Talking to one of our Energy Advisors can help you find rebates and savings on Commercial energy efficient upgrades to your business.
As a provider of an essential service, we are working to ensure we are here for our customers, our community and our employees as coronavirus impacts the region.
Need financial assistance and support for your business?
We know some of our business customers might be worried about paying their bills. Here are measurable actions we’ve taken on behalf of our customers:
- We will not be disconnecting customers for non-payment during this time.
- We will work with our customers on options such as payment plans and choosing a new bill due date.
We understand there are times when it's more convenient to pay a bill in small payments. We're happy to make that arrangement with you.
Budget Payment Plan
Want more predictable energy bills? Our Budget Payment Plan evens out your energy costs throughout the year.
For business guidance and numerous assistance programs provided by Washington State – including grants, crisis planning tools, and information about paid leave and unemployment assistance, visit: https://coronavirus.wa.gov/business-workers
Governor Inslee is offering a new Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant program to assist small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Up to $5 million in funds are provided through the Governor’s Strategic Reserve Fund and administered by the State Department of Commerce. The grant program will provide a limited number of businesses in Washington’s 39 counties with a grant up to $10,000. Click here for more information.
Commission contact information including the commission’s toll-free number 888-333-WUTC (9882), email firstname.lastname@example.org, web address www.utc.wa.gov, and mailing address PO Box 47250, Olympia, WA 98504-7250.
For assistance through the Federal Government’s Small Business Administration (SBA), including eligibility in the Paycheck Protection Program which can help small businesses cover payroll, rent and your electric and natural gas utility bill during the coronavirus pandemic, please visit these helpful resources:
- Fact Sheet on the Paycheck Protection Program. Updated June 12 to provide business owners greater flexibility.
- SBA Guidance and Eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program.
- Visit the SBA Seattle District website or contact the SBA Seattle District at (206) 553-7310 with questions on how to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program.
Small business owners are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid. Click here for more information.
For other types of SBA assistance, including economic disaster loans which may be eligible for loan forgiveness, please visit the SBA’s coronavirus support website. Updated June 15, SBA will begin accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications from qualified small businesses and U.S. agricultural businesses.
For additional information on small business support initiatives, or to seek additional resources provided through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, visit https://savesmallbusiness.com. (The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is a private sector 501(c)(3) charity affiliated under the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and is not a government agency.)
For information and resources from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, visit https://savesmallbusiness.com.
Public health resources
- OSHA Guidance to protect workers from COVID-19–COVID-19 OSHA Resources
- Workplace transition and preparedness guidance–Getting Workplace Ready for COVID-19
- State Labor guidance–Washington Labor & Industry Hazard Alert Guidance
- Official CDC precautions and updates–COVID-19 CDC Guidance
- Emergency preparedness guidance–FEMA – COVID 19
- Department of Health COVID-19 guidance–WA Dept of Health
- Washington State official COVID-19 page–WA State Official Coronavirus Site
- COVID-19 updates from Governor Jay Inslee–WA State Governor – COVID-19 Updates
Restarting your Business
While adjusting your building’s operation during a prolonged vacancy can have a significant impact by reducing your energy consumption, it is also important to consider how reoccupying your building(s) will affect not only your energy use, but your equipment as well. In order to assist our customers during this transition we have put together action items for your consideration during this time.
Identify the expected re-opening occupancy schedule of your building. In buildings with multiple tenants or departments, communicate with those people to determine their re-opening dates and expected occupancies.
Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC)
In spaces that will be occupied, switch HVAC schedules to “occupied” or “normal” mode. In unoccupied spaces, set HVAC schedules to “unoccupied” or “setback” mode (60F or lower for heating and 80F or higher for cooling where practical), allowing those spaces to conserve energy.
If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, set a schedule for manual updates at the start/end of the day and keep staff accountable.
Ensure that minimum circulation and humidity levels are maintained in critical areas.
- Increase outdoor air ventilation (use caution in highly polluted areas); with a lower population in the building, this increases the effective ventilation per person.
- Disable demand-controlled ventilation (DCV).
- Further open minimum outdoor air dampers, as high as 100 percent, thus eliminating recirculation (in the mild weather season, this need not affect thermal comfort or humidity, but clearly becomes more difficult in extreme weather).
- Improve central air filtration to the MERV-13 or the highest compatible with the filter rack, and seal edges of the filter to limit bypass.
- Keep systems running longer hours, if possible 24/7, to enhance the two actions above.
- Consider portable room air cleaners with HEPA filters.
- Consider UVGI (ultraviolet germicidal irradiation), protecting occupants from radiation, particularly in high-risk spaces such as waiting rooms, prisons and shelters.
ASHRAE "Guidance for Building Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic" suggests if possible to:
- Increase disinfection of frequently touched surfaces.
- Install more hand sanitation dispensers, assuming they can be procured.
- Alternate days for employees working on-site to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
- Provide face coverings for employees.
- Consider virtual meetings or having meetings in areas that meet or exceed CDC recommendations for social distancing.
- Supervise or shut down food preparation and warming areas, including the office pantry and coffee station.
- Close or post warning signs at water fountains in favor of bottle filling stations and sinks, or even better, encourage employees to bring their water from home.
- Flush stagnate potable water pipes/systems.
Some additional precautions we’re taking
- With Governor Inslee’s Safe Start Washington county-by-county phased re-opening approach, PSE is gradually returning maintenance and construction crews back into the field and offices. PSE’s highest priority is the health and safety of our employees and communities. As such, we continue to adhere to current CDC guidance regarding COVID-19 while working in our community.
- We are requiring our employees to maintain physical distancing while working in the field and offices. We encourage our customers to do the same when engaging with our employees.
- At this time, we are not disconnecting customers for non-payment. Calls that mention needing payment to avoid disconnection of service are a sign that it is a scam. Learn more on how to protect yourself and your business at pse.com/scamalert
Looking to reduce energy consumption at your business?
Follow these simple energy efficiency tips to save money and energy if your building is unoccupied or low vacancy during this pandemic.
Identify the modified occupancy schedule of your building. In buildings with multiple tenants or departments, communicate with those people to determine the expected occupancy over the next few weeks.
Once the modified occupancy schedule is determined, consider the following:
Regardless of your lighting controls, turn off as much lighting as possible with safety and security in mind, especially during unoccupied periods. If building-occupied hours were recently changed, update the lighting controls to match them. Take this opportunity to also update your exterior lighting schedules to better match the changing sunset and sunrise schedules that come with daylight savings and spring.
Heating, ventilation, air conditioning
In unoccupied spaces, where possible, switch HVAC schedules to “unoccupied” or “setback” mode (55F or lower where practical), allowing your space to conserve energy.
- Before taking this action, ensure that minimum circulation and humidity levels are maintained in critical areas.
Solid waste and recycling
Adjust waste, recycle and compost pickup schedules as needed.
- Less frequent pickups will save money and reduce number of trips or transportation energy by not collecting empty bins.
Perform a site walkthrough to look for plug loads such as copiers, computers, printers, televisions, fax machines, radios, water coolers, sound systems and task lighting that may have remained on but can shut off or put to sleep. If you unplug any empty fridges or freezers, you must prop the door open or mold will likely grow inside.
For personalized advice, call an Energy Advisor at 1-800-562-1482, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.