Actions include rate hike deferral, voluntary salary reduction by General Manager

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – April 10, 2020 – In response to the ongoing pandemic, SUB’s Board of Directors voted Wednesday to approve additional relief measures, including a delay to a previously approved rate increase and a voluntarily salary reduction by its General Manager.

The 1.25% electric rate increase, slated to appear on May bills, has been delayed until August. The Board will revisit the decision before the implementation date to determine whether a further postponement is necessary. 

The Board also accepted a proposal by Jeff Nelson, SUB’s general manager, to reduce his salary by $25,500, with funds directed toward a $220 payment to each of the utility’s hourly employees in recognition of the essential services they are providing to the Springfield community, and their commitment to safety in the workplace.

“My co-workers are my heroes,” Nelson said. “It’s an honor to serve with them.”

The Board also approved additional monies for SUB’s low-income assistance fund, Project Share, bringing the total supplemental funding to $120,000 since the pandemic response began in March.

In further actions, the SUB Board approved an assistance package for Springfield community partners. The measures include removing restrictions on the use of funds from grants SUB previously awarded to the City of Springfield and to Springfield Public Schools. The action allows these entities to redirect dollars as needed to support their pandemic response. The aid package also extends $25,000 to Willamalane toward their electric bills in recognition of their community safety efforts, which have recently included installing porta-potties and handwashing stations throughout the city.

A list of current customer response measures follows.

Pandemic relief measures for SUB customers

April 10, 2020

*Electric rate increase deferred: SUB’s Board of Directors voted to delay until July 1 (for bills rendered August 1) a previously approved electric rate increase. The Board will revisit this decision as the new effective date gets closer.

*Low-income assistance increased: In March, SUB increased its low-income assistance fund by $49,000. The Board added another $71,000 in relief dollars for a total of $120,000 additional dollars to help our most vulnerable customers. Income-qualified customers can receive up to $225 to help with their SUB bill. 

*Third-party credit card fees waived: The $3.50 fee charged by SUB’s vendor to provide secure online and over-the-phone payments for residential customers has been temporarily waived. This decision is retroactive to March 17 when SUB’s lobbies closed to the public and is effective until further notice.

*Expanded payment arrangements: Customers having difficulty with their utility payment for any reason will be offered exceptionally flexible payment arrangements by calling SUB’s main office.

*AutoPay credit: AutoPay is a program that allows customers to automatically pay utility bills via a checking or savings account. New enrollees receive a $10 credit on their bill.

*Late fees not charged: Per policy, SUB does not charge late fees for accounts in past due status