Lincoln, Neb. April 20, 2020 – Black Hills Energy’s number one priority is the continued safety of its customers and employees. As the number of positive cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Dawson County, Black Hills Energy has adjusted its response to focus on immediate community needs and has measures in place to ensure it continues to serve its customers in a way that is safe for everyone.
“Black Hills Energy is committed to doing its part to slow the spread of COVID-19 while proving an essential service that keeps us all warm and protected,” said Kevin Jarosz, vice president of Nebraska operations. “To ensure everyone’s wellbeing, we’ve activated an essential response plan aimed to do both.”
To date, Black Hills Energy has not experienced any significant impacts on the delivery of energy to its nearly 300,000 customers across Nebraska. The plan is designed to maintain critical natural gas services for all customers. Under these new guidelines, multiple services will continue including responding to emergency calls, mandated construction work, maintaining a safe system and starting service for a customer.
To support our customers who may be impacted by the nation’s response to COVID-19, Black Hills Energy is temporarily suspending nonpayment disconnections for our customers. We realize that due to possible extended periods of isolation, customers may face financial hardships effecting their ability to timely pay their energy bills. We offer various assistance options to our customers such as, payment arrangements, budget billing and medical extensions. Visit www.blackhillsenergy.com for more information about these programs.
To safely perform these critical needs, Black Hills Energy is taking extra steps to protect its customers and its employees, including:
Crews will continue to respond to all emergency calls and will be wearing appropriate personal protective equipment and following health practices as recommended by the CDC and other health organizations.
Paid leave will be provided for employees who tests positive or are put under quarantine.
“If someone suspects a gas leak, they should still call 911. We’ll arrive with other first responders and help people responsibly,” Jarosz said. “Our goal is to stay healthy so we can be ready to keep our communities strong,”