GLPS COVID-19 Response - For the latest information please visit glps.net/covid19 - Last updated Monday, June 15, 2020

ANNOUNCING THE GREENE COUNTY COVID-19 RELIEF FUND

April 17, 2020

TVA is poised to donate $15,000 to help our community get through the COVID-19 outbreak, with only two conditions attached to that offer:  we must match that amount with local funds, and if we are successful in making that match, the entire $30,000 must be routed to the community through a nonprofit charitable organization. 

This timing of TVA’s offer could not have been any better; our local United Way program just received an anonymous private donation designated for this exact purpose, and the United Way obviously meets the definition of a nonprofit charitable entity.

That good fortune provides a jump start in efforts to fully match TVA’s offer, and the United Way director indicates a willingness to be part of this community support effort.  Therefore, GL&PS is partnering with the United Way to make this happen for our community.

To donate to the United Way COVID-19 Relief Fund, go to paypal.me/uwgc. Contact one of our Customer Serice Representatives at 423-636-6200 for details.

GREENEVILLE LIGHT & POWER

COVID-19 ASSISTANCE FOR CUSTOMERS
April 17, 2020


Greeneville Light & Power System (GL&PS) recognizes that the negative economic impact caused by the COVID-19 virus invasion may cause some Customers difficulty in paying their monthly electric bills.  While GL&PS cannot supply free services or forgive any amounts due, we have developed programs to assist various Customer groups until the economic situation improves.  As each group of Customers has unique circumstances, the process to assist varies accordingly. 

RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMERS (RS)

Our Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) will work with any and all RS Customers who call for our assistance.  Because individual RS circumstances vary greatly, RS inquiries will be handled on a case by case basis.  Extended payment arrangements are available, and our CSRs will also refer RS Customers to local agencies that provide direct bill assistance.  GL&PS will strive to meet the needs of every distressed RS Customer with a goal of continuing to provide electric service to that account.  

SMALL COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL (GSA) 

GL&PS will allow small commercial and industrial (GSA) Customers financially stressed by the COVID-19 situation to defer payments until September 30, 2020.  If assistance is needed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, a representative of that distressed GSA Customer should contact GL&PS and outline their situation.  Upon confirmation of those circumstances, and a written commitment by the GSA Customer to pay all amounts due by Noon, September 30, 2020, GL&PS will defer collection of that Customer’s monthly bills until that date.  
This is being offered to support small businesses and the people who work there.  The opportunity for GSA Customers to participate in this deferred payment program will expire thirty days after the Governor of Tennessee in some manner states that businesses in our State should return to normal operations

LARGE COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL ACCOUNTS (MSB, MSC, MSD)

If assistance is needed due to financial distress brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak, a representative of a distressed MSB, MSC, or MSD Customer should contact GL&PS and outline their situation.   Due to the complex billing issues related to these accounts, each of these requests will be addressed on a case by case basis with a goal of agreeing upon a payment deadline and a deferred payment arrangement so these businesses can continue operating and their employees can continue working.  
The opportunity for MSB, MSC, and MSD Customers to defer payments will expire thirty days after the Governor of Tennessee in some manner states that businesses in our State should return to normal operations.

 

As was the case last week, our Customers continue to show amazing patience with the frustrating new processes we must use to safely serve your needs.  Last week almost 1,000 of you conducted some type of business via our drive through, and several thousand did business by telephone or electronic means without anyone seeming to be upset or even impatient.  Thank you.  

Our office staff is continually monitoring and trying to improve these awkward processes so we can more efficiently meet your needs.  I’m confident that the community appreciates their efforts, and I know that everyone at GL&PS is grateful to every Customer for doing their part to endure the trials of this situation. 
 
Before yesterday’s wind and rain storms, we had wondered if the restrictions on travel and on meeting in groups might affect our response to power outages.  I’m very happy to report that our field personnel worked as effectively and quickly as they always do, once again proving that they will always be here for this community, no matter what the situation may be.  
 
Another week of this crisis has passed, we are that much closer to returning to normal.  And with the grace of God, that day will come soon.

Message to GL&PS Customers.  Message to GL&PS Customers.  With your excellent cooperation, GL&PS made it through the first week of serving all your needs via our drive through window.  For the week, 1,500 transactions were run that way, just under 500 of those happened on Friday alone.  Were there a couple of rough spots?  Yes there were, and we have made some process adjustments to offset them.  


Were there some pleasant surprises?  Yes there were many.  You, our Customers, were very supportive and understanding of why we must temporarily limit the way we conduct business.  There were no incidents of anyone expressing anger at any of our employees as they learned to serve Customer needs in these new ways.  


Thank you to all fifteen hundred who came by our office last week for your understanding and for being patient with the wait in the drive through line.   And thank you to those who found a remote or electronic way to get things done without using the drive through.


Nobody knows how long these restrictions will continue, but everyone at GL&PS is doing his or her best to limit any aggravation, delay, or confusion for you as you seek services from us.  
Our community is strong; we will get through this.

