Ofgem has written to energy networks and suppliers, setting out high priority works and services to respond to the impacts of COVID-19.
Writing on 8 April, Ofgem said that emergency response and critical repairs, the operation of network control rooms and call centre functions and essential connections work are among the priorities for energy networks. It also cited safety critical work that impacts on the integrity of the electricity network, the safety of the general public or presents a significant environmental risk are high priority for networks, as are planned works necessary for the short to medium term security of supply and ensuring network resilience.
Suppliers, meanwhile, were given themes to consider when it comes to prioritising works. This includes governance, with Ofgem expecting suppliers to make customer-centric, reasonable, fair and transparent decisions on what they prioritise. Home and non-domestic site visits are only expected to continue for essential or emergency purposes, while there is an expectation that suppliers should not be disconnecting domestic customers because of debt, with Ofgem noting support for those financially impacted by COVID-19 has already been agreed with BEIS.
The framework of what Ofgem is referring to as “regulatory flexibility” is set to remain until 30 June 2020 – assuming there is no material change in circumstances – with the case for either extending or amending it to be reviewed when approaching that date.