UK energy sector cooperating to protect the vulnerable in COVID crisis

With the UK’s COVID-19 lockdown in place, UK energy non-profit Energy UK says Britain’s energy industry has been working to ensure consumers, particularly those in need, receive reliable service. 

The non-profit has also been working directly with Government to ensure Britain’s energy supply remains resilient, particularly for those who are already considered to be energy-poor, and in light of the anticipated increase in the number of households struggling to pay for essential services.

Energy suppliers have committed to identifying and prioritising these customers, which could include those on the Priority Services Register and with existing health conditions.

Related Stories:
UK Gov introduces measures to protect energy-poor from COVID-19
SSE joins UK business pledge to aid COVID-19 fight
UK’s National Grid donates £500,000 to aid COVID-19 fight

Support offered on a case by case basis, depending on individual circumstances, could include reassessing, reducing or pausing debt repayment and bill payments for customers in financial distress. Suppliers will also not disconnect any meters (except in relation to safety, theft or vacant properties).

Energy UK says they are working to ensure proper identification for essential workers to comply with police identification requirements during the lockdown, as well as COVID-19 testing for those still required in the field.

If customers are worried about their ability to pay their bills or have financial concerns, they should contact their energy supplier says the organisation.

Suppliers are also limiting home visits and installations to essential work – such as that required to keep customers on supply or other urgent maintenance. They will follow all recommended health precautions if they do need to visit a property.

Audrey Gallacher, Energy UK’s chief executive said: “The whole industry is working hard to ensure that customers receive reliable services and the support they need during this difficult and unprecedented situation.

“We know many more customers than usual will be facing financial difficulties right now and suppliers are working tirelessly to identify those who need additional help, particularly those customers in vulnerable circumstances.

“At the same time, we must pay tribute to the many energy workers who are on the frontline delivering this essential service, and doing so in line with Government guidelines and following the highest levels of hygiene in order to keep customers and staff safe.”

Utilities in the power and energy sector have had to rapidly implement coping mechanisms and strategies to protect staff, customers and their bottom line.

Join our series of live virtual discussions where we bring you the best insights from key utilities around the world who are dealing with the challenge of COVID-19 in an age of social distancing and isolation.