Responding to Coronavirus
A message from Ralph Izzo
To our customers,
At PSEG, we know that you count on us to provide the around-the-clock energy you need for warmth and comfort, for hot water and home-cooked meals, and to power the devices that keep you connected to family and friends, work and school.
And now that we're all spending so much more time at home, we understand that safe, reliable energy is more important than ever.
As we face the challenges of this pandemic together, the health and well-being of our customers, our employees and the communities we serve is – and will remain – a top priority. But we're working hard to ensure that we're fulfilling other needs, as well.
Typically, when we ask our customers what type of information they're looking for from their energy company, the No. 1 response is always how customers can save energy. We're happy to provide helpful, energy-saving tips year-round.
But you're also asking what steps we're taking to help during this ongoing crisis, such as:
- What we're doing during this time to help customers. Since the start of the pandemic, we have suspended customer shut-offs due to non-payment and are assisting customers with flexible or deferred payment plans. We've also closed our customer service centers and postponed non-essential work, in order to limit physical contact between customers and workers. In some cases, our WorryFree technicians are finding ways to solve customers' problems by phone.
- What we're doing to help communities. The PSEG Foundation has committed $2.5 million, including $1 million to the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund, to support nonprofits that are helping those affected by COVID-19. We also have donated medical equipment, including N95 masks and gloves, to first responders in our service territories.
- What we're doing to deliver safe, reliable energy. Even as some of our work has been limited, we're continuing to perform essential infrastructure improvements and repairs. And at the same time, we're working hard to ensure our utility crews are prepared for the summer storm season, to ensure your power stays on no matter the weather.
Electricity and gas are essential to keeping your homes, businesses and institutions running. Our ongoing mission is to ensure you and your family have the energy you need – especially in these challenging times.
We're equally committed to providing support and making a difference in your communities as we work our way through this crisis together.
Need for Clean Energy Isn't Going Away
To our customers,
Providing the safe, reliable energy you need to navigate the ongoing pandemic remains PSEG's most immediate goal. But we remain keenly focused on important long-term issues, as well.
The coronavirus outbreak highlights many of the same issues society faces in addressing climate change – above all, the opportunity to see how we can come together to tackle a global problem. Just as millions of customers rely on PSEG to continue to provide safe, reliable power to sustain them through a public health crisis, our company also has a special role to play in confronting the threat of climate change.
The 50th anniversary of Earth Day serves as a timely reminder that protecting the environment – highlighted by the urgent need to fight climate change – will still be a priority, even after the more immediate concerns of the coronavirus pandemic eventually fade.
Earlier this week, PSEG published our first-ever Climate Report, which outlines how climate change is integrated in our corporate strategy – which includes efforts such as:
- Preserving nuclear energy in New Jersey, which supplies more than 90% of the state's carbon-free power;
- Eliminating coal generation from our PSEG Power fleet by mid-2021; and
- Continuing to explore investments in the development of renewable energy resources, such as solar and offshore wind, as well as other emerging technologies that will drive emission reductions.
PSEG already is New Jersey's largest developer of solar power and we're strong supporters of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy's plan to build the state into a national leader in offshore wind with the ultimate goal of an entirely carbon-free energy supply by 2050.
And, if our collective goal is to reduce carbon emissions that are created when we generate electricity, then the most effective first step we can take is to reduce demand for electricity in the first place by using less of it. That's why PSEG plans to become one of the largest utility investors in energy efficiency in the U.S.
Energy efficiency, which covers a variety of things such as caulking windows, and installing highly efficient lighting, heating and appliances, will help reduce carbon emissions while also lowering customers' utility bills – helping customers reduce their carbon footprint and save money at the same time.
Energy efficiency is an economic engine, as well, reducing New Jersey's energy consumption by some 2% a year while also creating as many as 5,000 jobs. And we want to do more, which is why PSEG has partnered with the NJ Tech Council to offer a $50,000 start-up challenge for innovations in energy efficiency and equity.
By encouraging innovation and creative thinking, we can fuel new products and services, solving problems that touch every home and business.
