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Status of NRECA Events

NRECA is closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and continues to prioritize the health and safety of our members, staff and event participants. Local, state and national orders, recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization, travel industry guidance plus the number of participants and where they are coming from all inform our decisions regarding NRECA events. For these reasons, NRECA has canceled in-person events through August 31, as well as PowerUp and the in-person Regional Meetings scheduled for September and October. Please be aware that NRECA plans to continue to hold smaller programs scheduled in the fall. Madison-based training programs and the Gettysburg Leadership Experience programs will be held, as well as scheduled on-site training programs at statewide and co-op locations, barring any significant escalation in COVID-19 risk factors.


Those already registered for the canceled events will be contacted individually. In addition, we will use cooperative.com, NRECA’s online professional communities and email to communicate these changes. We are exploring options for rescheduling or offering virtual options for those events where such alternatives may make sense.

NRECA Communications Resources


Co-op COVID-19 Response Tracker: In response to member requests for a database of co-op activities across the network related to COVID-19, we are providing an editable Excel file via Google Docs that will allow co-ops to enter their own information and track others' activities.
COVID-19 Preparedness Considerations for Co-ops: Learn more about the steps that co-ops may consider as part of their business continuity planning related to the coronavirus.
Positive COVID-19 Test Talking Points: This talking points template is designed to support a co-op's initial communications should an employee test positive for COVID-19.
Talking Points on Suspending Disconnects: Review talking points for electric co-ops suspending member disconnects during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Talking Points on Resuming Disconnects: Review talking points for electric co-ops resuming member disconnects.
Talking Points on the Paycheck Protection Plan: These talking points for electric co-ops outline the economic impact of COVID-19 on co-ops and why the Paycheck Protection Program is an important tool for some co-ops.
COVID-19 Communications Templates: These templates can support co-op efforts to communicate to employees and consumer-members.
FAQs—The Impact of Coronavirus on Electric Co-ops: As the coronavirus situation evolves, co-ops should be prepared to answer questions from consumer-members, policymakers and media outlets. Here are examples of questions that co-ops should expect to answer. To promote message consistency and support your planning efforts, sample answers are provided on subsequent pages.
Enhanced Safety Protocols Poster: This poster from Midwest Energy & Communications serves as a great example of safety visuals for the workplace.
MEC Safe Work Playbook: This playbook from Midwest Energy & Communications is an excellent example of co-op preparedness and response to COVID-19.
CEC Payroll Protection Program Talking Points: These talking points from Cherryland Electric Cooperative are great examples of an NRECA resource that's been edited to meet the needs of a specific co-op.
NRECA Press Releases: Visit electric.coop for NRECA’s press releases related to the coronavirus pandemic.

NRECA Reports and Advisories

Financial Implications of COVID-19 on Electric Cooperatives and Pathways to Relief: This advisory reviews the financial impact of COVID-19 on electric cooperatives and offers some pathways for economic recovery.
COVID-19 Pandemic Implications for Generation and Transmission Cooperatives: Nearly 80 percent of NRECA's distribution cooperatives are members of a generation and transmission cooperative (G&T), and revenue challenges from reduced demand and non-payment of bills due to the COVID-19 pandemic will flow up to their G&T. This advisory discusses the impacts G&Ts may face and how communications with distribution members are critical during this time.
The Impacts of COVID-19 On Sector Specific Electricity Sales: The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant upheaval to daily life, with millions of Americans working at home. The complete impact on electricity sales and electric utilities will not be fully realized until much later in the year, however sector-specific trends are starting to emerge which can help inform electric cooperatives on the breadth and depth of the impact. Read more in this advisory.
Jobs Most At Risk from COVID-19 Economic Impact: NRECA estimates that a total of nearly 2.5 million jobs in the most at-risk sectors from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic are in co-op areas.
Fact Sheet: Financial Impact of COVID-19 on Electric Cooperatives: The impact of lost load and unpaid bills are projected to total $10 billion through 2022.
COVID-19 Revelation: Broadband is an Essential Service: The COVID-19 pandemic has made obvious how a lack of broadband connectivity limits options and strains resources in a crisis.
Tools to Help Consumer-Members Manage Energy Expenses During COVID-19: Programs like prepaid metering, proactive bill notifications and energy assistance programs can help consumer-members manage their electricity bills during these extraordinary times.
NRECA Business and Technology Update Newsletter: This special edition focuses on the impacts of COVID-19 on electric cooperatives and NRECA resources to help.

