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The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) has approved the filings by Idaho Power and Pacific Power to modify their rate and service schedules, or tariffs. Tuesday’s decisions provide these utilities the needed flexibility to waive late payment fees for customers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Additionally, the PUC chose to take no action on Portland General Electric’s (PGE’s) similar filing, as the language in PGE’s tariff already provides the flexibility needed to waive late payment fees for customers.

“The utilities recognized the importance of waiving late fees for their customers during this difficult and continually evolving coronavirus situation,” said Megan Decker, PUC Chair. “The PUC and the utilities have been working together to ensure continued service without fear of disconnects or penalty charges in the event families experience personal hardships during this health crisis.”

Avista, Cascade Natural Gas, and NW Natural have all indicated that they will be waiving late payment fees and suspending disconnections of service to benefit their customers.

To further benefit customers, last week various electric, natural gas, water, and telecommunication utilities announced they would not be disconnecting service due to non-payment during this public health emergency.

Customers are encouraged to reach out to your utility service provider to ask about late payment fees and services available during the COVID-19 outbreak. Additionally, the PUC Consumer Services staff is available to help answer customer questions by email at puc.consumers@state.or.us or by phone at 503-378-6600 or 800-522-2404.

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