Energy Networks Association and Energy UK's members and the industry trade unions are encouraging people to remain focused, keep colleagues and customers safe, and ensure there is no room for complacency during the relaxation of government’s rules.
Due to our concerns about the direct and indirect risks of COVID-19 across our industries, all stakeholders have focused both on the principles of simple and clear controls and communications as well as on our response to the concerns of our colleagues.
As a result, over the past year, we have strengthened our established relationships and worked together on this shared challenge as we do with all aspects of health and safety. The whole sector can be proud of how it has adapted quickly and with the effective controls we have introduced. We could not have done without the commitment and dedication of our entire workforce. As we progress forward we will continue to monitor the situation closely and remain cautious about the future.
Over the next three to four months, we are likely to see progressive relaxation of existing COVID restrictions in the communities we serve. However, the steps we have taken to protect our colleagues and the public are only effective when we avoid complacency and follow good habits of social distancing, hygiene and reducing contact with others.
The people working within the electricity supply industry have worked hard and adapted their ways of working to meet COVID controls. The controls have been effective and our habits have changed but we need to avoid lapses that place us at risk.
The electricity industry and unions will continue to make the following commitments:
- We will review controls to ensure that everyone in the industry is kept safe
- We will keep our customers safe where we interact with them
- We will set a good example by changing our own habits
- We will strive to design out risk wherever possible
- We will respond promptly to concerns about the practicality of controls
As an industry, we have worked together to minimise the risks of COVID-19 and as we sustain this to the end of the pandemic, we can all be proud of what we have achieved.
David Smith, Chief Executive of Energy Networks Association, which represents the UK and Ireland’s energy networks businesses, said:
“The UK’s energy network operators have worked hard in partnership with industry and trades union colleagues to keep energy flowing safely to homes and businesses throughout the pandemic. As COVID restrictions relax, keeping a relentless focus on safety is more important than ever. We know that people across the country are relying on us and 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.”
Audrey Gallacher, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Policy at Energy UK who represent both energy suppliers and generators said:
“Our members in energy generation and supply have adapted quickly and worked hard to ensure the lights stay on, that customers and colleagues are supported whilst also maintaining the highest levels of health and safety standards to keep everyone safe. Collaboration across the energy sector and with the trade unions has been essential and has been strengthened in these unprecedented times. As COVID restrictions continue to be relaxed there is no time for complacency and our commitment to working together to beat this challenge is unwavering.”
Sue Ferns, Senior Deputy General Secretary of Prospect added:
"The success of the sector’s controls on COVID-19 shows the added value of our joint approach to health and safety. However we must continue to work throughout the easing of COVID controls in the wider community to avoid complacency. These controls have helped keep colleagues and customers safe: we can be proud of what we have achieved so long as we maintain our guard over the coming months."
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).