As our states gradually begin to ease restrictions and return to a new normal, we remain committed to supporting our business customers and those in need. We know many of our customers and communities continue to feel the financial challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’re focused on doing what we can to help.
We continue to waive fees for late payments and have suspended disconnections for unpaid bills. As we continue to work with customers on payment arrangements, we encourage them to please continue to pay what they can to avoid building up a large balance that will be harder to manage later. In addition to our billing and payment options, customers can find several tips and resources for reopening their businesses and managing energy usage on our COVID-19 response page.
We also remain committed to our communities and supporting them. We’ve awarded over $130,000 in grants to assist during the pandemic. We’ve focused our giving on the elderly and homeless, as well as health care workers, first responders and schools. Most of the funds will be used to address the immediate and basic needs of economically challenged individuals caused by loss of work, reduced wages, and school and business closures. View more information on how we’re helping communities through this crisis.
As we slowly adjust to living and working differently, I am so proud of the strength and resiliency of our communities. The numerous acts of kindness and support I’ve seen make a tremendous difference. At Duke Energy, we’ve tried hard to work through this pandemic with as minimal an impact as possible for our customers. We’re working to keep the lights on and natural gas flowing, and some of our projects to improve reliability are running ahead of schedule as a result of reduced foot and vehicle traffic during this time.
While working, our crews continue to focus on safety. They are wearing enhanced personal protective equipment in many cases and practicing social distancing, as recommended by the CDC. Please remember to avoid approaching our crews and their work sites for their safety and yours.
We know how much our customers depend on us to provide the reliable energy they need every day, but especially during these uncertain times. We will continue to deliver on our commitment to our customers and support our communities throughout this crisis.
President, Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky