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It is hard to predict exactly what things will be like when this edition of Texas Co-op Power gets to your mailbox. As I write this in early April, it looks like we have a tough month ahead as we collectively deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. This is certainly unprecedented in our lifetimes, but right now it is good to be part of a member-owned co-op, where we can respond to the constantly changing environment and needs of our community.
With restrictions in place that are disrupting so many members’ ability to work, leave home and take care of other basic necessities, on March 16, we stopped disconnecting power for members who are currently unable to pay. Fortunately, most members have continued to pay when they are able, and this will help us work with those members who have lost jobs and need extra time.
Also in March, the TVEC Board of Directors approved $15,000 in grants to local bill payment assistance organizations, through the TVEC Charitable Foundation. If you are in need of help, please do not hesitate to call our Member Services team at 800-766-9576 or find the list of bill assistance organizations at tvec.net/bill-payment-assistance.
We take the role of providing reliable electricity for our members very seriously, and we are following our emergency operations plan to navigate the threat that COVID-19 could pose to our ability to do that. By protecting our essential workforce and utilizing technology, we are doing our best to provide a high level of service to members.
For our outside workers and linemen, this has meant a serious focus on social distancing and enhancement of health and safety precautions. We always get great feedback on how our employees take care of members’ needs, but please understand they may not be able to get as up-close and personal as usual.
Many of our office staff have transitioned to working from home while they juggle the demands of closed schools and few child care options. Thank you for your patience if wait times seem a little long or if you hear noises in the background. Our technology team has made tremendous progress in making our systems work securely and seamlessly.
Most of all, we want everyone in our service area to stay safe while we work together to minimize the impact of this virus on our lives. The economy is bound to recover at some point, but with lives at stake, I urge you to take all precautions to protect yourselves and your loved ones. As a community we will work through the pandemic’s repercussions in the coming months. And in that time, your co-op will still be here keeping the lights on and providing the power that keeps us all connected.