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COVID-19 Information for Contractors

COVID-19 Latest Information, Q&As, and Resources
 

Information from Eversource, CNG, SCG and UI regarding Energy Efficiency Program Operations during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

COVID-19 - Energy Efficiency Update

The Companies continue to work in coordination with public health experts and officials and members of the contractor community to discuss how contractors can resume services as quickly and safely as possible. We must continue to make safety the highest priority.

Please see the FAQ and other relevant links below.

COVID-19 CARES Act Webinars

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) was passed and signed, and includes a variety of federal programs with substantial resources to help you continue making payroll, paying rent, and providing health benefits.

DEEP, Eversource Energy, United Illuminating, DECD, and Connecticut Green Bank, are co-hosting several webinars regarding the CARES Act. Please join us for any of the following three webinars:

Additional Resources:

Learn how these programs can help you and your business manage through challenging times.

COVID-19 Contractor Resources

State of Connecticut Resources:

The State of Connecticut COVID-19 resources, general:

Governor Lamont is telling Connecticut residents to "Stay Safe, Stay Home." All non-essential workers statewide are being directed to work from home, effective Monday, March 23 at 8:00 p.m. For the latest information, resources, executive orders, and guidance related to coronavirus (COVID-19), visit CT.gov/coronavirus.

State of Connecticut COVID-19 resources and Guidance for businesses and nonprofits:

Businesses and nonprofits seeking guidance related to Governor Lamont's "Stay Safe, Stay Home" executive order, directing all non-essential workers statewide to work from home, are urged to read the guidance provided by DECD at Portal.CT.gov/DECD/Content/Coronavirus-for-Businesses/Coronavirus-for-Businesses
The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development has created a COVID-19 Business Emergency Response Unit dedicated to assisting businesses navigate resources and develop new resources. A dedicated phone line is available at 860-500-2333 to provide assistance to Connecticut's small businesses for this purpose.

State of Connecticut Shared Work Program:

The Department of Labor offers a Shared Work program as a smart alternative to a layoff. The program allows employers to reduce the hours of full- time employees by as much as 60 percent, while their workers collect partial unemployment benefits to replace a portion of their lost wages. All employers with two or more full-time or permanent part-time employees can participate in the program, which is not designed for seasonal separations. To qualify, the business’ reduction of work cannot be less than 10 percent or more than 60 percent.

State of Connecticut Waiver of Unemployment Work Search Requirements:

View the announcement regarding the work search requirements being waived by Connecticut Labor Commissioner at CTDOL.state.ct.us/COVIDFAQWorkSearchRequirements.pdf
Please direct your employees to FileCTUI.com and click the blue button to file their new claim for unemployment benefits.

Order extending the registrations of certain licensed professionals:

The Department of Consumer Protection is handling recertification questions on a case-by-case basis. If the licensing renewal requirements for a particular profession or occupation can be met through continuing education online by the expiration date, there will be no extension. Since most licenses can be renewed online or by mail, this should not present an issue for most licensed professionals. Please contact the Department of Consumer Protection License Division  or the regulatory authority for your license if you have any questions. The Department of Public Health is also reviewing the requirements to extend certain certifications and licenses, including for EMTs and others – expect more news in the coming days.

Non-Essential Business Closings Order:

Governor Lamont has signed an executive order directing all non-essential businesses and not-for-profit entities in Connecticut to prohibit all in-person functions effective Monday, March 23, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.

The governor is encouraging all businesses to employ, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work-from-home procedures that they can safely implement. The order excludes any essential business or entity providing essential services or functions, such as healthcare, food service, law enforcement, and similar critical services.
Businesses and nonprofits seeking direction related to the order are urged to read the guidance provided by DECD.

Emergency Child Care Programs:

The Offi­ce of Early Childhood is in close talks with the Governor, the Department of Public Health (DPH), and the state’s Emergency Operation Center regarding Child Care for Essential Workers. Based on the Governor's executive order and policy to stay safe and stay at home, please note that Child care is available for essential workers. Details can be found at: Portal.ct.gov/-/media/DCF/Agency/COVID-Emails/Child-Care-for-Essential-Workers.pdf?la=en.

For healthcare and first responders who are not able to find trusted family or friends for child care please call the 2-1-1 dedicated number 860.756.0864 for support.

Federal Resources:

General Federal resources for small businesses: 

Health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people. Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy. Visit SBA.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources for guidence on loan resources.

Paycheck Protection Program: UPDATED 4/8  
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses with under 500 employees and certain other small business as defined by the SBA) to keep their workers on the payroll. 

SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for healthcare, mortgage, rent, utilities, and interest on debt.  

The application has been posted on the Treasury Department’s CARES Act resource page as of the afternoon of Tuesday, March 31. After you gather the information described on the application form you should contact your bank or an approved lending institution to start the application process.

The Small Business Administration has a network of at least 1,800 approved lenders that process small business loans and intends to add more of them. If your bank is not an SBA-approved lender or you don’t have an existing banking relationship, you can contact the SBA to find one.  

PPP Fact Sheet (For Borrowers) 

The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020.

Federal small businesses Disaster Loan Assistance Program: UPDATED 4/8

Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) of up to $2 million dollars are now available for small businesses and nonprofits in Massachusetts that have been negatively financially impacted by COVID-19.

An Economic Injury Disaster Loan can be used as working capital for expenses that cannot be met including payroll, sick leave, cost of materials, mortgage, rent, and utilities.

This loan can supply borrowers with a $10,000 advance within three days and is subject to a 3.75% interest rate for up to 30 years. 

