Industry Insights

Saluting Our Customers: How Utilities and Cities are Responding to COVID-19 – Part Five

Utilities and Cities Responding to COVID-19
Over the past couple of months, we have been spotlighting our utility customers’ great work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only are they providing critical services, they are also promoting health, safety and hope in their communities. In this blog series, we recognize the honorable actions utilities are taking to support their communities and provide reliable access to electricity, gas and water during this exceptional time.

CitiPower & Powercor:
CitiPower and Powercor are Victoria, Australia’s largest electricity suppliers, delivering electricity to over 1.1 million residential households and commercial customers across the state. The companies have announced a suite of measures to provide support for residential customers and small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers will have access to electricity bill relief under a new support package and may be eligible for further assistance through rebates on network charges. CitiPower and Powercor are also waiving disconnection and/or reconnection fees for small businesses.

Pepco delivers safe and reliable energy to approximately 894,000 customers in the District of Columbia and Maryland. In response to COVID-19, Pepco donated $100,000 to United Way of the National Capital Area’s Emergency Assistance Fund. The fund will be used to promote the health, education and financial stability of the community, especially those residents who have been impacted by restrictions and closures of schools, businesses and community institutions. To proactively ensure safe and reliable service for local hospitals and major medical facilities during the pandemic, Pepco is utilizing drone technology. Crews use the drones to capture video and photos of the aerial equipment that powers critical facilities to identify issues that could potentially result in an outage before one occurs. Pepco is also taking steps to help customers manage their monthly energy bill by suspending service disconnections, waiving new late payment fees and providing energy assistance options.

Xcel Energy is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota and provides energy to millions of homes and businesses across eight Western and Midwestern states. Xcel Energy is dedicating $20 million in new funding to support short- and long-term corporate giving across the eight states they serve, including support for COVID-19 recovery efforts. The first part of the donation is designated for existing nonprofit partners along with organizations that address food insecurity and those that provide disaster relief. To further support COVID-19 recovery, Xcel Energy will sell the Mankato Energy Center, a natural gas-fired power plant, and use the net gain on the sale to fund relief efforts. Xcel Energy has also donated over 300,000 protective face masks and other protective equipment to local hospitals and relief organizations.

We thank our customers for their dedication and hard work to serve communities around the globe during these uncertain times. Read the previous blogs in this series, including part one, part two, part three and part four.