We are committed to keeping our customers connected to essential services. If you are experiencing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for support, including long-term payment arrangements or bill assistance. Our policies, consistent with state law, do not relieve customers from the obligation to pay for utility services.
If you need to Request for Extended Payment Arrangements, fill out pages 4 – 5 from the document below and email email@example.com.
Consumer Payment Scams
We may see a rise in scammers and con artists attempting to target utility consumers by posing as utility representatives and demanding immediate payment of an “overdue” bill to avoid disconnection of their service. We never ask or require customers who have delinquent accounts to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid disconnection. Customers with outstanding balances receive multiple notifications by mail prior to having any action taken on their account. If you receive such a phone call/text, please ignore it. And, if you’re worried about the status of your account, give us a call at 253-299-5546.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the City resuming utility shutoffs?
Governor Inslee’s proclamation prohibiting utility late fees and service interruptions expires on September 30th. We understand that the past 19 months have been difficult, and want to help as much as we can before resuming late fees and shutoffs.
Upon expiration of the Governor’s order, the City will be establishing a two month grace period/deferral before we begin imposing late fees and scheduling shutoffs. Our hope is that this two months allows customers the time to catch up on past due balances, or apply for financial assistance through community partners such as Pierce County.
I can’t pay my entire bill right now, should I still call?
Absolutely! We can help arrange a payment schedule, but can only help if you call BEFORE utilities are disconnected.
How can I get help?
The City can help arrange a payment plan, but we can’t waive your charges. Please reach out to Pierce County to apply for Covid utility assistance (rent assistance may also be available!) You can also call 211 in Pierce County for guidance to other assistance programs.
Can I pay online?
Yes! You can pay your regular bills online, at City Hall (please check our lobby hours), in our City Hall dropbox 24/7, or at Nicholson’s pharmacy during their open hours. You can also pay through your bank’s bill pay, but please note that they mail your payment, so probably not best for urgent payments!
Payments on a scheduled payment arrangement should be made through our drop box or at City Hall. If you mail it in, please be sure you write PAYMENT ARRANGEMENT on your stub. This helps us make sure your payment is applied directly to your payment arrangement.
How long do I have to pay?
We encourage customers to bring their accounts current as soon as possible, but can extend arrangements for past due amounts up to twelve months.
What about my current bills?
We can offer payment arrangements for past due balances. Bills going forward will need to remain current to keep the account in good standing and protected from disconnections.
I’m a tenant, can I get a payment arrangement?
Yes! Please contact us to help. We will need approval from the property owner to establish a payment arrangement.
Why can’t the City just waive past due balances?
Legally, a utility is a fee for services used and once you use them, we have to charge you fairly. We’re not a corporation. There are no shareholders, and we’ve worked hard to reduce overhead so that our rates are as low as possible. If we were to “forgive” accounts (which again, is illegal to do), the payment has to come from the other ratepayers, putting a further burden on the rest of our customers.
What if I miss a payment on my arrangement?
Please contact us ASAP. Our Utility Customer Support Policy gives us some flexibility for a one-time missed payment, but it’s important to stay on your payment arrangement to avoid potential disconnection.
What about my gas/electric bill?
Gas and electric services in Sumner are provided by Puget Sound Energy, a separate organization. However, they have shared that they offer their own options for bill assistance. Please link here to find out more about PSE assistance.