news-release-details

Our Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

03/19/2020

People around the world are grappling with the effects and uncertainty of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Our focus at Pinnacle West is on ensuring the health and safety of our employees, contractors and the general public by helping limit spread of this virus and ensuring continued, safe and reliable electric service for customers of our Arizona Public Service subsidiary.

We do not expect this situation to cause any disruption in providing power to APS customers. As a regulated provider of a critical service to our communities, APS has had long-standing crisis and business continuity plans in place that are routinely reviewed and practiced in various drills to address situations such as this.

Protecting employees, customers and communities

We continue working to limit exposure to the virus and to help slow its spread following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization and any protocols put in place in states and areas where we operate. These are some of the measures we have taken:

  • The company is actively participating with industry groups, including Edison Electric Institute, and the Arizona Emergency Operations Center to coordinate, share learnings and emerging best practices and to advocate on behalf of our stakeholders in response processes. We are also participating in Arizona Corporation Commission activities centered on COVID-19, including the special open meeting that was held to discuss utilities’ preparedness plans.
  • We have implemented rigorous hygiene measures and strict social distancing. All employees who do not have a critical need to be at company facilities must work remotely. Those whose jobs are essential to grid and power plant operations and can only be performed on-site are taking measures to maintain a mandatory six feet of space between each other.
  • We’re maintaining a COVID-19 online resource center for our employees and implemented an employee hotline, providing guidance should employees experience virus symptoms or be presumed positive for the virus.
  • We have identified business-critical positions in both our operations and support organizations and identified backup personnel who can provide support if needed to maintain operations with a reduced workforce.
  • We have increased monitoring of our supply markets and impacts to the supply chain. Our suppliers are largely domestic, but we leverage a global supply chain, ensuring multiple sources of supply for vital materials. We currently do not foresee critical shortages that would impact our ability to serve our customers’ needs.
  • We have canceled all work-related travel, including travel between company facilities without special permission and critical business need.
  • We have extremely limited visitor access to our sites.
  • Cyber criminals are trying to exploit the current fear and uncertainty, so we are providing employees with tips to help them recognize and avoid scams.

Supporting customers facing financial hardship

To assist APS customers impacted by COVID-19, that subsidiary has taken the following actions:

  • We have suspended shutting off power to customers for non-payment.
  • We are waiving late fees.
  • We set up a Customer Support Fund for those who need assistance paying their bill. Customers who are past due on their APS bill can qualify for the fund if they have unexpected loss of income, higher medical or childcare expenses, or other financial hardship created by the COVID-19 virus.
  • We wrote to customers letting them know what we are doing for them in this time of uncertainty.
  • With many customers working from home or home with kids at this time, we are providing tips that can help them save on their bill.

This is a rapidly evolving situation, and our focus will remain on keeping our employees safe, and keeping the power on for APS customers and communities.


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