Electricity and water are essential services that are vital to commerce and well-being. Our employees are prepared to provide and maintain these critical resources. We are following all public health and safety guidance and will continue to make changes as recommended to keep providing you with reliable service. During this unprecedented time, we have taken the following steps for our business customers to help alleviate worry and maintain the vital services we all need in the coming months together.
- We proactively stopped service disconnections: At this time we are not disconnecting service for lack of payment. Services will be stopped only when requested.
- We have suspended all late fees on accounts: Your account will not accrue late fees due to lack of payment.
- We have suspended all notices: We will not send past due or reminder notices during this time.
- We are not sending accounts to collections: All collections activities have been suspended.
As our community takes proactive steps to protect residents’ health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, we know many of our business customers are experiencing financial hardship and may have trouble paying their bill. As a nonprofit, public utility we ask that all customers who are able to continue paying their utility bill, please do. This helps us continue to provide flexibility to those most impacted. If your business is impacted in such a way, we ask that you reach out to discuss options and payment arrangements with us. We’re still here (but at a safe distance!) and ready to help!
We’ve also put together a list of COVID-19 business resources for our customers.
Key Accounts Team Update
This is a time unlike any other, and circumstances are changing rapidly each day. Here at Clark Public Utilities we are committed to keeping the lights on for all customers and remain available for customer service 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 360-992-3000, [email protected] or at clarkpublicutilities.com. In addition, please do not hesitate to reach out to your Key Accounts Manager, Zeecha Van Hoose, Bill Hibbs, Bart Hansen or myself. We are all working remotely and available for any questions you may have.
In addition, we’d like to announce Lori Froehlich has joined our team as our newest Key Accounts Manager. She will be introduced to her assigned customers in the coming weeks. We are thrilled to have her on board!
We hope you are all doing your best to stay healthy and connected to your families during this unprecedented time. We are here!
Energy Services Manager
Tips for Buildings with Limited or No Occupancy
Here are some tips from our friends at Stillwater Energy:
Adjust HVAC Schedules
- Significant energy savings can be achieved by trimming schedules or turning units off that aren’t needed.
- If building is unoccupied, enable typical holiday schedule.
- If building is partially occupied, adjust schedules to better match actual occupancy/usage of buildings. This may require trial and error.
- If significant shutdown is possible, consider operating units 1-2 hours every few days to ensure spaces don’t get too stagnant.
- Prior to making schedule changes, document existing schedules, which will be helpful once business returns to normal occupancy.
- Many operators may have protocols established for winter shutdowns; similar measures could be used during this time.
Setback Temperature Setpoints
- Verify setback temperature setpoints are appropriate.
- If HVAC schedules are reduced, the setback temperatures are more likely to be encountered.
- Confirm these setpoints are appropriate for your building.
- Typical heating setback temperatures are 60-65°F
- Typical cooling setback temperatures are 77-80°F
Adjust Outside Air Settings
- Assess opportunities to reduce minimum outside air requirements in spaces with reduced occupancy.
- If existing controls include demand-controlled ventilation this should occur automatically (CO2 sensors measure occupancy levels; outside air is adjusted to maintain appropriate ventilation levels).
- Creativity should be employed when considering opportunities beyond HVAC.
- Air compressors, vending machines, personal space heaters, and kitchen equipment are examples of some equipment that may be able to be turned off (or down).
- If you’re concerned about the non-energy impacts these shutdowns may have, be sure to ask.
- Conduct a physical walk through of office spaces to ensure computers, task lights, and other equipment is off in unoccupied areas.
- Document any temporary changes to ease the return to normal occupancy; include dates when changes are made.
- Consider noting changes within the control system if possible.
- Consider emailing changes to key facilities personnel.