As the world tackles coronavirus, National Grid employees are working hard to make sure the lights stay on and the gas keeps flowing. Here Nicola Shaw, Executive Director, UK, explains how we’re protecting our staff and why no one should be concerned about their energy supply as more of us stay at home.
Millions of people rely on us every day to keep the lights on and the gas flowing, and we want to reassure everyone that we have plans in place to keep the networks working throughout the coronavirus outbreak.
We have well-developed procedures in place to manage the effects of a pandemic and National Grid Electricity System Operator has analysed the anticipated effects on electricity supply and demand of mass self-isolation of the UK’s workforce.
In fact, demand across the country is expected to reduce; largely owing to a decrease in energy use from industrial consumers, which is likely to be greater than the increase in domestic demand as people stay at home.
All our operational sites are secure with a wide range of resilience and security measures. Our control centres have fully operational back-up locations and our engineers are trained across multiple roles. These measures have been strengthened further with a range of additional measures to segregate our critical employees.
Visitor access to our electricity and gas control rooms has been ceased. We have comprehensive and well-developed procedures in place to manage the effects of a pandemic and do not anticipate any issues in continuing to reliably supply gas and electricity.
The welfare of our employees remains our priority. We have asked all our employees who do not need to be onsite to work from home where possible, in line with government guidance. This measure has been introduced to limit the spread of the virus, protect the health and safety of all our people, and ensure those in operational roles can continue to do their jobs.
We are working closely with all of the energy networks across Great Britain, including the Energy Networks Association (ENA), who is the trade body for network companies. The ENA will publish any new information relating to the energy industry, as well as providing guidance and advice for consumers.
In the meantime, please continue to use energy as you usually would …boil that kettle, tune in to your favourite TV show and enjoy a hot shower… there are teams of people working 24/7 at National Grid, committed to making sure you can do just that.