Alaska’s electric utilities provide an essential service to the public. During the COVID-19 pandemic, utilities are undertaking special efforts to ensure electric power remains safe and reliable.

Here’s some important information to consider as the pandemic continues to affect everyone’s life:

  • Business continuity plans developed by electric utilities are designed to maintain the health and safety of the people working for them and to ensure that business critical operations continue without interruption. These measures help ensure that your electric co-op continues to provide reliable electricity during a business continuity event.
  • Planning for a health emergency, such as a pandemic, is unique from other business continuity planning. It requires businesses to prepare to operate with a significantly smaller workforce, a threatened supply chain, and limited support services for an extended period until an unknown date in the future.
  • Alaska’s electric utilities are taking steps now to be prepared in the event there is a significant impact from the coronavirus in the state’s communities. Electric utilities are focused on maintaining a healthy workforce and keeping key personnel—such as line workers and member service representatives— available so that they can continue to provide the excellent service you expect.

Resources for Residential and Commercial Consumers

Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) COVID-19 Utility-Related Information

http://rca.alaska.gov/RCAWeb/NewsItems/NewsItemDetails.aspx?id=4039b048-44be-4fcb-aaed-e884ae2dfcd3

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps keep families safe and healthy through initiatives that assist families with energy costs.
https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ocs/programs/liheap

Resources for Businesses

AK CARES Grant Program:
The state has partnered with Credit Union 1 to provide relief to small Alaskan businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, through the AK CARES Grant Program. Credit Union 1 is the program facilitator for AK CARES.
https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/ded/AKCARESGrant.aspx

Small Business Administration Support for Small Business during COVID-19:
https://alaskapower.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/SBA-Resource-Summary.pdf

SBA Participating Alaska Lenders:
https://alaskapower.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Alaska-SBA-Participating-Lenders.pdf


Tips for Managing Energy Use during COVID-19
As Alaskan families and businesses transition to remote-work, they may see a surge in home energy use – and in upcoming electric bills. Simple money-saving steps can help lower monthly electric bills without jeopardizing safety or comfort.

Recommended energy-saving tips include:

  • Program your thermostat to maximize energy savings. Setting your thermostat one degree lower when heating or one degree higher when cooling can reduce energy use by up to 5 percent.
  • Do full loads of laundry and wash with cold water. Using warm water instead of hot can cut a load’s energy use in half, and using cold water will save even more.
  • Air dry dishes. This step can cut your dishwasher’s energy use by up to 50 percent.
  • Substitute LEDs for conventional light bulbs. Lighting can amount to up to 12% of monthly energy use. LED bulbs can cut lighting costs by 75%.
  • Unplug appliances and electronics when not in use. Small appliances and electronics use energy even when not in use. When powered on, game consoles, televisions and similar electronics are responsible for up to 12 percent of energy use.

If you have questions about your energy bill, contact your local electric utility for the best information.

Here are some resources to consider while many of us work from home and practice social distancing:

All cooped up with the kids? Click the link below for some ideas on how to entertain them.
https://alaskapower.org/tips-for-entertaining-kids-during-social-distancing/

Eleven ways to avoid feeling cooped up.
https://alaskapower.org/eleven-ways-to-avoid-feeling-cooped-up/

Tips for Working Remotely
https://alaskapower.org/tips-for-working-remotely/


BEWARE OF COVID-19 SCAMS
Electric utility customers should be on the lookout for suspicious emails, phone calls, or persons impersonating business employees or charitable organizations. Unfortunately, scammers take advantage of opportunities such as this when households are otherwise preoccupied. If you get a call from someone claiming to represent your electric utility and they make threats or demand immediate payment, hang up and call your electric utility right away.