National Grid to Suspend Collections-Related Activities, Including Disconnections
A major utility serving Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York announced Friday that it would suspend all collections-related activities to ease financial strain during the coronavirus pandemic.
National Grid said the temporary measure means service to customers will not be disconnected.
"We recognize that this pandemic has brought many challenges for our customers and we want to do our part to lessen any financial impact they may face as the result of the outbreak," Badar Khan, interim U.S. president for National Grid, said in a statement. "We are committed to our customers' well-being during this difficult time."
Additionally, the utility said it would limit attendance at meetings and external visitors to its facilities. Travel between National Grid offices will be restricted "except for operationally critical activities."
All international travel related to the business will also be stopped.
"Ensuring the health and safety of our employees and customers is our number one priority," said Khan. "We have a comprehensive emergency response plan in place to keep the lights on and the gas flowing for our customers. Our pandemic team is meeting daily and we're closely monitoring all developments associated with this evolving and complex virus."
In addition to National Grid, Con Edison, Central Hudson, Orange and Rockland, New York State Electric and Gas, Rochester Electric and Gas, PSEG Long Island and National Fuel Gas agreed to the policy. Major private water companies also agreed to suspend shut-offs during the pandemic.