We would like to take a moment to address Governor Inslee’s Stay at Home executive order effective starting at end of business today, March 25, 2020, and delve into precisely what that means for us and you, our valued customers.
This order naturally has very serious implications for businesses across our state. To strike the right balance between ensuring our customers receive the service they expect from us, while likewise complying with Governor Inslee’s direction is especially difficult for our trade and trades like ours. As electricians, we perform services both essential and nonessential, and as such, we must take a long, hard look at how we choose to conduct ourselves for the duration of this executive order.
Page 5 of Governor Inslee’s Final Washington Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers document, published March 23, 2020, addresses the Energy Sector. The very first bullet point under the Electric Industry header reads:
“Workers who maintain, ensure, or restore the generation, transmission, and distribution of electric power, including call centers, utility workers, reliability engineers and fleet maintenance technicians”
Fantastic news! This includes us! However, that does not mean we are free to go about business as usual. We are under an ethical obligation to lay out a few more specifics and give this order the respect and weight it deserves.
As grateful as we are to be considered essential and allowed to go about our work, there is a grave responsibility to society to limit that work to truly emergent situations. Electricity can be dangerous, especially when it is behaving in an uncontrolled manner. Electricity is a vital part of how we live our lives, and when it isn’t functioning correctly it can be inconvenient or hazardous. But electricity can also be a luxury, and that is where our trade becomes a gray area in relation to this executive order.
West Seattle Electric and Solar will be continuing to take on service calls, walkthrough requests, and large projects, However, these appointments will be handled with more scrutiny than usual.
Walkthroughs for general electrical work will be conducted virtually whenever possible. This can be via Skype, or even through emailed photographs and a detailed phone call. In a majority of cases, we are able to determine what needs to be done remotely. Solar site surveys can easily be done via email in most cases. To accurately determine your needs, we require a photograph of your breaker panel, your electrical meter, your mast, and a recent power bill. Large-scale construction projects are also going to be dealt with remotely, via email and phone. Our office team is currently working from home and perfectly ready to pore over your plan sets and get to work on a bid for you. Solar maintenance work can continue as usual, but if troubleshooting can be done by the system owner with help from one of our installers, it is preferable to attempt this by telephone first. Please contact our office at 206-573-4205 and we can put you in touch with a tech and see what we can accomplish remotely.
Technology is on our side and even if the work you are interested in having done has to wait, getting the ball rolling does not.
West Seattle Electric and Solar will continue to deploy crews for situations that pose a threat to your safety or wellbeing. If you hear a buzzing in your breaker panel or your baseboard heaters stop working, if your breaker trips every time you use your kitchen appliances or you’ve lost power to your home, please give us, or any electrician a call! We very much want to ensure your safety and the safety of your loved ones, and frankly, some electrical work simply should not be put off.
However, if you have a brand-new chandelier you just can’t wait to have hung, or are looking into installing a few more outlets in your home, we ask that you hold off until things get back to normal. As tempting as it is to squeeze in an appointment while life has slowed down for everyone and we’ve all got a little extra free time, deploying teams for luxury or superfluous installations are simply a risk that society cannot sustain at this time.
The world will resume its course soon enough, and the more we all commit to following the rules of this executive order, the sooner it will happen. In the meantime, we all just need to be a little more patient, a little more purposeful, and a little more thoughtful of how our decisions affect everyone around us. COVID-19 does not discriminate, and the less we essential personnel are out and about, the less we risk exposure. The less we risk exposure, the less we risk exposing our customers when they truly do require our services.
As you can read here, we have several layers of precaution in place to ensure that we are as safe as we can be when we enter your home. With each passing day, new information about this invisible threat comes to light, and we follow this news with extreme dedication and adapt and grow our safety policies as the science dictates we must. While we are looking excitedly to the future when this threat has subsided, we are doing everything in our power in this moment to be responsible members of society and keep ourselves, our families, and our customers healthy and safe.
If you are unsure if your electrical needs qualify as emergent, please call us at 206-573-4205 or email our Office Manager Casey. We can come to a determination together, and plan appropriately. As always, we are so grateful for your business, and eliminating services even temporarily is a painful thing to have to do. However, this is what our neighbors, our city, our state, and our country need from us right now, and we are committed to following Governor Inslee’s instruction to, whenever possible, Stay Home and Stay Healthy.