Perspective: Serving our Members During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The past few weeks have certainly been challenging times for our country and our communities. Families, schools, businesses, healthcare providers and governments have responded like never before to the unprecedented challenges due to the spread of the coronavirus. We understand the response to COVID-19 has created hardships that many of us didn’t think would happen just a couple months ago.
I want to assure you that your electric cooperative is here to serve you with the reliable electricity you depend on.
Early in the crisis, we turned to our pandemic response plan for our action steps to mitigate exposure of the coronavirus to our members and employees. As a result, we limited member access to our local offices to drive-thru service only. I drove to our local offices those first few days to visit with employees while sitting in my vehicle in the drive-thru lane. Even with a window between us, I was happy to see some smiling faces!
Beginning March 16, most Jackson EMC employees started working remotely. When we implemented measures to minimize exposure to the coronavirus, it meant our employees quickly uprooted their offices and made significant changes to their work processes – all without service disruptions to our members. We began strategically staffing our linemen to limit their potential exposure to the coronavirus to ensure reliable electric service. Like many of you, our employees also began helping their children with classroom assignments. I’m extremely proud of the “can do” attitude seen across our cooperative during these unprecedented times.
While our employees have been able to work remotely, many businesses that serve the public have had to close their doors temporarily. We know the response to COVID-19 has placed a hardship on many people in our community. As a member-owned not-for-profit cooperative, we operate in the best interest of our members. Because of that, we temporarily suspended disconnecting service for nonpayment of electric bills.
We’re always sensitive to our members’ ability to pay their bills. Every situation is different. Our customer service representatives are empowered to work with members to address individual circumstances. Please feel free to contact us if you need to make a payment arrangement.
With so many people staying home these days, your energy use is likely going up. Now is a good time to check your energy use by using the tools available through MyJacksonEMC. The MyJacksonEMC website or mobile app is the easiest way to check your energy use and offers many other easy-to-use functions, like reporting an outage and bill payment options. You can learn more at MyJacksonEMC.com.
Our emergency plan has served us well in overcoming previous challenges, like ice storms and a hurricane. Our experience in times of crisis shows us that the Jackson EMC family pulls together to do what’s best for members and our community. It’s always great to know that our employees will rise to meet any challenge.
Our goal in this unprecedented challenge is to provide you with reliable electricity and continue to provide you with a seamless customer service experience. At the same time, we want our members and employees to stay safe and healthy.
All the best to everyone and we will get through this together.