Utilities donate millions during Covid19 crisis

Exelon Corporation, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and Tacoma Public Utilities (TPU) have all confirmed donations intended to aid customers and others during the COVID-19 outbreak.

These donations are in addition to the delay of payment and suspension of disconnection that many utilities are offering worldwide.

Exelon, and its family companies, are donating $1.15m to benefit national and local relief organizations, with a goal of supporting impacted communities. The company will collectively use the funding to also support local food banks, senior centers and other organizations.

“As a provider of critical resources and infrastructure, we also recognize our indispensable role in responding to this crisis for as long it takes our communities to recover. We will continue to help customers who may be experiencing health or economic challenges and will ensure everyone maintains access to reliable electricity and gas services during this public health emergency,” states Chris Crane, president and chief executive officer of Exelon.

Exelon provides power to hospitals and healthcare facilities; federal, state and local response centers; and millions of homes and businesses across five states and the District of Columbia. The company has more than 32,000 MW of nuclear, gas, wind, solar and hydroelectric generating capacity comprising one of the nation’s cleanest and lowest-cost power generation fleets. Exelon aims to ensure business and operational continuity when confronted with disruptive events.

Additionally, California-based company PG&E is donating 480,000 N95 masks and 470,000 surgical masks to the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services for distribution to California hospitals and other first responders.

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The company also announced it will contribute $1m to non-profits focused on supporting individuals and families facing food insecurity, as well as small businesses to help with the uncertainty and economic impacts of the public health emergency.

PG&E provides natural gas and electric service to approximately 16 million people throughout a 70,000 square-mile service area in northern and central California. The company also regulates a 3900 MW hydroelectricity system that provides power for nearly 4 million homes. The system has 68 powerhouses and is built along 16 river basins, stretching nearly 500 miles of the service area.

“As a company and as individuals, we recognize the need to support the medical community and all they’re doing to help safeguard the health and safety of our fellow Californians,” PG&E chief executive Andy Vesey said. “This crisis is unprecedented, but we know that our path forward requires us working together and helping medical professionals and first responders on the front lines of the pandemic. Helping our state and local communities is part of who we are at PG&E. It’s the right thing to do.”

Finally, TPU announced it has created an Emergency Assistance Program for low-income customers, or those who are within 200% of federal poverty guidelines, as established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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TPU is the parent company of Tacoma Power, which provides electric service to nearly 179,000 customers in Washington State, with hydropower making up 89% of its power supply.

This program will provide a utility credit, toward TPU, of up to $250 for eligible single-family households. Eligible households can vary from a one-person maximum monthly income of $2,127 to upwards of a six-person maximum monthly income of $5,861.

“By making these funds available and expanding the eligibility guidelines of our bill assistance program, we can support significantly more households during this state of emergency,” said Karen Larkin, chair of the board.

In these challenging times, in addition to keeping the lights on and the hospitals running, utilities are going above and beyond, and we feel it is important to recognize that. If you know of other utilities that are doing good things to support others, please email details to kelvin.ross@clarionevents.com