Responding to the Coronavirus

 Responding to the Coronavirus

Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak
Updated March 26, 2020.

As a community-owned utility, the health and safety of our customers and employees is a top priority to continue to deliver reliable service.

As a result, we have implemented several operational changes in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Customer Billing/Shutoffs

We will not be processing disconnections through April 30.

We understand some customers may be facing unusual financial hardship at this time, and we're dedicated to supporting them in the best way possible.

It is very important for customers who receive a disconnect notice prior to April 30 or are struggling to pay their bill to call us at 448-4800 to discuss how we can help.

We are now offering a Skip a Payment program in response to the current circumstances. Customers can make arrangements to skip a payment by calling 719-448-4800 or through online chat in My Account. The amount of that payment will be added to future bills.

Facility closures

Our facilities are closed to the public though at least April 20, including our downtown Customer Service Center. Customers may call 448-4800 for assistance or use online methods to make payments.

While our Conservation and Environmental Center on Mesa Road is closed, our customers may continue to access the outdoor water-wise demonstration garden at that location.

All classes, tours and events are also canceled.   

Project COPE & other customer assistance

Project COPE provides utilities payment assistance to families and individuals struggling financially due to a personal crisis or emergency, regardless of income. It is the only local organization that dedicates its entire funding to utilities payment assistance year-round.

Usually, eligible customers may receive Project COPE assistance once every 12 months. However, customers with past due bills may now receive additional assistance within a 6-month period if the need is due to the coronavirus (i.e., loss of income).

All customers seeking utilities assistance should contact Pikes Peak United Way’s 2-1-1 for the best referral to an available COPE agency.

LEAP is a federally-funded assistance program that is available from November 1 through April 30. Income guidelines apply, but customers who have not qualified in the past should look again as income guidelines changed this year.

Service reliability

We are taking proactive steps to help prevent employee illness so they can continue to operate our power plants and water treatment facilities central to our daily lives and necessary in helping slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Our non-essential employees are working remotely until at least April 20 to limit their risk of exposure and help slow down the spread of coronavirus in our community.

We will continue to respond to service emergencies - like water main breaks or electric outages - as usual.

Utilities Board meetings

Future Utilities Board meetings will be conducted electronically or telephonically. While customer comments will be permitted, we encourage the public to view the live-stream of the meeting online. 

The Board's vote to approve the Utilities Policy Advisory Committee’s recommendation for Phase II of the Electric and Natural Gas Integrated Resource Plans has been delayed until the April meeting.

Field worker safety

Protective gear is used when we have to enter the premise to do essential service work like respond to a gas leak, carbon monoxide alarm or another safety situation. We have a very limited supply of protective gear and continue to do the best we can with our resources to keep our employees and customers safe.

Project COPE donations

Please consider making a donation to Project COPE so those customers who aren’t able to pay their bills during the coronavirus crisis can get the relief they need. All donations are tax deductible and matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000.

Water quality

Drinking water continues to be safe for Colorado Springs. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and American Water Works Association (AWWA), coronavirus is not transmitted through drinking water. The disinfection systems at our treatment plants are equipped to stop viruses from contaminating drinking water and wastewater.

We’re continuing with our proactive water testing. We operate our water lab 365 days a year, collecting and analyzing more than 12,000 samples annually. Many operations have remote control capabilities that we are using. As an example, we’re using online water quality monitoring panels throughout our distribution system, adding another layer of protection for our employees and customers.

Wastewater

Alternatives to toilet paper, including “disposable wipes,” paper towels, facial tissue and other paper products should not be flushed in toilets. Most of these products were not designed to be flushed down the toilet, do not break down like toilet paper, and can cause issues, including costly and unsanitary wastewater back-ups into customer homes and businesses.

Don’t fall for scams

Scammers are taking advantage of the coronavirus outbreak to send fraudulent emails, texts and social media posts. Beware of scams asking for personal information or immediate payment, and never click on suspicious links or attachments. If you question communications related to your utility services, please contact us.