Even as most members of this great community are banding together to face the CV-19 invasion, a small group is choosing to be disruptive rather than supportive by posting venom without facts.  GL&PS is not the only target of this group; please verify the facts of the matter before you make our own judgment about any target they choose to malign.

Over the past couple of days there have been small social media uproars over situations involving GL&PS.  In one, a poster made the inaccurate claim that GL&PS rates were the highest in the land and that any data showing otherwise is corrupted.   No source was cited.  The level of electric rates is important to everyone in Greene County.  Check for yourself; any review of electric rates across Tennessee, the Southeast, or the entire US will show that the rates you pay are reasonable. 

The other stir concerns GL&PS collection practices.  Especially during times like these, it’s important for all to understand why we do what we do.  Although it’s a wonderful thought, as a public, nonprofit entity, GL&PS cannot supply free electricity, nor can we forgive anyone’s debt.  Most Customers receive a monthly bill for power already used.  Several days after the due date, if the delinquent Customer has not contacted us to make payment arrangement, disconnection is the only option available to stop the loss of revenue.  Limiting that loss is important because GL&PS has already paid TVA for the power used by that Customer.  If they never pay, that financial burden is shared by those Customers who responsibly pay what they owe.

Some Customers decline standard service and opt for the flexibility offered by our Prepay program.  Prepay Customers need not post a deposit; that leaves money in their pockets.  After the account is set up, all they need do to maintain electric service is to keep a positive account balance.  They do that by paying any amount they wish to pay when they want to pay it, as long as they keep the account balance above zero.  This is similar to how everyone manages the amount of gasoline in our cars.  We buy the amount of fuel we want when we want to, but if we don’t watch the fuel gauge and let the tank go dry, the car stops. 

At sign up, each participant can choose an account notification level.  When their account balance drops to that level, they automatically receive a reminder that a payment may soon be needed.  Prepay Customers can also check account balances at any time, so there should be no surprises about their account balances.  There is one more alert to help them avoid disconnection; at 3 PM each day, Prepay accounts with negative balances are notified that payment must be made before 9 AM the next day, or service will be disconnected.  If no payment is made, that occurs.   A payment via any method automatically restores service within a few minutes.

Whether they choose a standard account or a Prepay account, every Customer is required to pay for the power they consume.  That’s not always easy, in fact it can be extremely hard.  Our team of Customer Service Representatives have a great deal of experience helping Customers get through all sorts of difficult times, but we can’t know who is struggling unless they contact us.  As noted, as a public entity we cannot forgive anyone’s debts, but for years we have been offering extended payment arrangements to Customers on a case by case basis.   

During the stressful economic conditions we are entering, we are prepared to offer even more flexible payment options for those who are adversely affected by CV-19 invasion.  Remember, we can’t do anything to help unless you call us and help us understand your situation.  When that happens, we will continue doing our best to assist you.

I want to thank GL&PS’s Customers for their patience and understanding as they conduct business with us while the CV-19 invasion continues.

We have taken steps to separate our employees from each other and from the public to slow the spread of that disease.  

Nobody can know how effective such measures really are, but they are the right thing to do under these circumstances.  

I do know that these steps have made it less convenient for you to do business at GL&PS, and I regret that happening.  But so far, I’m pleased to be able to say that we have gotten very, very few complaints.

It has been a very pleasant surprise to note how quickly you have adapted to and accepted the new processes.  Even though we are running all our office functions through the drive through window, our employees still get the same smiles, the thumb’s ups, and the cheerful attaboys.  It means a great deal to them.

So thank you to every Customer who has tolerated the slow and awkward processes we are using to combat this virus without complaint.  

We promise to continue serving as safely and as efficiently as possibly until this scourge is over.  And when that happy day arrives, you have our commitment to serve more proudly and effectively than ever.

 

Bill Carroll 

 

As of 8:00 A.M. Tuesday, March 24, GL&PS will no longer allow public access to any of its facilities.  This step is necessary to reduce everyone’s potential exposure to the C-19 virus.  

 
Most Customers can avoid visiting our offices by using one of our multiple payment options.  Those can be found on our website or by calling 636-6200.  
 
Customers having other needs are asked to contact us by telephone at 636-6200 or by using the drive through window.  Note that our responses will be slower and less convenient due to these health related precautions, but we will continue to serve.
 
The economic impact of the C-19 virus may cause some Customers to experience difficulty paying their electric bills.  Though it is not possible to forgive anyone’s debts, we will work on a case by case basis with those who need extended payment arrangements.  Call us at 636-6200 to start that process.  We cannot assist you if we do not know of your needs.  
 
Finally, although many things are changing all around us, we realize that our primary obligation is to keep your lights on.  That commitment has not changed.  In the event of a power outage, emergency crews are ready to respond, just as they always have been.
 

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Greeneville Light & Power
110 N. College Street
Greeneville, TN 37743
Office: 423-636-6200
Emergency: 423-636-6202