(WWLP) – Eversource changed its policy and will not shut off service with customers during the coronavirus pandemic.
In a news release sent to 22News, the energy company is taking several measures to help customers with financial concerns, as well as workplace safety for their employees.
We develop and update emergency response plans on an annual basis and are currently operating under our emergency pandemic plan. Among other things, this allows us to focus our resources where they are needed most – ensuring the smooth and stable operation of our electric, gas and water operations. We are an essential part of the communities we serve across New England, and as a provider of critical services, are committed to supporting our customers and employees during this uncertain time.Eversource Chairman, President and CEO Jim Judge
As of last week, Eversource began taking measures to alleviate any financial concerns its customers may face:
- Suspending customer disconnections for nonpayment
- Assisting customers with financial programs, such as setting up a payment plan
- Reminding customers to download the mobile app which allows customers to check their account, pay their bill and much more at their convenience
- Warning customers of increased scam activity due to the COVID-19 outbreak – customers should be wary of any unsolicited calls that threaten to disconnect utility service and that demand payment by unusual means. Eversource will never ask for personal information over the phone in this manner and does not accept payments via gift cards or other common tools used by scammers. Also, as previously mentioned, disconnections for nonpayment have been suspended.
From an operational perspective, Eversource is:
• Continuing to plan for brief and targeted electric outages only when they are required to perform critical work to ensure reliability
• Reducing non-critical fieldwork in our gas operations that requires access to homes or businesses
• Making sure all its field resources and support staff continue to be at the ready in the event of a storm or other disruption not related to COVID-19
Additionally, Eversource has enacted measures and guidelines for employees to ensure its workforce remains ready to serve customers and maintain its electric, gas, and water networks, including:
• Postponing employee travel, canceling large meetings and business gatherings
• Requiring employees who can work remotely to do so, reducing in-person interaction
• Creating new procedures – including cleaning protocols – so that employees who must work from our critical facilities can do so safely
Throughout this evolving situation, Eversource is committed to safeguarding the health and safety of its customers, employees and the communities it serves and ensuring that it continues to reliably provide essential energy services.