The Ohop Mutual Light Company Board, in recognition of the economic impact of COVID-19 Pandemic, authorizes the following Customer Support Programs to be activated for our members/customers through the end of the Washington State Pandemic Guidance Stage 4.
Operation Round Up Financial Assistance
The Ohop Mutual Light Company Board of Directors approved additional funding for the Operation Round Up Program, a relief program established to help our members. The Operation Round Up Program will provide a utility credit of up to $200 for eligible households, usable toward the Ohop Mutual Power bill.
The eligibility requirements for the Operation Round Up program have been temporarily updated to allow more customers to qualify for bill pay assistance.
To receive a one-time Emergency Assistance grant, you must:
- Be a current Ohop Mutual Light Company customer
- Use the house you are applying for as your primary residence
- Have an Ohop Mutual Power Bill in your name
- Have a Delinquent Balance
- Show Proof of Income for all Adult Members of the Household
- Verify that your income/source of income has been impacted due to Covid
- Complete an Operation Round Up Application in Full
- Have applied to the LIHEAP Program at Pierce County
- Meet the household net income requirements (listed below)
Income maximums for this grant program have been temporarily increased to 200% of the federal poverty guidelines.
Extended Payment Arrangements
An Extended payment arrangement will be permitted for the payment of delinquent accounts where the customer attests to the temporary inability to make full payment due to COVID-19.
This Extended Payment Arrangement grants customers 6 to 18 months to pay arrearages as a result of a Delinquent Balance directly related to COVID-19.
Customers will be required to complete the Extended Payment Arrangement Request Application attached to this policy. Customers need to attest that, due to COVID-19 related issues, the customer is unable to timely pay the utility bill.
On a case-by-case basis and on the request of a customer, after reviewing the documented circumstances, extended payment arrangements may be permitted. Ohop Mutual will document why or why not long-term payment arrangements are permitted.
Late Fees on Past Due balances will be suspended if the current amount is paid by the due date.
Any Member with an Electric Deposit may request a portion (up to 50%) of their deposit to be refunded into their account to assist in payment with arrearages directly resulting from COVID-19 Pandemic.
Deposit Refunds are contingent on Credit Rating, Property Status (Own or Rent), and Arrearage Amount.
All customers who Opt In for this program must either maintain a credit rating of Good or higher (after the refund) or repay the Deposit Amount Refunded in Installments over the next 6-18 months.
Rate Increase Delay
Due to the Negative Economic Impact the Coronavirus has caused many of our members, the Board of Directors has postponed any rate increases through 2020 to assist our members.
This is being done by utilizing reserve Emergency Funds and allocating any BPA Discounts and Conservation Refunds towards a power rate freeze.
This page is posted in accordance with Proclamation 20-23.6 with a posting date of July 16, 2020. The information was reviewed and approved for public display by the Board of Directors.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
The U.S. federal government offers assistance through its Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This program helps qualifying, low-income households with their heating/energy needs.
You can learn more on the Pierce County Human Services website. Remember: Additional funding might be available due to COVID-19 even if you have already received LIHEAP funding this year.
For other possible options, go to the WashingtonConnection.org website. A Disaster Cash Assistance Program (DCAP) was recently approved.
Washington Connection offers a fast and easy way for families and individuals to apply for a variety of services such as Food, Cash, Child Care, Long-Term Care, and Medicare Savings Programs. Individuals that are age 65 and older, blind or disabled may also apply for medical assistance. A Disaster Cash Assistance Program (DCAP) was recently approved.
To check for available services, go to the WashingtonConnection.org website.
Washington Healthplanfinder offers healthcare coverage for children, parents/caretakers with children, pregnant women, or adults age 18 to 64 years old. For information regarding available services or to apply for benefits, visit www.wahealthplanfinder.org.
Utilities and Transportation Commission offers information on other assistance that may be available for our members. You may contact them at 1-888-333-WUTC (9882) or email@example.com.
In accordance with the Governor’s Proclamation 20-23.6 of July 2, 2020, the above COVID-19 Customer Support programs (which were reviewed and authorized by the Ohop Mutual Board of Directors), are available to our members and customers who need assistance paying their Co-op bills due to economic hardship as the result of the pandemic.