A COVID-19 Update from CEO Michael McMillan
Southern Rivers Energy is actively monitoring the advance of the COVID-19 virus and how it is affecting our members, employees and communities. Energy is considered an essential service for our nation. As our communities limit access to local businesses to manage the spread of the disease, you can be assured that Southern Rivers Energy will remain operational and available to serve you. Our priority is to continue providing reliable, safe, affordable electricity during the COVID-19 crisis, while protecting our members and our employees.
TO OUR MEMBERS: We are open.
In an effort to comply with the recommendations for containing the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), we are implementing safety protocols and limiting public access to our office. As of March 17, 2020, SRE closed its lobby to minimize exposure risk to the Coronavirus. For the safety of employees and members, Southern Rivers Energy is open for drive-thru traffic only. Employees who are able to work from home are working remotely. Those who are coming in the office are following all CDC guidelines.
In addition, out of consideration for members who are facing financial uncertainty in the wake of school and business closings, we are suspending power disconnections and related late fees until Friday, May 1st for both Pay-Your-Way (pre-pay) and traditional residential and commercial accounts. Members who opt to receive SRE notifications will still receive text and email alerts.
Members will still need to pay for the electricity they use during this grace period. As we transition back to normal and this grace period ends, we will work with members who are behind on their electric bills to offer payment arrangements but we encourage members to pay as usual if possible to avoid accumulating a large balance.
If your family is at home more these days—using the computer, watching TV, cooking, turning on lights—your next electric bill will likely be higher than normal. Keep track of your energy use with the Southern Rivers Energy mobile app or view your account at southernriversenergy.com. Download the mobile app today and take control of your next electric bill: https://www.southernriversenergy.com/content/sre-mobile-app
While we operate through social distancing, for the safety of our members and employees, we encourage you to use our electronic means of payment:
- SRE mobile app (search "SRE mobile" in the app store). SRE’s mobile app is designed to give members fast and secure account access. Members can view their bill, account details and daily energy use, receive notifications, schedule alerts and make payments.
- My Account via www.southernriversenergy.com
- 24/7 phone payments, 770-358-1383
Kiosks are also available
- SRE drive-thru
- Freshway Market in Zebulon
- Freshway Market in Byron
- Giant Mart in Barnesville
Do you need to establish new service or need account assistance? SRE customer service representatives are available at 770-358-1383 to assist with account needs. It is our goal to remain open and available to assist our members.
Be aware of scams. Unfortunately during the pandemic crisis, utility providers have become a way for scammers to take advantage of members during these times. If you have questions or doubts about a call you have received, contact us immediately at 770-358-1383.
Please keep our employees safe. We are taking strides to prevent the spread of the virus in our office. If you are experiencing a fever or any flu-like symptoms, please do not use our drive-thru or have physical contact with our line crew. Please allow us to serve you through one of our digital channels or call to speak to one of our representatives at 770-358-1383. Serving you is a priority, but we can only do that with a healthy workforce.
TO OUR EMPLOYEES: We support you.
We have made the important decision to maintain operations during this unprecedented crisis because of the vital role our company plays in sustaining local infrastructure and ensuring critical power supply. In keeping our operations running, we know we also need to modify how we work to keep our employees safe. With guidance from the CDC, and health officials from around the nation, we have taken the following steps to maintain a healthy workforce so that we can continue to provide the excellent service you expect from us.
Protecting our employees:
- We’ve increased cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
- We’ve implemented social distancing procedures, including modifying workstations and common space layouts, providing a temporary off-site CSR call center, allowing for telecommuting for those able and eliminating all unnecessary social interaction.
- We are requiring employees to stay at home if they are feeling ill, and encouraging increased hand washing and hygiene practices across all our sites.
- We’re limiting travel and discontinued all work-related meetings and travel.
- We are restricting visitors to our office.
- For employees who regularly interact with members, we’re encouraging alternative ways of doing business and remote communication, where possible.
- We are monitoring local, state and national credited sources of information and updating our response plans as new information is available.
In the event an employee suspects he or she has been exposed to COVID-19, or testing confirms it, we will implement an aggressive response plan that our team has developed. This plan includes:
- Mandatory quarantines
- Communication with all who may have been exposed
- Disinfecting work stations and common areas
- Temporarily shutting down the facility, if warranted
There are no changes in office hours at this time. We will maintain limited office access until further notice, in an effort to practice safe social distancing as recommended by the CDC and Georgia Department of Health.
We are taking preventive measures to keep our SRE team healthy and ready to respond. For any account questions or concerns, contact our customer service representatives at 770-358-1383. If you have an outage, please contact our Outage Hotline: 1-866-244-4890.
TO OUR COMMUNITY: We are in this together.
For the safety of our parents, grandparents, neighbors, healthcare and emergency personnel, employees and SRE members, we urge you to follow guidelines set by President Trump, Governor Kemp and the CDC.
The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America: A 15-day Pause
- Listen to and follow the directions of your state and local authorities.
- If you feel sick, stay home. Do not go to work. Contact your medical provider.
- If someone in your household has tested positive for the coronavirus, keep the entire household at home. Do not go to work. Do not go to school. Contact your medical provider.
- If you are an older person, stay home and away from other people.
- If you are a person with a serious underlying health condition that can put you at increased risk (for example, a condition that impairs your lung or heart function or weakens your immune system), stay home and away from other people.
Do your part to slow the spread of the coronavirus:
- Work or engage in schooling from home whenever possible.
- If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule. You and your employers should follow CDC guidance to protect your health at work.
- Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
- Avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts—Use drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options.
- Avoid discretionary travel shopping trips, and social visits
- Do not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
- Practice good hygiene:
- Wash your hands with soap and water often
- Avoid touching your face
- Avoiding close contact with someone who is sick
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects people frequently touch
For more information about Coronavirus Disease 2019 and preventing the spread of germs, visit the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
Since our founding in 1938, Southern Rivers Energy has successfully navigated other periods of uncertainty. We are committed to the communities we serve.
I encourage you to visit southernriversenergy.com and follow us on social media to keep up-to-date with our efforts. Rest assured that all of us at Southern Rivers Energy are committed to providing safe and reliable energy during these uncertain times.
We’re going to get to the other side of this and we can get there faster if everyone follows the guidelines from the authorities and CDC. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.
Stay healthy and be safe.
Michael McMillan, President/CEO