You can apply for a small business Disaster Loan at Disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Employee Retention Tax Credit: New 4/8

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act created a new Employee Retention Tax Credit for employers who are closed, partially closed, or experiencing significant revenue losses as a result of COVID-19.  

Private employers, including non-profits, carrying on a trade or business in 2020 that have operations partially or fully suspended as a result of orders from a governmental authority due to COVID-19, or experience a decline in gross receipts by more than 50% in a quarter compared to the same quarter in 2019 are eligible. (Eligibility ends when gross receipts in a quarter exceed 80% compared to the same 2019 quarter).

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Act”):

Treasury, IRS and Labor announce plan to implement Coronavirus-related paid leave for workers and tax credits for small and midsize businesses to swiftly recover the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave.  Read Newswire, IR 2020-57, which clarifies what benefits are provided and how they will be fully subsidized through a refundable payroll tax credit under the Act (and a similar credit for self-employed individuals). For more information on how your business might qualify for this tax credit, please visit the Department of Labor's website.

Federal Legislative Relief Efforts: (Updated 4/24/20)

On April 23, 2020, Congress signed a bill that added more funding for the CARES Act — the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. This will allow more qualifying businesses to apply for fee-free loans of up to $10 million that could help cover payroll, employee salaries, mortgages, rent and some other debt obligations. The portion of the loan used by small businesses to cover their payrolls could be forgiven if businesses retain their employees through the end of June 30, 2020. Additionally, the CARES bill would defer the payment of employer-side payroll taxes until 2021 and 2022, with half of payroll taxes for 2020 due by Dec. 31, 2021, and the other half due by Dec. 31, 2022. If the first round of applications for the forgivable loans is any indication the available funds will go quickly.

Energize CT COVID-19 FAQs

Eversource and the United Illuminating (UI), Southern Connecticut Gas (SCG), and Connecticut Natural Gas (CNG), subsidiaries of Avangrid, Inc., (Companies) are committed to providing our customers with outstanding energy efficiency services.

Q. If a customer is having difficulty paying their EE loan who should they contact? (NEW 4/23/2020) 
A. Eversource and United Illuminating customers who are unable to make their energy efficiency loan payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic, should reach out to their respective loan servicer to discuss what options may be available.   Connecticut customers that participate in the utility’s on-bill repayment programs (HES Payment Plan, Energize CT Heating Loan and Small Business Energy Advantage Loan Program) should reach out directly to their utility as follows:  Eversource customers should call 1-800-286-2000 and UI customers should call 1-877-WISE USE (1-877-947-3873).  

Q: Can 2019 rebate applications still be submitted? (NEW 4/1/2020)
A: The rebate submission deadline for services or equipment purchased and installed prior to December 31, 2019 has been extended to September 30, 2020. Complete the application following the instructions on the rebate form and submit as directed. No additional steps are required. Please contact your Eversource or AVANGRID program administrator or 877-WISE-USE with questions.

Q: Will Eversource and AVANGRID employees working remotely create any delays in processing payments? (Updated 4/1/2020)
A: We are working remotely, and all have access to our systems and do not foresee any delays.  Please reach out to your Eversource and AVANGRID contacts if you have questions.

Q: Who can we contact if we have pressing questions on a specific project?
A: Please reach out to your Eversource and AVANGRID contacts if you have questions about specific projects and cannot find an answer within this FAQs document.

Q: Is there an official notice to send to customers? (NEW 3/25/2020)
A: The Companies have COVID-19 pages on their company websites.  Please visit those pages and share with your customers if they need more specific details:

Q: Where can I go for additional resources?
A: See our Trade Ally section for a list of state and federal resources we have compiled for your convenience.

New Health and Safety Guidelines

Environmental Health & Engineering, Inc. (EH&E), a respected third party health & safety consulting firm has developed baseline enhanced health and safety guidelines for on-premise work involving customer contact. These most recent health and safety guidelines for on-premise work involving customer contact replace all previous versions of guidelines. Eversource and United Illuminating (UI), Southern Connecticut Gas (SCG), and Connecticut Natural Gas (CNG), subsidiaries of AVANGRID, Inc. are considering these guidelines as minimum requirements to resume on-premise work. All contracted vendors and trade allies will be required to demonstrate knowledge of and compliance with these guidelines before being authorized to resume any on-premise work. These guidelines are in addition to any requirements that the State of Connecticut develops for on-premise work.

Below you can find resources related to these guidelines:

Modified guidelines for work involving customer contact (updated 6/29/2020 to include alternative requirements regarding Level 3 PPE, PPE for non-installation work and clothing requirements for work involving customer contact)

Recording of the June 11 webinar about these guidelines involving customer contact

Online training and certification for contractors

Log in Instructions

Once you are logged in*, navigate to Course Catalog.

Click Enhanced Energy-Efficiency Health & Safety Guidelines for Customer Contact: Residential, Multifamily, Commercial & Industrial Buildings and click “Enroll”

Go to “My Account” and under “Learning Activities”, launch Enhanced Energy-Efficiency Health & Safety Guidelines for Customer Contact: Residential, Multifamily, Commercial & Industrial Buildings

Once you have completed the training, you can return to “My Account” and under “My Certificates” you can find and print your certificate of completion. 

*(For New Users ONLY) If you have not used this site before, select Create an Account and enter the following credentials

Registration Code: NE-TRADES

Program Code: NE-H&S-20

Webinar on Enhanced C&I Incentives in Response to COVID-19

Eversource, United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas have modified our C&I energy efficiency program offerings and enhanced incentives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to help customers save more money and energy during this challenging time. Below you can access the recording of a webinar given on June 12 with more details about these program changes.

June 12 Webinar

June 12 Deck

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