EDF preps for coronavirus toll on UK households
EDF Energy is preparing to help customers who are being affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Read on for the full story how this energy giant is dealing with the situation.
It is important to make sure you check official sources like the UK government and the World Health Organisation to ensure you get the most accurate and updated information regarding the developing situation.
What coronavirus measures has EDF Energy announced?
The Big Six energy giant has confirmed it could allow bill-payers who have had to self-isolate or work from home because of the covid-19 outbreak to defer payments.
The pandemic has forced a number of European countries, including Italy, Spain and France, to declare states of emergency, quarantine almost their entire populations and close all but essential businesses and services.
An estimated one-in-five of the UK population may have to work from home.
Many countries throughout Europe have already obliged companies to allow teleworking wherever possible and companies in the US such as Google, Apple and Twitter, have taken the same steps.
A spokeswoman for EDF Energy said the firm recognised that the coronavirus may have an impact on some of its five million customers.
“We are prepared to offer these customers additional support and flexibility,” she said.
“Each case would be looked at on an individual basis, but additional support we could offer may include repayments made over a longer period of time, delay payment for a short period or offer alternative payment arrangements.”
The provider said each situation would be examined on a case-by-case basis and it may offer similar relief to customers who voluntarily decide to work from home to lower their chances of catching the coronavirus.
EDF Energy has also announced it is taking other steps “in light of the uncertainty with the outbreak of covid-19.”
“We are taking measures to maintain our service, particularly for those in vulnerable circumstances, and a constant supply of energy to our customers and to protect our employees and the safety of our sites,” the supplier said.
See the end of the article for information about how to contact EDF Energy if you’re facing problems.
How are EDF and the UK government coordinating their efforts?
The government is working with the heads of energy firms like EDF Energy to cushion the blow to customer finances caused by the worsening crisis.
An “unprecedented” package of financial help has been drawn up by Chancellor Rishi Sunak to help the country through the hard times to come.
A pot of £330bn, 15% of the nation's GDP, has been allocated for loans to virus-struck businesses to cover payments for supplies, rent and salaries.
Additionally, mortgage repayments will be suspended for three months for those in dire financial straits because of covid-19. Mr Sunak said the UK had never faced “an economic fight like this one” in peacetime.
Prime Minister Boris Jonson echoed the gravity of the chancellor’s words. "We must act like any wartime government and do whatever it takes to support our economy," he said.
How could the covid-19 crisis develop in the UK?
UK experts have said 80% of people could be infected if action is not taken.
A grim prediction from researchers at Imperial College London warned of 250,000 deaths if the government continued with its plan to “manage” the spread of the disease has prompted a rethink of strategy in the halls of power. The new strategy is aimed at keeping the number of deaths under 20,000.
Latest NHS advice
The NHS has issued the following guidance for the British public:
- Anyone living alone who develops a fever and/or a new continuous cough should self-isolate (stay at home) for seven days from the appearance of symptoms. For those living with others, the quarantine period is 14 days both for those showing symptoms and those who aren't.
- If your symptoms worsen or you do not recover after the quarantine you should call the NHS 111 helpline or contact NHS 111 online.
- Avoid unnecessary physical or social contact with others as much as possible including gatherings with friends and family, and especially those in care homes.
- Avoid places like pubs, clubs, theatres and crowded spaces such as busy supermarkets.
- Avoid unnecessary travel and work from home if you can.
- Everyone should be washing their hands more frequently than normal, especially after sneezing, blowing your nose, coughing or when you have been out in public. Use soap and hot water to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer if there's no soap and water available.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the crook of your arm when you cough or sneeze instead of using your hands, throw the tissue safely in the bin. Clean your hands with soap and water or sanitizer.
- Disinfect surfaces you touch frequently such as door handles, table tops, remote controls and taps.
- People with heart disease, asthma, diabetes, or other pre-existing serious health conditions should avoid social contact for 12 weeks.
How do I contact EDF Energy if I’m having problems with Coronavirus?
EDF Energy can be contacted from Monday to Friday between 8am and 8pm and from 8am to 2pm on Saturday on 0333 200 5100.
For customers with hearing difficulties there is a text telephone service available on 0800 096 2929. This line is open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and from 8am to 2pm on Saturday.
Click here for our full guide to contacting EDF Energy.
by J Mccrossan