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Important COVID-19 Energy Updates

Last Updated: 6/4/2020

We know that you’re working hard to stay safe and healthy, take care of your families, make a living and find creative ways to connect from a distance. In an effort to help you during this uncertain time, we’ve assembled the resources below to provide you with the latest energy-focused update relating to the effects of COVID-19. The impact from the virus extends beyond utility bills, we highlight 3 trends impacting electricity rates today.

Click on your state or energy provider below to see a summary of their responses to COVID-19 and helpful links.

States

Energy Providers

ConnecticutConstellation
GeorgiaDirect Energy
MarylandSpark Energy
MassachusettsTomorrow Energy
MichiganStarion Energy
New HampshireVerde Energy
New JerseyReliant Energy
New York
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
Texas

We also recommend visiting this page outlining three trends that make now the best time ever to shop energy rates.

Updates by State & Utility Provider

Here you can find a breakdown of updates and resources relating to the effects of COVID-19 by state and utility provider.

Connecticut

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CT electric, gas companies offer payment plan to relieve pandemic debt

The three Connecticut utilities that are subsidaries of Orange-based Avangrid are offering 24-month, interest-free payment plan to give customers some financial flexibility to pay down any balances accumulated during the coronavirus pandemic.

The new payment plan being offered by United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas is in addition to a moratorium on service shutoffs that the Avangrid subsidiaries announced mid-March. The utilities developed the plans at the direction of the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, which has been working with the state’s electric and natural gas companies to find ways to mitigate the financial impact of the pandemic.

Link: CT electric, gas companies offer payment plan to relieve pandemic debt

United Illuminating Updates

Utility regulators approve new generation rates for CT standard service customers

Customers of The United Illuminating Co. and Eversource Energy who allow the utilities to purchase the electricity they use will see that portion of their monthly utility bill decrease starting Jan. 1.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority approved the new generation rates for standard service customers on Wednesday. Standard service customers let UI and Eversource Energy purchase generated electricity for them rather than buying it through a third-party provider.

Link: Utility regulators approve new generation rates for CT standard service customers

Covid-19 and Our Response

  • Our Comprehensive Emergency Response Plan has been activated – We are committed to maintaining your service.
  • Service connections – We have implemented additional safety practices for our crews and will continue to turn on or off your service if you need to move.
  • We have suspended late payment charges.
  • We have suspended all disconnections for non-payment.
  • We have suspended re-connection fees.
  • We have suspended requests for security deposits.
  • Please call us if you would like to discuss your account and manage your payments.

Link: Covid-19 and Our Response

Learn more about United Illuminating

Eversource Energy (CL&P) Updates

Eversource to participate in COVID-19 webinars

Eversource energy company is inviting customers to take part in the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority’s (PURA) upcoming webinars to learn more about steps it has taken to help during the COVID-9 pandemic. Eversource representatives will share information on assistance available to customers during this time and offer solutions and tips to help customers save money and energy while they spend more time at home.

Since mid-March, the energy company has:

  • Suspended all customer disconnections for non-payment.
  • Waived late payment charges.
  • Began offering a special, flexible payment plan for any past due bills.
  • Offered additional energy-saving tips to help reduce energy use while people are spending more time at home.

Link: Eversource to participate in COVID-19 webinars

We’ve suspended disconnections, late fees and taken other steps to help customers in response to COVID-19. 

  • We are suspending disconnection of service for non-payment. 
  • We are eliminating late payment charges.
  • We are offering a special, flexible payment plan — with no down payment — for any past-due amount. Residential customers please contact us at 800-286-2828 (electric) or 800-438-2278 (gas) to learn more. Business customers, please contact us at 800-682-2627
  • We have enabled more than 80% of our Customer Service Representatives to take customer calls from home. Please be patient if you hear our families, pets, or other background noise.
  • Some of our field employees may be taking work vehicles home at the end of the day. If you see an Eversource vehicle in a private driveway, this is part of our plan to ensure a fast response in case of emergencies and to limit group interactions at our work centers.
  • We have online and mobile tools to help you conduct business with us as usual, including customer service agents to speak with by phone. Our mobile app allows you to easily check your account, pay your bill and more at your convenience.
  • For answers to commonly asked questions about Eversource and our response to COVID-19, visit our FAQ page

Link: Responding to COVID-19

Learn more about Eversource Energy (CL&P)

Georgia

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Georgia Power Service Shutoffs To Resume Mid-July

Georgia Power and Atlanta Gas Light are poised to resume shutting off service in July for customers who do not pay their bills following months of abstaining from disconnections during the coronavirus pandemic.

The two energy companies, which provide gas and electricity to millions of Georgians, pushed pause on service disconnections March 14 as Gov. Brian Kemp placed the state under a public health emergency stemming from the pandemic.

Link: Georgia Power Service Shutoffs To Resume Mid-July

Georgia Power customers to see $21 reduction on June bills

ATLANTA, June 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Georgia Power today announced that the typical residential customer using 1,000-kilowatt hours will receive an $11.29 credit on their June Georgia Power bill. This reflects implementation of a one-time $51.5 million credit for customers, approved by the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC), as a result of Georgia Power’s 2018 financial results.

Link: Georgia Power customers to see $21 reduction on June bills

Georgia Power warning customers of COVID-19 scammers

ATLANTA – Georgia Power is warning customers about scammers taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the energy giant, customers should beware of phone calls from people posing as Georgia Power employees and demanding payment while threatening to disconnect service.

Link: Georgia Power warning customers of COVID-19 scammers

Southern Company Gas Updates

Southern Co., Alabama Power meet with Trump officials on keys to economic revival

Officials from the Southern Company and Alabama Power made several recommendations at a meeting with Trump Administration officials to help restore the nation’s economy after the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the Great American Economic Revival Energy Industry Group meeting at the White House on April 14, Southern Company and Alabama Power, which is part of the Southern Company, were among those in attendance across a variety of sectors, including energy.

Link: Southern Co., Alabama Power meet with Trump officials on keys to economic revival

Southern Company Gas Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

  • Effective, March 14, we have voluntarily suspended service disconnections for residential and commercial customers for non-payment.
  • We also provide self-service offerings online to help with bill management and payments, including payment arrangements through our My Account portal.
  • If you have an appointment with us but have been advised to stay at home by a health official for the coronavirus or experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness, like fever, cough or shortness of breath, please reach out and let us know.
  • We are utilizing technology to enable most of our 4,400 employees to work from home – mitigating exposure to peers while continuing our work
  • When our employees need to enter customers’ homes and businesses, they will ask questions before entering to ensure they are taking the appropriate precautions. They’ll also request some social distancing while in your home, and may wear protective gear when necessary and appropriate.

Link: Southern Company Gas Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Maryland

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Is COVID-19 a Force Majeure Event That Excuses Performance on Renewable Construction Projects?

Like other segments of the economy, the renewable energy industry is dealing with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Several states still have restricted business activities and are only now considering lifting those restrictions. Many equipment suppliers, contractors, and project owners have sent or received force majeure notices under their respective contracts and disputes may arise over whether a COVID-related delay in performance is excused.

The force majeure clause in the contract is the logical starting point and may be dispositive. As one Texas court explained, “when the parties have themselves defined the contours of force majeure in their agreement, those contours dictate the application, effect, and scope of force majeure.” But there are several aspects of a force majeure clause that should be considered to determine whether COVID-19 constitutes a force majeure event.

Link: Is COVID-19 a Force Majeure Event That Excuses Performance on Renewable Construction Projects?

COVID-19 Highlights the Need to Ensure Reliable Electricity

Insufficient intensive care unit (ICU) beds and ventilators at American hospitals combating the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the importance of capacity planning for critical systems. The desire to minimize empty ICU beds and unused ventilators during normal times has led to acute shortages during the pandemic. We should learn from this experience and not let poor capacity planning endanger our electricity supply, especially during a time of crisis. A December 2019 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission “Minimum Offer Price Rule” (MOPR) change achieves this goal and it should be supported.

Link: COVID-19 Highlights the Need to Ensure Reliable Electricity

Coronavirus In Maryland: Hospitalizations Remain Flat, COVID-19 Cases Near 36K

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Hospitalizations remain flat Thursday morning as Maryland reports nearly 36,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state. According to state officials, there are a total 35,903 COVID-19 cases reported in the state, an increase of 1,091 since Wednesday.

However, both the number of current hospitalizations and patients in ICU slightly decreased. Hospitalizations are now at 1,538, down 12 from Wednesday and ICU cases are down three to 569. A total of 1,748 people have died from this virus in Maryland, the state also reported Thursday, and there are 118 probable deaths.

Link: Coronavirus In Maryland: Hospitalizations Remain Flat, COVID-19 Cases Near 36K

BGE Updates

BGE Taking Steps to Support Customers During Coronavirus Pandemic

  • BGE announced that it is taking several steps to help customers during the Coronavirus Pandemic including suspension of service disconnections and waiving new late payment charges.
  • BGE is suspending service disconnections and waiving new late payment charges at least until May 1
  • BGE will continue to respond to requests to start or stop service which, in many cases, can be done remotely
  • BGE reminds customers to be on alert for potential scams targeting utility customers.
  • BGE has canceled all routine planned outages for non-critical maintenance, and we are only proceeding with those that are critical to ensuring the safety of the public or which will help prevent a much longer, sustained outage.
  • If you plan to pay your BGE bill at a walk-in payment location, please call the location ahead of time to confirm their hours of operation.

Link: BGE Taking Steps to Support Customers During Coronavirus Pandemic

Learn more about BGE

PEPCO Updates

Pepco continues customer support efforts until July 1 due to coronavirus pandemic

Pepco will keep extending its goodwill to customers during the coronavirus pandemic by suspending service disconnections, waiving new late fees and reconnecting customers who were previously disconnected until at least July 1.

The utility company announced the move on Friday in a news release, building on its initial gesture in March as one of the first companies in the nation to suspend service disconnections and waive new late payment charges for all customers.

Link: Pepco continues customer support efforts until July 1 due to coronavirus pandemic

Pepco Taking Steps to Support Customers During Coronavirus Pandemic 

  • Pepco is closely monitoring developments related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and taking appropriate precautions to protect the health and safety of our customers, employees and contractors.
  • We are also ensuring our essential employees who regularly interact with customers have the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to perform their jobs safely. 
  • Pepco is suspending service disconnections and waiving new late payment charges at least until May 1 and will be working with customers on a case-by-case basis to establish payment arrangements and identify energy assistance options.  
  • Pepco will continue to respond to requests to start, stop or more service, which in many cases, can be done remotely, without accessing customer homes or businesses.
  • On occasions where Pepco employees or contractors require access to the interiors of homes or businesses, homeowners, business owners and managers can rest assured that these parties are being educated on the signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, and are utilizing the proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), such as facemasks and gloves while working in a location as a precaution to protect employees and customers.

Link: Pepco Taking Steps to Support Customers During Coronavirus Pandemic

Learn more about PEPCO

DELMARVA Updates

Delmarva Power extends pandemic customer bill, service support programs until July 1

As individuals, families and communities continue to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Delmarva Power is further extending the policies put in place to support customers during this time, including suspending service disconnections, waiving new late fees and reconnecting customers who were previously disconnected. The policies will now be in place until at least July 1.

Link: Delmarva Power extends pandemic customer bill, service support programs until July 1

Delmarva Power extends COVID-19 customer support efforts

NEWARK, Del. — To offer continued assistance for customers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Delmarva Power is extending its customer support policies, through at least June 1, which include suspending service disconnections, waiving new late fees and reconnecting customers who previously were disconnected.

Link: Delmarva Power extends COVID-19 customer support efforts

Delmarva Power Taking Steps to Support Customers During Coronavirus Pandemic

  • We are closely monitoring developments related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and taking appropriate precautions to protect the health and safety of our customers, employees and contractors.
  • We have suspended service disconnections and waived new late payment charges at least until May 1 and will be working with customers on a case-by-case basis to establish payment arrangements and identify energy assistance options.  
  • At this time, Delmarva Power will continue to respond to requests to start, stop or more service, which in many cases, can be done remotely.
  • In cases where accessing a building is necessary, our employees and contractors are being advised to take appropriate action, such as wearing appropriate PPE to perform their jobs safely.
  • Customers may continue to conduct regular business with Delmarva Power 24/7 using delmarva.com or the Delmarva Power Mobile App.

Link: Delmarva Power Taking Steps to Support Customers During Coronavirus Pandemic

Learn more about Delmarva Power

Massachusetts

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Sense explains how COVID has changed home energy usage

Based on an analysis of changes in home energy trends across the country since COVID-19, Sense found that the average home electrical usage increased 22 percent compared to 2019, a reflection of people using more electricity while they stayed home. With this increase, most consumers will pay 22% more on their April electricity bill compared to April 2019, with a typical increase of $22-$25, and higher in states with steeper utility rates.

Link: Sense explains how COVID has changed home energy usage

Eversource Updates

Massachusetts Loses 17,000 Clean Energy Jobs In March And April

The coronavirus pandemic has triggered a worldwide recession and taken a significant toll on the Massachusetts clean energy economy.

WBUR senior environmental reporter Bruce Gellerman joined Morning Edition to discuss the green sector’s staggering job losses and what the future might hold.

Link: Massachusetts Loses 17,000 Clean Energy Jobs In March And April

We’re adapting to serve you

  • We are suspending disconnection of service for non-payment. 
  • We are eliminating late payment charges.
  • We are offering a special, flexible payment plan — with no down payment — for any past-due amount. Please contact us at 866-861-6225 to learn more.
  • We have energy-saving tips and resources to help you manage any potential increase in your energy use and costs now that many families are spending their weekdays at home.
  • We have enabled more than 80% of our Customer Service Representatives to take customer calls from home. Please be patient if you hear our families, pets, or other background noise.
  • Some of our field employees may be taking work vehicles home at the end of the day. If you see an Eversource vehicle in a private driveway, this is part of our plan to ensure a fast response in case of emergencies and to limit group interactions at our work centers.
  • We have online and mobile tools to help you conduct business with us as usual, including customer service agents to speak with by phone. Our mobile app allows you to easily check your account, pay your bill and more at your convenience.
  • For answers to commonly asked questions about Eversource and our response to COVID-19, visit our FAQ page

Link: We’re adapting to serve you

Learn more about Eversource Energy

MA Electric/National Grid Updates

National Grid settles on two proposals to address looming gas shortage

National Grid, after months of analysis and thousands of public comments, is recommending two potential solutions to address its projections for a looming natural gas shortage: the $1.44 billion undersea pipeline it has long sought or upgrades to existing facilities combined with green-energy measures.

