The Energy Networks Association has today outlined its members’ approach to looking after our customers and colleagues during the coronavirus pandemic.
David Smith, Chief Executive of Energy Networks Association, said:
“These are challenging times for everyone and we want to reassure our customers and colleagues that our priority is keeping them safe, keeping energy flowing to homes, hospitals and other vital infrastructure and looking after those most in need.”
The industry’s approach is set out below.
Our commitment to you and our colleagues during the coronavirus pandemic
Now more than ever, we know you’re relying on us to keep you safe and warm at home. The work our members do is critical to keeping your energy flowing, which is why the government identifies the work we do as essential.
We know these are challenging times and we all need to work differently. During these extraordinary times, we are prioritising:
- Keeping our customers and colleagues safe
- Keeping your energy flowing
- Looking after those most in need
Keeping our customers and colleagues safe
If the work our employees do can be done from home, we’re insisting they do that.
However, a lot of the work we do means this simply isn’t possible. Many of our colleagues need to leave their homes to provide essential services to keep your energy flowing. Where our colleagues have to leave the house to carry out their job, the social distancing guidelines issued by the UK Government apply.
Like many key workers, some of our colleagues have school-age children. Those colleagues are doing all they can to reduce the strain on teaching staff by only using school facilities as a last resort. We’re grateful to the thousands of teachers who are continuing to provide support so that our key workers can continue to provide essential services to you. Thank you.
If you are self-isolating or have symptoms of COVID-19 and we are due to attend your property, please let us know. We’ll still come and help you, but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe.
Keeping your energy flowing
We are prioritising the work we do to make sure you continue to receive a safe and reliable energy supply.
We will always prioritise power cuts, gas leaks and urgent safety issues.
Wherever possible we will continue the critical maintenance and repair work needed to maintain a safe and reliable supply of energy. If you see us outside your home or if we have to visit your property during the coronavirus emergency, be assured it is because it is critical. The work we do keeps you safe and warm. Any work outside your home or visit to you will be absolutely necessary to ensure you have power and heat, and to reduce the risk of any future loss of energy supply.
Some of the work we do, like our gas mains replacement programme, may feel invasive at a time when our customers are understandably feeling very anxious. We’ve taken the decision to gradually slow this work and pause it where it is safe to do so. We believe this is in the best interests of our customers and the safety of our colleagues and contract partners during these extraordinary times.
We will review new connection projects - both gas and electricity - on a customer-by-customer and project-by-project case, prioritising critical national infrastructure.
We’re also in regular contact with the government and our regulator, Ofgem, to ensure we are doing all we can to keep your energy flowing.
Looking after those most in need
If you’re an ‘at risk’ person who has received a letter from the NHS advising you to take additional measures to protect yourself from COVID-19, then you should consider signing up for the Priority Services Register. This provides free additional services to customers in vulnerable circumstances if there is a power cut or you lose your gas supply unexpectedly. You can find out more about the Register by contacting your energy supplier, local electricity or gas distributor. Find out more at energynetworks.org/coronavirus.
As the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic develops, we are continuing to keep our approach under careful review. We will always take an approach which safeguards the health and wellbeing of our customers and colleagues, while maintaining a safe and reliable supply of energy.
About Energy Networks Association
Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing the companies which operate the electricity wires, gas pipes and energy system in the UK and Ireland.
ENA helps its members meet the challenge of delivering electricity and gas to communities across the UK and Ireland safely, sustainably and reliably.
Its members include every major electricity and gas network operator in the UK and Ireland, independent operators, National Grid ESO which operates the electricity system in Great Britain and National Grid Gas which operates the gas system in Great Britain. Its affiliate membership also includes companies with an interest in energy, including Heathrow Airport and Network Rail.
What are energy network operators?
Energy network operators manage and maintain the wires, pipes and other infrastructure which delivers electricity and gas to your home, business and community. They are private companies which are regulated by Ofgem and employ around 45,000 people in the UK and Ireland. They are represented by their industry body, Energy Networks Association (that's us).
Energy supplier or network operator? Energy network operators are entirely separate to your energy supplier, which is the company that bills you for using electricity and gas. Energy suppliers and generators are represented by Energy UK.