After public outcry, utility goes to monthly meter readings

After public outcry, utility goes to monthly meter readings

Snohomish County PUD will change the way it will bill after dozens of customers complained their bills doubled or tripled.

KIRO's Jesse Jones raised concerns about the billing problems months ago. Commissioners met Tuesday morning and decided they would move to monthly meter readings. The change is expected to begin this fall.

The issue began last fall when Snohomish PUD switched from bi-monthly billing to monthly billing. That means the utility reads meters one month but charges customers an estimate the next.

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Since then, customers complained that their bills have doubled, tripled or more, and many angry customers spoke at a PUD meeting in February.

"While bill estimates have worked for most of our customers, we understand that for some of our customers estimated bills have created hardships," said PUD CEO/General Manager Craig Collar said in a news release Tuesday.. "We've heard them and are responding with more frequent meter readings."

The Herald reports it could cost $13 million to $18 million in the next three years to implement the change.

One option could be a rate increase.