Whilst we are still very much continuing to support our customers, here at SSE Energy Solutions, we put health and safety as the top priority: "If it’s not safe, we don't do it!" These are some of the measures that SSE is taking to maintain critical operations and keep people safe during this Covid 19 pandemic.
The majority of SSE employees will be working from home where possible. Those who must visit their office or carry out essential work at customers’ sites will seek to minimise contact with others as much as possible and maintain good standards of hand hygiene.
In order to continue to support our customers, we will maintain a skeleton staff at our essential offices, unless Government advice changes. To further minimise risk, we are not accepting visitors to our sites for the foreseeable future.
All face-to-face internal meetings are being replaced with videoconferences such as ‘Skype’ or ‘Teams’. Customer meetings are also encouraged to be conducted this way.
All non-essential travel is banned between SSE offices and customer sites. Essential work at customer sites will still be carried out in accordance with the appropriate risk assessment.
Recent work has shown that over 90% of problems reported by SSE Energy Solutions customers can be fixed remotely by our Energy Management Centre thanks to our Remote Optimal™ services. This is safer for both customers and our employees.
The measures that SSE is taking to maintain critical operations and keep people safe during this Covid 19 pandemic are based on tried and tested emergency planning and response procedures which were developed for a number of scenarios, including this one.
SSE operates a Gold, Silver, and Bronze Command structure, which is consistent with the UK’s Civil Contingencies Act that sets out how to deal with civil emergencies. This enables us to react quickly to changing advice provided by the Government.
Gold Command is strategic. It is a bespoke team brought together to protect SSE and its customers in times of crisis and to ensure SSE manages the situation as effectively as possible. It brings together key decision-makers from business units and corporate services and key technical specialists, supported by specialist programme office support. It is a huge team effort.
Gold Command is currently meeting daily, including weekends. It takes into account the latest UK and Irish government advice on the spread of the virus, and any emerging industry issues, and reviews the likely impact on people, operations and decides on the best course of action to respond to or anticipate issues.
This inevitably includes prioritising some activities over others; maintaining safe supplies of electricity at a local, regional or national level is more important than ever at a time of crisis like this.
Silver Command is tactical. There are Silver Command groups within each of SSE’s seven business units, one for the Corporate Services and another dedicated to the island of Ireland. These groups take their strategic direction from Gold Command and, in line with SSE’s devolved operating model, they manage their own business continuity plans at a tactical level and provide daily reports to Gold Command.
Bronze Command is at an operational level. Branch managers, Sales Directors, and the entire engineering staff will work with customers to ensure that essential services operate as efficiently as possible.
We would very much encourage our customers to share their emergency plans with us, particularly those of you who operate in essential areas, such as hospitals, so that we can work together to plan support. We would encourage you to consider the impact that any problems with your BMS could have on your operations, and plan accordingly. As discussed above, we can host virtual face-to-face meetings via Skype to ensure everyone’s safety.