Avista sustains focus on critical utility work and serving customers and communities in response to Coronavirus
SPOKANE, Wash., May 6, 2020, 3:30 p.m. PDT: As states in the region continue to identify how to move toward re-opening our communities, Avista maintains its focus on health, safety and critical utility operations in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. Beginning this week, the Company will begin to resume certain utility work, primarily field operations, as it is safe to do so. Following the policies and procedures implemented in March as well as state and federal guidelines, Avista has identified it can safely and responsibly resume this work that supports its ability to provide safe and reliable electricity and natural gas.
“As an essential service provider, we believe we have a unique responsibility to ensure our approach to resuming certain work is measured, gradual and strategic,” said Dennis Vermillion, Avista president and CEO. “We’re deeply focused on serving our customers and communities well, and that means doing all we can to fulfill our core purpose, now and into the future. We’ve assessed state guidelines and our projects to determine how we can safely continue on with operations that play a vital role in providing our customers with reliable energy. As a result, in the coming days the public will likely see more of our crews out maintaining infrastructure, trimming trees, replacing poles, supporting construction work and more, to serve our customers.”
“Our hearts continue to go out to all of those affected by COVID-19. We recognize that the impacts will be felt far and wide and are still unfolding. While no one can predict the extent of the COVID-19 situation and its impact, we know a growing number of our customers are hurting and struggling to make ends meet. With this in mind, we’ve expanded our energy assistance programs and payment options and continue to contribute to community relief efforts. We’re here, and we want to work with all of our customers to identify ways we can help ease the burden,” Vermillion said.
As the Company resumes certain work, preserving the health and safety of employees, customers, contractors and other stakeholders remains the top priority. Avista has comprehensive and specific safety protocols in place to keep people safe, including social distancing, the use of protective equipment, modified team structures, vehicle guidelines and increased sanitization. While implementation of these protocols may look different at different work sites, each job will be assessed based on its unique needs and requirements and will be approached with safety as the top priority. Avista will only engage in the work if it can do so safely and in a manner that minimizes the risk.
For more detailed information about these safety measures and what the public can expect as they see or interact with Avista in the course of this work in the field, visit myavista.com/Covid-19.
Other work to sustain Avista’s business that can be completed safely will also continue. This includes most office-based work that can be completed remotely. Customer service representatives continue to be available while working from home. While customers may hear life going on in the background when they call, they can expect the same great level of service. Avista employees will continue to work from home.
Customers can reach Avista to in a number of ways, including:
- Online at myavista.com
- The Avista Mobile app
- Phone: (800) 227-9187
- Pay by text: text PAY to AVISTA (284-782)
- Pay stations: Find a pay station. Please note, these are individual businesses and subject to closure. Confirm availability before the visit.
- Pay by Mail: Avista Utilities
1411 E. Mission Ave
Spokane, WA 99252-0001
If customers find themselves facing financial difficulties, they are encouraged to call Avista at (800) 227-9187.
Avista remains committed to keeping our stakeholders updated, and will communicate any additional changes should the status of this situation shift.
More information about Avista’s response to COVID-19 can be found at myavista.com/covid-19.
About Avista Corp.
Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is the operating division that provides electric service to 393,000 customers and natural gas to 361,000 customers. Its service territory covers 30,000 square miles in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, with a population of 1.7 million. Alaska Energy and Resources Company is an Avista subsidiary that provides retail electric service in the city and borough of Juneau, Alaska, through its subsidiary Alaska Electric Light and Power Company. Avista stock is traded under the ticker symbol "AVA." For more information about Avista, please visit www.avistacorp.com.
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