Thursday, April 9, 2020

Pacific Power will keep lights on during COVID-19 emergency

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In support of the stay-at-home directive ordered by the state of Oregon, Pacific Power will maintain reliable power to all customers during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The company will also continue to suspend late payment fees and disconnections for non-payment, as previously announced.

Under Gov. Kate Brown’s order issued Monday, March 23, 2020, utility company employees, along with other essential critical infrastructure workers, are exempted from the stay-at-home order while performing job duties. Employees have been informed of this and will carry their ID badges and any other documentation provided by the company at all times. In most cases, they will be in company branded vehicles and wearing company safety gear.

Crews will be at work ensuring that power interruptions are minimized during this time where uncertainty is high and most people are housebound. This is always the company’s top priority, but at this time crews will limit work to upgrades involving wildfire protection, projects critical to delivering power to customers, compliance obligations and outage response. Some of this work may require short-term power outages to complete work safely.

While these crews will be our most visible employees, they are not alone in serving you during this time of crisis. They are backed up by thousands of employees who are working in the six western states served by Pacific Power and its sister utility, Rocky Mountain Power, based in Salt Lake City. We are running power plants, managing grid operations and talking to customers.

If you have questions about your electric service or your account, call us 24/7 at 888-221-7070.

We are here for you

Pacific Power plans for emergencies such as the pandemic we are now experiencing. We have contingency plans for possible interruptions to supply chains for an extended period of time. Our business continuity and pandemic plans have been developed over decades and refined during regular drills. They are designed to protect our customers and employees and to ensure energy operations and infrastructure are supported properly. These measures will help us continue to provide safe and reliable electricity throughout even a prolonged emergency.

An invaluable tool for Pacific Power’s business continuity involves our ability under emergency conditions to maintain continuous service by transferring local control center and customer care responsibilities from our Portland-based teams to PacifiCorp’s Utah-based teams, or vice versa. Last week we fully exercised this capability that we routinely drill. Moments after a 5.7 magnitude earthquake occurred near Salt Lake City and our facilities in Utah were evacuated, we transferred temporary full control from our Salt Lake City-based control center and customer care center to our Portland-based control center and customer care center until our facilities in Utah were restored.

As part of PacifiCorp, Pacific Power has a broad geographic footprint that serves nearly 2 million customers in six states, operates the largest grid in the West that crosses ten states and coordinates with neighboring utilities and grid operators to plan for, prepare, and respond to all hazards that could potentially impact the energy grid—including a pandemic—with our partners in government at the local, state and federal levels. We are also following the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and coordinating with state and local emergency management leaders.

We are dedicated to serving you in this crisis and know that working together we will get through this uncertain time.

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This information was provided for dissemination to our readers and was edited to comply with Associated Press style and professional journalism standards by Homepage staff. Click on the author's name next to the VIA tag above for contact information.

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