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As Tampa Bay braces for the spread of COVID-19, local utilities reassured customers that even if they experience financial hardship over the coming weeks, their power will stay on.
Tampa Electric Co., its sister company Peoples Gas and Duke Energy Florida will not shut off customers’ power if they fail to pay their bill during this portion of the pandemic. Tampa Electric said it will extend this policy “at least" through the end of the month, while Duke Energy did not give an end date.
“We’re keeping the energy flowing to our customers because we know how vital it is to their lives,” said Cherie Jacobs, spokeswoman for Tampa Electric.
Customers for both companies should continue to pay their bills as scheduled when possible, the utilities said.
“Customers should pay what they can to avoid building up a large balance that will be harder to pay off later,” Duke Energy said in a release.
The three utilities plan to limit physical interaction with customers by having some employees work from home and any non-essential visits rescheduled.
They will still respond to emergencies.
No employees from either Tampa Electric or Duke Energy Florida have been diagnosed with COVID-19 as of Monday afternoon.
Both Tampa Electric and Duke Energy warned that customers may receive scam calls or visits during this period. Neither Duke Energy nor Tampa Electric will call to demand payment, ask for payment using gift cards or money orders or show up to a customer’s door regarding an unpaid bill.
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EVENT CANCELLATIONS: Get the latest updates on events planned in the Tampa Bay area in the coming weeks.
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