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Oregon‐Idaho Utilities News and General Information

Oregon-Idaho Utilities billing Inserts and Messages

Updated: April 6, 2021

Message to our Customers:

On July 16, 2020, the FCC adopted rules to establish 988 as the new, nationwide, 3-digit phone number for Americans in crisis to connect with suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors.

The rules require all phone service providers to direct all 988 calls to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by July 16, 2022.  During the transition to 988, Americans who need help should continue to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK) and through online chats.  Veterans and Service members may reach the Veterans Crisis Line by pressing 1 after dialing, chatting online at, or texting 838255.

The new rules will apply to all telecommunications carriers as well as all interconnected and one-way Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service providers.  They provide for a two-year transition, reflecting the real challenges of this nationwide effort, including the need for widespread network changes and providing time for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to prepare for the expected increase in the volume of calls.  Under these rules, calls to 988 will be directed to 1-800-273-TALK, which will remain operational during the 988 transition and after it is completed.  To ensure that calls to 988 reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, all covered providers will be required to implement 10-digit dialing in areas that both use seven-digit dialing and use 988 as the first three numbers in seven-digit phone numbers.  In the meantime, anyone in the United States experiencing a suicidal crisis or emotional distress should call 1-800-273-8255.

Customers in the 541 and 208 area codes in Oregon and Idaho already dial 10-digits to complete a local call.  Customers in the 775 Area Code in Nevada will begin dialing (area code + 7-digit telephone number) on APRIL 24, 2021.  On October 24, 2021 customers in Nevada must dial all local calls using the 10-digit format or their call may not complete.

*** All Customers ***
Effective April 1, 2021 the amount of the Federal Universal Service Charge (FUSC) appearing on your bill each month will increase as a result of an increase in the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) universal service fund contribution factor from 31.8% to 33.4%.  The Federal Universal Service Fund program is designed to keep local telephone service rates affordable for all customers, in all areas of the United States.  Any complaints regarding the monthly Federal Universal Service Charge (FUSC) should be filed directly with the FCC.

***All Customers***
On May 01, 2021 Oregon-Idaho Utilities will be discontinuing our temporary COVID-19 Payment and disconnection procedures and will return to our regular payment and disconnection procedure. If you have an unpaid balance on your account and you have not contacted us to enter into a payment arrangement, we encourage you to contact us before May 01, 2021 about a payment arrangement on that balance. We will continue to honor an existing payment arrangement we have with a customer so long as all payments due under the arrangement are made on time.

**Notice of Enhanced Oregon Lifeline Benefits**
Effective February 01, 2021 the Public Utilities Commission of Oregon temporarily increased the Oregon Telecommunications Assistance Program (OTAP) support amount from $7.00 per month to $12.00 per month for approved lifeline customers. The increase will continue until June 30, 2021. If you are already an approved OTAP household you will automatically receive this enhanced benefit. Oregon-Idaho Utilities offers voice and broadband plans that are eligible for OTAP discounts to qualified low-income households. Proof of eligibility may be necessary for enrollment. OTAP and Lifeline are government provided assistance programs. For more information on whether you qualify for Lifeline service in Oregon, please contact our office, or the Oregon Public Utilities Commission at (800) 848-4442, TTY (800) 648-3458.

*** Oregon Customers Only ***
Effective January 1, 2021, the Oregon Public Utilities Commission approved a decrease in the Oregon Universal Service Fund Contribution rate from 8.5% to 5.0%.  This new rate is for VOIP, Wireless and intrastate telecommunications charges billed to Oregon Consumers.

*** Oregon Customers Only ***
As a result of its review of the Oregon Residential Service Protection Fund, the Public Utility Commission of Oregon (PUC) approved an increase in the RSPF surcharge from $0.11 to $0.14 per access line per month on all end user business, residential and wireless access services effective January 1, 2021.

*** Oregon Customers Only ***
The 2019 Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 2449 which included two annual increases to the existing Oregon Emergency Communications (E911) tax rate.  Beginning January 1, 2021, the Oregon E911 tax rate will increase from $1.00 per month to $1.25 per month for each subscriber line capable to reaching 9-1-1. 

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Updated: April 6, 2021

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