PWC COVID-19 Response FAQ
Q: My business has been shutdown and we are now allowed to re-open. Is there anything I should now about my utility services when I re-open?
A: When a business/facility has been closed for an extended period of time, you are recommended to flush your water system. Tips for that and re-opening are available here
Q: How can PWC help if I can’t pay my bill?
A: PWC is working with customers. We have suspended cutoffs until further notice and are waiving late fees (effective March 16). We are following the Governor’s Executive order and as of March 31, are not charging interest on past due balances and we will allow you up to 6 months to pay a past due balance.
Q: If PWC is working with customers, why are you still reminding us of ways to pay my bill?
A: Bills are not being waived but we are allowing customers additional time to pay if needed. We encourage you to set up a payment plan to prevent long-term accumulating account balances. The longer payments are delayed, and services continue, the more the amount owed becomes and it can be more difficult to pay the larger amount.
Q: If my use goes up when I am at home, when will I see that on my bill?
A: It will depend on your typical bill date. Any April electric usage billed after May 1 will have lower off-peak rates.
Q: Why is PWC changing Peak Hours (or why don’t they stop Peak hours) while customers at required to stay at home?
A: PWC’s rates match how we are billed by our energy supplier, Duke Energy. If we go back to a flat rate, customers would pay a higher amount. The average amount a PWC customer pays for a kilowatt of electricity under Time-of-Use rates is four percent lower than our previous flat rate. That will go down even more as the off-peak rate is being reduced May 1.
When you spend more time at home, you have more flexibility to shift activities and energy use to the 20-hour off peak periods such as laundry and running the dishwasher to off-peak hours.
Q: Is PWC going to stop charging fees for credit card payments/pay on-line?
A: No, the fee is charged by our vendor who processes our card/online payments. If you are paying online, if you use your checking account information (routing & acct #), there is no charge. You can also save that information on-line (my wallet feature) so you don’t have to re-enter each month.
Q: If I had a previous past due balance, am I being charged interest if I don’t pay?
A: PWC has suspended late payment charges for any bills that customers are issued since March 16 and suspended all interest charges since March 31. However, if a customer had a previous unpaid balance on prior bills, the existing interest charges still apply to those balances
Q: Will PWC disconnect my power for non-payment as soon as the stay at home order has been lifted?
A: PWC will work with customers after this emergency is past to work our arrangements to pay for the utility services that were used. That is why we are requesting that customers not wait and call PWC now.
Q: How soon will I be expected to pay my past due bill?
A: We are following the Governor’s executive order and will allow you up to 6 months to pay past due balances.
Q: If utilities are considered essential, why did PWC close its customer service? (I want to talk to someone in person).
A: Our customer payment center is closed to walk-in service to protect customers and our employees during this community crisis. All customer service transactions can be conducted by phone (910-483-1382).
Q: I pay my bill with cash- where else can I go?
A: Our drive-thru is open Monday-Friday 8:30pm -5:30 pm. We have other options when paying with cast such as our new 24/7 self-service payment station located in the drive-thru lane. It accepts cash, checks and credit cards, applies your payment immediately and provides you a receipt. You may also pay in cash at any Western Union location as long as you have your PWC account number.
Q: Why is PWC still working in my neighborhood?
A: PWC work is essential to help maintain our utilities so we can continue providing reliable services. PWC and its contractors are making adjustments where they are able to reduce any face-to-face contact with customers and are taking additional safety precautions understanding more people are currently at home during the work day.
Q: How does the virus affect my water?
A: Our drinking water is safe from the COVID-19 threat. The World Health Organization notes that conventional water treatment methods, which utilize filtration and disinfection (PWC’s Chlorination and Chloramination treatment methods) inactivate COVID-19 virus and are effective against other Coronaviruses
Q: My bill will go up because I have to stay home, how can I reduce it?
A: Spending more time at home will increase your energy and water use. When at home, you have more flexibility to shift energy use, such as laundry and running the dishwasher to off-peak hours. Beginning April 1, peak hours for electric customers change to afternoons, 3 pm-7 pm weekdays. Energy used the other 20 hours of the weekday, weekends and PWC holidays are billed off-peak. Energy used in April will billed in May when off-peak rates will even less. Beginning May 1, off-peak rates for residential and small power customers will be 35% less than on-peak.
- Temperatures are typically mild in the spring but heating and cooling still make the highest impact on your bill. Change your air filter to be sure your HVAC system is running efficiently. Have your system serviced before the hot summer months and support local HVAC companies.
- Restrict access to your thermostat by your children so that you can control any changes in its settings. Minimize the use of electronic games, television, streaming services and computers during on-peak hours. Charge your smart phones during off-peak hours.
- Turn off lights in rooms when they are unoccupied and replace incandescent lights with LED lights which use % less energy. Be sure to apply for PWC bill credit for the LEDs you replace. Cook outside on the grill — grilling doesn’t use electricity and limiting oven use will keep homes cooler.
- Take the extra time at home to find and fix water leaks. The average household’s leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year and ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day.
- Check your water heater temperature and set it to 120 degrees. Use these tips to limit the amount of hot water use which will help you save on both your energy and water bill.
- Wash full loads of laundry and dishes whenever possible and switch the temperature setting for laundry from hot to cold. About 90% of the energy used for washing clothes and dishes is used to heat the water.
- Shorten your shower time. Even one minute less will make a positive impact on your bill. If you have an electric water heater, minimize showers during on-peak hours.
- Turn off water while washing hands, brushing teeth or shaving.
- Have a picnic with disposable plates and utensils and reduce the need to wash dishes.