Once the coronavirus crisis fades, our full attention can return to the urgent work to be done to address climate change. PSEG's clean energy strategy provides a roadmap we can follow for decades, reflecting a commitment to the environment, to our customers and to the many communities we serve.
Giving Back is Essential
To our customers,
The coronavirus outbreak has touched every household differently. However you’re managing your way through this crisis, we understand that you depend on electricity and gas to power your homes, your businesses and your lives, even in the face of severe storms like those that many of you experienced this week.
Almost 100,000 of our customers lost power at some point amid heavy rains and high winds – and nearly 100% were restored within hours. I couldn’t be more proud of our teams at PSE&G and PSEG Long Island, who did a phenomenal job through challenging circumstances, while taking all necessary steps to protect the health and well-being of their coworkers and their customers. And I recognize that any loss of service can cause hardship. Those hardships are compounded with so many of us working and schooling at home.
We also know that many people, including some of you, may be struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why we’re directing resources from the PSEG Foundation to health and community organizations that are doing whatever they can to support our local communities through this crisis.
This week, the PSEG Foundation committed $2.5 million to provide health, social and economic support to those hardest hit by the pandemic – including a $1 million signature grant to the NJ Pandemic Relief Fund. The PSEG Foundation is the distinct and separate philanthropic arm of PSEG.
Earlier, PSEG donated 50,000 N95 respirator masks and 200,000 pairs of nitrile gloves from our own supplies to medical personnel on the front lines of our coronavirus response, and contributed to food banks to address growing food insecurity in New Jersey and Long Island. We also are sponsoring and supporting a COVID-19 testing site in South Jersey.
Electricity and gas are essential services that keep our homes, businesses and institutions running – especially in challenging times – and we commit to doing everything we can to ensure you have the energy you need, without interruption.
As the COVID-19 crisis continues and its devastating impacts are felt by more and more people, it is essential that we do what we can to support those who are suffering. You can count on all of us to continue to look for opportunities to support you and your communities as we work our way through this.
A Message from Ralph Izzo
In this self-produced video, PSEG Chairman, President and CEO Ralph Izzo shares his appreciation for the dedication of the PSEG workforce who continue to provide millions of homes and businesses with safe, reliable energy.
“I'm proud of the efforts of our dedicated employees,” Izzo said, “who are hard at work making sure that customers have the energy they need to get through this challenging time.”
For as long as this health crisis continues, we will continue to remind customers and stakeholders of our commitment to serve them and their communities – and that their safety, health and well-being remain our top priorities.
This message will also be seen on broadcast television in New Jersey, New York City and Long Island over the next few weeks.
A message from Ralph Izzo: Preparing for today and tomorrow
At PSEG, we know that millions of customers rely on us to power your homes and your lives. As we face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic together, we’re doing our part by providing safe, reliable energy in ways that also provide for the health and safety of our employees, our customers and all of the communities we serve.
But even as we hunker down, we’re still working hard to prepare for new challenges in the months ahead.
Summertime is right around the corner. And here in the Northeast, summer means storm season. As the temperatures rise, so does the likelihood of extreme weather that can damage power lines and lead to outages.
To continue to do our part, PSEG has provided:
- We’re continuing to work with partners in government and emergency management, and following the guidance provided by federal, state and local agencies for social distancing and personal protective equipment. Employees in the field have the necessary PPE, and are following training and protocols to ensure that they and our customers remain safe and healthy.
- We’re moving critical equipment into strategic positions around our service territories, and adjusting our field employees’ schedules and work locations to ensure we have the personnel to respond to storm damage – even in the face of virus-related protocol changes.
- We’re also supporting hospitals and other critical care facilities by bolstering service as they expand to serve more patients and by proactively inspecting infrastructure to help eliminate potential power interruptions.
Despite our preparations, we recognize that it may take longer to restore outages this summer, particularly during and after bad storms, due to a potential lack of mutual aid from other states, as well as the potential that more employees may be unavailable for work. We’re recommending that all customers review their emergency plans with the impact of both storms and the coronavirus in mind. Storm preparation tips are available via https://nj.pseg.com/safetyandreliability/stormsafety.
