February 24, 2017 – Jefferson County Public Utility District (PUD) commissioners are working on the final details of a new program that would directly benefit low-income elderly and disabled residents of Jefferson County, Washington.
Kenneth Collins, a Public Utility District commissioner, said he and his colleagues will vote to implement the new program on March 7, 2017. It will be implemented in mid-March if it passes, said Collins.
The resolution will be adding on to a 2013 resolution that established reduced electric and water rates for low-income seniors and low-income disabled citizens. The new program would allow any resident who qualified for that program to be eligible for up to $35 off their utility bills, which would be an increase from the current $20 discount.
Olympic Community Action Programs (OlyCAP), a Washington energy-assistance program, will be responsible for determining individual rates. The PUD is considering using 125 percent of the federal poverty level as the income guideline. Currently there are about 300 customers enrolled for the discount, and the PUD thinks the changes in the program could up that total to 700.
“It looks like we will be working with OlyCAP,” Collins said. “They will be verifying eligibility for the PUD.”
To read more about Public Utility Districts and low-income programs, see this overview of ratepayer-funded programs in Washington on the Clearinghouse website.