National Grid ESO - Industry information - balancing services procurement - wind and solar farm

Keeping electricity flowing throughout the coronavirus outbreak

As the world tackles Coronavirus, National Grid ESO employees are working hard to make sure the lights stay on. 

Here, ESO Director Fintan Slye, explains how we’re protecting our staff and why no one should be concerned about their electricity supply as more of us stay at home.

Millions of people rely on us every day to keep the lights on, and we want to reassure everyone that we have plans in place to keep the network working throughout the coronavirus outbreak.

We have well-developed procedures in place to manage the effects of a pandemic and have analysed 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.

Our control room is secure with a wide range of resilience and security measures and we have fully operational back-up locations with engineers 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 control room has ceased too. 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 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 ESO, committed to making sure you can do just that.