KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON AND SERVING OUR COMMUNITIES.
The Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA) and America’s competitive power suppliers are working to protect the health and safety of our employees, customers, and communities as we keep the nation powered throughout the novel coronavirus/ COVID-19 pandemic. EPSA has worked proactively and collaboratively with other electricity industry sectors and government to prepare for extreme weather events and emergencies, and the same level of cooperation is on full display in this pandemic. As the current situation evolves, we have closely monitored its impact to assess and prepare for eventual outcomes, while preparing and implementing the industry’s pandemic plan. Below is an overview of specific actions and considerations.
MAINTAINING SAFE, RELIABLE OPERATIONS
“From the start of this pandemic, our priority has been to protect the health and safety of our employees, while also fulfilling our commitment to safely provide reliable electricity to our customers.”– Mauricio Gutierrez, president and CEO, NRG Energy
The industry has taken the following actions from the start of this pandemic:
- Identify and maintain the safety and availability of mission-essential personnel including power plant operators and control room staff who ensure the safe operation of power generating facilities.
- Obtain travel and access authorizations for mission-essential personnel.
- Assess and address facility cleaning requirements.
- Increase hygiene measures and allow for remote work as possible.
- Plan for and determine whether sequestration is necessary to ensure specialized mission-essential staff who are unable to work remotely remain healthy and do not transmit the virus.
Learn more about mission-essential control center and generation facility personnel.
ACCESSING TESTING AND SAFETY EQUIPMENT FOR MISSION-ESSENTIAL WORKERS
“Despite the challenges that the COVID-19 outbreak presents, our employees are staffing our power plants to ‘keep the lights on.’ I am proud of them.”– Thad Hill, CEO, Calpine Corporation
- EPSA recognizes that access to COVID-19 testing remains limited and is a high priority for healthcare workers and all critical industries, employees, and patients throughout the nation.
- Electricity generators and utilities continue to need access to testing to help isolate healthy mission-essential operators and keep a limited pool of highly skilled workers available to run control centers and generation facilities.
- EPSA urges federal, state, and local governments to take a targeted approach to help provide testing and safety supplies to mission-essential power plant personnel.
“America’s electric power industry is united across the sectors and working with government agencies and policy officials to make sure you have a safe, reliable supply of electricity.”Read an update from EPSA president and CEO Todd Snitchler.
COORDINATING WITH INDUSTRY, GRID OPERATORS, AND GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
- EPSA is a member of the Electricity Sub-sector Coordinating Council (ESCC) steering committee, the principal liaison between the federal government and the electric power sector. We are engaged with our peers across the industry to provide information and receive updates about how companies and service could be impacted, to share best practices, and to collectively ensure that power remains reliable and safe.
- EPSA is engaged with regional and independent grid operators—RTOs and ISOs—overseeing regions and markets where our members operate. We are sharing information with PJM Interconnection, the New York Independent System Operator, ISO-New England, the Southwest Power Pool, the Midcontent Independent System Operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, and the California ISO.
- The ESCC has developed a COVID-19 Resource Guide to help the power industry make informed localized decisions in response to this evolving global pandemic, which will be updated on an ongoing basis as issues are identified and recommendations are made to address them.
SUPPORTING CUSTOMERS AND COMMUNITIES
“We want to make sure as many people as possible have access to the things they need most.”– Curt Morgan, president and CEO, Vistra Energy
Competitive power suppliers are dedicated to their mission of providing safe, reliable, least cost electricity to families, businesses, and emergency services. But their commitment to communities goes beyond that core function through annual funding, grants, charitable contributions, scholarships, and volunteer activities. As the impacts of the pandemic are felt more widely, EPSA member companies have taken specific actions to
support their employees, communities, and front line responders.
Funding and Local Grants: To date, EPSA members have pledged more than $6 million in emergency aid and funding. This money will support:
- Additional funding to energy aid programs.
- Providing cash funding and in-kind contributions to first-responders for safety supplies, protective equipment, and respirators.
- Donations to community and small business relief funds.
- Financial contributions to teachers.
- Working with local nonprofits to identify causes in need and provide support, including donations to United Way and food banks.
- Providing payment extensions and waiving late fees.
- Assisting customers with deferred payment plans.
- Offering bill payment assistance through customer aid programs.
EPSA member companies own and operate more than 150,000 MW of generation capacity and for the time being stand ready to deliver power when called upon. We are closely monitoring the situation, engaging with our peers and relevant government agencies, and adjusting tactics as needed.
BP ● Calpine Corporation ● Cogentrix ● Competitive Power Ventures ● Eastern Generation Energy Capital Partners ● Diamond Generating Corporation ● GenOn ● J-Power ● LS Power NRG Energy ● Rockland Capital ● Shell ● Tenaska ● TransAlta ● Vistra Energy