AVANGRID Companies Taking Steps to Ensure Uninterrupted Service During Coronvirus Pandemic
Actions taken across its renewables and networks businesses to protect employees and ensure business and service continuity
ORANGE, Conn. – March 17, 2020 – AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) today announced the steps it is taking across its operations to protect employees and customers and ensure continuity of essential electric and gas service during the coronavirus pandemic.
“During this pandemic, ensuring the health and safety of our employees is paramount to our ability to continue to safely deliver reliable electric and gas service to our customers across our operating companies,” said James P. Torgerson, CEO of AVANGRID. “We began communicating with our employees more than a month ago to reinforce preventative actions such as hand washing and ways to avoid spreading infection that are now part of everyday conversations worldwide.”
Torgerson continued, “Since then, we have taken a number of measures to limit exposure to our people and to protect our operations and the customers we serve. We have activated our emergency response and business continuity plans and are working with local, state and federal emergency response officials to make sure that we are providing whatever support is needed in this unprecedented and rapidly changing situation.”
Steps the company has taken include:
Preventing infection among employees and customers.
- Restricting non-employee visitors to all sites.
- Restricting all travel unless critical to maintaining operations.
- Instructing employees who are equipped to work from home, and whose role allows it, to do so until further notice.
- For those employees who cannot work from home, the company is taking measures to enable social distancing, which includes:
- Suspension of in home meter reading and shift to estimated usage or customer reported usage in those instances.
- Whenever possible, creating a work environment where employees can keep a safe distance from one another.
- Establishing staggered shifts and cross-training of employees to prevent staff shortages in critical areas, including customer service.
- Isolating energy control center and energy trading staff and limiting their contact with other employees in the workplace.
- Having field personnel assemble in small teams or as single workers to minimize physical interactions.
- Establishing a call screening process in customer service to defer nonessential work and limit potential exposure for our employees and customers.
- Providing guidelines for field personnel around how they can protect themselves and customers when they must enter a residence.
- Working with regulators as appropriate to limit noncritical work.
Addressing the potential financial impacts of an extended public health crisis on customers.
- All Avangrid Networks companies have announced suspension of service shut offs for nonpayment, and they have begun communicating with customers about programs and resources that can help customers manage bills and reduce energy usage.
Supporting emergency services and hospitals.
- Outreach and coordination with local, state and federal emergency response officials.
- Outreach to major hospitals to help ensure uninterrupted service.
- Inspection and conducting preventative maintenance on key circuits that serve emergency services and hospitals.
“We understand that this situation is going to get worse before it gets better and we want our customers to know we are taking the steps to ensure uninterrupted service,” said Torgerson. “Challenging emergency situations are not new to us and we have robust plans in place. We are ready and our people are ready to do their job to keep these essential services going. I am very proud of their dedication.”
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