ORANGE, Conn. — June 16, 2020 — As Connecticut prepares to enter Phase 2 of reopening on Wednesday, Southern Connecticut Gas, Connecticut Natural Gas and United Illuminating announced they will begin resuming customer-facing work that has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since March, the subsidiaries of AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) have been deferring certain non-emergency tasks that require employees to enter customer premises. As they resume these activities in the weeks ahead, employees will continue to take measures to protect themselves and the public.
“We will continue to put the health and safety of our customers and employees first as we resume the work that was deferred or otherwise impacted by COVID-19,” said Tony Marone, President and CEO of Avangrid Networks, parent company of UI, SCG and CNG. “As an essential industry, much of our work has continued despite the pandemic, with our focus on continuing to ensure safe and reliable delivery of energy to customers. Today’s news will expand our work to include important customer-facing tasks that improve the customer experience.”
For UI electric customers, the work includes indoor work related to metering that requires an employee to enter a customer’s home or break social distance barriers. For SCG and CNG natural gas customers, it includes indoor leak and corrosion surveys, indoor gas meter replacements and meter relocations, as well as any required maintenance activities that will result in the temporary disconnection of gas supply and will require technicians to enter the customer premises to relight gas-burning appliances.
Employees will only work when they are able to do so safely and have the appropriate personal protective equipment. They will continue to follow practices recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and adhere to all applicable state requirements. To keep customers and employees safe, the following company protocols will remain in place:
- Employees will engage in physical social distancing from customers and one another, and they will wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) whenever maintaining distance is not possible.
- Appropriate PPE will be provided to employees along with guidance surrounding its use
- Health and safety checks will take place before employees start their shifts.
- For work that requires entering a customer home, customers will be contacted to ensure no one in the household is showing COVID-19 symptoms.
- When necessary, the company may partner with other emergency responders to enter the location.
The timeline for resuming the work will be guided by continued assessments of needs, state guidelines and the safety of customers and employees.
In-person Home Energy Solutions energy audits remain suspended until further notice. However, the companies are offering no-cost virtual pre-assessments for residential customers, in which qualified energy experts can conduct a virtual walkthrough of the home to identify ways to save energy. Participants will receive a bundle of energy-saving products by mail, as well as information about potential rebates on upgrades and low-energy appliances. When in-home assessments resume, customers who have received the free pre-assessment will be able to schedule one at no cost. For information, call 877.WISE.USE (877.947.3873).