In a report released last week as part of a settlement with the state, National Grid said COVID-19 and other factors led it to further lower its projections for increases in downstate demand for natural gas into the low single digits through next winter and for 15 years beyond.

Link: National Grid settles on two proposals to address looming gas shortage

COVID-19 and Your National Grid Service: What to Know

  • Collections activities & disconnections – We have temporarily suspended collections-related activities, including service disconnections, to lessen any financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. These policies will remain in effect at least until the end of April when we will evaluate their continued need. More information on payment assistance programs, in general, can click here.
  • Non-essential planned electric outages – We know many individuals are working from home and children are home from school. We are limiting planned service interruptions during this time.  
  • Non-essential electric & gas related services – Planned maintenance and services such as manual meter reads, oil-to-gas conversions, gas service upgrades, and meter changes, may decrease the ability to keep social distance. Therefore, they will be paused. In the case of manual meter reads, this could result in estimated bills for some customers.  
  • Energy efficiency on-premise services – We are temporarily suspending all energy efficiency service activities, provided by our valued partners, that require home or business visits, such as energy audits.  
  • If it is necessary for our field workers to enter your premise for an emergency or essential response, we ask that you advise us if anyone in the home is ill or quarantined BEFORE allowing entry.
  • Similarly, if you are quarantined or sick and call us for an emergency or essential service, we ask that you advise us about the health conditions ahead of time. Our agents will work with you to determine best course of action.

Link: COVID-19 and Your National Grid Service: What to Know

Learn more about Massachusetts National Grid

Michigan

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Regulated utilities extend protections, assistance for vulnerable households to June 12

LANSING — Michigan’s regulated utilities have agreed to extend, through mid-June, the shutoff protections, flexible payment plans and other options they’ve offered to help customers struggling to pay utility bills because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Utilities, including the state’s two largest Consumers Energy and DTE Energy, have extended protections for vulnerable customers through June 12, following Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s extension of her Stay Safer at Home order through that date. Filings with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) were made by utilities this week in Case No. U-20757 to extend these protections and provide more certainty for customers.

Link: Regulated utilities extend protections, assistance for vulnerable households to June 12

Over $7M available for Michigan residents to keep energy services connected during COVID-19

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Michigan residents having trouble paying their energy bills can receive payments to their utility accounts to keep services connected.

17,937 eligible households with past-due accounts will receive more than $7 million from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The energy services may otherwise have been disconnected when suspension of shutoffs during the pandemic ends on June 12th.

“Our partners across state government are working around the clock to ensure support for those who are struggling to make ends meet,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer in a written statement.

Link: Over $7M available for Michigan residents to keep energy services connected during COVID-19

Consumers Energy Updates

Consumers Energy to provide 100,000 Google Nest thermostats to MI homes

JACKSON, MI (WILX) — Consumers Energy said it has partnered with Google and Uplight to provide Google Nest thermostats to up to 100,000 Michigan homes in order to help residents save money and energy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Consumers Energy is committed to Michigan’s success, and we’re excited to help so many of our friends and neighbors during these challenging times by putting this powerful technology into their hands at no cost,” said Patti Poppe, Consumers Energy’s president and CEO. “We want to give our customers more control to manage their energy use, helping reduce their bills while protecting the environment.”

Consumers Energy said the initiative is part of its Clean Energy Plan, which aims to eliminate coal and achieve net-zero carbon emissions. Consumers Energy said Google and Uplight are helping to provide Google Nest Thermostat E to customers through July 31.

Link: Consumers Energy to provide 100,000 Google Nest thermostats to MI homes

Consumers Energy partners with Habitat for Humanity to raise funds for COVID-19 aid

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Consumers Energy will donate $1 for every $2, up to $100,000, donated to Habitat for Humanity for COVID-19 aid.

In a written statement, Battle Creek Area Habitat for Humanity leaders said they had set a local goal of $10,000 to help fund critical housing needs in Calhoun County, with an overall goal of raising $200,000 by the end of September.

Link: Consumers Energy partners with Habitat for Humanity to raise funds for COVID-19 aid

COVID-19 Response Plan

  • Aligning with CDC guidelines, we’ve implemented steps to protect our employees and customers. We’ve also reduced service at our 13 direct payment offices to drop box and drive-thru only.
  • Payments left in drop boxes will be processed the same day and receipts will be mailed to customers’ homes.
  • Cash payments are accepted and any change from that payment will be applied toward your next bill.
  • Drive-thru windows remain open during business hours at our Flint and Traverse City direct payment offices.
  • Customers are also encouraged to pay online or find another payment location.

Link: COVID-19 Response Plan

Learn more about Consumers Energy

Detroit Edison (DTE) Updates

DTE Energy suspends non-critical and maintenance work amid coronavirus

DETROIT – DTE Energy is suspending all non-critical and maintenance work as the state deals with coronavirus.

The company says it is “safely winding down and voluntarily suspending for the time being all non-critical infrastructure and maintenance work as an additional measure to prioritize the health of its employees, customers and communities during the coronavirus outbreak.”

Link: DTE Energy suspends non-critical and maintenance work amid coronavirus

DTE Energy offers $30-40 million in bill relief for Michigan customers in June, July

Customers of DTE Energy in Michigan will benefit from $30-40 million in bill relief to be released during June and July when summer electric usage hits its peak.

The boon to consumers comes from lower generation costs that are themselves a result of greater efficiency and lower fuel prices. While it is a matter of passing savings on, DTE noted that the action is also a continuation of ongoing COVID-19 pandemic relief efforts, in a state that has seen its state of emergency over that disease extended until May 28

Link: DTE Energy offers $30-40 million in bill relief for Michigan customers in June, July

What we’re doing to keep you—and our team—safe and healthy

  • Shutoffs for non-payment will be suspended for low income customers (200% or less of Federal Poverty Level) through April 30, 2020. This timing could be extended depending on the impact that the virus has on our communities.
  • Customers enrolled in our Senior Winter Protection Program have had their end dates automatically extended through May 3rd without additional actions required on their part. 
  • DTE is encouraging customers facing financial hardship or medical conditions as a result of the pandemic to contact us at 800.477.4747. We have a variety of payment programs and we have flexibility to work with you.
  • DTE’s medical hold policy has been enhanced to include low income customers that are physically exposed, infected, or quarantined by the COVID-19 virus (including influenza) and deem them eligible for a 30-day medical hold on their account.
  • DTE Energy has a Low Income Self-Sufficiency Plan (LSP) that offers a low, affordable payment plan for eligible income qualified families.
  • DTE’s crisis plans are designed to protect people and ensure energy operations and infrastructure continue to function.
  • DTE is only suspending non-critical work including main renewal, infrastructure construction and home energy consultations until further notice. 
  • DTE employees will continue to provide power outage restoration, gas leak and downed power line response to ensure public safety and mitigate power interruptions.

Link: What we’re doing to keep you—and our team—safe and healthy

Indiana Michigan Power Updates

Utilities seek COVID-19 hike

A group of Indiana utilities — including three that serve Jay County — has filed a joined petition with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission seeking permission to charge customers in an effort to recover revenue lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The utilities claim the healthcare crisis and “related government orders have resulted in significantly reduced load and revenues.” Among the ten utilities that signed the joint petition are Indiana Michigan Power, Ohio Valley Gas Corp. and Indiana Gas Co.