Legislative/Policy Updates

Fact Sheet: Electric Co-ops and the Paycheck Protection Program
NRECA obtained clarification that electric cooperatives are eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program. This Fact Sheet provides information on this program, which may be an important tool for some co-ops.
NRECA Letter: June 16 House Hearing on “Reviving our Economy: COVID-19’s Impact on the Energy Sector”: Letter to the House Subcommittee on Energy of the Committee on Energy and Commerce for its hearing on COVID-19's impact on the energy sector.
NRECA Statement: June 16 Senate Hearing “To Examine the Impacts of COVID-19 on the Energy Industry”: Statement for the Record before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
Fact Sheet: Electric Co-ops and Federal, State and Local CARES Act Funding: Provides information on select CARES Act federal funding programs that may be of interest to electric cooperatives, particularly those providing broadband to their communities. Electric co-ops may be able to access these funding programs on their own or through, and in partnership with, state or county governments.
Broadband Coalition letter to Congress: Urging Congress to support access to affordable broadband internet in forthcoming COVID-19 Stimulus package(s).
Fact Sheet on COVID-19 Relief Legislation – “HEROES Act” On May 12, 2020, House Democrats unveiled their Phase 4 COVID-19 relief package, the “Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act.” It proposes $3 trillion in new federal spending aimed to ease the burdens associated with COVID-19. The HEROES Act is expected to pass the House on a party line vote and is not expected to be considered by the Senate in its current form.
Matheson Letter to House Leadership on HEROES Act: NRECA CEO Jim Matheson sent this letter to House leaders thanking them for their support of rural America during the cornavirus pandemic and encouraging them to consider proposals that would assist electric cooperatives in meeting the needs of their communities.
Matheson Letter to Congress on Phase 4 Stimulus Package: NRECA CEO Jim Matheson sent this letter to congressional leaders requesting the inclusion of provisions in the Phase 4 stimulus package that provide remedies to the COVID-19-related challenges facing electric cooperatives.
Letter From Utility Groups to National Organizations Representing State and Local Government Leaders: Read the letter from industry groups representing electric and natural gas utilities and others on prioritizing the health and safety of mission-essential workers tasked with keeping electricity and natural gas flowing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
NRECA's Letter to SBA/Treasury: Read NRECA CEO Jim Matheson's letter to Jovita Carranza, head of the Small Business Administration, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin requesting that SBA and Treasury ensure America’s electric cooperatives are deemed as qualifying business concerns under the newly created Paycheck Protection Program and other CARES Act programs and are able to fully participate and benefit as small businesses serving their local communities.
Fact Sheet on COVID-19 Small Business Administration Programs: The CARES Act, passed in March 2020, creates new SBA loan and grant programs and expands eligibility to additional small business entities. Learn more about the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan ‘Emergency Grant’ Program.
Energy Secretary's Letter to Governors: Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette sent a letter March 27 to state governors asking them to provide assistance to ensure that critical electric infrastructure remains fully operational during the COVID-19 crisis, including the authority to travel to worksites and special measures to protect and monitor the health of power plant operators and control center crews.
Fact Sheet on Emergency Expanded FMLA and Sick Leave Provisions: Read the details on legislation signed by the president in March that expands emergency family and medical leave and paid sick leave. The bill provides up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave if there is a need related to a public health emergency. Employees would also be eligible for two weeks of paid sick leave under the same circumstances. This applies to employers with fewer than 500 employees.
Fact Sheet on COVID-19 Stimulus Legislation: On March 27, 2020, Congress passed the CARES Act, which provided approximately $2 trillion in federal spending aimed to ease the burdens associated with COVID-19. View a detailed analysis of the key programs that could help co-ops and their consumer-members during this crisis.
NRECA's Letter to Congress: Read the letter NRECA sent to Congress in support of relief for our members during the COVID-19 pandemic.
USDA Opportunities for Immediate Relief: See the actions USDA has taken to help rural businesses and communities affected by COVID-19, including Rural Utilities Service loan programs.
NRECA's Letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue: Read the letter from NRECA CEO Jim Matheson asking the USDA secretary to use his administrative authority to offer relief to co-ops.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Enforcement Notice on Expiring CDLs: Read the notice of enforcement policy regarding expiring driver's licenses during the COVID-19 national emergency.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Notice on Drug and Alcohol Testing: Read the notice on disruptions to drug and alcohol testing due to the COVID-19 national emergency.
Letter From Secretary of Energy and FERC Chairman to US Governors: May 4 Letter from the Secretary of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman to all United States governors on COVID-19 matters and the importance of electric utility industry workers during this challenging time.

Industry Resources

Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council Coronavirus Resource Guide: This guide highlights data points, stakeholders and options to consider in making decisions about your co-op's operations while protecting the health and safety of employees and your members. (Updated 6/26)
Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council Key Messages: View key messaging on business continuity planning, industry-government and cross-sector coordination, potential impacts to mutual assistance networks and more.
North American Electric Reliability Corp. COVID-19 Advisory: Read NERC’s latest advisory on COVID-19 and learn more about their recommendations to industry.

