Updated June 2, 2020
We are following the guidance provided by the Center for Disease Control and Tacoma Pierce County’s Health Department in responding to COVID-19 in our service area. Safety and reliability are our top priorities, and we will continue to work diligently to provide power and water service to our customers.
We recognize that this is a stressful time for many, and want to continue to reassure you that your health, as well as the health of our employees and community members, remains a top priority.
If you have questions, you can submit them through this online question form and our staff will get back to you as soon as we can.
Emergency Assistance Program
Tacoma’s Public Utility Board and City Council approved additional funding for Tacoma Public Utilities’ Emergency Assistance Program, a relief program established on March 17 in response to the COVID-19 State of Emergency. Since the program launched with $1 million in funding, nearly 10,000 Tacoma Public Utilities (TPU) residential customers have applied for the funds, prompting the decision to increase the total funding provided to $2.4 million. Read the full press release here.
The Emergency Assistance Program will provide a utility credit of up to $250 for eligible single-family households, usable toward TPU bills. The eligibility requirements for this new program will allow more TPU customers to qualify for bill pay assistance than under the existing Bill Credit Assistance Plan (BCAP).Click here for details on the Emergency Assistance Program
Due to the volume of applications, please allow a two-week response time.
We offer several options for payment assistance and will work with you to develop payment arrangements. We’ve extended our due date from 15 days to 12 weeks and can waive late fees. TPU customers who are having trouble paying their bills should contact Customer Service at (253) 502-8600 or (800) 752-6745 and ask about extended payment plans. The department is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Looking for other support resources?
The U.S. federal government offers assistance through its Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). It is designed to help qualifying, low-income households meet their immediate home energy needs. If you are a City of Tacoma resident, you can learn more on the Metropolitan Development Council’s website. If you live outside of Tacoma but in Pierce County, you can learn more on the Pierce County Human Services website. Note: Additional funding may be available due to COVID-19. If you have already received LIHEAP funding this year, you could still be eligible for the additional funds. Contact one of the organizations above for further details.
If you do not qualify for our program or would like to explore other options, we recommend visiting WashingtonConnection.org. A new Disaster Cash Assistance Program (DCAP) has been approved as of Friday, April 17.
May 27, 2020: Pierce County allocates $3.8 million to help farmers, seniors and homeowners
The next round of CARES Act funding is on its way to aid Pierce County residents in recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 virus. Learn more here.
Water System Restoration
Flushing your water system now is important for homes and businesses that have been closed or significantly reduced their water use under Washington’s “Stay Home – Stay Healthy” order. Click here to read our steps to take to prepare your home and business water pipes after periods of low flow or no-flow conditions.
April 1 rate increase delayed
The Public Utility Board and City Council voted Tuesday, March 31 to delay the power rate increase previously scheduled for April 1, 2020 until July 1, 2020. This decision is in response to the current State of Emergency caused by COVID-19. Read more about rates here. Watch a recording of the board meeting here.
Our lobby will be closed to the public until further notice. You will still be able to reach our Customer Services staff by calling 253-502-8600 and access your MyAccount online or at one of our many PayBoxes throughout Tacoma. For those seeking payment plans and assistance, we plan to extend our phone hours to 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m starting Monday, March 23rd.
Resources for Businesses
We know this has been a tough time on our small business community. Business customers can qualify for extended payment plans and waived late fees. The Mayor has also suspended disconnections for all customers, including businesses. Here are more resources available to help.
Electrical and Water permits
We offer a variety of ways to submit applications and payments online, by phone, and drop box. For more information, visit MyTPU.org/Permits.
Tacoma Power Parks
Beginning Tuesday, May 5, Tacoma Power will reopen its boat launches, wildlife lands, the Peterman Hill Trail, and some day-use areas. Restroom facilities will be available at the boat launches and open day-use areas. All camping remains closed until further notice. Visitors are asked to follow the safety recommendations of Gov. Inslee and public health officials. Read full details at MyTPU.org/Parks.
New precautions for home visits
If you are scheduling a home visit with Tacoma Public Utilities, our dispatchers and field staff will be taking extra precautions to curb the spread of the virus both to our customers and our employees. We will call you before visiting to confirm whether it is safe for us to keep or reschedule our appointment.
Drinking water is safe
You can continue to drink and use tap water. There is no evidence that coronaviruses are transmitted through drinking water. Tacoma Water’s treatment methods, that use filtration and disinfection, remove and inactivate harmful bacteria and viruses. The Washington State Department of Health is working to keep everyone informed about continuing developments regarding COVID-19, including drinking water. For more information, visit EPA.gov/Coronavirus.
For up-to-date information about the City of Tacoma’s response to COVID-19, visit CityofTacoma.org/Coronavirus.
For more information about local preparations for COVID-19, visit the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department website.