Tacoma Public Utilities’ eligible residential customers have received one-time grants on their past due utility balances from COVID-19. The funds were automatically applied to those accounts, and eligible customers received a letter from TPU notifying them of the grant. The funds only apply to past due charges incurred between March 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2021, that were placed on installment plans when disconnects resumed earlier this year.
There is no need for customers to apply or request funding from TPU. Eligible customers who receive a notification letter from TPU can see their grant amount on page 2 of their next billing statement. Customers can find this on their paper bill or by logging into their online MyAccount and viewing their invoice.
TPU applied for and received more than $14.1 million from the Energy Division of the Washington State Department of Commerce to assist eligible residential customers who still have outstanding Covid-19 utility bill balances on installment plans. The funding comes from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program, which is part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). These funds were allocated from the act by Governor Inslee to allow Washington utilities to pay off low-income customer arrearages compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and the related economic downturn.
TPU is using every available resource to support our customers in need of assistance and to prevent writing off pandemic debt, which could put pressure on future rate adjustments from COVID-19 arrearages. Once these funds are applied to customer balances, this will exhaust the available resources for pandemic-related debt.