PITTSBURGH – Duquesne Light customers facing financial hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic may soon see some relief, thanks to a $375,000 contribution to the Dollar Energy Fund from the Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA) and a matching contribution from Duquesne Light Company (DLC).
“Like everyone else in our region and across the country, we are navigating through challenging times,” said David Johnson, Chief Customer Officer, Duquesne Light Company. “As the energy provider in Pittsburgh, we remain committed to ensuring our customers have safe, affordable and reliable power. Now, especially, we are focused on helping customers in our communities who are struggling financially. Our teams are dedicated to providing assistance and resources to help ease those burdens.”
This new pool of funds is in addition to support already available to DLC customers through federal grants, the company’s customer assistance program and its partnership with Dollar Energy Fund. The OCA made $375,000 available to DLC customers at Dollar Energy Fund, which was matched by DLC for a combined total of $750,000.
“As this COVID-19 pandemic spreads, so does the economic pain it is inflicting on our communities. It is unprecedented,” said Rep. Ed Gainey. “As businesses shutter and unemployment overwhelms our families and neighbors, I’m grateful to work with Duquesne Light on their heightened efforts to support our neighbors at a time when the help is needed most.”
Receiving Payment Assistance
Safely, and from the comfort of their homes, customers can check their eligibility and apply for assistance from the Dollar Energy Fund by taking the following steps:
- Visit www.DollarEnergy.org
- Select ‘Agency Finder’ in the top selection
- Enter home address
- Call agency closest to home address
- Discuss eligibility and application with a verified representative
In addition to these funds, DLC has a number of other support options available to customers experiencing financial hardships, such as a customer assistance program, payment arrangements and energy efficiency resources. Those interested in learning more about these programs are encouraged to visit the payment assistance page at www.DuquesneLight.com.
Including this expansion of customer assistance, DLC has taken many actions under the direction of its Incident Command Team to ease the burden on its customers, protect its employees and ensure safe and reliable power is delivered to the region, including:
Easing the Burden on Customers:
- Discontinuing service shutoffs until at least May 1, 2020
- Waiving late fees until at least May 1, 2020
- $500,000 contribution to the Pittsburgh Emergency Action Fund
- Expanding customer assistance with $375,000 contribution to Dollar Energy Fund
Providing Safe & Reliable Power to the Community:
- Increased inspections of equipment powering critical facilities, such as hospitals
- Around-the-clock field operations to improve response times
- Reprioritization of work, including deferral of many planned outages, to limit customer interruptions to service
- Continuing work required for the safety of customers and the community
- Implemented paid time off and special leave policies for employees impacted by COVID-19 and school closures
- Alternative and remote work assignments for office-based employees
- Social distancing policies
- Staggered field operation shifts to limit exposure between crews
- Limited facility access to critical employees only
- Advanced cleaning measures at company facilities
- Following federal and state health guidelines for necessary customer contact
As always, customers are encouraged to reach out to DLC at 412-393-7100 to speak with a Customer Service Representative if they are in need of assistance.