The Central Lincoln People’s Utility will permanently close its Toledo office on Friday, July 10th. “More and more of our customers are choosing to pay their bills online or via electronic banking systems, rather than in person,” said Central Lincoln’s General Manager Debra Smith. “As a not-for-profit community-owned utility, we have to balance the needs of the vast majority of customers who do not use our walk-in offices with the needs of those who want that face-to face contact.
Power costs are our largest expense and Central Lincoln has experienced considerable rate pressure due to BPA rate increases. In order to manage the impact of higher power costs, we are always looking for ways to trim other operating costs.” Central Lincoln customers who want to drop off payments can continue to do so at the JC Market in Toledo, and at the JC Market in Newport, as well as at Central Lincoln’s Newport office. “The ways in which our customers engage with us has changed a great deal, particularly in the past five years.
We’ve had many requests for paperless billing, online bill payment, etc., and we’ve been happy to make these services available via our clpud.org website. Customers can now view not only their current month’s bill, but previous months’ bills, going back some years depending on how long they have been customers of Central Lincoln via MyAccount Online,” said Smith. “Our customers no longer need to see or call a customer service representative for this information. We’ve also added “MyMeter” –an online system for customers to view their electricity use—on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, so they can track their use as they see fit.”
The Toledo office closure will not result in layoffs. Employees previously assigned to the Toledo office will work from the Newport office eight miles away. “Our office in Newport is open from 8 in the morning to 5 p.m., including the lunch hour, and customers who live in Toledo and Siletz are of course welcome to visit our office in Newport, as are all of our customers.”
The future of Central Lincoln’s building and grounds in Toledo has not yet been decided. Central Lincoln has contracts with outside entities for co-location of communications infrastructure in Toledo, and those contracts are under review. In the meantime, the utility’s grounds and building will continue to be maintained. “We love being part of the Toledo community and that’s not changing,” said Smith. “However, it does make sense for us to change the way we serve our Toledo customers.”
The Central Lincoln People’s Utility District is Oregon’s fourth-largest electric utility, serving
one-third of Oregon’s coast, from Lincoln Beach to North Bend—approximately 55,000 people in portions of Douglas, Coos, Lane, and Lincoln counties. Central Lincoln is not-for-profit, and is community-owned, meaning it was created by voters to serve the public. Central Lincoln can be reached via its website, clpud.org, email at email@example.com, or at its local offices.