2020 COVID Release - Link Energy

2020 COVID Release

Covid-19 Updates & Announcements

We hope that you and your families are well.

The Government of Alberta's utility bill deferral program ends June 18.

Customers who have accumulated balances for periods prior to June 18th must be in contact with our friendly Customer Service Team before their next bill in order to put in place a payment plan which can extend as far as June 18 2021 to make it affordable for customers to catch up.

Customers who agree to and honour a payment plan will not be charged interest or penalties and will not receive collections calls or notices.

We know that a lot of our customers have been affected by COVID-19 and the closure of businesses. We want to work with you to ensure you can remain a Link Energy customer for years to come and to also protect your credit score and good payment history.

Please call our friendly Customer Service Team today at 1-866-738-1992.

Link Energy support for our customers and employees in response to COVID-19 pandemic.

Dear customer,

Link Energy has always prided itself on our commitment to providing wow level service to our customers and that is more important now than ever.

We have thus designed and launched a Link Energy COVID-19 Program as of March 17th, 2020 in order to address the needs and concerns of our employees and customers.

We will adjust and adapt the COVID-19 Program based on the advice of government and health authorities as well as the evolution of this pandemic and the needs of our employees and customers.

We are working diligently to support our customers and employees at this difficult time and some of the details of our program that are most relevant to customers are below.

Warning Regarding Scam Collection Calls:

If someone calls you claiming to be from your energy company and threatening to shut off services if you do not immediately pay by credit card - this is almost certainly a SCAM.

If you are a Link Energy customer, please hang up and call our customer service department directly at 1-866-738-1992 to verify the status of your account and to let us know about the call. Together we can hopefully help the RCMP catch up with these people.

This scam is not unique to Link Energy customers but has been targeting homeowners in Alberta (and likely beyond) for some time now.

It seems that sadly these scammers may be trying to seize on the crisis in order to increase their efforts to trick people into giving their credit card information over the phone.

Three of our customers in northern Alberta have alerted us of recent attempts and thankfully no one has been duped to our knowledge thus far.

Link Energy Services:

Customers can rely, as always, on the availability of natural gas and electricity without interruption.

As to billing, our program allows for significant flexibility.

Notably we will suspend the accumulation of late payment fees should a customer be financially impacted by COVID-19 and need to put a payment plan into place or extend a particular payment date.

Our Customer Service Representatives that are responsible for collections activity are all well equipped with the tools and flexibility to work with our valued customers to find a solution they are comfortable with and they are sensitive to the context that is affecting so many.

Anyone struggling with Link Energy payments due to the impact of COVID-19 is asked to call 1-866-738-1992 to discuss options.

Our hours of operation continue to be Monday to Friday from 7am-8pm MST and Saturday from 10am-6pm MST.

Link Energy Community Support:

In addition to providing great value and support for our customers, Link Energy has been committed since its foundation to making a donation for each and every one of our customers each year (currently approx. $2 per residential customer, per commodity, per year).

This continues as planned through 2020 as it will be more important than ever in these challenging times to support the community organizations that support all of us and our neighbours.

We have been proud to provide LED lighting for the Calgary Food Bank, Edmonton Food Bank, Wood Buffalo Food Bank, Central Alberta Women's Emergency Shelter (CAWES) and several other important non-profits in recent years.

In May of 2020 we are excited to be executing a $40,000 LED lighting retrofit at Hull Services in order to do our small part to support the incredible work that they do for children and families in Alberta.

By investing in lighting, we can create long term savings for the non-profit partners that are typically 10X the dollars invested over the life of the bulbs and also reduce their carbon footprint and improve their work and living spaces in the process.

We are projected to make social impact investments of at least $40,000 more ($80,000 total) in 2020 alone using the same LED lighting strategy to expand the impact.

If you, your business or anyone you know would like to volunteer or donate to further expand our Link Energy customer community impact please reach out! But please know that just by choosing Link Energy as a customer you have helped to create this significant and growing impact!

