Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) is not the US’ largest municipal utility, but it made one of the biggest contributions toward the fight against economic hardship in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
OUC announced it was allocating $12.1 million (€11.1 million) in assistance to help customers in its service territory impacted financially by the coronavirus sweeping across the world.
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Among the solutions approved by the OUC board include $7.5 million to lower electric fuel rates in May bills by 11.4 percent for residential customers and up to nearly 20 percent for commercial customers. This move was helped by lower than budgeted natural gas prices.
OUC is making a $2.6 million contribution to Project CARE which, in partnership with the city of Orlando, is the municipal utility’s assistance program for qualified residential customers. The other assistance allocations approved include $1.5 million and $500,000 for small business utility payment aid and new OUC Power Pass customers, respectively.
“We are excited to help our customers with this fantastic program,” said Greg Lee, OUC board member during a virtual meeting. “I applaud OUC’s efforts to help our customers during this unprecedented time of need.”
In addition, the March decision to suspend electric and water disconnections for non-payment and to waive late payment fees is continued until further notice, OUC reported.
Florida has reported more than 22,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 614 deaths, according to news reports.
This story was first published on our sister site, Renewable Energy World.