Our No. 1 priority is to continue to provide around-the-clock energy to everyone who needs it. We’re all in this together. PSEG is committed to serving you safely and reliably – through this challenge, and whatever challenges us next.
A message from Ralph Izzo: Helping those who need it most
I have been incredibly inspired and humbled by the response of our medical community – the doctors, nurses and hospital staffs, the first-responders such as police, fire fighters and paramedics. And also, the individuals who are keeping our world functioning as normally as possible – the people who work in grocery stores, restaurants and pharmacies, just to name a few. All of these folks are true heroes.
We also have a few heroes of our own at PSEG – those who work each day to keep our power plants running and the electricity and gas flowing to make sure that our homes and businesses have the power and energy they need to see us through this difficult period. Our employees are dedicated to serving our customers and supporting the communities we serve.
To continue to do our part, PSEG has provided:
- Two $45,000 grants, to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey and Island Harvest Food Bank on Long Island, to help our communities’ hardest-hit families access the food and support they need during this time.
- 50,000 N95 respirator masks to one of New Jersey’s largest health care organizations, supporting health care workers fighting the virus on the front lines. We are happy to make the donation from our backup supplies, while also ensuring our own employees have the equipment and protection they need to respond to emergencies.
- Support for customers by suspending shut-offs for non-payment; closing customer service centers; temporarily suspending various types of non-critical repair work; practicing the CDC’s social distancing guidelines; and directing all employees who can work remotely to do so.
Community is about connection – something we often take for granted. At a time when we're all being asked to shrink our worlds and limit our connections, it's more important than ever to find ways to send help to those in our communities who need it most.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. In response, we’re doing everything we can to make sure that people are still able to charge their phones to call loved ones, stay warm and comfortable in their homes, and provide a hot meal for their families.
It’s the day-to-day things that can make all the difference in how we’re able to cope in a crisis. We’re all in this together, and together we’ll pull through.
A message from Ralph Izzo to customers and external stakeholders
As we all continue to monitor developments regarding the coronavirus, whether from a personal or business perspective, it can become an all-encompassing topic and, for some, perhaps a bit overwhelming. I want to assure you that PSEG is committed to the health and safety of our employees, our customers and the communities we serve, and I am proud of the planning and preparedness efforts that are taking place across the company aimed at continuing to provide you with the service you need to power daily life.
We know that our customers rely on us to heat their homes and power their lives and businesses. Teams across the company have been working around the clock to ensure we are well-prepared to serve our millions of customers across New Jersey and Long Island.
Specifically, PSEG has taken several steps to protect our customers and our workers:
- Temporarily closing our customer service centers, while leveraging our enhanced technology platforms to stay connected with customers;
- Stopping residential shut-offs for non-payment and providing deferred payment and financial assistance options;
- Operating according to Centers for Disease Control’s social distancing guidelines;
- Where we must interact, proactive screening of employees and customers before they interact, and providing workers with personal protective equipment;
- Directing employees who can work from home to do so; and
- Temporarily suspending non-critical repair work where feasible.
As the situation evolves, we will continue to be guided by CDC, state and federal guidelines to ensure that we continue to serve you safely and reliably. For the latest information, please visit the PSEG Coronavirus Update website.
Donations to community food banks
The PSEG Foundation understands that the coronavirus presents a new and unique challenge to those who may already be struggling to meet the needs of their family. To that end, the Foundation is supporting the efforts of Community FoodBank of New Jersey and Island Harvest Food Bank on Long Island, while also seeking new opportunities to help our communities.
In times of crisis, it’s important that we also take time to look after ourselves. Many states and organizations, such as the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, have excellent resources online that include ways to cope with stress and anxiety. I encourage everyone to seek out the resources and support they need.
Know that PSEG is also here to support you and your community, as we have been for more than a century. By working together, I am confident we can meet this challenge. We hope you and your families are staying healthy and safe.