We would also love to collaborate with other energy companies to pool our efforts. So if a competitor is reading this please do not hesitate to reach out and we can tackle even more of the large projects we have in our sights or work with non-profits you already support in order to upgrade their lighting and produce a long lasting impact!

Staying Linked:

Please refer to our website and Facebook for the most up to date information. Alternatively, our customer service team is always available to help answer any questions and can be reached by email at customerservice@linkenergy.com or by calling 1-866-738-1992.

Customer & Employee Safety:

The health and safety of our customers and our employees is our top priority. We have therefore suspended activities in all retail locations until further notice and sent all of our employees home to work for an indefinite period of time.

Luckily our awesome team was up and ready to continue to serve our customers overnight.

We will continue to follow best practices recommended by local and international public-health authorities across our operations.

Thank you for being a valued Link Energy customer.

We wish you and your family all the best during these times.

Wayne Burke
Link Energy CEO

New communication in light of government announcement of 90 day payment deferral

We are wishing all of our customers health and strength in these tough times.

Rest assured that our essential services will continue to be delivered to our valued customers as normal.

Also, our friendly Canadian Customer Service team is working from home and eager to help as many of our customers as they can in this challenging time.

Our hours of operation continue to be Monday to Friday from 7am-8pm MST and Saturday from 10am-6pm MST.

Please do not hesitate to contact us, especially if you are struggling with paying for your services. You can reach us at 1-866-738-1992.

90 Day Deferral Announcement

On Wednesday March 18th the government of Alberta announced that a 90 day utility deferral program would be available to homeowners, farms and small businesses.

This program is available to Albertans who are experiencing financial hardship as a direct result of COVID-19; for example, those who have lost their employment or had to leave work to take care of an ill family member.

A customer must contact their utility and self-select in order to get the benefit of this program should they require it.

The 90-day deferral program is designed to provide temporary financial relief, and consumers that self-select will still have to pay for their deferred utilities as of June 19th.

This program came into effect on March 18, 2020 and will run through June 18, 2020.

You can view the announcement from Premier Jason Kenney in the Alberta legislature here, you can also read a brief description on the Service Alberta website and linked is a related information sheet prepared by Service Alberta.

Government agencies will be posting any further updates to the Service AlbertaAUC and UCA websites as they become available and we will also report relevant updates here on our site.

It is very clear that this is a 'deferral' plan for 90 days and that the government will not be paying people's energy bills for them.

All government communications and the Service Alberta site make it clear that on day 91, June 19th, the bills will become due and that energy providers will be encouraged to work out a payment arrangement with customers.

While this can be very helpful for some in dire need of support, ninety days of not paying the bill at all could get quite large for people, even if spread out over a period of many months.

Our encouragement to customers is to try to use as little energy as possible and to try to make regular payments to the best of your ability so as not to create a big balance that will be harder to work off later.

Of course some people will find it difficult to pay anything at all and may be struggling to afford food having suddenly lost their jobs in the past week or so with no notice. Others may be home sick or caring for a loved one that is ill.

We want to make sure that those people are aware of the Provincial and Federal economic relief programs available to them to help pay for all essential services and supplies through this tough time.

Employment Insurance for example has eliminated all delays to start receiving relief. Should you not qualify for Employment Insurance both the Canadian and Alberta governments have created programs to get emergency funds to anyone affected by COVID-19.

The links below should be helpful to those who suddenly find themselves going with low to no income.

Further, the Service Alberta website provides an excellent summary of the many programs as well as up to date reliable COVID-19 related information.

Income Support: https://www.alberta.ca/income-support-how-to-apply.aspx

Applying for AISH: https://www.alberta.ca/aish-how-to-apply.aspx

COVID-19 Support: https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-supports-for-albertans.aspx

Employment Insurance: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei.html

Additional Financial Support Resources: https://ucahelps.alberta.ca/financial-assistance.aspx

We are committed to working with you to make it through this challenge all together.

Please do not hesitate to call our friendly Canadian staff who are working from home and eager to help everyone that they can.

We hope that you and your family remain healthy, safe and strong.

Wayne Burke
Link Energy CEO