SHELLEY, Idaho — In support of the stay-home directive ordered by the state of Idaho, Rocky Mountain Power will maintain reliable power to all customers during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The company will also continue to suspend disconnections for non-payment, as previously announced.
Under Gov. Brad Little’s order issued Wednesday, March 25, 2020, utility company employees, along with other essential critical infrastructure workers, are exempted from the stay-at-home directive while performing job duties. Employees have been informed of this and will carry their identification badges and any other documentation provided by the company at all times. In most cases, they will be in company branded vehicles and wearing company safety gear.
Crews will be at work ensuring that power interruptions are minimized during this time where uncertainty is high and most people are housebound. This is always the company’s top priority, but at this time crews will limit work to upgrades involving wildfire protection, projects critical to delivering power to customers, compliance obligations and outage response. Some of this work may require short-term power outages to complete work safely.
While these crews will be our most visible employees, they are not alone in serving you during this time of crisis. They are backed up by thousands of employees who are working in the six western states served by Rocky Mountain Power and its sister utility, Pacific Power, based in Portland, Oregon. We are running power plants, managing grid operations and talking to customers.
If you have questions about your electric service or your account, call us 24/7 at 888-221-7070.
Rocky Mountain Power plans for emergencies such as the pandemic we are now experiencing. The company has contingency plans for possible interruptions to supply chains for an extended period of time. Our business continuity and pandemic plans have been developed over decades and refined during regular drills. They are designed to protect our customers and employees and to ensure energy operations and infrastructure are supported properly. These measures will help us continue to provide safe and reliable electricity throughout even a prolonged emergency.
An invaluable tool for Rocky Mountain Power’s business continuity involves its ability under emergency conditions to maintain continuous service by transferring local control center and customer care responsibilities from its Salt Lake City-based teams to Pacific Power’s Oregon-based teams, or vice versa. Last week, Rocky Mountain Power fully exercised this capability that it routinely drills. Moments after a 5.7 magnitude earthquake occurred near Salt Lake City and facilities in Utah were evacuated, Rocky Mountain Power transferred temporary full control from its Salt Lake City-based control center and customer care center to its Portland-based control center and customer care center until facilities in Utah were restored.
As part of PacifiCorp, Rocky Mountain Power is part of a broad geographic footprint that serves nearly 2 million customers in six states, operates the largest grid in the West that crosses ten states and coordinates with neighboring utilities and grid operators to plan for, prepare, and respond to all hazards that could potentially impact the energy grid—including a pandemic—with our partners in government at the local, state and federal levels. The company is following the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and coordinating with state and local emergency management leaders.
We are dedicated to serving you in this crisis and know that working together we will get through this uncertain time.