We are prepared
Providing safe and reliable energy to our customers is important to all MidAmerican Energy employees. The critical service we provide is of even greater importance during severe weather, natural disasters or global pandemics, like the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We have business continuity plans in place and regularly conduct crisis training exercises, so our teams are equipped to handle challenges and perform their work during difficult situations.
Extra safety precautions
With confirmed cases of COVID-19 all around our service territory, our employees will continue to take extra safety precautions to protect you and the public at large. When work requires us to be in close contact with a customer or enter a customer's home, we will take the following steps:
- We will ask customers if anyone at the location is under self-isolation for the COVID-19 virus or experiencing flu-like symptoms.
- If a customer is under self-isolation for the COVID-19 virus, we will evaluate if it's safe to postpone the work until after the customer's isolation period ends.
- Our front-line employees will be wearing additional personal protective equipment when working in teams and when entering customers' property.
- We will respond to all calls and issues, while following these safety precautions. Find our contact information here.
MidAmerican will continue to monitor the situation, communicate with our employees and customers, and coordinate with state and federal health organizations as necessary.
If you have been financially impacted by COVID-19, you may be eligible for a payment toward your bill through current limited-time COVID-19 relief programs:
- LIHEAP: Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota have LIHEAP, low-income energy assistance programs, available for families who need help paying their heating bills. Each state receives and administers funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services block grants, so programs vary by state. Find more information for your state here.
- Iowa Residential Customers: The Iowa Finance Authority has launched the Iowa Residential Utility Disruption Prevention Program to assist eligible households that are at risk of disconnection due to inability to pay because of a COVID-19-related loss of income. Assistance would be applied to your utility bill debt accrued between March 17, 2020, and October 31, 2020, up to $2,000. The application deadline has been extended to December 4, 2020. Visit the Iowa Finance Authority for eligibility requirements and to apply.
- Illinois Residential Customers: MidAmerican is partnering with community action agencies in Illinois to assist residential customers with past due balances resulting from COVID-19. Households with income up to 200% of the Federal Income Poverty guidelines may be eligible for a grant to cover the amount of their utility debt or $500, which is less. All past due customers should reach out to their local community action agency to determine eligibility and apply.
South Dakota Residential Customers: The South Dakota Housing Development Authority (SDHDA) has been awarded $10 million by the State of South Dakota from the Federal CARES Act to assist South Dakota residents that have been financially impacted by COVID-19 and are in need of rent, mortgage and/or utility bill assistance. Assistance would be applied to past due bills for the time period of March 1, 2020, through December 30, 2020, up to $1,500 per month for eligible applicants. The application deadline is December 18, 2020, or sooner if funding is expended. Visit the South Dakota Housing Development Authority for eligibility requirements and to apply.
- MidAmerican is here to support customers experiencing financial hardship or isolation as a result of the pandemic threat. We encourage any customer facing hardship to call us at 888-427-5632. We will make every effort to work with you on a payment plan.
- Be aware of utility scams. Scammers threaten disconnecting service and demand immediate payment over the phone. MidAmerican Energy initially contacts customers by mail regarding payment matters and never demands instant payment by phone or only through one option such as a prepaid money card or money order. MidAmerican does not demand payments, or even accept payments, using retail store gift cards.
- On April 8, 2020, MidAmerican pledged $500,000 to local COVID-19 relief efforts, which included donations to food banks and other non-profit organizations providing essential services across our service area.
Steps you can take to mitigate the spread of COVID-19
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into the sleeve of your shirt or elbow – not your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Minimize contact with people who are coughing or look ill.
- Consider your travel plans and check with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for outbreak updates.