DC Agencies partner with DC311 Call Center to raise awareness about pandemic relief for utility consumers
DC utility consumers can call 3-1-1 and ask for #Here2HelpDC to get help with their utility bills
(Washington, DC – February 18, 2021) Under the #Here2HelpDC initiative, four District agencies charged with serving DC utility consumers are working with the DC311 call center of the Office of Unified Communications (OUC) to widen public exposure to programs and services that will help consumers minimize the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Receiving transferred calls from 3-1-1 is a function that constituent services staff have performed at the Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE), DC Public Service Commission (DCPSC), DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU), and the Office of the People's Counsel for the District of Columbia (OPC). However, as the agencies seek to get more services to consumers during the pandemic, increasing the focus on 3-1-1 can be a valuable vehicle.
“DOEE applauds the Office of Unified Communications for supporting the #Here2HelpDC campaign and working to ensure that all District residents are aware of the available utility affordability resources during these trying times,” said DOEE Director Tommy Wells.
“DC311 is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate to help ease the challenges that District residents are facing related to the COVID-19 crisis. Bringing awareness about ways to access resources that can help them cope is key. I am proud to share that our DC311 customer service representatives are available 24/7 and look forward to linking our residents to these services,” said OUC Interim Director Cleo Subido.
“DC311 is a welcomed extension of our efforts to ensure consumers know where to turn for assistance, including how to access emergency funding to pay utility bills,” said People’s Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye.
The four agencies launched the #Here2HelpDC public awareness campaign in June 2020 to inform residents and businesses about financial assistance programs and rebates and incentives to help them save energy and money. The website here2helpdc.dc.gov went live in January to be a repository for this useful information. The enhanced connection to the DC311 call center takes the initiative a step further.
“By asking for #Here2HelpDC when calling 3-1-1, residents will be connected to District agencies charged with serving utility consumers. Our priority is to ensure that District residents remain connected to essential services as well as minimize the financial burden of the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Willie L. Phillips, Chairman of the DCPSC.
“We appreciate the opportunity to support 3-1-1 calls for consumers who may be struggling to pay their energy bills right now, and look forward to helping them reduce their energy consumption and their bills now and for years to come,” said Ted Trabue, Director of the DCSEU.
The agencies will raise awareness about the 3-1-1 toll-free number through social and traditional media, and other consumer education tools. To learn more, visit #Here2HelpDC.