Link: Utilities seek COVID-19 hike

I&M’s Response to COVID-19 

  • We have temporarily suspended all service disconnections for non-payment. We know our customers are concerned about their families, and ensuring they have reliable electric service allows them to focus on staying healthy and well.
  • During this crisis, customers are still responsible for all billed electricity. We urge customers to make every effort to keep their accounts current during the period when disconnections are suspended.
  • Our team is monitoring guidance from the CDC and taking careful precautions to keep our workforce safe. Employees whose job functions allow them to work from home have been asked to do so.
  • We continue to monitor the situation and will update customers accordingly. In the meantime, we’re ready to answer your questions and address concerns at 1-800-311-4634 and through Facebook and Twitter.

Link: I&M’s Response to COVID-19

New Hampshire

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Liberty Utilities Updates

Liberty Utilities COVID-19 Update

  • We have a pandemic preparedness plan in place and have established a task force that is working with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Walk-In Centers Closed Until Further Notice to Protect Health and Safety. 
  • To assist customers and communities during the rapidly evolving COVID-19 public health emergency, Liberty Utilities has suspended service disconnections for non-payment. This temporary suspension, through at least May 1, 2020, includes residential and business customers. 
  • We continue to monitor the situation and actively share updates and information with our employees so that they can keep themselves and their families safe.
  • We have provided additional protective supplies and equipment to our frontline employees. We have limited employee travel, limited in-person meetings, and postponed larger gatherings and events.
  • To prevent the spread of the virus, we’re encouraging anyone who feels sick or has concerns regarding potential exposure to stay at home.
  • Customers may notice our customer service representatives and field team wearing gloves and additional protective equipment. You may also notice changes in how we greet customers in our contact centers and on service appointments, including social distancing of at least 6 feet. We hope you understand that this is for both customer and employee protection.
  • While our customer walk-in centers remain open to serve you, to practice social distancing, we encourage our customers to utilize our other payment methods available on our website, and to call us with questions at 1-800-833-4200. 

Link: Liberty Utilities COVID-19 Update

Learn more about Liberty Utilities

Unitil Updates

Unitil’s earnings hit by warmer winter, coronavirus

Climate change hurt Unitil Corp. more than the coronavirus in the first quarter that ended March 31.

“One of the warmest winters on record in our service area” caused customers to buy less natural gas to heat their homes, said chief financial officer Larry Brock during an April 30 earnings call. There were 13.2% fewer cold days than normal, he said.

Link: Unitil’s earnings hit by warmer winter, coronavirus

The Latest on Unitil’s Response to the Coronavirus

  • You will not have to worry about losing service while staying safe and caring for loved ones during this crisis. Until further notice, all shutoff and collection activities have been suspended.
  • We recognize flexibility and understanding is required as we work together to protect both the local businesses that drive our economy and our loved ones most at risk from this disease. All late payment or non-payment fees are currently being waived.
  • We will support your community. Unitil is committed to donating $75,000 to COVID 19 programs at the United Way and other local agencies designed to help combat food insecurity, homelessness, mental health and substance abuse, while also supporting first responders where we can.
  • Unitil’s customer service team will work with you to set up a personalized payment plan designed to spread costs out over time.
  • We are working with federal and local assistance agencies. Our customer service team can discuss a wide array of assistance programs, including those available through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) which may be able to help.
  • Unitil has created the Unitil Customer Assistance & Recovery Effort (U-CARE) Fund and has donated $150,000 to local Community Action Programs (CAPs) to aid residential customers with utility costs if they have been directly impacted by COVID 19-related job loss or reduced wages.   

Link: The Latest on Unitil’s Response to the Coronavirus

New Jersey

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Murphy announces $100M for rent assistance during pandemic; help also for home energy bills

Low- and moderate income families may see some rent relief during the pandemic. Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday announced a program to provide at least $100 million in short-term aid for tenants hard hit by the crisis. Assistance also is intended for the homeless, and persons at risk for homelessness.

The program will open for applications in July and begin paying rental assistance in September, according to the governor. Qualifying households will be expected to pay 30 percent of their income toward rent, and the program would pay the rest, up to DCA’s fair market rent payment standard.

Link: Murphy announces $100M for rent assistance during pandemic; help also for home energy bills

Residents can opt out of Princeton Community Renewable Energy program by May 6

Princeton residents who do not want to sign up for the Princeton Community Renewable Energy program, which will provide electricity with more renewable content and at a lower cost than PSE&G, have until May 6 to opt out of the program.

Link: Residents can opt out of Princeton Community Renewable Energy program by May 6

Atlantic City Electric Updates

Atlantic City Electric Extends Covid-19 Customer Support

As individuals, families and communities continue to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Atlantic City Electric is further extending the policies put in place to support customers during this time, including suspending service disconnections, waiving new late fees and reconnecting customers who were previously disconnected. The policies will now be in place until at least July 1.

“We’re managing through difficult times with lots of uncertainty,” said Dave Velazquez, president and CEO of Pepco Holdings, which includes Atlantic City Electric. “By continuing these policies to keep energy service on and prevent additional fees, we want to provide our customers with a little more certainty in their lives. We want to make sure our customers have power and to offer support to those who may be struggling to make ends meet as we move through this crisis together.”

Link: Atlantic City Electric Extends Covid-19 Customer Support

Atlantic City Electric Taking Steps to Support Customers During Coronavirus Pandemic

  • To help ensure the safety of our customers and employees, we are closely following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eliminating all non-essential travel and abiding by all travel restrictions, and limiting large internal and external meetings and gatherings. 
  • Atlantic City Electric is suspending service disconnections and waiving new late payment charges at least until May 1 and will be working with customers on a case-by-case basis to establish payment arrangements and identify energy assistance options.   
  • We are ensuring our essential employees who regularly interact with customers have the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to perform their jobs safely.    
  • We have robust plans to provide continued energy service for our customers and do not foresee any issues meeting our customers’ energy needs.  
  • At this time, Atlantic City Electric will continue to respond to requests to start, stop or more service, which in many cases, can be done remotely, without accessing customer homes or businesses. 
  • Customers may continue to conduct regular business with Atlantic City Electric 24/7 using atlanticcityelectric.com or the Atlantic City Electric Mobile App. 

Link: Atlantic City Electric Taking Steps to Support Customers During Coronavirus Pandemic

Learn more about Atlantic City Electric

Jersey Central (JCPL) Updates

A Message to Our Customers

  • We are closely monitoring developments related to this pandemic through our internal medical consultants as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization.
  • Our crews are focused on serving you while putting appropriate protective measures in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Keep in mind our line workers and field personnel perform almost all of their work outside of homes and businesses, with minimal interaction with customers or the general public. When such interactions are required, appropriate preventive measures like social distancing will be in place to help protect all parties.
  • We know our customers’ normal routines may be disrupted during this time, from altered work and school arrangements to cancelled events and travel plans. To help customers facing financial difficulties, we have suspended all service shutoffs for past-due accounts until further notice.
  • If you have trouble paying your bill, we are willing to work with you. Various payment options are available, including budget billing and energy assistance programs or other payment arrangements for eligible customers.
  • Unfortunately, this crisis also provides an opportunity for scammers, who prey on fears to achieve their illegal gains. Please remain alert to interactions that seem improper, including calls demanding payment to avoid immediate shutoff. If you sense something isn’t right, please call your utility customer service number. 

