Nova Scotia Power says it won’t disconnect customers for nonpayment for at least the next 90 days during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an email sent to customers on Tuesday, Nova Scotia Power President and CEO Wayne O’Connor says the utility is providing options and payment relief for customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We understand our customers are concerned about the future, their jobs and their ability to pay their bills. The last thing we want them to worry about is going without power during this tough time,” said O’Connor in the release.
“That’s why we are suspending disconnections for nonpayment for at least 90 days, relaxing payment timelines and waiving penalties and fees.”
The utility also announced changes to its Home Energy Assistance Top-up (HEAT) Fund, a partnership between the Government of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Power and The Salvation Army, which provides emergency assistance to individuals and families in Nova Scotia who live on a low income to help pay their energy bill.
Nova Scotia Power says it is extending the HEAT application deadline indefinitely and waiving the application restriction on applying only every 24 months, meaning customers who received funding in 2019 can also apply for 2020.
Nova Scotia Power and Emera also announced they will be donating $500,000 to the HEAT Fund to support customers.
Emera also says it will be contributing $500,000 to the United Way’s Atlantic Compassion Fund.
“Many people in our community are in crisis right now. The Atlantic Compassion Fund is a way to come together to support those who need it most,” said United Way of Halifax President and CEO Sara Napier. “Emera’s genuine and generous leadership to help will literally be put to use in days.”
Nova Scotia Power also says it has suspended non-essential in-home and in-business services, but critical service connects and disconnects will continue.
It is asking the public to practice social distancing from crews that are working to provide essential services.