Founded by former UK Cabinet Minister, Rt Hon. Justine Greening, and UK entrepreneur David Harrison, the C-19 Business Pledge aims to harness the power of business as a force for good in tackling the Coronavirus epidemic.
We have signed the pledge and listed the steps that we are taking to support the UK:
For our Employees:
- The majority of our people are working from their homes rather than our offices to protect them, our customers and the public.
We have transferred the majority of our customer service staff to home working and created ‘virtual’ call centres operated from our employees’ homes around the country.
- Engineers who need to visit customers at home to carry out emergency field work are wearing Personal Protective Equipment to minimise the potential risks to them and our customers.
- At Hinkley Point C, the new nuclear power station that EDF are building in Somerset, we are reducing the number of staff on site, initially from 4,000 to 2,000, enabling us to better enforce social distancing. Additional buses services have been commissioned to reduce the number of staff using each service, meeting rooms have been converted to areas that staff can use for breaks to enable them to be at a safe distance from one another, and floor markers and changes to seating have been introduced in the on-site canteen to ensure staff are safe during their lunch break.
- We have also introduced body temperature checks at site gates, and we are installing thermal imaging cameras to detect changes in body temperature amongst our workers.
For our Customers:
- We are focussing on supporting our vulnerable customers and have developed a package of measures to help customers who face financial difficulties, including setting aside funds to help customers who are unable to top up their prepayment energy meters.
Our call centre staff are concentrating on speaking to vulnerable customers and prepay meter customers who may be unable to top up their meters due to self-isolation or loss of income, ensuring all of customers continue to be supplied with energy throughout this period.
- Our ‘virtual’ call centres are working well with customer calls being answered as quickly as possible.
- We have stopped all disconnections meaning no customers have to worry about their energy supply. Our field engineers are instead providing support for the communities which we serve by carrying out emergency field work.
For our Communities:
- We have listened to the communities we serve and been quick to put measures in place to minimise the risks to them and to our employees. Our staff are going the extra mile by helping to deliver essential services to the communities in which we operate.
Many of our smart meter engineers have been reassigned to serve our country. We are deploying them to support customers in emergency situations, and hundreds of them have volunteered to go further, providing food and medicine deliveries to those in need.
- Where we have scaled back numbers of employees at sites, we have donated surplus food from canteens to local food banks, care homes, hostels and charities. We have made donations of Personal Protective Equipment to GP surgeries and others.
- Engineers entering customers home for emergency field work are wearing Personal Protective Equipment to minimise the potential risks to our customers. Our dedicated customer service teams are explaining the process and the preventative measures that we are taking in detail to customers at the time of booking an appointment and our engineers are doing the same before entering customers’ homes.
- Workers who remain on the construction site at Hinkley Point C for critical works are using EDF’s two on-site accommodation sites rather than local accommodation to minimise interaction between staff and local residents.