Alabama Power reopens business offices, appliance centers after ‘thoughtful and detailed’ planning
Alabama Power Company customers and customer service representatives alike are excited to see that the company this week reopened its local business offices and appliance centers, utilizing heightened health and safety protocols to do so responsibly.
Customer service representative Chasaney Hayes said that she is thrilled to have the doors of the Alabama Power business office and appliance center in Montgomery back open, for example.
“I’m excited for the opening so I can be of service to those customers that prefer the face-to-face interactions,” Hayes explained. “We’re getting back to a sense of normalcy.”
She is one of several customer service representatives who help Alabama Power customers in and around the River Region. Hayes outlined that she and her colleagues have missed seeing the friendly faces of customers since the company adjusted walk-in operations at its business offices in March due to the coronavirus.
Supporting customers affected by COVID-19 with tailored, customized solutions to meet their needs remains a priority as Alabama Power continues to compassionately navigate the pandemic. As part of that solution, the company this week announced it has resumed walk-in operations at its business offices and appliance centers in a safe and prudent manner.
“We’re making it a safe place for our customers and staff,” Hayes advised. “There’s going to be signage to encourage social distancing and to sanitize their hands with our sanitizing stations. I’m excited to see how things go.”
Alabama Power noted that their offices comply with best practices when it comes to safety. Walk-in customers are asked to comply with signs in the offices to ensure CDC guidelines are followed to protect the wellbeing of fellow customers and employees. Limited customer capacity at offices has also be implemented.
“Customers who visit their local business office will see new safety updates and precautions installed to protect the well-being of them and our employees,” added Jonathan Porter, Alabama Power’s senior vice president of Customer Operations. “We have been thoughtful and detailed in our plans to provide the safest and best experience for our customers.”
This comes near the end of Alabama Power’s six-week transition back to standard business operations.
Since a state of emergency was first declared in March, Alabama Power voluntarily has not disconnected or charged late fees to any customer affected by COVID-19. The company will continue to not disconnect customers until September 28, when standard business operations resume.
However, this does not mean customers adversely impacted by the pandemic who cannot pay their full bills will be disconnected at that time.
Alabama Power is offering tailored solutions to meet each customer’s unique needs and circumstances as everyone continues to navigate this unprecedented time together.
As part of its continued customer support, Alabama Power detailed that it is offering a brand-new, easy-to-use payment plan service to help customers facing economic or medical hardships due to coronavirus.
Payment plans will reportedly allow customers to spread out energy bill balances over several months. To enroll, customers can visit this website or use the automated telephone system at 1-800-245-2244.
The company stressed that it will continue “to work individually with customers on payment assistance resources” and use “multiple channels to notify customers behind on payments options to maintain service.”
Additionally, Alabama Power offers several ongoing programs designed to help low-income, elderly or disabled customers with their energy bills.
These programs include the following:
• Project SHARE: A program in partnership with the Salvation Army, Project SHARE helps pay energy bills of low-income Alabamians who are age 60 or older and/or disabled. Customers who want to request energy assistance can apply at their local Salvation Army office or by calling 205-328-2420. Alabama Power customers who want to help others can donate by checking the Project SHARE box on their Alabama Power bill.
• The Alabama Business Charitable Trust Fund: The ABC Trust works with local community action agencies to help cover the cost of heating and cooling for low-income families and those struggling with temporary financial problems. Customers who are interested can contact the community action agency in their county. For more information, visit PowerofGood.com. Click the “What We Do” tab, “Community Support” and then “ABC Trust.”
• Energy bill discounts: Discounts are available for customers receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid for Low Income Families (MLIF). The discount includes $14.50 toward the customer charge. Eligible customers can sign up at any Alabama Power business office or by phone at 1-800-245-2244.
Customers should further note that Alabama Power recently announced they will provide expedited relief to all customers. The typical customer is expected to receive a $25 credit on their September bill statement in October due to lower than expected fuel expenses. Read more on that here.
That bill credit is on top of a 3% rate reduction that Alabama Power customers are already experiencing this year. In total, the company’s customers are receiving approximately $300 million in benefits for 2020.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn