Utility companies in the First State are trying to ease the burden on people affected by the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The national emergency declaration by President Trump and the State of Emergency order from Gov. Carney are prompting utility companies, including Delmarva Power, to suspend service disconnections and waive late fees:
“We are waiving those late payment fees through at least May 1. And we’ll be working closely with customers on a case-by-case basis to establish payment arrangements and identify other energy assistance options that may be available to them,” said Tim Stokes, a spokesman for Delmarva Power.
Stokes says Delmarva also closed walk-in offices to limit the public’s exposure to the coronavirus, and is taking precautions with its field employees.
“There is the use of protective equipment if needed. And one of the most important things that we are practicing is social distancing. And that’s where we’re keeping six feet between our employees and the customers.”
Chesapeake Utilities Corporation and the Delaware Electric Cooperative (DEC) are taking similar measures to keep employees and the public safe.
All walk-in customer access to Chesapeake’s natural gas, propane or electric office locations in all three Delaware counties have been temporarily suspended. And the Co-Op lobby and cashier windows in Harrington are also closed until further notice.
Meantime, Delmarva Power's parent company, Exelon Corporation, is also donating more than $1 million ($1.15M) to national and local relief organizations to support communities impacted by the spread of the coronavirus.
In Delaware and on Maryland’s Eastern Shore - $75,000 is going to the United Way of Delaware, United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore and the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore.