- To "make life a bit easier" for customers, Hydro-Québec has announced a few new measures for the next few weeks.
- The company has extended its moratorium on cutting electricity and is moving planned outages to guarantee that people can work from home.
- See what else is planned.
Hydro has announced that in order to "make life a little easier" for Quebecers during the coronavirus outbreak, it won't be cutting off power to any residential or commercial customers. On March 31, the company was due to suspend its moratorium on power cutoffs during the winter season. Now, with the very real chance of Hydro-Québec customers being quarantined for the foreseeable future, the company won't cut off any power until further notice.
To ensure a steady flow of service, Hydro-Québec will also not proceed with any planned interruptions.
Hydro-Québec spokesperson Cendrix Bouchard tells MTL Blog that "in order to prevent long delays, there won't be any planned service interruptions on the network."
"What this means is there won't be any maintenance work unless absolutely necessary. We understand that a lot of people are working from home and electricity is essential for that," he adds.
Although power line workers won't be able to work from home, Hydro-Québec is taking the utmost measures to guarantee the safety of its employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bouchard says that all employees who recently travelled abroad are asked to stay home and others who have the capability to telework have been instructed to do so.
"We aren't taking any chances in this situation," he says.
In an official statement, Hydro-Québec writes that "we’re conscious of the fact that some of our clients may face financial challenges in the coming weeks."
In addition to not cutting off the power, Hydro says customers who are facing financial difficulties can enter into a payment agreement.
"Hydro-Québec has been preparing for the situation for the past few weeks and employees are on the ground to ensure service to customers"
Though fewer customer service agents will be available, clients will still have 24/7 customer service available by telephone and online.
"We're following the guidelines according to the government," says Bouchard.
With 50 cases confirmed in the province of Quebec — double Saturday's number — the government has mandated a number of measures against public gatherings and the closure of bars and municipal buildings.
Information on hygiene practices during the pandemic is available on the government of Canada's website here.
Stay tuned for more updates on COVID-19 in Montreal.