As we all know, 2020 has been a challenging year. However, when I think back over the last 12 months, I’m reminded of how we’ve all come together to support each other when times get tough.
Friends have sewn masks for those who couldn’t find them in stores. Neighbors have left groceries on the doorsteps of those who are in high-risk groups and couldn’t risk exposure. When we’re faced with troubling times, our co-op bands together to help our community weather the “storm”.
As your electric cooperative, our goal has been to not only continue delivering excellent, reliable service at a low cost, but also to support our members as we power through this pandemic. I’m proud that throughout these hardships, our focus has always been to keep you, our members, our number one priority.
With more people than ever relying on their home’s electricity for work and schoolwork, we temporarily suspended disconnections for nonpayments and waived late fees for our members. As our economy opened back up and the need for disconnections began again, we developed payment plans for those with past due balances so our members could focus on getting back on their feet over time and not worry about keeping the lights on.
We also formed the Helping Hand Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund to help support members in need in our local communities. Thanks to your generous donations to the fund, we’ve been able to offer $70,000 in energy assistance to those who are having trouble making ends meet.
As of October, we have also applied more than $250,000 in deposits to past due balances for our members to help ease the economic burden of the ongoing health crisis.
We truly are stronger together, and this year has shown that more than ever before. While it’s impossible to know what’s to come in 2021 and beyond, one thing I know for certain is that we’ll continue to keep you, our members, and the safety of our employees our priority, no matter what.
This year has been a difficult one and many in our communities are feeling the financial effects of COVID-19. If you receive a capital credit this year, and you have the means, consider donating it to the Helping Hand Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund to help members in need. Visit pemc.coop/donate to learn more or call 800.222.3107 to talk to a Member Service Representative.