PUC's Response to COVID-19

During these unprecedented times, PUC is taking proactive measures to ensure our customers receive safe, reliable and affordable electricity, drinking water and wastewater services. Our focus continues to be on ensuring the health and safety of our employees and the public. That is our commitment to you, our valued customer.

Read our open letter HERE.

Information for Contractors and Suppliers HERE.


   What We Are Doing

PUC has a comprehensive pandemic response plan that is currently being implemented and updated as needed throughout this situation. The plan is designed to ensure that operations and infrastructure are properly supported, so that PUC can continue to provide reliable electricity and water services to its customers. 

Following the guidance of public health officials, we have also taken proactive actions to both prevent the spread of illness and protect the safety and health of employees, including:

  • Cancelling all business travel and training
  • Practicing safe social distancing (using teleworking, rotating schedules and online meeting tools, as examples),
  • Practicing frequent handwashing and enhanced cleaning.
  • Temporarily restricting physical access to all PUC buildings, including the front lobby at 500 Second Line East. PUC is asking any visitors, including customers, contractors and suppliers to interact via phone, e-mail or other online options on www.ssmpuc.com until further notice. We also encourage customers to sign-up for E-Billing by clicking HERE.
  • PUC has put social distancing practices in place for the health and safety of our employees. We are asking the general public to stay 5 metres away from any crews or workers in the field.

    How We Can Help

We understand there are customers who are unable to work because of self-isolation or illness or are struggling with other pandemic related consequences. Recognizing the uncertainty for businesses and residents, PUC has programs in place to help you get through these difficult times.Please reach out to us to discuss your options and start the conversation. We are committed to ensuring all our customers are safe, the lights are on, and the water is running.

 

  • COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program - The Government of Ontario is providing support for residential customers struggling to pay their electricity bills as a result of COVID-19. CEAP is a one-time, on-bill credit for eligible residential electricity and natural gas customers to help you catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments. Eligible customers can apply here.
  • Time of Use Rates - The Government of Ontario has introduced a COVID-19 Recovery Rate of 12.8 cents/kWh for all time-of-use (TOU) electricity customers, to support Ontarians as they restart the economy. Households, farms and small businesses who pay time-of-use electricity rates will be charged this fixed rate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, starting June 1, 2020. This rate will be automatically reflected on TOU customers' electricity bills for all three TOU periods, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is intended to be in place until October 31, 2020. Click HERE for more information for what that means for PUC customers.
  • Disconnection Ban Extended - We have extended the suspension of electricity disconnections to July 31, 2020, so customers do not have to worry about being without electricity during this time.
  • Financial Assistance Programs - We will work with you to access programs to help you manage your electricity costs, including the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP), the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) and the AffordAbility Fund (more info below).
  • Flexibility - We are committed to being flexible with all business and residential customers, and have options in place such as payment plans, extended credit terms and more.
  • Phone Scam Warning - PUC Services is warning customers to beware of callers using a 1-800 number who are pretending to be from PUC Services and demanding immediate payment for utilities and/or threatening disconnections. Please be aware that this is a scam - PUC is NOT making phone calls that threaten disconnection. If you receive a suspicious phone call, do not provide any personal information, including PUC or credit card account numbers, and report the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca
  • Municipal Sewer Surcharge Suspended - Sault Ste. Marie City Council voted to suspend collection of the municipal sewer surcharge for the months of April and May 2020. The average monthly charge for residential customers is $22-$25. We want to thank the City for their efforts to provide some relief to Sault Ste. Marie rate payers at this time.

Financial assistance programs, including emergency relief are available to all PUC customers. They include:


   News & Updates

July 13, 2020 - New COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program Available for PUC Customers 

May 6, 2020 - PUC Applauds Ontario Government’s Decision to Extend Suspension of Time-of-Use Rates
April 15, 2020 - PUC Thanks Front-Line Health Care Workers at Sault Area Hospital
April 9, 2020 - AffordAbility Fund Related Phone Scam
March 30, 2020 - PUC Actively Advises Against Flushing Sanitary Wipes Down Your Toilet
March 25, 2020 - Keep PUC Workers Safe Through Social Distancing
March 24, 2020 - PUC Welcomes Announcement on Suspended Time-of-Use Rates
March 20, 2020 - PUC: Open Letter to Our Valued Customers
March 19, 2020 - PUC Extends Suspension on Hydro Disconnections 
March 18, 2020 - PUC is Warning Customers of Phone Scam
March 14, 2020 - PUC Municipal Drinking Water is Safe from COVID-19
March 13, 2020 - PUC Reassures Customers During COVID-19 Pandemic


    Please Reach Out To Us

Any customers or members of the public who have questions or concerns should contact PUC's Experience Department Monday to Friday 9am - 4:30pm at 705-759-6522 or customer.care@ssmpuc.com. For after hours or emergencies, please call 705-759-6555. 

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest news and updates. For updates, subscribe to our mailing list HERE

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