London

London Hydro donates thousands of masks for front-line health care workers

London Hydro has donated 3,000 N95 masks for London’s frontline health care workers, along with $250,000 for a fund that helps customers who are having difficulty paying their electricity bills.

The utility is also donating $250K to a fund that helps struggling customers pay their bills

London Hydro has donated 3,000 N95 masks for London’s frontline health care workers. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

London Hydro has donated 3,000 N95 masks for the city's front-line health care workers, along with a donation to a fund that helps customers who are behind on their bill.

A spokesperson for the utility, Nancy Hutton, said London's Emergency Operations Control Group was looking for supplies that were "kind of sparse" for front-line health care workers.

"And so we looked at our inventory and felt that we would be able to donate the 3-thousands [masks] immediately, and they were picked up the same day," she said.

London Hydro has also announced a $250,000 donation to the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) to help customers who are having difficulty paying their electricity bills.

The LEAP funds are distributed locally by the Salvation Army Centre of Hope. It's a provincial government program and customers have to meet certain criteria, but Hutton said those criteria are being relaxed because of the pandemic.

"We feel there are going to be people that have never needed the assistance that at this time will, and we want to make sure that if they need that help, it's available for them," she said.

Earlier this month, the Ontario government extended its moratorium on power disconnections until July, 2020, and London Hydro is offering flexible payment arrangements to customers that can't pay their bills by the due date.

The city-owned utility is encouraging its customers to access their accounts online, which allows them to monitor their usage. It also allows customers to adjust their payments without having to speak to a company representative.

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