The COVID-19 emergency has brought many changes to our communities, but few more significant than to business owners who are navigating both personal and professional impacts. Whether it’s reducing business hours, enduring temporary closures or scrambling to find new ways to operate, the pandemic has created a trying time for many.
Financial relief for businesses
We realize that businesses are facing unusual financial hardships as a result of the pandemic. We want to make you aware of several measures we’ve taken to help lessen the strain on those most impacted.
We’ve suspended disconnections for nonpayment and waived fees for late payments and returned checks. We are also offering flexible payment arrangements for all customers, including small and medium businesses who may be experiencing changes in cash flow.
We will continue to read meters and send bills and are encouraging customers to stay as current as possible with payments to avoid accumulating a large balance that may be harder to manage later.
Utility costs are an eligible forgivable expense within the CARES Act SBA loan program. We have provided links to this information and other trusted business resources on our COVID-19 website.
Essential utility work continues
As one of the many essential services responding to this national emergency, our work continues – even in those areas with stay-at-home ordinances. Our field technicians continue work to ensure that businesses, critical facilities, and residential communities have the power they need throughout this time.
As a precaution, they will be keeping the recommended distance of at least six feet anytime direct interaction for essential service is required on customer properties, consistent with CDC and other public health guidelines.
Scams continue to target businesses
Sadly, we all must stay alert to the possibility of criminal activity, especially during times of uncertainty. In our direct communications to business customers, we remind them that Duke Energy never asks for personal or detailed business information over the phone and never demands immediate payment using money orders or gift cards. We encourage them to hang up or decline service and call us directly if they are unsure if a call or visit is legitimate.
Business customers can take care of many routine service and account issues via our automated phone system, online or through our mobile app.
A dedicated Business Services Team is available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 1-800-774-1202.
We understand how essential small businesses are to the vitality of our communities. We will continue to look for ways to help them negotiate these difficult times. For the latest information as circumstances change, please visit dukeenergyupdates.com.