NYSEG and RG&E, subsidiaries of AVANGRID, Inc., announced they will begin a phased approach to resuming customer-facing work that was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first phase will begin in the coming weeks and will include work that will directly support customer safety and service reliability, such as indoor gas line safety inspections, which state regulations require the companies to complete.
“As we begin to resume work delayed by COVID-19, putting the health and safety of our customers, communities and employees first will remain the priority,” said Carl A. Taylor, President and CEO of NYSEG and RG&E. “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.”
The companies reiterated that as they resume postponed work, they will continue to follow U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention best practices and recommendations 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 will wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when it is not possible.
- Appropriate PPE will be provided to employees along with guidance surrounding its use.
- Health and safety checks will take place prior to employees starting their shifts.
- For work that requires entering a customer home, our employees will attempt contact to ensure no one in the household is showing COVID-19 symptoms.
As previously paused work begins, the companies will prioritize resuming activities in three phases, making comprehensive risk assessments prior to restarting.
- Phase one will focus on work that directly supports customer’s safety, reliability and quality of service. Examples of this include: indoor gas line safety inspections, electric and gas meter work and indoor meter readings for non-residential customers.
- Phase two will focus on work that customers would traditionally expect of the companies, or work that they specifically request. Examples of this include: indoor residential meter readings that are not located or accessed via customer living spaces.
- Phase three will resume remaining work. Factors that will be evaluated prior to resuming activities include: the level of PPE required to safely complete the work on an ongoing basis, if the activity can be completed while maintaining proper physical distancing and the level of interaction required with the public.
While phase one will begin in the coming weeks, the timeline for phase two and three will be determined by continued assessments of needs, state guidelines and the safety of customers and employees. In the meantime, customers can continue to communicate with the companies via their website, mobile app (available for iOS and Android devices) or by calling the customer service contact number listed on their bill. Customers can also make a payment at one of our authorized pay agents, including Wal-Mart or K-Mart.
To stay informed with regular updates, customers are encouraged to sign-up for email messages from NYSEG and RG&E via the “my account” links at nyseg.com and rge.com.