how it went from less than $100 to $500,” exclaimed Jolynn Traynor, a PUD customer.
Snohomish County PUD bills monthly but checks meters every other month. One bill is customer’s real usage, the next month is estimated from the previous years’ usage.
“It would be a lot easier on everybody that has these issues with their bills to read their meters every month. That way you wouldn’t have this issue,” said George Smith, PUD customer.
Kyle Herman moved into his home a few months ago. He said his family of three is paying the estimate for a family of five that lived there a year ago.
“If I just moved in four and a half months ago, how are you judging my bill off of somebody else’s bill from last year? It makes no sense at all,” questioned Herman.
The utility will credit the difference in Kyle’s next bill, but what if he needs the money now? PUD is not handing out interest on those funds.
“We’re not trying to get customers to float us or ask people to pay more than they owe,” said Jim West, PUD assistant general manager.
The commissioners asked a few questions and shuffled off folks to customer service representatives. It was clear holding a midweek, afternoon hearing hurt attendance. Since I am a Snohomish PUD customer, I asked if the commission could schedule another meeting outside of work hours. PUD said it would work to make that happen. They’re considering February 16th. We’ll keep you posted if it’s actually scheduled.
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