PORT TOWNSEND — Jefferson County Public Utility District is urging its customers to round their utility bills up to the nearest dollar this winter to help low-income families afford to keep their homes heated.
“Not everyone can afford the extra cost of keeping their homes heated during an extra cold winter,” said Will O’Donnell, spokesperson for Jefferson PUD in a news release.
“Some customers short of funding will try to tough it out with sweaters and blankets and chills; others will keep the power going but fail to be able to keep up with their bills, which can lead to credit collections or even service disconnects.”
As of last Friday, Jefferson County residents had already used 20 percent more electricity than last year to heat their homes, according to the news release.
The PUD’s assistance program, Power Boost, allows the utility’s 19,000 customers to round up their bills to the nearest dollar to support others.
The PUD does not deduct any administrative costs from the donations and partners with Olympic Community Action Program and St. Vincent de Paul to distribute the funds to qualifying low-income families, individuals and seniors.
Customers also can add any additional amount to their bills if they would like to donate.
“Help us help keep everyone in Jefferson County warm and dry this winter,” O’Donnell said.
For more information on how to give or receive funding, call 360-385-5800. Donations are tax deductible.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at email@example.com.