With the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic creating financial hardships for businesses locally and nationwide, Tucson Electric Power is working to support our commercial customers in these unprecedented circumstances.
“We take our responsibility as an economic engine for the region very seriously,” said Lynne Petersen, Senior Director of Customer Experience. “As our commercial customers’ trusted energy partner, TEP stands ready to help businesses identify proactive solutions to their own unique challenges.”
Petersen added that it’s more important now than ever before for TEP and businesses to work together to support the community’s economic and public health.
Here’s how TEP is assisting our commercial customers during this COVID-19 pandemic:
- A continued focus on steady, reliable service. As a critical service provider, TEP is well prepared to continue to meet the energy needs of our customers. We have contingency plans that prepare and guide us through emergency situations like this. In addition to reviewing our own systems and supplies, we’re coordinating with state and local authorities. We’re also complying with directives from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to limit our employees’ risk of exposure to the virus so that we have a viable workforce to sustain our operations. Measures we’ve taken include restricting travel, canceling large meetings or gatherings, requiring remote work for most of our employees and insisting that sick employees remain home in line with CDC guidelines.
- A multifaceted approach to payment assistance. While the U.S. Small Business Administration is offering emergency loans and Congress considers further economic relief,TEP is offering payment extensions to customers affected by this pandemic. Service disconnections and late fees also have been suspended until further notice. While customers remain responsible for paying for all the energy they use, these measures are intended to ensure the continued availability of service during this public health crisis.
- Collaboration with partners to support community assistance. The Community Foundation of Southern Arizona (CFSA) has established two emergency relief funds to support local nonprofit organizations affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The COVID-19 Event Relief Fund supports charities that have been forced to cancel fundraising events during the pandemic. The CFSA also has established the COVID-19 Community Support Fund, which helps meet the immediate service demands from vulnerable populations. TEP has pledged to match dollar-for-dollar the first $10,000 contributed to this fund, from money that would otherwise be forwarded to shareholders. CFSA is serving as a clearinghouse for both nonprofit and small business relief during this time. To learn more about these efforts or to donate, please visit cfsaz.org/covid19.
- Specialized contacts for business customers. TEP’s commercial account managers can provide specialized, proactive service on a wide variety of issues – from energy-efficiency programs and new projects to advice about pricing plans and regulations. “Our account managers have excellent rapport and relationships with their clients, and we truly want to know how TEP might support them in this rapidly-changing situation,” Petersen said.
- Energy savings expertise. TEP can offer ways that businesses may be able to trim their energy use and costs to help offset declines in revenue. Commercial customers are invited to visit TEP’s website for energy saving tips as well as rebates for energy efficient upgrades.