Guaranteed Standards of Performance Suspension during Pandemic
COVID-19 is having an impact on our customer service – for example impacting how quickly we can answer calls, or facilitate switching or forcing us to postpone smart meter installations or meter reading visits. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
In normal circumstances, these areas of service our covered by regulations such as the Electricity and Gas (Standards of Performance) (Suppliers) Regulations 2015. However, these and other similar requirements relating to performance standards do not apply where there are circumstances of an exceptional nature beyond our control, as is the case now with the Coronavirus Pandemic.
As the UK’s largest generator of low-carbon electricity, we recognise we have a critical role to play in keeping the lights and heating on. So please be assured that we have detailed plans in place to ensure that we continue to deliver power and services to our customers and partners. The steps we have taken will minimise risks to all of us. These steps are specifically designed to ensure we can safely continue to supply energy to the grid and our millions of customers and of course we are sure all our Customers will understand that we need to prioritise our resources to ensure we answer urgent enquiries from customers who are vulnerable or have a risk to their electricity or gas supply.
When the pandemic began, we did not waste resources on sending individual notifications to our customers under these regulations. Instead, we issued a general notification to all our customers explaining that we recognised we would not be able to deliver the same standard of service as we have in the past. This helped us prioritise and focus our limited levels of resources on ensuring we kept critical activities going for as long as possible, and were able to continue to support those customers who need us most.
Now that we have had time to put some measures in place to deal with the impact of the pandemic, we are taking the earliest opportunity to confirm that we only consider it necessary to apply the exemption in relation to:
- the standards of performance relating to offering timed appointments, under regulation 3;
- the standards of performance relating to assessing meter faults, under regulation 4;
- the standards of performance relating to attending customer premises to restore supplies in the event of a fault with a prepayment meter, under regulation 5; and
- our obligation to reconnect customers we have disconnected because they did not pay their bill, within 24 hours of their making payment, under regulation 6.
This is therefore an update to our previous general notification.
We hate letting our customers down and take pride that we don’t do this often. That’s one of the reasons we have recently been rated number one for customer service by Citizen’s Advice. So, thank you for your patience and support during these challenging times.
Finally, if you need to get in touch, but it's not urgent, please use our online services such as our mobile phone app which you can download via the App Store and Google Play. You can also manage your account online via MyAccount.