In 1938 the people of Grays Harbor voted to create the Grays Harbor Public Utility District Number One, shifting control of the county’s energy services to the public and allowing the customers of the District to serve as its directors and owners. In January 1940, that transition was complete and the non-profit, community owned Grays Harbor PUD opened its doors, dedicated to providing safe, reliable and affordable energy to the people of Grays Harbor County. Over three-quarters of a century much has changed, but one constant is that YOUR PUD answers to YOU, its customers, and not a group of investors. Your elected board of commissioners meets in the open, free to be questioned and happy to provide the answers. Many of your PUD employees are residents of the District they serve, providing ownership and accountability and remembering that they are here to serve their customers and neighbors. As we look forward to the next 75 years, your Grays Harbor PUD thanks you for your trust and support. It is a privilege to serve the people of Grays Harbor and to continue the proud tradition of local control of your utilities.
Scammers are using a new method to target Grays Harbor PUD customers. In addition to phone calls demanding payment and threatening to cut power, PUD customers have reported receiving emails from scammers telling them that their bill is due and offering an option to “schedule a payment.”
“Scammers will try several different methods to obtain a person’s financial information, but they only succeed when personal information is given,” said Grays Harbor PUD Customer Service Manager Katy Moore. “People who receive a phone call or email in which they are being asked to volunteer bank account, credit card or other personal information should immediately contact the organization which the caller or emailer claims to represent and check the status of their accounts.”
The scam emails are fairly easy to spot as they do not originate from a ghpud.org email address or include any Grays Harbor PUD identifying logos or web links.
While the Grays Harbor PUD does offer online bill pay options to its customers, it does not email customers with offers to set-up scheduled payments. Those options are only available by accessing the Grays Harbor PUD website or by contacting the PUD Customer Service department.
A report by the Washington State Auditor shows that the Grays Harbor Public Utility District is exceeding its goals for complying with the energy conservation standards required under Initiative 937, the Energy Independence Act (EIA).
In the Exit Conference Report delivered by the State Auditor on Friday morning, the PUD was found to have exceeded its two year target for energy conservation. The PUD had set a conservation target of 19,009 megawatt hours for 2012-13. The exit report states that the PUD conserved 19,884 megawatt hours during that two year period.
“Congratulations to our Energy Services and Power Management staff,” said PUD Power Manager Melinda James-Saffron. “Through their hard work, the Grays Harbor PUD is exceeding the high standards set by the state and by ourselves and is ensuring that the energy services the PUD provides to its customers is being used responsibly and efficiently.”
The PUD Energy Services Office works with both residential and non-residential customers to meet the standards set under the EIA. This includes offering home and business energy audits and rebates for the purchase of energy efficient appliances and home and business weatherization work
Passed by the voters in 2006, the EIA requires electric utilities with more than 25,000 customers to meet renewable energy and energy conservation standards. Under the Act, the utility is permitted to set its conservation standard using a method called the Utility Analysis option. Under this option, an outside consultant determines the conservation potential of the PUD and sets both two-year and ten- year goals. Those goals are then approved by the PUD Board of Commissioners.
The Grays Harbor PUD has found a way to avoid landfill tipping fees for 10-thousand tons of bark-rock mixture from the Harbor Paper mill site. Over the next week, the mixture will be hauled to the Decker Creek Gravel Pit in Mason County, where it will be used for a surface mine reclamation project.
“Finding the most cost-effective way to dispose of these products has been our goal from the beginning. It’s another case of innovation saving money for the customers of the Grays Harbor PUD,” said General Manager Dave Ward
The bark-rock mixture was originally purchased from the Weyerhaeuser Bay City sorting yard by the then Grays Harbor Paper company for use in the bio-fuel steam turbines. When the mill closed, the mixture that had yet to be burned was left standing by the Ontario Street entrance to the facility, awaiting disposal as part of the PUD’s site clean-up obligations. However, rather than hauling the mixture to the Stafford Creek Landfill, the PUD, in cooperation with Mason County Environmental Health, Grays Harbor County Environmental Health and the Washington State Departments of Natural Resources and Ecology found that the mixture could be used to provide an organic fill for the reclamation of the Decker Creek Gravel Pit.
In all, the transport of the mixture to Mason County is expected to cost the PUD about $82,300, roughly half the estimated cost for landfill disposal.
Contractors have also begun the demolition of the facilities water treatment clarifiers. Once all salvageable materials have been removed, the remaining concrete rubble will be used by the City of Aberdeen for future construction projects.
Seahawks passion touched every corner of Washington state this season and the Grays Harbor PUD was no exception. In addition to celebrating Blue Friday’s (and the occasional Monday, Wednesday and Thursday) with gusto, the PUD’s Relay for Life team, the Kilowatt Kids, used Seahawk mania to raise money for the American Cancer Society. PUD employees happily donated through Seahawk Quarter Scoreboards, Seahawk baskets and Blue Week (the chance to wear Seahawks attire the week leading up to the Super Bowl).