By Hillary Knox
Special to The SUN
La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) will modify its operating procedures to proactively respond to the growing novel coronavirus pandemic. Under its Continuity of Operations Plan, LPEA will prioritize the continuation of reliable electric service to its more than 46,000 meters while also protecting the safety and health of its employees and members.
“Given LPEA’s essential mission to power the lives of our communities, it’s vital that we proactively address all potential threats that would prevent us from achieving that,” said LPEA CEO Jessica Matlock. “We’ve been closely monitoring the ongoing situation with the novel coronavirus. … We believe it’s LPEA’s civic duty to be proactive and act before we must.”
Under the new plan, LPEA operations will change as follows until further notice:
• Main lobbies in Durango and Pagosa Springs are closed to the public. Drive-through options are available at each office and phones remain open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 247-5786.
• In-home energy audits will not be conducted. Members can still call LPEA for remote assistance at 247-5786.
• LPEA meeting facilities are closed to all public events. Existing events will be canceled or postponed.
• Board meetings will be held remotely via video conference. The public will be able to participate virtually, and meetings will be recorded for later viewing. Access details will be made available at lpea.coop/board-directors-meeting-agendas.
• LPEA’s annual meeting, currently scheduled for May 16, at Pagosa Springs High School, may be postponed.
• Staff are canceling nonessential travel and conducting meetings virtually.
• LPEA is encouraging members to pay their bill from home. Members can receive their bill via email, make energy payments using a credit card or pay from a checking account through the LPEA SmartHub App. The pay-by-phone automated system is also available 24 hours per day. For more information on payment options, members should call 247-5786.
LPEA will resume normal operations as soon as is safely possible. For more information and updates from LPEA, members should visit lpea.coop/coronavirus.
LPEA implements Continuity of Operations Plan
By Hillary Knox