Link: A Message to Our Customers

Learn more about JCPL

PSEG Updates

PSEG, St. John’s Church partnership stronger than ever amid COVID-19 pandemic

St. John’s Roman Catholic Church and PSEG sit just blocks apart off McCarter Highway in Newark, but the coronavirus has caused some separation in the partnership that has lasted over 15 years. The church’s soup kitchen is currently serving upwards of 800 meals per day, and given that PSEG is proceeding with a “work from home” protocol, the company has not been there to pitch in with its usual volunteer effort.

Link: PSEG, St. John’s Church partnership stronger than ever amid COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus Update from PSEG

  • PSE&G is temporarily closing its customer service centers. The centers will be closed as of end of business on Tuesday, March 17. Our employees are available to provide the same excellent level of customer service through alternate means. Customers can engage with us via phone, text, chat, web, our mobile app and Amazon Alexa. The customer service phone line is 800-436-7734.
  • PSE&G has temporarily suspended various types of non-critical repair work on metering equipment to limit the number of service visits to customers’ homes. PSE&G will continue to respond to all emergency and essential work, such as gas leak calls, medical emergencies, no-heat and no-hot-water calls. All customer service work to be completed will be done according to safety protocols, including social distancing and proper use of personal protective equipment.
  • PSE&G has suspended shut-offs of electric and/or gas service to residential customers for non-payment. This will give customers experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the outbreak additional time to pay their bills. For more information, visit pseg.com/help

Link: Coronavirus Update from PSEG

Learn more about PSEG

New York

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New York Revises Demand Response in Light of Coronavirus Pandemic

In a big win for the demand response industry and its customers, the New York Public Service Commission (NY-PSC) issued an emergency order calling on the state’s utilities to revise their summer demand response programs in light of the coronavirus pandemic and New York’s stay-at-home orders.

Effective May 14, the order compels many of the state’s utilities to submit revised demand response programs and tariff structures to the commission by June 1. These tariff changes will go into effect the same day, and impact the 2020 Summer Capability Period (May-October) with the possibility of extension.

Link: New York Revises Demand Response in Light of Coronavirus Pandemic

COVID-19 wallops New York green-energy sector

Energy-efficiency work has stopped, new rooftop solar installations are largely grounded and state and local budgets have a new factor weighing on them: COVID-19. The coronavirus pandemic has walloped Long Island’s green-energy sector with the same impact it has other industries.

Local green-energy companies say the broadside comes at a particularly delicate time. The sector was getting a second wind with new PSEG and LIPA solar and heat-pump programs — along with a major lift from a state agenda that calls for a carbon-free electric grid by 2040.

Link: COVID-19 wallops New York green-energy sector 

Con Edison Updates

Con Edison donates equipment and funding to COVID-19 relief

A company that is known for providing electricity to people’s homes has stepped up and helped with COVID-19 relief.

The Con Edison energy company and its thousands of employees have donated money, personal protective equipment and utility services and launched initiatives to assist community nonprofits throughout the five boroughs and Westchester County.

“These heroes are people we know, and they need our help,” said John McAvoy, CEO and chairman of Con Edison. “Our employees are also on the frontline maintaining essential electric, gas and steam services. By doing our jobs other first responders can do their work.”

Link: Con Edison donates equipment and funding to COVID-19 relief 

Help During Coronavirus

  • We are not expecting any service interruptions because of the coronavirus outbreak, but we are making operational changes to protect you and our workforce.
  • We will only do work that requires us to enter your home or building for emergencies, safety-related inspections and upon your request for critical issues, including turning on service.
  • We are suspending meter readings. If you have access to your meter, you can still report your usage online.
  • Our walk-in centers are closed until further notice.
  • The best way to do business with us is through My Account (online). Our call center is open but wait times may be longer than usual. 
  • We are postponing smart-meter installations.
  • Your service will not be shut off for non-payment.
  • If you have an emergency, call 911 or us at 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633).

Link: Help During Coronavirus 

Learn more about Con Edison

Ohio

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In Ohio’s coal country, pandemic pushes unemployment rate from bad to worse

Ohio’s coal mining counties have been hit even harder as unemployment surged following the country’s coronavirus outbreak. As the statewide unemployment rate moved from 4.7% in February to 5.6% in March, counties in Appalachian Ohio also saw rates twice as high — up to 12.2% in Monroe County. The six counties with the highest percentages of people out of work in March were all in the state’s Appalachian region.

Link: In Ohio’s coal country, pandemic pushes unemployment rate from bad to worse

AEP Ohio Updates

AEP Ohio extends utility assistance program through June 30

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) — AEP Ohio announced Thursday that it’s extending availability of its Neighbor to Neighbor Utility Assistance Program to eligible customers through June 30, 2020. The change is due to financial challenges individuals and families may be experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through a partnership between AEP Ohio, an American Electric Power company, and Dollar Energy Fund, the Neighbor to Neighbor Program supports families in need with a grant applied directly to their AEP Ohio account to prevent disconnection of, or to restore their electric service. Heating assistance is available once per program year on a first-come, first-served basis.

Link: AEP Ohio extends utility assistance program through June 30

COVID-19: How We’re Responding

We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and are taking steps to reduce its impact locally by:

  • Temporarily suspending disconnections for non-payment
  • Working with customers who anticipate problems paying their electric bills
  • Eliminating face-to-face interactions with customers

As we work to keep the power flowing, we will continue to look for ways to support our customers and communities during these uncertain times. 

Link: COVID-19: How We’re Responding

Learn more about AEP Ohio

Dayton Power & Light Updates

Ohio policies cushion the pandemic’s impact on electric utilities

Ohio utilities saw electricity sales drop this spring as the coronavirus pandemic prompted schools and businesses across the state to close. The drop in energy use, however, did little to hurt profits as both FirstEnergy and American Electric Power shared positive results with investors.

The apparent disconnect can be explained by the complicated way in which utilities earn revenue, which largely comes from fees, riders, guaranteed returns on investments and other sources beyond base distribution charges for actual electricity use.

Link: Ohio policies cushion the pandemic’s impact on electric utilities

DP&L COVID-19 Resources

  • Crews will continue to respond to power outages and electrical emergencies. If you experience a power outage, please visit our Outage Center to report it and stay informed of your status. 
  • DP&L technicians and contractors will continue to complete service orders such as new electric connections, requested disconnections, and reconnection of service. 
  • While DP&L is offering additional support to help customers facing financial challenges, including suspending disconnection of service for nonpayment, customers will be responsible to pay for energy used during this time. We encourage customers to continue to make payments if they are able to avoid paying off a larger balance later.
  • We also recommend that customers avoid making payments at our Pay-in-Person locations to limit in-person contact, and take advantage of our convenient online payment options.
  • Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has issued an order to utility companies suspending all in-person meter readings while we operate under the State of Emergency. 
  • DP&L is closely monitoring updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization, and we remain in contact with our state and local officials. DP&L has activated its emergency business continuity response plan. 

Link: DP&L COVID-19 Resources

Duke Energy Updates

Duke Energy braces for Covid-19 impact with up to $450M in cost cuts; layoffs not part of current plan

Duke Energy Corp. missed analysts’ expectations for first-quarter earnings, but the company says it still expects to hit its full-year earnings projections despite looming hits from the Covid-19 crisis.

To maintain full-year earnings, the company has introduced several cost-saving measures, says Chief Financial Officer Steve Young. They include a hiring freeze, reduced contractor costs, curtailing overtime and more efficiently scheduling plant outages. For now, those measures do not include any furloughs or layoffs at the company. Duke, he said, is looking to minimize the impact on employees.

Link: Duke Energy braces for Covid-19 impact with up to $450M in cost cuts; layoffs not part of current plan

Important COVID-19 Updates

  • We’re prepared to continue to deliver reliable power during the COVID-19 outbreak, and our teams continue to monitor the situation and reassess our plans as needed. 
  • We’re implementing preventive measures to help keep our employees as safe as possible. All those who are able to perform their work without being in an office or facility are working remotely. Employees whose work requires in-person customer interaction may cancel or reschedule nonurgent appointments and services. 
  • When employees must be on-site, they have been directed to not shake hands, remain at least 6 feet away from other individuals, or to use virtual forms of communication where possible.
  • We’re taking steps to ensure the stability and continuity of our operations, including resource and supply chain planning. 
  • Our employees and contractors are taking many additional steps right now to help protect the team’s health and safety – and our ability to generate and deliver reliable power. 
  • We understand that many customers may be facing unexpected financial hardships. To help, we have suspended disconnections for nonpayment for home and business accounts during this time. Effective March 21, we will waive all fees for late payments and returned checks, and for credit or debit card payments for residential accounts. 
  • We are relaxing our usual timelines for payment arrangements. Customers who were recently disconnected can contact us to make arrangements for service restoration.

Link: Important COVID-19 Updates

Learn more about Duke Energy

Pennsylvania

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Pa. introduces COVID-19 version of LIHEAP, offering up to $800 toward utility costs

A new version of LIHEAP, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, is being offered for Pennsylvania residents because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Assistance of up to $800 with home energy bills is available to qualifying renters and homeowners, and the program will run through Aug. 31, 2020, or until all budgeted funding is expended.

The state Department of Human Services, which administers the program, said it will also automatically issue a $100 supplemental payment to vendors for approximately 100,000 households that received LIHEAP Crisis funds over the winter 2019-2020 season.

Link: Pa. introduces COVID-19 version of LIHEAP, offering up to $800 toward utility costs

PPL Electric Updates

More help for PPL Electric Utilities customers in unprecedented times

The impacts of the coronavirus epidemic are everywhere. There is the sad toll of illnesses and lives lost. There are economic repercussions in millions of lost jobs, closed businesses and more.

The economic effects may make it harder for some customers to pay their electric bill and we’ve taken steps to help.

Link: More help for PPL Electric Utilities customers in unprecedented times

Coronavirus: Important Updates and Help for Our Customers

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, our first job remains to safely and reliably deliver electricity to your home or business. We will be posting critical updates to this page as the situation evolves.

Link: Coronavirus: Important Updates and Help for Our Customers

Duquesne Light Updates

Keeping the power on: lessons from utility workers on the new workplace

If you want a glimpse into what work will look like when the “nonessentials” return, there’s a group with insider knowledge. The “essentials” who’ve kept the lights on and the gas flowing during the shutdown.

People like Josh Ewing, a senior underground splicer for Duquesne Light, whose past few months of isolating from most of his colleagues and social distancing even with his six-person crew may be a kind of new normal for all of us.

Link: Keeping the power on: lessons from utility workers on the new workplace

DLC is Committed to Your Safety and Our Community

  • We are discontinuing service shutoffs until at least May 1, 2020
  • We are waiving late fees until at least May 1, 2020
  • We’re providing safe & reliable power to the community through increased inspections of equipment powering critical facilities, such as hospitals, around-the-clock field operations to improve response times and continuing work required for the safety of customers and the community.
  • We’re protecting employees and customers through implementing paid time off and special leave policies for employees impacted by COVID-19 and school closures, alternative and remote work assignments for office-based employees and social distancing policies.
  • We’ve donated $500,000 to the Emergency Action Fund to provide rapid and effective relief to those impacted by COVID-19

Link: DLC is Committed to Your Safety and Our Community

Learn more about Duquesne Light Company

PECO Energy Updates

PECO adds ‘thank you’ to Crown Lights, says customers don’t have to worry about shutoffs through July

PECO announced on Friday that its moratorium on shutoffs and offer of free reconnections would be extended through at least July 1. It also added a special “thank you” to essential workers to its Crown Lights rotation.

The high-visibility display encircling the energy provider’s headquarters at 2301 Market St. has been beaming its messages for more than four decades now, in LED color since 2009.

Usually stocked with a variety of PSAs from local community and nonprofit orgs, it has also been deployed for a variety of creative uses. Two years ago, it lit up with an animated version of the “double doink” missed field goal that contributed to the Eagles 2018 Super Bowl win. (It purposely did not show a good luck message during the playoffs that year, for fear of a jinx.)

One of six COVID-related messages on display right now, the thank you is meant to show support for first responders, healthcare professionals and other essential workers — including PECO workers themselves.

Link: PECO adds ‘thank you’ to Crown Lights, says customers don’t have to worry about shutoffs through July

PECO Taking Steps to Support Customers During Coronavirus Pandemic

  • Effective March 13, 2020, PECO is suspending service disconnections and waiving new late payment charges through at least May 1, 2020. 
  • Customers are reminded of payment options, like Budget Billing, which averages payments over a 12-month period to help customers manage their monthly energy bill.
  • In addition to our own programs, we work day-in and day-out with community and government partners to get funding into the hands of those customers who need it most.
  • Customers who have had their electric service disconnected should contact PECO at 1-800-494-4000 to begin the reconnection process. No new connection fees or deposits will be required, however customers will continue to be responsible for previous unpaid balances.
  • PECO will not restore service where unsafe conditions exist and will work with agencies, where possible, to identify support to assist in correcting unsafe conditions before service is reconnected.
  • To ensure customers receive the most up-to-date information from PECO, they are encouraged to register for “My Account,” an easy, online interactive tool that provides customers with the ability to set alerts and provide important contact information. Sign up at peco.com/myaccount.
  • Beginning Monday, March 16, to ensure the safety of our employees and customers, our Customer Solution Center will be closed. 
  • All employees are being educated on the signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, and any employee who may have symptoms will be evaluated by a medical professional and self-quarantined as a precaution for their health and the health of others. 
  • It may be necessary for employees to wear appropriate equipment, such as facemasks and gloves while working in a location, as a precaution to protect employees and customers. 

Link: PECO Taking Steps to Support Customers During Coronavirus Pandemic

Learn more about PECO

Rhode Island

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National Grid Updates

COVID-19 and Your National Grid Service: What to Know

  • Collections activities & disconnections – We have temporarily suspended collections-related activities, including service disconnections, to lessen any financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. These policies will remain in effect at least until the end of April when we will evaluate their continued need. More information on payment assistance programs, in general, can click here.
  • Non-essential planned electric outages – We know many individuals are working from home and children are home from school. We are limiting planned service interruptions during this time.  
  • Non-essential electric & gas related services – Planned maintenance and services such as manual meter reads, oil-to-gas conversions, gas service upgrades, and meter changes, may decrease the ability to keep social distance. Therefore, they will be paused. In the case of manual meter reads, this could result in estimated bills for some customers.  
  • Energy efficiency on-premise services – We are temporarily suspending all energy efficiency service activities, provided by our valued partners, that require home or business visits, such as energy audits.  
  • If it is necessary for our field workers to enter your premise for an emergency or essential response, we ask that you advise us if anyone in the home is ill or quarantined BEFORE allowing entry.
  • Similarly, if you are quarantined or sick and call us for an emergency or essential service, we ask that you advise us about the health conditions ahead of time. Our agents will work with you to determine the best course of action.

