Across Southern Company, we have never stopped working during the COVID-19 pandemic as we continue to serve our 9 million customers every day, either on-site, in the field or while working remotely. Our frontline employees are working hard to keep the energy flowing.
We are taking action to address the difficulties the health crisis is creating and employing new work practices that help safeguard both our employees and our communities. Our top priority remains the health and safety of our customers, our neighbors and our employees as we provide clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy.
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Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Southern Company has recognized the extraordinary burden our customers have faced due to impacts from the coronavirus, and we continue to work to help all customers maintain service. We know that our customers and their families are navigating difficult times. We want to be there for them and encourage customers in need to contact us.
We have been committed to helping our customers manage their energy usage to avoid large overdue balances. We began working with our customers on how they could save money through energy efficiency tips and helped connect them with energy assistance programs to help with their monthly payments. We are committed to ensuring that the uninterrupted energy our customers need to keep their daily life running is there, while always staying focused on keeping our employees and our communities safe.
We have worked aggressively to inform customers about special payment plans, and the options we provide to help maintain their service. Our teams shared these customer options through press releases, radio and social media announcements and news-media interviews. We are working diligently to enroll customers in special payment plans, explore alternative billing options and seek financial assistance to avoid disconnection.
For more information on specific payment plan options, visit our operating companies’ websites. We hope these efforts will help bring some relief to our customers.
We are committed to maintaining a healthy, safe work environment for all of our employees. All COVID-19-related guidance for employees is based on the advice of local government and healthcare professionals. We have never stopped working and continue to serve our customers and our communities by delivering the clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy they count on. In May, we established our Responsible Reentry Playbook outlining our responsible, measured and flexible approach to gradually reentering our normal working environments. Based on a number of factors, including data showing COVID-19 cases continue to rise in many states within our service territory, virtual learning in many school districts, advice from our medical experts, and the need for employees to provide care for family members, we see a further delay in our reentry to the workplace.
After discussions with the CEOs of each operating company and business unit heads, we have agreed that many employees will continue to telework, and we likely will not implement Phase 3 of the transition plan until probably through the end of this year.
Our approach as a company remains designed to keep our employees, and our communities healthy and safe while sustaining our business operations. We will continue to evaluate conditions and do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19 by following CDC guidelines.
Southern Company and its subsidiaries are targeting a commitment of nearly $10 million in foundation and charitable contributions benefiting the communities where we live and work, and our employees have logged thousands of volunteer hours to assist those impacted by the pandemic. We are working with relief organizations across several states such as The Giving Kitchen , Meals on Wheels, Extend a Hand, Help a Friend, Walker Area Community Foundation the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, United Way and more to help lessen the health, community and economic impacts of COVID-19. Through our partnerships we are providing relief in the areas of food insecurity, homelessness and displaced workers. We will continue to provide assistance to those who need it to help our communities weather this storm.
As we've said before, we are more than your energy provider; we are your partner. We are your neighbors, and we live and work in your communities across the state. That has never been more true than it is today, and we will continue to be here for our communities, providing safe and reliable energy 24/7 during these unprecedented times.
Faces of Our Front Line is a video series featuring employees from across the system and their first-hand stories of how they and their teams are staying resilient, innovative and committed through severe weather season and the COVID-19 pandemic