Electricity is such an integral part of our daily lives especially as we stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic. It can be easy to take it and its hidden dangers for granted. As a power provider, safety first and always is Eversource’s number one priority, both for customers and employees.
The following tips will help you and your family use electricity safely.
ELECTRICAL SAFETY BASICS
Your body can be a conductor of electricity. Take extra care to avoid touching bare wires, faulty appliances, or electrical outlets.
If you are unsure whether a wire or electrical appliance is energized, always assume it is.
In the event that a loved one is injured in an electrical accident, immediately unplug or shut off the power source. Never touch someone who is in contact with an electrical current until you know for certain that the power source has been shut off or unplugged.
Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher on every floor of your home. Never attempt to put out an electrical fire with water.
WATER AND ELECTRICITY DON’T MIX
Keep water and wet hands away from electricity and all electrical appliances when in use.
Install outlets with a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) in rooms where water and moisture are present, such as in a kitchen or bathroom.
USE ELECTRICAL CORDS WISELY
Regularly check wires and extension cords for signs of wear, and repair or replace those that are frayed or cracked.
Prolonged use of extension cords can cause overheating and fire.
Cords should never be nailed or stapled to a wall or placed under carpeting.
ELECTRICAL SAFETY THROUGHOUT THE HOME
Cover unused wall outlets with plastic safety caps to protect small children and pets.
Never overload outlets by using multiple adapters or power strips, which can result in a fire.
Unplug appliances while cleaning or repairing them.
During a lightning storm, turn off your television set or other appliances.
HELP FOR CUSTOMERS
If you’re experiencing financial hardship in this unprecedented situation, Eversource is here to help.
Suspending disconnection of service for non-payment;
Eliminating late payment charges;
Offering a special, flexible payment plan — with no down payment — for any past-due amount. Call 844-273-7760 to receive help.
Financial assistance programs:
Even if you have never qualified before, if you have been laid off or had your hours reduced because of the pandemic, you may be eligible for financial assistance from these programs:
The New Hampshire Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): If you heat with electric or gas, this program can help pay a portion of your bill. The deadline to apply has been extended to Friday, May 29, 2020.
Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund: Residential customers that do not qualify for LIHEAP can apply for financial assistance from Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund.
Energy Assistance Program (EAP): Residential customers can apply year-round for a discounted utility rate through the Energy Assistance Program (EAP).
Energy-Efficiency Loan Deferral
If you’re are unable to pay an existing energy-efficiency loan due to COVID-19, you can apply for a loan deferral for up to three months.
Loans eligible for this are Smart Start Loan,and Business Energy Efficiency Loan.
If you’re looking for ways to help family or friends in need during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can make a one-time Gift Payment toward their Eversource bill.
Eversource has enabled nearly 90% of our Customer Service Representatives to take customer calls from home.
In addition, there are online and mobile tools to help you conduct business with us as usual, including customer service agents to speak with by phone. Eversource’s mobile app allows you to easily check your account, pay your bill and more at your convenience.
OPERATIONS AND FIELD WORK
You will continue to see our crews performing essential work to maintain and improve the safety and reliability of our systems.
However, we have made some changes:
All crews are maintaining a safe social distance and following guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus.
Some of our field employees will be taking work vehicles home at the end of the day. If you see an Eversource vehicle in a private driveway, this is part of our plan to ensure a fast response in case of emergencies and to limit group interactions at our work centers.
Eversource has suspended non-essential work and appointments that require a technician to enter a home or come in close, physical contact with other individuals. This includes Energy Efficiency home visits and tree assessments for non-emergency concerns.
For essential work on or near your property, Eversource will email or call you to obtain consent. Workers will not come to your door.
Essential work includes:
Repairing or installing lines, poles, switches and other equipment in order to restore power
Repairing, replacing or upgrading natural gas lines to ensure safety
Tree trimming along electric lines
See more stories on our Live Efficient page at https://www.seacoastonline.com/topics/live-efficient.