By: Matthew O’Connell,
April 15, 2020
At almost any business when a customer arrives, the first thing you hear is “what can I do for you?” This is usually asked by the provider. The COVID-19 pandemic has Smart Energy companies all around the globe asking the same thing. How can we help consumers during this time of panic and financial hardship? The CEO of Entergy Corporation, Leo Denault, may have found a solution for at least the time being. He utters that, “the health and safety of our customers, employees and communities is Entergy’s top priority.”
Entergy is special in that almost half of its consumer base is from the ALICE household demographic. This demographic includes asset limited, income constrained, employed, and low-income elderly and disabled customers. To help this demographic, Leo Denault and Entergy have created The COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. This fund will help will food, rent, mortgages, among others. The fund will be sent to nonprofit organizations across their Louisiana service area.
In these tough times, shareholders of Entergy Corporation are also helping struggling customers with their needs. For example, Denault boasts about the $700,000 donation made to the relief fund by shareholders alone. The increasing financial effects of COVID-19 has put some customers in a position to where they cannot afford to use as much energy. Less energy usage is also going to mean that these Smart Energy companies such as Entergy will not be making as much money. If the company begins to fail, investors may become weary of their trust. In a way, reaching out to help customers may be a significant financial victory in the future for Entergy.
Also, it is important to make light of the ethical and moral victories shown by Smart Energy companies such as Entergy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Offering support in times of crisis is sometimes the pass less traveled. Putting customers first is one of the main principles of business. Denault finished by encouraging even more business partners to join cause in the upcoming months.
During times of crisis, it is the industry’s responsibility to put the consumer first, while also make profits. Entergy has taken a step forward in terms of corporate social responsibility. They are offering all the right assistance for their customers during COVID-19 and the relief fund is an example of that. At the same time, offering financial assistance may be just the right fix to keeping energy usage up while it sees its lowest usage point in up to five years. This fund may allow customers to continue normal usage rates in the Louisiana area and decreases losses by Entergy. This is a win for the Smart Energy industry both in terms of corporate social responsibility and from a financial aspect.
Original Story: “US utilities take action to mitigate impacts of COVID-19” Philip Gordon, Smart Energy International, March 30 2020