Ofgem has set out priority activities for suppliers and networks to help them focus on meeting vital customer needs during the pandemic.
In a move which it said would provide clarity to leave the industry “free to focus” on helping customers, the regulator has sent letters aimed at helping provide flexibility for companies to make the right decisions.
Chief Executive, Jonathan Brearley said he recognised that energy firms will be facing significant operational challenges in responding to coronavirus as well as staff shortages.
As well as highlighting priority work such as essential connections and planned projects necessary for security of supply and network resilience, it said it wanted to enable firms to de-prioritise lower priority work “without undue fear of regulatory enforcement or penalties.”
The Energy Networks Association has also launched a media campaign to raise awareness that if electricity or gas workers are seen during the lockdown it’s because they are carrying out essential work.
Ross Easton, Director of External Affairs at the Energy Networks Association said: “With the introduction of social distancing rules, energy network companies have changed their procedures to protect employees and their customers. This allows colleagues on the ground and in control rooms and contact centres to continue vital work safely, including taking emergency calls and carrying out safety-critical maintenance work.”