PSE Customers without Power for Five or More Days to get
$50 Credit From Utility
State Regulators Approve Waiver to Allow Automatic Bill Credit
BELLEVUE, Wash. (Jan. 27, 2012) — Thousands of Puget Sound Energy customers without power for five or more days from last week’s snow, ice and wind storms will receive a $50 credit from the utility on their electric bills.
State regulators on Thursday granted the utility’s request to waive certain conditions of a PSE service guarantee that extends a $50 bill credit to any customer who loses electric service for 120 consecutive hours or more. Yesterday’s waiver means PSE customers won’t have to “opt in” to get the credit. And potentially, more customers now could receive it.
The credit is expected to start appearing on customers’ bills on Feb. 15. The credit will be paid by PSE owners; the financial burden will not fall on PSE customers.
“The prolonged power outages from the storms created a real hardship for many of our customers,” said Sue McLain, PSE senior vice president of Delivery Operations. “The bill credit won’t take back the dark evenings and chill in the bones that many families experienced. Rather, it is a gesture of our appreciation for their understanding and patience.”
“Our customers were frustrated by the lengthy outages, of course, but they also were very understanding of the difficult conditions our crews faced in getting their lights back on as soon as it was safe to do so,” McLain added. “We thank them for their patience and want to ensure their continued confidence in PSE by providing them the credit without their having to request or apply for it.”
PSE implemented the 120-consecutive-hour power outage service guarantee in 2008. This is the first time since then that a damaging storm has caused power outages lasting long enough to activate the credit.
Under normal circumstances, customers would be required to either report their five-day outage to PSE or ask for the service-guarantee credit. In addition, the 2008 rules placed a $1.5 million cap on the amount of credits given over a 12-month period. The rules also limited to 30,000 the number of customers who could receive the credit in a calendar year.
Thursday’s waiver by the UTC removes these service-guarantee restrictions so that PSE can automatically provide the $50 refund to all customers who experienced a five-day or longer power outage from this storm.
Customers who lost power for 120 consecutive hours or more during the recent storms should see the $50 credit on the next PSE electric bill they receive after Feb. 15. If the credit does not appear, they should call PSE at 888-225-5773.
About Puget Sound Energy
Washington state’s oldest local energy utility, Puget Sound Energy serves more than 1 million electric customers and 750,000 natural gas customers in 11 counties. A subsidiary of Puget Energy, PSE meets the energy needs of its customers through incremental, cost-effective energy efficiency, procurement of sustainable energy resources, and far-sighted investment in the energy-delivery infrastructure. PSE employees are dedicated to providing great customer service and delivering energy that is safe, dependable and efficient. For more information, visit www.PSE.com.
Grant Ringel, 1-888-831-7250