**** NSP Media Release
We are in uncertain and unprecedented times. As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves each day, we’re evolving too. Our promise and responsibility is to provide you with safe and reliable electricity every day. That will not change.
Our team has been working on pandemic planning since early this year. We’re prepared and we’re ready.
But beyond that, we know that this is a situation that will be ongoing for months, not days, and we’re committed to supporting you—to finding additional ways to serve our communities and customers, and helping to protect our most vulnerable citizens. And that means making changes in how we do business.
Here are our latest updates:
Providing options and payment relief
We’ve been listening to you. We understand that many of you are concerned about the future, about employment insecurity and your ability to pay your bills. The last thing we want you to worry about is going without power during this tough time. We are here to help.
For at least the next 90 days, we will not be disconnecting customers for nonpayment. We’re also committed to being flexible, relaxing payment timelines, waiving penalties and fees on unpaid bills, and providing options for residential and small business customers. If you’re struggling to pay your bill, our Customer Care team is ready to listen and work with you, so you can stay as current as possible with your payments.
We also encourage those that can, to stay up to date with their payments. Not only will this avoid building up a balance, but it will help us support those who are most in need of financial assistance.
Support through the HEAT Fund
The Home Energy Assistance Top-up (HEAT Fund) is available annually to individuals and families in Nova Scotia who live on a low income to help pay their energy bill. The HEAT Fund is available through a partnership between the Government of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Power and The Salvation Army, and provides emergency assistance for all forms of home heating, including electric, propane, oil, wood, and natural gas.
Today with Emera, we are announcing a further donation of $500,000 to support customers through the HEAT Fund.
We’re extending the application deadline indefinitely and waiving the application restriction on applying only every 24 months; meaning customers who received funding in 2019, can also apply for 2020.
Customers can learn more about the program at nspower.ca/heatfund.
We are also pleased to announce that Emera will be contributing $500,000 to the United Way’s Atlantic Compassion Fund, supporting those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic across our region.
Ensuring safe conditions for our teams
To keep our employees safe, our field crews and our employees in plants and depots are limiting contact with the public and practicing social distancing. On March 17, we began restricting the public from all Nova Scotia Power sites. We’ve suspended non-essential in-home and in-business services, but critical service connects and disconnects will continue. Vegetation management will also continue to keep trees clear from critical customers and infrastructure across the province.
We ask that the public keep our employees safe by practicing social distancing from our crews and teams working to provide essential services.
We appreciate your support in keeping our teams healthy to deliver on our commitment to provide safe and reliable power to Nova Scotians.
Continuing to serve you
As always, our Customer Care team will continue to serve customers by phone at 1-800-428-6230 and through our online tools at nspower.ca. This is a quickly evolving situation, and as we navigate this together, we’ll continue to communicate with you and provide support. You’ll find our latest updates at nspower.ca/covid-19.