For more than a month, GRU has been responding to the developing situation around the COVID-19 pandemic, with the commitment to safely deliver life-essential electric, water, wastewater, gas and telecommunications services as our number-one priority.
As changing conditions have presented a number of challenges for our community, GRU has taken several steps to ensure the fluidity of our operations and ease the household financial burden in these uncertain times.
GRU lowered all customer fuel charges in February and again in April. Without a clear picture how long COVID-19 may impact our customers, we extended those reductions through September and anticipate these actions will save customers 17 percent on fuel charges over the next six months.
By continuing those savings through summer, GRU is helping customers when usage is highest and they need the most relief. We are confident this is the best approach for all customers, especially with the uncertainty that lies ahead.
No Late Fees
GRU has suspended late fees for all customers through at least May 15 with the understanding that many are unable to pay on time due to loss of income related to shutdowns resulting from COVID-19.
GRU has suspended disconnections for all customers through at least May 15. Failure to pay your current balance will not result in the suspension of services. This allows customers to rest at ease knowing their utilities will be available to them in this time of need, even if they are incapable of paying their bill.
Customer Lobby Closed
GRU has closed the customer lobby until at least May 15 in accordance with social distancing recommendations and to ensure the safety of both GRU employees and customers. The following options for payment are still available:
- Phone: Customer service representatives are available at 352-334-3434, Mon, Tue, Thu, and Fri, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. and Wed, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Drive-thru: GRU’s drive-thru remains open Mon-Fri, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Online: GRU offers several convenient online payment options at gru.com.
Relaxed billing standards are designed to provide temporary relief and accommodate a short-term period of adjustment to the COVID-19 crisis. However, we strongly recommended that all who are capable stay current on their balance. GRU services are still being metered and billed, and failure to pay will result in an accrual of charges that will remain on the account, which could become difficult to manage once conditions return to normal.
Installment Plans/Extensions Available
We understand that some customers may find themselves with a past-due balance. GRU encourages those customers to call 352-334-3434 to discuss an installment plan or longer extension.
Keeping Our Community Safe
Practicing Social Distancing
GRU has altered schedules and allowed as many employees as possible to work remotely to help prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 throughout our workforce and the community. We have suspended all community events, business travel and non-essential in-home services.
Personal Protection Equipment
In accordance with the Alachua County Emergency Order to encourage the use of facial coverings, GRU has made CDC-recommended facial coverings available to all employees. We encourage all employees to wear a facial covering and require field employees to cover up when coming into close contact with another member of our community.
Prepared to Shelter-in-Place
For the last several weeks, GRU has been preparing for the decision to restrict essential plant workers to on-site isolation, providing a live-at-work situation that would ensure the health and safety of the personnel most essential to keeping GRU services running.
All GRU services have maintained quality and safety standards. Since GRU started preparing its COVID-19 response, our Water Department has delivered 750 million gallons of safe water to our customers and our Wastewater Department has treated 500 million gallons of wastewater.
GRU is prepared to continue providing life’s essential services while offering financial relief and peace of mind to our customers. We encourage you to direct questions and concerns to our customer service line at 352-334-3434 and will continue to provide updates on Facebook @GRU4U and on the web at gru.com/coronavirus. Stay safe out there.