Link: COVID-19 and Your National Grid Service: What to Know

Texas

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In Texas, clean energy is courting oil-bust refugees

Jeff Bishop’s LinkedIn post gets right to the point: “Houston Oil & Gas Folks — we’re hiring in Texas” for jobs in clean tech.

His company, battery developer Key Capture Energy, is making the pitch even as tens of thousands of renewable-energy jobs have dried up amid the coronavirus pandemic. That’s because Bishop and a handful of other clean-power executives see an opportunity to recruit talent from the oil and gas industries, which have been even harder hit.

While there are plenty of overlapping skills, it wasn’t always easy for clean-power companies to lure top talent from oil and gas. Wind and solar were young and niche industries that tended to attract environmentalists. Now they’re big energy, and they appeal to a wider class of workers.

Link: In Texas, clean energy is courting oil-bust refugees

Texas oil & gas industry shed record number of jobs in April

The oil and natural gas industry shed a record-breaking 26,300 jobs in Texas during April as shutdowns related to the coronavirus pandemic cut demand and sent commodity prices to record lows.

Drilling, completion, production and related sectors employed 192,600 people in Texas last month, a 12 percent drop from the 218,900 jobs in March, new figures from the Texas Workforce Commission show.

Link: Texas oil & gas industry shed record number of jobs in April

Texas coal generator may restart to meet projected record summer demand

Despite lower demand due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the grid operator for most of Texas expects record electricity usage this summer as temperatures rise — which may require a mothballed coal plant coming back into service.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) on Wednesday released its final Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) for the upcoming summer season, predicting peak load of 75,200 MW. The new forecast is 1,496 MW lower than the previous, pre-coronavirus estimate, but will still top the all-time peak demand record of 74,820 MW set last summer.

Link: Texas coal generator may restart to meet projected record summer demand

Who’s in charge? Austin’s squabble with Texas leaders causes confusion over COVID-19 orders

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Amid a tug of war between Texas state leaders and Austin Mayor Steve Adler over recent coronavirus orders, a legal expert said local orders stand until the governor or courts take further action.

Andres Correa, an attorney for Lynn Pinker Hurst & Schwegmann in Dallas, said Austinites should follow local orders until told otherwise. Governor Greg Abbott allowed Texas’ stay at home order to expire at the end of April, though Austin’s was extended through May 30.

Mayor Steve Adler recommended businesses maintain an activity log of customers and employees and required everyone over the age of six to wear a mask in public.

Link: Who’s in charge? Austin’s squabble with Texas leaders causes confusion over COVID-19 orders

Texas will bounce back from “Double Whammy Tsunami”

Oil prices will rebound before the year’s end. The doors of bars and restaurants will host reopening celebrations. Long-lasting changes will spring forth in industry, education and consumer behavior.

These are some of the predictions made by three leading economic scholars from Texas A&M University during an interview with John Sharp, Chancellor of The Texas A&M System…

Link: Texas will bounce back from “Double Whammy Tsunami”

Solar farm ID’d as source of soaring COVID-19 test numbers in Tom Green County

SAN ANGELO, Texas — A solar farm has been identified as the source of soaring COVID-19 test numbers in Tom Green County. The City of San Angelo said the “large employer” that had their entire workforce tested is the Rambler Solar Project.

Link: Solar farm ID’d as source of soaring COVID-19 test numbers in Tom Green County

Public Utility Commission of Texas Launches COVID-19 Electricity Relief Program

Austin, TX – In today’s open meeting, the Public Utility Commission of Texas responded to Governor Abbott’s declaration of emergency with a series of measures intended to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 hardships on power, water and sewer customers across the state. These measures include the COVID-19 Electricity Relief Program intended to support Texans who may not be able to pay their electricity bills because of COVID-19.

Link: Public Utility Commission of Texas Acts to Mitigate COVID-19 Impact

Oncor Updates

Update on Oncor’s COVID-19 Response 

  • Customer assistance resources such as deferred payment plans are available for eligible residential customers through their Retail Electric Provider (REP), and we encourage any customer with billing questions or concerns to contact their REP as quickly as possible.  
  • Oncor maintains detailed response plans to ensure we are fully prepared to operate our electric infrastructure under emergency conditions. Our Pandemic Response team has been overseeing COVID-19 preparation and monitoring efforts since January. 
  • To protect the health and safety of our customers and employees, we have taken numerous proactive measures, including implementing work-from-home procedures for employees that have the capability to perform their work remotely, work practice changes for our field employees, practicing social distancing and canceling non-essential travel.
  • All Oncor employees will remain active in their roles, regardless of work location, to ensure we continue to provide reliable electric service to our customers.

Link: Update on Oncor’s COVID-19 Response

Learn more about Oncor

CenterPoint Updates

CenterPoint Energy Responding to COVID-19

  • We are working closely with regulatory, government and emergency management organizations across our service territory to stay updated on Coronavirus (COVID-19) news and alerts.
  • We support our customers who may need payment assistance, arrangements or extensions, and have temporarily suspended natural gas service and selected electric service disconnections for nonpayment.
  • We are keeping our workforce healthy by emphasizing good hygiene and frequently cleaning and disinfecting facilities and equipment.
  • We are taking extra precautions to schedule and execute safe service visits.
  • Efforts will be taken to resolve service issues without entering the home or building.
  • Employees are equipped with additional safety equipment to protect your home and those who live in it.

Link: CenterPoint Energy Responding to COVID-19

Learn more about CenterPoint Energy

Updates by Energy Provider

Here you can find a breakdown of updates and resources relating to the effects of COVID-19 by energy provider.

Constellation Updates

Constellation Steps Up to Support Customers, Communities with Critical Coronavirus Relief Efforts

Understanding that the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) marks an unprecedented time in our society, Constellation, an Exelon company, is responding by enacting measures to ease potential financial burdens for its customers and help provide relief for the communities it supports. To assist families and businesses experiencing financial stress during this public health crisis, Constellation, alongside Exelon’s utilities — Atlantic City Electric, BGE, ComEd, Delmarva Power, PECO, and Pepco — is suspending service disconnections in areas in which it has authority and waiving new late payment charges.

Link: Constellation Steps Up to Support Customers, Communities with Critical Coronavirus Relief Efforts

Constellation, BGE and Exelon Donate $1 Million for Coronavirus Response and Relief in Maryland

BALTIMORE — Constellation, BGE and Exelon are making a commitment of $1 million to Maryland relief organizations and small businesses. The economic need for both during the current health crisis continues to increase, and these essential funds are being donated to help with their daily operations during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This is part of more than $5 million in donations in total by Exelon Corporation and its family of companies nationwide to relief organizations in support of communities impacted by the spread of the coronavirus…

Link: Constellation, BGE and Exelon Donate $1 Million for Coronavirus Response and Relief in Maryland

Learn more about Constellation

A Message to our Customers on COVID-19 

  • Call wait times may be longer than usual, so we encourage you to take advantage of our online tools. 
  • We are offering deferred payment plans for customers who are directly impacted by the situation.
  • We will be suspending disconnects and new late fees until May 1, 2020.
  • As an essential services business, we are continuing to schedule new appointments for repairs to covered air conditioning, heating, water heater or electrical systems.

