By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Southern California Edison announced that it is suspending service disconnections for nonpayment and waiving late fees, effective immediately, for residential and business customers impacted by the COVID-19 emergency.
“We know this is a difficult time for our communities, and we want SCE’s customers and employees to know we are here for them,” said Pedro Pizarro, president and CEO of Edison International, SCE’s parent company. “While SCE continues taking actions to maintain operations and provide reliable electric service to its 15 million customers, we also want to do our part to support communities in these challenging times.”
In addition, to help Californians who are facing economic hardships because of quarantines, illnesses or school closures, Edison International will make $1 million in donations to community-based organizations, starting with a donation of $150,000 to the California Community Foundation’s COVID-19 LA County Response Fund.
SCE encourages customers who are having trouble paying their bills to contact the SCE Customer Contact Center to discuss payment extensions or arrangements. SCE also has savings programs for income-qualified customers and follows requirements for customer protections from the California Public Utilities Commission. Details on these programs are available at sce.com/billhelp or by calling 1-800-950-2356.
The company is working to reduce COVID-19 exposure through actions that align with guidance from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Actions include travel restrictions for workers, enhanced visitor screenings, increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting company facilities and encouraging preventative hygiene.
To further reduce the risks posed by this virus, Edison International companies implemented programs for workers to conduct business remotely, where feasible and based on job function. Currently scheduled for Monday, March 16, through Monday, April 6, SCE’s telework guidelines are designed to allow about 8,000 workers to conduct company business with minimal interruption to operations and in accordance with SCE’s strict cybersecurity policies.
To ensure seamless customer service and operations, about 5,000 SCE workers will continue to work at SCE facilities or in the field, including workers in its Customer Contact Centers, troublemen and linemen. These workers will continue practicing social distancing and hygiene recommendations that will be coupled with enhanced cleaning of facilities.
This is a quickly evolving situation, and SCE emergency planning teams are focused daily on the continuity of its critical operations and managing potential impacts to its workers, customers and communities.