Central Maine Power Takes Steps To Prevent Service Interruptions During Coronavirus Pandemic
Actions taken to protect employees and ensure business and service continuity
AUGUSTA, Maine— March 17, 2020 — Central Maine Power (CMP) today announced the steps it is taking across its operations to protect employees and customers and ensure continuity of essential electric service during the coronavirus pandemic.
“During this pandemic, ensuring the health and safety of our employees is paramount to our ability to continue to safely deliver reliable electric service to our customers,” said David Flanagan, Executive Chairman of CMP. “We began communicating with our employees more than a month ago to reinforce preventative actions such as hand washing guidelines and ways to avoid spreading infection that are now part of everyday conversations worldwide.”
Flanagan continued, “Since then, we have taken a number of measures to limit exposure to our workers and to protect our operations and the customers we serve. We have activated our emergency response and business continuity plans and are working with local, state and federal emergency response officials to make sure that we are providing whatever support is needed in this unprecedented and rapidly changing situation.”
Steps the company has taken include:
Preventing infection among employees and customers.
- Restricting non-employee visitors to all sites.
- Restricting all travel unless critical to maintaining operations.
- Instructing employees who are equipped to work from home, and whose role allows it, to do so until further notice.
- For those employees who serve essential roles and who cannot work from home, the company is taking measures to enable social distancing, which include:
- Suspension of in-home meter reading and shifting to estimated usage or customer reported usage for analog meters.
- Whenever possible, creating a work environment where employees can keep a safe distance from one another.
- Establishing staggered shifts and cross-training of employees to prevent staff shortages in critical areas, including customer service.
- Isolating energy control center staff and limiting their contact with other employees in the workplace.
- Having field personnel assemble in small teams or as single workers to minimize physical interactions.
- Establishing a call screening process in customer service in the event we need to defer nonessential work and limit potential exposure for our employees and customers.
- Providing guidelines for field personnel around how they can protect themselves and customers when they must enter a residence.
- Working with regulators as appropriate to limit noncritical work.
Addressing the potential financial impacts of an extended public health crisis on customers
- Earlier this week, CMP announced suspension of service shut offs for nonpayment which was later echoed with a PUC order for all Maine utilities. CMP has begun communicating with customers about programs and resources that can help manage bills and reduce energy usage.
Supporting emergency services and hospitals
- Outreach and coordination with local, state and federal emergency response officials.
- Outreach to hospitals to help prevent interruptions in service.
- Inspect and conduct preventative maintenance on key circuits that serve emergency services and hospitals.
“We understand that this situation is going to get worse before it gets better, and we want our customers to know we are taking the steps to prevent interruptions in service,” said Flanagan. “Challenging emergency situations are not new to us and we have robust plans in place. We are ready, and our people are ready to do their jobs to keep these essential services going. I am very proud of their dedication.”
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About CMP: Central Maine Power Company (CMP), a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc., is Maine’s largest electricity transmission and distribution utility. Established in 1899 and based in Augusta, Maine, CMP serves approximately 624,000 customers across 346 communities in central and southern Maine. It operates approximately 23,500 miles of distribution lines and 2,900 miles of transmission lines. Over the last decade, the company has invested approximately $2.6 billion in Maine system infrastructure. In 2019, CMP was named Large Business of the Year by the Kennebec Valley United Way. For more information, visit www.cmpco.com.
About AVANGRID: AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) is a leading, sustainable energy company with approximately $34 billion in assets and operations in 24 U.S. states. With headquarters in Orange, Connecticut, AVANGRID has two primary lines of business: Avangrid Networks and Avangrid Renewables. Avangrid Networks owns eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving more than 3.3 million customers in New York and New England. Avangrid Renewables owns and operates a portfolio of renewable energy generation facilities across the United States. AVANGRID employs approximately 6,600 people. AVANGRID supports the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals and was named among the World’s Most Ethical Companies in 2019 and 2020 by the Ethisphere Institute. For more information, visit www.avangrid.com.
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