NORTHEAST (NEWS10) — National Grid is directing $500,000 to help customers affected by COVID-19 who are unable to work and facing financial hardship.
National Grid says this will provide immediate relief for those who need additional support to help local organizations and communities across Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island.
“We are committed to helping our customers through the difficult times and unchartered challenges associated with this pandemic,” said Badar Khan, National Grid’s Interim U.S. President. “We recognize this is an unprecedented and rapidly changing situation. We want to do our part to look out for our customers and protect the communities where we live and serve.”
Part of the funds will go directly to National Grid’s customers who are experiencing financial hardship. The company also says they will work with community-based organizations and funds to help support many of the basic needs being interrupted during this time.
Here is a sampling of some of the programs that will receive relief funds:
- The United Way Rhode Island Crisis Fund
- The Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund
- Boston Resiliency Fund
- The United Way of Central MA ‘We Care Fund’
- Island Harvest on Long Island
- The United Way and other organizations across our New York footprint
Additionally, National Grid has taken the following steps to further help protect the safety and well-being of customers and employees:
- Suspending collections-related activities, including service disconnections, to lessen any financial hardship the COVID-19 pandemic may have on customers
- Encouraging customers who are struggling to pay their National Grid bill to contact the company as soon as possible for assistance.
- Offering the expertise of our Consumer Advocates, who provide crisis intervention support for customers in need, working closely with state and county Social Services and community assistance organizations.
- Requiring our employees to take precautionary measures before entering a customer’s home to limit exposure to our customers and our workforce.
“Ensuring the health and safety of our employees and customers is our number one priority,” Khan said. “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 situation.”Khan noted that the Company also is sharing its preparedness plans with regulators, federal, state and local officials, emergency response organizations, customers and other key stakeholders. Additional information on National Grid’s pandemic preparedness and a customer Q&A can be found at ngrid.com/covid-19.“We will continue to closely monitor our customers’ needs during the pandemic and find new ways to assist where we can,” Khan said.
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