03/31/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/31/2020 11:23
OKLAHOMA CITY - With thousands of customers working remotely and the potential for spring thunderstorms and summer heat on the horizon, OG&E remains focused on enhancing grid health and ensuring the health of its critical workforce.
'Electricity powers the modern economy, whether it's business as usual or in a crisis like we find ourselves in today - we all depend on it,' said OG&E spokesman Brian Alford. 'Customers will continue to see our big orange trucks and employees hard at work in the field, at power plants and other critical areas. So, you'll still see crews working in neighborhoods. We've instructed them to maintain social distancing with customers and request that customers honor their safety as well as their own by not approaching them as they work.'
Alford added that with storm season and the higher temperatures of summer approaching, the company is continuing its storm readiness and system maintenance and enhancements while remaining aware of the threat of COVID-19.
'We constantly monitor changing conditions and have been closely monitoring the progression of COVID-19 since January,' Alford said. 'In the past few weeks, we've taken progressively stringent steps to protect the health of our employees, who are essential to maintain reliable service.'
OG&E has put several protocols in place including requiring critical operations personnel to practice shift-change separation, use good hygiene practices and observe social distancing. Employees are working remotely where possible and the company performs daily health screenings on employees who continue to work on site. All outside visitors are restricted from entering any OG&E facility and contractors are required to follow the company's safety practices.
'We've also taken steps to support our customers,' he continued. 'Beginning March 16, we suspended disconnection for nonpayment for 30 days. And, we're working with customers who need pay arrangements or other type of bill relief as well.'
OG&E customers who may be facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 can contact customer service from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at 405-272-9741 (Oklahoma City) or 800-272-9741 (all other areas) to discuss payment arrangements.
OG&E urges customers to beware of scams during this time. Scammers, claiming to be with OG&E, will tell a customer his or her utility bill is past due, and service will be disconnected if a payment is not made. Typically, the scammer will tell the customer that a disconnection will come within an hour. OG&E announced the suspension of customer disconnects for non-payment for 30-days, beginning March 16. Customers should ignore all suspicious requests and can visit oge.com/scams for more information.
Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of OGE Energy Corp. (NYSE: OGE), is Oklahoma's largest electric utility. For more than a century, we have provided customers in Oklahoma and western Arkansas the safe, reliable electricity needed to power their businesses and homes with the lowest electric rates in the nation according S&P Global Market Intelligence. Our employees are committed to generating and delivering electricity, protecting the environment and providing excellent service to our nearly 860,000 customers. OG&E has 7,081 MW of electric generation capacity fueled by low-sulfur coal, natural gas, wind and solar. OG&E employees live, work and volunteer in the communities we serve. For more information about OG&E, visit us at http://www.oge.com or follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ogepower and Twitter: @OGandE.