Further covid-19 advice
Energy suppliers like all other organisations are being faced with the issues of a reduced workforce and their business contingency plans include stopping or reducing all non-urgent works on power lines or gas pipes to focus on essential repairs.
Energy company employees including vulnerable customer support call teams and essential repair engineers, like everyone else, are also at risk of being ill themselves or having to isolate on behalf of a family member. These are all considerations the energy companies and Ofgem are working on together to provide constant energy supply to British homes.
However, this is uncharted territory. Suppliers have faced supply issues before over storm damage but have never before have faced a scenario affecting their workforce on this scale. The government have suggested that 4/5 of the population could be affected by the virus.
The key message so far is that suppliers will be offering support and flexibility in response to the pandemic. Suggestions seen so far include: postponed bill due dates and removing debt charges for late payment.
In recognition of the scale for the impact the government announced further increase to the UK’s emergency budget outlining financial support for business continuity and protection for vulnerable members of the public, with details to be finalised in the coming weeks. More detail on this here.
Final reminder that all services in the UK are urging non-urgent queries to be made via online livechat or email where possible to help clear lines for vulnerable customers without internet access.