As we all deal with the new realities brought on by the coronavirus, I want to assure you that your local electric cooperative is here to help you. We have always had an Emergency Plan that has served us well in a variety of circumstances, from ice storms to tornadoes to flash floods. Early in this crisis, we reviewed our plan with a special emphasis on ensuring we can continue to provide the reliable electric service you have come to expect from your electric cooperative.
So far, that is exactly what has happened. We know that after a sufficient supply of food and water, electricity is the No. 1 thing you need to maintain some sense of normalcy as we hunker down in our homes. With that in mind, keeping the power flowing is Job 1 for everyone involved in maintaining the electric cooperative system.
That starts with our generation cooperative, Central Iowa Power Cooperrative, which has taken extreme measures to ensure its workforce is healthy and its power plants are functioning as needed. It extends to the entities that wheel that electricity across Iowa, and it includes Southwest Iowa REC where business may be a bit unusual, but our service remains the same.
We thought you might want to know some of the steps we have taken in order to keep your power flowing. Today, April 14th, marks the fourth full week we’ve closed our lobbies to prevent the spread of germs. Instead, we are encouraging members to use our drop box, online and phone payment options and the “good old” U.S. Postal Service to pay bills. Many of our members also pay monthly via ACH through their bank account. Please let us know if you are interested in this safe and efficient form of payment.
Our three service locations in Corning, Mount Ayr and Stanton have social distanced from each other and internally at each as best we can to limit possible spread of the virus. If you call, the phones will be answered as always.
Our management team is meeting regularly to fine-tune this plan. We are in constant contact with the other electric cooperatives in Iowa and with the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives, which in turn is working closely with our national association, the state legislature, Governor Reynolds, and state and local emergency management agencies as needed.
So far, it is working well and everyone has adapted to the new norm. That’s because we’ve done this before. A crisis situation brings out the best in our employees. We don’t welcome the current crisis but we intend to meet it head-on as we always have and continue to provide you with the quality electrical service you are accustomed to.
Our focus here is on doing our part to keep your life as normal as possible through this situation and beyond. The cooperative way of doing business has brought us this far, and the cooperative way will help us through this crisis.
All the best to everyone. Stay healthy, stay home if you can and we will get through this together the cooperative way!