Since March 2020, we’ve been constantly assessing the risks that coronavirus (COVID-19) poses to our mission. We’ve ensured the supply of energy to our members is maintained. We’ve given advice to Pay As You Go members, supported vulnerable members and stayed available to support our members by phone, email, and social media. Our CEO, Hayden, has written about supporting our members during this outbreak, and about how we’re preparing for the future. He’s also written about what coronavirus can teach us about working together to beat the climate crisis.
How we assessed the risks of coronavirus
We considered the risks to our members and our engineering partners who cover meter repairs and installations. We prepared our central London office for the new reality of social distancing, but expect the majority of our team will continue to work remotely through the winter. Our planning was guided by:
our own risk policies
detailed risk assessments from our engineering partners
Download a PDF of Bulb's risk assessment for engineer visits
From 23 March and during April and May, our engineers only visited properties to make essential repairs. From June onwards, the following activities restarted:
Smart meter installations
We restarted installing smart meters in June. We're following government guidance, and in the areas where we are able to visit members homes, our engineering partners:
wear face masks and glasses, or full face visors, and disposable gloves and comply with cleaning, hand washing and hygiene procedures
avoid touching surfaces in members’ homes as much as possible and bring cleaning products to wipe down any surfaces they do touch
bring their own food and drink
let us know if they develop coronavirus symptoms – this might mean we need to rearrange appointments at very short notice
Our guiding priority will always be member and employee safety.
For planned home visits we will ask for members help in the following ways:
let us know as soon as possible if anyone in their home is self-isolating
make sure the doors inside their home are open to help the engineers touch as little as possible
avoid the same rooms as the engineer where possible
Door to door sales
We paused all door to door activity on 14 October, for a minimum of 5 months. We'll follow government safety guidelines when we start door to door sales again. Our sales agents are provided with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), will never enter your home and will keep at least 2 meters away at all times. Agents will move on quickly where a member is self-isolating or otherwise vulnerable to coronavirus. Read more about our sales principles.
Other visits to members' homes
We restarted visits to members' homes in July. There are different reasons we might need to visit a member at home, for example, to take quarterly meter readings, fix problems with meters or talk to people with energy debt who aren’t paying for the energy they’re using. If you’re struggling to pay for your energy, find out how we can help.
In July, we started by taking meter readings from outdoor meters. In mid-August we started visiting members to read indoor meters too.
For all visits to your home, our agents will:
carry hand sanitiser at all times for use between each property visit
wear a disposable face mask
respect social distancing guidelines in line with government advice
If you'd prefer to opt out of unscheduled visits from our meter readers, let us know.
As soon as the UK’s national lockdown was announced, the majority of the team moved to remote working. This transition to remote working has played to our strengths of automating, problem solving, and managing rapid change.
We concluded the best way to manage the risks of returning to work was to maintain remote working as our default until the end of July 2020. We partially reopened our office during August for members of the team who were unable to work from home, or preferred to work from the office. At the end of September the government's guidance changed. So our London office remains open only for those unable to work from home. We expect many of the team will continue to work remotely through the winter.
Our wide-ranging risk assessment reviewed how we navigate the physical space, how we support our team’s mental health, and how we include feedback and ideas from the team. Changes we have made include:
the way we sign in to the building
how we navigate around the space, including one-way systems and reorganised desks
enhanced cleaning procedures and clear, visible guidance
how we use the air conditioning safely in the summer months
As with all our risk assessments, we’ll continue to monitor the situation and take action where needed. We will be led by government advice, professional expertise, our employees, and the views of our members. When our risk assessment changes, we will update this page.
Bulb, 5 January 2021