COVID-19 / Coronavirus
We are committed to ensuring you have reliable power during this time of uncertainty. As many organizations throughout the state, we are following the guidelines outlined by the State of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Health.
Below, we have outlined many of the steps that we are taking to ensure the safety of our employees and you, our members.
COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
This situation is unique from other business continuity planning, but People's Energy Cooperative has a plan in place. We have taken proactive measures to keep staff and members safe while continuing to monitor the situation relying on information from the Minnesota Department of Health. Rest assured, we are committed to delivering safe and reliable energy as we weather this crisis together.
We are still here to serve you, our members, and we will respond. Report your outage one of three ways:
- Call our office by dialing (800) 214-2694 to either report automatically or talk to a member services representative.
- Text your outage through our outage texting service.
- Report through SmartHub when you log on to SmartHub through their online portal or on their app.
For more information, visit:
During this time, we will not disconnect for non-payment, however, we do ask that you contact us to make arrangements to pay your bill. The MN Department of Commerce has recently made changes to the Energy Assistance program by extending the deadline to apply and increasing the maximum. For more information on these changes, look under 'Energy Assistance' on this page.
For additional resources regarding energy assistance, click below.
Yes! We offer many resources to businesses in our service territory. For more information, click below:
Also, at the bottom of this page, we have listed a number of resources available to businesses during the COVID-19 Crisis.
Through our partnership with HomeServe, members may be eligible to receive emergency repairs to completed at no cost to them.
To learn more, visit homeservepeople.com and find full eligibility requirements and the application form.
Our lobby at our headquarters in Oronoco is closed to the public until further notice. If you need to drop off a payment, you can do so at the drop box located by the flagpole. If you need to speak to a Member Services Representative, you can call (800) 214-2694.
We are currently not allowing any outside entities to utilize our Conference Center. This means we are also not taking any new reservations.
Necessary Meetings at the Office
There still may be a need for necessary business meetings with outside guests. If this is the case, arrangements will be made to accommodate the meeting with a limited number of people and allow for social distancing. The amount of time spent in the meeting will also be limited. Sanitizer and tissues will be available in meeting rooms, and the room surfaces must be wiped down when the meeting is over.
Protecting Employee and Member Health
As an electric utility, we are considered an essential service and therefore continue to serve our members as best we can while following health-related guidelines. Some cooperative staff have jobs requiring them to interact with member and the public such as those in engineering, line work, and metering. Therefore, we have the following protocols in place to protect the health of our employees as well as members and the general public.
- Any member or vendor contact that can wait until a later date will be postponed.
- Access to cooperative buildings is restricted to employees and necessary contractors.
- Employees who are able to perform their work from home are doing so to limit exposure.
- Employees wear gloves if they need to handle items from the public, such as money or paper.
- PEC requires social distancing measures on all job sites for all parties involved.
- Line crews are performing general work practices, excluding types of work considered high risk relative to COVID-19.
- High risk - any time social distancing cannot be recognized while working around non-cooperative employees.
- One trade on the job site at a time.
- Lineworkers will remain assigned to the same crew as much as possible eliminating large group exposure.
- Lineworkers are traveling in separate cooperative vehicles to limit exposure.
- Cloth FR-rated face coverings are being provided to field personnel.
- Per state mandate, anyone inside a cooperative building or any employee or contractor working on behalf of the Cooperative must wear a face covering when in an indoor business or indoor public setting. Employees or contractors working outdoors on behalf of the Cooperative must wear a face covering when it is not possible to maintain social distancing of six feet.
- Jobs that require an electrician on site will be restricted to priority jobs as listed below (social distancing must be observed):
- Outage restoral
- Emergency repair or emergency upgrade
- Temporary or permanent hook up (case by case basis)
- Service installs or upgrades related to hospitals, rest homes, schools, county, city, or state.
For the latest news and updates on COVID-19/Coronavirus, visit one of these trusted resources:
At-Home Educational Resources
Support Local Business
The COVID-19 crisis has put all of us in uncharted territory. We are here to support our members, including our small businesses. Below we have listed local restaurants that we understand are open for business. Please click on appropriate links to understand how their operations may have changed during this time.
We encourage you to continue patronizing them in whatever way you can. Please email email@example.com to let us know of any other businesses that should be on this list.
Economic Relief Resources
Redevelopment Resources article “What can you do? Local ED Professional response to COVID-19”
Viroqua, WI Chamber Main Street Facebook Page: This is just one example of MANY great organizations that are stepping up efforts to support businesses.
Restore Your Economy.org: COVID-19 Resources for Economic Development Planning & Recovery
National Conference on State Legislatures: State Action on COVID-19. Learn about pending or enacted legislation by state.
Center for Disease Control & Prevention: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers