CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Piedmont Natural Gas today announced plans for financial assistance for North Carolina customers affected by flooding, winds or downed trees. These temporary measures will apply to customers in areas that experienced significant property damage resulting from Hurricane Florence.
"When coping with a home that's under water and a family that is displaced, the last thing our customers should have to worry about is how to pay their natural gas bill," said Jared Lawrence, vice president of Customer Operations – Piedmont Natural Gas and Metering Services. "Our goal in offering these temporary billing exceptions is to give our customers and our communities time to take care of their families and recover from any major damage before ever having to worry about contacting Piedmont Natural Gas."
Piedmont's billing exceptions are outlined below and will apply only to North Carolina customers in areas that experienced significant property damage or were evacuated as the result of Hurricane Florence. Customers who need assistance or who have questions about how to take advantage of this information should call 1.800.752.7504 to speak with a customer service representative.
Additionally, Piedmont will offer extended customer service hours during the weekend of September 22 to 23. Piedmont's customer contact centers will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern to accommodate increased customers call volumes resulting from Hurricane Florence.
Financial Assistance for Flood Victims in North Carolina
No late payment charges
Piedmont will not apply late payment charges to storm-impacted customers for up to two months.
No disconnects for nonpayment
Piedmont will not disconnect any storm-impacted customers for nonpayment.
Equal payment plan (EPP)
Piedmont will allow customers with an adequate payment history to take advantage of the EPP program to manage outstanding bills.
EPP allows customers to spread their payments over a full 12 months, paying an estimated, equal amount each month.
Piedmont crews have begun assessing the damage from Hurricane Florence and are working to restore service to customers. Crews will not be able to enter any flooded areas to inspect meters or appliances until flood waters recede. Customers should follow the safety procedures outlined at piedmontng.com/severe-weather if their natural gas meters or appliances become submerged by water or are otherwise damaged.
About Piedmont Natural Gas
Piedmont Natural Gas is an energy services company whose principal business is the distribution of natural gas to more than 1 million residential, commercial and industrial customers, as well as power plants, in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Piedmont is routinely recognized by J.D. Power for excellent customer satisfaction, and was named by Cogent Reports in 2017 as one of the most trusted utility brands in the U.S.
Piedmont Natural Gas is a subsidiary of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK).
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S., with approximately 29,000 employees and a generating capacity of 49,500 megawatts. The company is transforming its customers' experience, modernizing its energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding its natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves.
The company's Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit serves approximately 7.6 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. Its Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. Its Commercial Renewables unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the U.S.
A Fortune 125 company, Duke Energy was named to Fortune's 2018 "World's Most Admired Companies" list and Forbes' 2018 "America's Best Employers" list.
More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center includes news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy's illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
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