Beginning in March, the Grays Harbor PUD will be updating its website security to ensure that data passed between the PUD servers and a customer’s computer or mobile device remains private and secure.
As a result of this security upgrade, customers who use PUD online systems to pay bills or use other online features will need to ensure that their operating systems and mobile devices are compatible with the PUD’s new system. The PUD has created a test website (https://ssl.ghpud.org/test) for customers to connect to from their computer or mobile device. If the site loads without any issues, your operating system or device will support the new protocol.
If the site does not load, customers that wish to continue utilizing our online services will need totake the following steps:
- First try using a different web browser. Options include Internet Explorer, Chrome, MozillaFirefox, Opera, Safari. Some may be compatible while others are not.
- Earlier phone models, tablets, etc. with older operating systems may not be compatible with the new protocol. This includes flip phones and blackberries.
- Update the operating system on their computer or mobile device. Smart phones should be running the most current operating system and updated web browser software applications.
- Customers in need of assistance should contact a local Computer Services provider.
Telephone scammers are again targeting Grays Harbor PUD customers, threatening to shut-off their power if payments are not immediately made on accounts that they claim are delinquent. PUD Customer Service staff have received several calls from commercial customers reporting they had been contacted by callers claiming to be with the PUD and demanding immediate payment.
“If you receive a call from someone claiming to be with the PUD, call our customer service office to verify your account status before you make any payment,” said Customer Service Manager Katy Moore. “These scams only work when people volunteer their personal information.”
Recipients of such fraudulent phone calls and mailings should under no circumstances agree to send money to the callers or give them bank account, credit card or other information. Rather, they are advised to contact PUD Customer Service at 360-532-4220 to verify the claim and to contact the office of their local law enforcement agency.
Due to technical issues, the Grays harbor PUD is unable to process electronic payments at this time. PUD staff are working to fix this issue and appreciate your patience.
Evenly balancing expenses with revenues, the Grays Harbor PUD Board of Commissioners have approved a 2017 operating budget. The $119.4-million budget features $8-million in capital improvements to the utility system and projects a customer rate increase of 4%.
“The Grays Harbor PUD is not driven by the need to turn a profit. It is empowered by its customers to provide utility services at the lowest practical cost. This budget accomplishes that mission,” said PUD General Manager Dave Ward. “While this budget is short on flair and extravagance, it is a responsible budget that allows the utility to operate without dipping into reserves or incurring additional debt while still providing safe and reliable services.”
The capital portion of the 2017 budget will allow the utility to focus on the preservation of an already reliable infrastructure. This will include the continued replacement of aging distribution and transmission lines and poles, work on the East Hoquiam Road system and Chehalis River Crossing towers and work on the Ocean Shores and Highlands substations.
“Safety and reliability are at the heart of the PUD mission and as the trustees of that mission, it is our responsibility to ensure that our electrical and telecommunications system is properly maintained,” said PUD Board President Russ Skolrood. “To put off important replacement and maintenance work is asking for trouble and our staff have done an excellent job of identifying and prioritizing the most pressing needs of our system for work in 2017.”
The utility anticipates a 4% increase in customer rates in the early spring of 2017. The increase is necessary due to a number of issues including increased power supply costs, a continuing trend of warm winters which have impacted energy use and weakening surplus energy sales on the secondary market. By delaying the increase until the spring, the utility will be able to monitor those conditions through the first months of 2017 to determine whether or not additional action is needed.
“While we are hoping for improving weather and market conditions, the cost of providing utility services is increasing,” said Skolrood. “The utility has reduced capital costs, lowered staffing levels through attrition and implemented several cost saving measures. In the end, we have arrived at a budget that evens expenses and revenues while still fulfilling the Grays Harbor PUD’s mission.”
Beginning this month the Grays Harbor PUD is enhancing the Energy Services program it provides its customers. On Friday morning, a simplified Energy Services webpage, located on the Grays Harbor PUD website (ghpud.org), will allow customers to navigate program offerings more efficiently.
The transition to this new webpage is part of a larger effort that will transform the way Grays Harbor PUD customers access energy efficiency rebate programs. By the summer of 2017, customers will be able to schedule energy audits, work with contractors, and submit applications and required documentation online.
“Along with providing a more efficient and user friendly experience, the new Energy Services system will allow the PUD to better design and more effectively implement the energy efficiency programs offered to our customers,” said PUD Energy Services Analyst Jacob Henry.
In addition to the improved webpage, there will be an all new Online Energy Survey feature. This survey will allow existing customers to answer questions about their home and energy usage that will provide recommendations on how they can save energy and the PUD programs which will help them attain those savings.
For more information about the new Energy Services webpage, contact the PUD Energy Services office at (360) 538-6383 or online at www.ghpud.org/energy-efficiency.
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