ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – Two local utilities are donating more money to local COVID-19 relief efforts.
Rochester Gas and Electric, and New York State Electric and Gas, which are both part of AVANGRID, are donating an additional $300,000 to local relief efforts. $125,000 of that will go to the Rochester Community Crisis Fund and five local food programs.
In total, the two utilities have contributed $575,000 to local emergency response organizations in New York state.
Carl Taylor is President and CEO of RG&E and NYSEG. He said the companies are aware it’s a tough time for a lot of people affected by the pandemic.
“We looked at that and we also realized there’s a lot smaller, local organizations that are either being supported by other, larger food organizations or doing it independently in doing this work. So what we tried to do today is recognize some of those other organizations that are really on the front lines every single day doing this type of work around food and food care,” Taylor said.
He also is aware that with the economic impacts of the coronavirus, some customers may have difficult paying their bills.
“We’ll make sure we direct customers to where they need to be and try to work with them as best we can to ensure that we’re keeping their service on in this critical need time, which is very important. But also that we don’t them to get themselves in a position where they’ve got this large debt or backlog that they’re dealing and facing with,” Taylor said.
Utilities around New York state have adopted policies that have suspended service-shutoffs for non-payment.