LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Clark County is picking up the tab for about more than 15,000 families who fell behind on their electric bill during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Officials are providing $5.3 million in funds from the CARES Act to cover delinquent bills for 15,700 residents in unincorporated Clark County who were affected by a loss of income, according to county spokesman Erik Pappa.
To find out whether an address is located in unincorporated Clark County or a surrounding city, please visit www.ClarkCountyNV.gov. Click on “Residents” at the top of the page and go to “Find My Commission District.” Type in an address in the search engine, which will yield several results, including your “jurisdiction.” If the jurisdiction displayed is Clark County, you are a resident of unincorporated Clark County.
“The pandemic has been incredibly hard on the residents of Southern Nevada,” said Clark County Commission Chairman Marilyn Kirkpatrick. “Our families are struggling and they shouldn’t have to choose between putting food on the table and paying their power bills. This effort will provide real help to the families who need it most.”
Residents’ accounts will be credited if they have a past due balance stemming from the pandemic. The funds will not be used to pay for late fees or penalties associated with delinquent bills and NV Energy has agreed to forgive such fees and penalties for bills paid for with the County’s Coronavirus Relief Funds.
“This funding, in addition to a one-time bill credit from NV Energy that will show up on October bills, will go a long way toward easing the financial challenges so many are experiencing,” said Doug Cannon, NV Energy President and Chief Executive Officer.
In March, Clark County and Southern Nevada cities declared a state of emergency related to the pandemic. In April, unemployment statewide soared to 28.2 percent, the highest rate ever reported by any state, even exceeding unemployment during the Great Depression.
Nevadans are struggling to pay their household expenses, officials said. A Rand Corp. survey found almost one-third of middle-class families are having a difficult time, while half of respondents who earn less than $25,000 annually are having a hard time paying their bills.
There has also been an increase in the number of people struggling to put enough food on the table, according to county officials. In Nevada, 11 percent reported that their household sometimes or often didn’t have enough to eat in the last seven days, according to the Household Pulse Survey for the week ending Sept. 14. And 18 percent of Nevadans reported they did not pay rent on time or deferred payment.