BERLIN, CT – As Eversource operates under its COVID-19 pandemic plan to safeguard the health and well-being of its employees and the communities it serves, the energy company continues to prepare for emergencies and perform essential work to ensure reliability for its four million customers across Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Recognizing the importance of this work, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security included electric, gas and water utility workers in its recently published list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.”
“The reliability of our essential service has never been more important than it is today during these uncertain
times,” said Eversource President of Regional Electric Operations in Connecticut and Massachusetts Craig Hallstrom. “Critical facilities like hospitals and nursing homes need uninterrupted service to care for their patients. Many people are working from home, and students are studying remotely, relying on electronic devices to accomplish their goals.”
Under Eversource’s COVID-19 pandemic plan, essential work includes any work that maintains or improves the condition of the energy company’s electric and gas systems and supports its foundational mission of safe, reliable energy service. Examples of essential work include, but are not limited to:
- replacement of electrical lines, poles, and other equipment needed to keep the systems operating;
- installation of automated switches that speed restoration of customers following an outage;
- new utility connections to provide service to homes and other facilities;
- vegetation management along electric lines, as trees remain the biggest threat to our system in New England;
- repair of natural gas leaks;
- replacement and upgrades of natural gas lines and other equipment; and
- work mandated by law or regulation.
Essential work is not the same as emergency work, which is in response to a specific and unexpected outage or other need. Eversource has integrated its social distancing, hygiene and enhanced sanitation measures to safeguard health and well-being into its emergency response planning while continuing to prepare for and respond to potential emergencies. Following the storm that brought heavy, wet snow into the region earlier this week, the energy company restored power to more than 56,000 customers in New Hampshire in 24 hours while operating under its COVID-19 pandemic plan.
“While taking precautions under our COVID-19 pandemic plan to safeguard health, we continue working to replace and upgrade natural gas lines, repair leaks and perform other essential work,” said Eversource President of Gas Operations Bill Akley. “Ensuring that our customers have access to the reliable service they need and continuing to prevent emergencies is paramount during this unprecedented time.”
Work that Eversource is not currently performing includes any non-critical field work that requires access to homes or businesses like energy efficiency in-house visits, customer-requested meter relocations and exchanges, and natural gas sales appointments. The energy company also postponed all business travel, large meetings and employee gatherings and continues to require any employee whose job can be done remotely to work from home.
While this pandemic continues to evolve, Eversource will continue to take all necessary precautions to maintain reliable service for its customers and to ensure the safety and health of its employees and the public. For more information on Eversource’s preparedness efforts and response to COVID-19, including FAQs for customers, ways to save, and more please visit Eversource.com.