NRECA News Articles

July

Penn. Co-op Helps Build Drive-In Movie Theater to Attract Crowds Safely (Electric.coop)
New Legislation in Congress to Reprice RUS Loans Could Save Co-ops Billions (Electric.coop)
Co-ops Discover Creative Online Connections for Youth, Policy Leaders (Electric.coop)


June

Co-ops Join TVA, CoBank to Help Feed Hungry Families During Pandemic (Electric.coop)
Potato Farmers Served by Electric Co-ops Face COVID-19 Challenges (Electric.coop)
First Person: ‘You Can’t Social Distance on a Bus,’ Says Youth Tour Leader (Electric.coop)
EIA: Pandemic Continues to Lower Energy Demand From Commercial Sector (Cooperative.com)
First Person: ‘You Feel Like You’re on an Island’ Says Kentucky Co-op Rep (Electric.coop)
EIA: Pandemic Continues to Lower Energy Demand From Commercial Sector (Electric.coop)
First Person: ‘Members Will Remember That Their Electric Co-ops Stepped Up’ (Electric.coop)
S.C. Co-op Members ‘Give 5’ for Struggling Families During Pandemic (Electric.coop)
First Person: Ohio Lineworker Adjusts to COVID-19 Changes (Electric.coop)
Co-op Voices, Part 2: The Expanding Financial Toll of the COVID-19 Pandemic (Electric.coop)


May

NRECA 2020 Safety Leadership Summit Goes Virtual Amid Pandemic (Cooperative.com)
Pandemic Has ‘Decimated Economic Confidence’ in Rural America, Index Finds (Cooperative.com)
Electric Cooperatives Expand Remote Operations to Serve Members During Pandemic (Cooperative.com)
Co-ops Find Creative Ways to Celebrate High School Grads Amid Pandemic (Electric.coop)
Podcast: Co-op Communications in Times of Crisis (Electric.coop)
Co-op Voices: The Expanding Financial Toll of the COVID-19 Pandemic(Electric.coop)
COVID-19 Concerns Fuel Uncertainty for Farmers, Ranchers in Co-op Country (Electric.coop)
Electric Cooperatives Expand Remote Operations to Serve Members During Pandemic (Cooperative.com)
EIA: COVID-19 Continues to Transform Energy Supply and Demand Patterns (Cooperative.com)
Electric Co-ops Resume Lobby Operations with COVID-19 Precautions in Place (Cooperative.com)
Scrap Wire From North Carolina Electric Co-op Used in COVID-19 Face Masks (Electric.coop)
Grid Operating Safely During Unprecedented Threats from COVID-19, NERC Says (Cooperative.com)
NRECA Event Cancellation Insurance Proves Crucial in Pandemic (Cooperative.com)
Co-op Crews Confront COVID-19, Flooding to Get Power to Arkansas Families (Electric.coop)
Co-ops Find Creative Ways to Get Crucial Safety Supplies During COVID-19 (Cooperative.com)

April

Wisconsin Co-op Holds Drive-In Meeting to Keep Members Safe During Pandemic (Electric.coop)
Electric Co-ops’ Pandemic Safety Procedures Will Become New Normal (Cooperative.com)
Photo Gallery: COVID-19 Co-op Response (Electric.coop)
Co-ops Use DIY Videos to Promote Energy Efficiency During Pandemic (Electric.coop)
Electric Co-ops Face $10 Billion Revenue Loss by 2022 Due to COVID-19 (Electric.coop)
Congress Approves $320 Billion More in COVID-19 Aid That Could Help Co-ops (Electric.coop)
‘A Blessing’: Co-ops Deliver Free Public WiFi Hotspots During COVID-19 (Electric.coop)
Podcast: Keeping Crews and Members Safe, Powered and Connected During the Pandemic (Electric.coop)
Now Online From Touchstone Energy: COVID-19 Radio, Social Media Ads for All Co-ops (Cooperative.com)
USDA Launches Guide to Rural Aid Available During COVID-19 Pandemic (Cooperative.com)
Commercial, Industrial Electricity Sales Will Fall Amid Pandemic, EIA Predicts (Cooperative.com)
Co-op-Served Plant Surges to Provide N-95 Masks to Aid COVID-19 Response (Electric.coop)
Co-ops, Restaurants Partner Up to Provide Meals During COVID-19 Pandemic (Electric.coop)
Co-ops Provide Financial Relief to Members During Pandemic(Electric.coop)
NRECA Seeks Federal Relief for Co-ops as Members Struggle to Pay Bills (Electric.coop)
SBA Relief Available to Co-ops, Small Businesses Amid COVID-19 Pandemic (Cooperative.com)
Amid Pandemic Shortages, Co-op Partners With Distillery to Produce Hand Cleanser (Electric.coop)
Co-ops Offer Educational Ideas for Parents Juggling Kids, Telework During Pandemic (Electric.coop)

March

Co-op Speeds Broadband Connection to Clinic for COVID-19 Testing (Electric.coop)
Lineworkers Electrify Guatemalan Villages as Coronavirus Closes Border (Electric.coop)
Co-op Broadband Providers Pledge to Sustain Low-Income Service (Electric.coop)
Co-op Aid Included in Coronavirus Relief Bill (Electric.coop)
Co-op Crews Face Challenges During Coronavirus Pandemic (Electric.coop)
Co-op Power Plants Secured Amid Coronavirus Pandemic (Electric.coop)
COVID-19 Threat Triggers Nationwide Co-op Response (Electric.coop)
Co-ops Turn to Online Communities to Help One Another (Cooperative.com)
Logistics and Supply Co-ops Beef Up Equipment Stock for COVID-19 Impacts (Cooperative.com)
Co-ops Respond to COVID-19: A Q&A With NRECA’s Jeffrey Connor (Cooperative.com)