CRPUD Office Hours Are Changing in 2018
September 28, 2017 – Columbia River PUD’s office hours will change on January 2, 2018. The PUD’s new hours will be from 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The office will be closed on Fridays.
CRPUD linemen will still be available for outage response 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Customers will be able to access their accounts and pay their bills online or by phone, any time.
Customer Survey Supports Longer Hours
A recent customer survey showed the PUD could meet the needs of 86% of customers by opening its office longer hours, four days a week. The PUD office is currently open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. According to the survey, the existing schedule meets the needs of 74% of customers.
“Many customers surveyed wanted to be able to be able to do business with us outside of their own work hours,” said PUD General Manager John Nguyen. “This change makes that possible, so it gives us the chance to meet the needs of more of our customers.”
Employees Support Change
85% of PUD employees also support the change. The PUD currently offers alternate work schedules for employees, and will continue to do so with this change. Nguyen anticipates that about 10% of the workforce may request alternate work schedules. This estimate is based on the current number of employees with alternate schedules.
“An alternate work schedule is an option as long as it works within the department and meets customer needs,” said Nguyen.
The PUD also visited with other utilities who changed office hours. They encouraged the PUD to move forward with the change.
“Every utility we talked to encouraged us to do it,” said Nguyen. “They have had positive feedback from customers and employees alike.”
Operations Efficiencies Anticipated
One area where the change in hours may have an impact is in operations. The PUD’s line crews often work on large projects that span days or weeks. This change will allow them to stay on a job site longer each day.
“For bigger jobs, this change will mean more time on the job and less time driving each week,” said Operations Supervisor Eli Crape. “That helps us work more efficiently.”
Communication Outreach Planned
The PUD will notify customers and vendors of the change through several communication channels. Notifications in billing statements, lobby signs, online announcements, and advertisements are planned. A web page, www.crpud.net/hours, has been set up to share information about the change.
“We’ll work to make this a smooth transition for everyone,” said Nguyen.