CHARLESTON, WV – The Public Service Commission held a conference call with the major utility companies and various cable and telecommunication companies operating in West Virginia to determine the status of their operations and share best practices in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Participants in the conference call included Chairman Charlotte Lane, Commissioners Brooks McCabe and Renee Larrick and representatives of AEP (APCo and WPCo), First Energy (Mon Power and Potomac Edison), Mountaineer Gas, Hope Gas, West Virginia American Water, AT&T, Frontier West Virginia, Suddenlink and cable providers.
The utility companies were asked what they were doing to continue providing services and protect their workforces during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Commission also wanted to know what plans were in place to ensure utility services should there be significant weather events or natural disasters that may occur during the pandemic.
Utility companies reported they had agreed not to disconnect customers, pursuant to the Commission’s March 17, 2020 General Order 262. Companies have also taken numerous measures, including social distancing; increased use of tele-meetings; working from home; increased cleaning and disinfecting at work sites; and using retirees, contractors and additional suppliers. Some telecommunications companies are opening enhanced and free wifi for students to assist in studying from home. Telecommunications providers are also following Federal Communications Commission guidelines regarding disconnections.
As of Monday, no utility employees had tested positive for COVID-19.
For more information on General Order 262, go to the Commission Website: www.psc.state.wv.us.