Link: A Message to our Customers on COVID-19

Direct Energy Updates

Direct Energy Supports Customers, Communities and Frontliners through COVID-19

Direct Energy®, one of the largest energy and energy-related services providers in North America, has created new programs to support customers, communities and those working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we have seen the virus escalate and impact North America, we are proud to support our customers, communities and employees during this time,” said Bruce Stewart, President of Direct Energy. “These are unprecedented times, and no one should have to go it alone. Now more than ever we are committed to helping those around us where we can. We’re all in this together.”

Link: Direct Energy Supports Customers, Communities and Frontliners through COVID-19

Direct Energy Donates $600K to Neighbor-to-Neighbor Program to Help Texans Pay Power Bills

HOUSTON, April 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — As COVID-19 continues to spread and affect more Texans each day, Direct Energy has pledged an additional $100,000 to their Neighbor-to-Neighbor program to further support relief efforts for Texas customers, bringing our total commitment $600,000. Funds are distributed to 32 community action agencies across the state.

Link: Direct Energy Donates $600K to Neighbor-to-Neighbor Program to Help Texans Pay Power Bills

A Note from Direct Energy on Coronavirus 

  • Customers are experiencing longer than normal hold times at our call center. Please utilize our available online resources and stay safe. 
  • We have been closely monitoring reports and guidance on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Rest assured that we have taken action and our team is fully prepared to ensure that we continue to provide the energy and services you expect and deserve from us.
  • To save you time and provide you flexibility, we have recently updated our Online Account Manager, available 24/7, to help you manage your account anytime, anywhere, on any device. 

Link: A Note from Direct Energy on Coronavirus

Learn more about Direct Energy

Spark Energy Updates

Spark Energy advises Texas customers to visit COVID-19 Texas COVID-19 Electricity Relief Program Website

The COVID-19 Electricity Relief Program temporarily keeps Retail Electric Providers in the parts of Texas open to customer choice from disconnecting electricity for customers who can’t pay their whole bill because of serious financial troubles caused by COVID-19. If you or someone in your household currently receive or are in the process of applying to receive unemployment benefits you may apply at www.txcovid19erp.org.

Link: Spark Energy advises Texas customers to visit COVID-19 Texas COVID-19 Electricity Relief Program Website

Will Self-Quarantining Increase Your Electricity Use?

If you live in California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts or one of the other states that have issued orders to shelter-in-place there are a lot of things on your mind. One of the things you may be wondering is how the COVID19 pandemic will affect your energy use as you spend the bulk of your day at home.

With so many people working from home and staying inside to self-quarantine, an uptick in energy use is a valid concern. This is especially true for people who have already been financially impacted by stay at home mandates.

Link: Will Self-Quarantining Increase Your Electricity Use?

Energy Plans During the COVID-19 Pandemic

At Spark Energy we reacted quickly and put systems in place to ensure our electric and gas customers aren’t affected by the many changes we are facing as a country. Protecting our valued employees is also a top priority that necessitated changes in our operations. While things may be running a little differently on our end, rest assured it’s business as usual if you need assistance.

Our cloud-based system allows us to continue providing customer service while protecting the health of our representatives and other employees. Our representatives are able to use the Spark Energy communication system while working from home.

Link: Energy Plans During the COVID-19 Pandemic

We’re here to help!

If you are facing a hardship associated with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, please contact our offices during normal business hours at 1-877-547-3223 to discuss options available to you including payment extensions and deferred payment plans.

Link: We’re here to help!

Learn more about Spark Energy

Tomorrow Energy Updates

Tomorrow Energy FAQs

If you have questions or are facing a hardship associated with the COVID-19 outbreak, please contact our offices during normal business hours at 1-888-682-8082 to discuss options available to you including payment extensions and deferred payment plans.

Link: Tomorrow Energy FAQs

Learn more about Tomorrow Energy

Starion Energy Updates

Starion Energy FAQs

If you are facing a hardship associated with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, please contact our offices during normal business hours at 1-800-600-3040 to discuss options available to you including payment extensions and deferred payment plans.

In the event of an emergency such as a downed power line or power failure, please contact your local utility company directly.

Link: Starion Energy FAQs

Verde Energy Updates

Verde Energy FAQs

If you are facing a hardship associated with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, please contact our offices during normal business hours at 1-800-388-3862 to discuss options available to you including payment extensions and deferred payment plans.

In the event of an emergency such as a downed power line or power failure, please contact your local utility company directly.

Link: Verde Energy FAQs

Learn more about Verde Energy

Reliant Energy Updates

Giving back to the places we call home

To support first responders and the most vulnerable in Texas, Reliant is committing over $450,000 to local community relief funds and initiatives to protect frontline workers and those adversely impacted by COVID-19. The donations are part of our community program, Reliant Gives, to provide support across the state of Texas and our parent company, NRG Energy, Inc.’s $2 million donation to pandemic relief efforts.

Link: Giving back to the places we call home

Baylor Scott & White Health Receives $100,000 from Reliant to Support Remote Monitoring of COVID-Positive Patients

DALLAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Baylor Scott & White Health announced today a $100,000 donation from Reliant in support of its MyBSWHealth mobile app. Launched in 2018, the MyBSWHealth app has emerged as a leading digital tool in Texas in the fight against COVID-19, providing nearly 175,000 digital screenings and more than 45,000 eVisits related to the virus. This process has allowed tens of thousands of Texans with mild symptoms to be evaluated outside of Baylor Scott & White clinics and emergency departments—further ensuring that hospitals are ready for those who need care most during this time.

Link: Baylor Scott & White Health Receives $100,000 from Reliant to Support Remote Monitoring of COVID-Positive Patients

Reliant Announces $300,000 to COVID-19 Relief Efforts in Houston

HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)– To support first responders and the most vulnerable in the Houston area, Reliant announced that $300,000 is being committed to two local community relief initiatives to protect frontline workers and those adversely impacted by COVID-19. The donations are part of Reliant’s support across the state of Texas and parent company, NRG Energy, Inc.’s $2 million donation to pandemic relief efforts.

Link: Reliant Announces $300,000 to COVID-19 Relief Efforts in Houston

Reliant Donates $25k to Support MedStar Mobile Healthcare’s COVID-19 Relief Efforts in DFW

FORT WORTH (WBAP/KLIF) – Reliant is donating $25,000 to the MedStar Mobile Healthcare Foundation to support first responders on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The donation is a part of Reliant’s support across the state of Texas and parent company, NRG Energy, Inc.’s, $2 million donation to pandemic relief efforts.

Link: Reliant Donates $25k to Support MedStar Mobile Healthcare’s COVID-19 Relief Efforts in DFW

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Pulse Power Updates

Keeping you safe and informed

First and foremost, we at Pulse Power hope that you and your family stay safe and healthy during the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. The health and well-being of our community is our top concern. Rest assured, our customer care team is still here for you and your energy needs. However, we are experiencing a higher volume of calls and we ask for your patience as we work hard to provide personalized assistance to everyone.

Remember, the fastest and easiest way to get answers is to access your online account. Make a payment or review current bills, sign up for auto-pay, update your account information and monitor your daily usage from the comfort of your home.

Pulse Power wants to ensure customers impacted by COVID-19 have the power they need during this crisis. If you have been impacted financially, there may be options to assist you in making your energy payments:

Link: Keeping you safe and informed

Learn more about Pulse Power

We are doing our best to post everything we find; we encourage you to forward additional information or updates to support@electricityrates.com.

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