Working in partnership to help our vulnerable customers during Covid-19

Holding hands - two vulnerable customers holding hands at care home

British Gas business supplies gas and electricity to over 350,000 British businesses – more than any other energy supplier. And many of these businesses are charities or public bodies caring for frail and vulnerable adults, or people with learning difficulties, or poor mental health. Any one of these things can leave people feeling anxious and more at risk than most. 

Looking after our customers and employees is our number one priority. So, we’re working hard to prioritise the needs of our most vulnerable customers first – no matter what. 

As an example, we’re prioritising service calls for… 

  • Customer vulnerability 
    Where the energy supply is used by people suffering from a chronic illness or mental health issue 
  • Medical vulnerability  
    Where the energy supply is used to keep medical equipment running 
  • Children or elderly people  
    Who depend on the energy supply to stay warm  

How we helped a local care home get more electricity 

The NHS approached a care home in Banstead to accept elderly patients suffering with coronavirus (Covid-19) to help take the pressure off the local health centre and hospital. This meant a bigger electricity supply was needed to power the additional equipment and keep the new residents safe. The care home needed their electricity meter upgraded, and fast. 

As an existing business electricity customer, the care home got in touch with us. Matt Spracklen, in our Connections and Metering team in Cardiff, quickly responded. He arranged for a new, half-hourly supply meter, with a bigger supply cable and connection points, to be installed by one of our metering partners, Energy Assets.  

An engineer was soon on site. However, the site wasn’t ready as some electrical work was needed before the meter could be installed. Matt worked with the care home to advise what was needed, and as soon as the site was ready, he arranged another appointment with  Energy Assets to get the job done urgently. 

With the support of one of EAL’s Apprentices, Jonny Farnworth we were able to get an engineer back out to the site fast, and arrange the installation of the new meter. We passed on our thanks to Jonny recognising his” efforts during these unique and challenging times are greatly appreciated”. The care home also fed back:  

“We quickly engaged with our supply chain to see if they could mobilise their workforce to help in assisting with this. British Gas was a key member of our supply chain. Your response was brilliant given the current circumstances and we very much appreciate this”. 

Meeting crucial needs 

With a new half-hourly supply, our care home needed to appoint a Meter Operator (MOP) and have a Meter Operator agreement (MOP agreement) in place. This covers the supply and maintenance of the meter, as well as the telecommunications for sending consumption data to the energy supplier. 

Our intrepid colleague, Matt, was on the case again. Matt sorted out a British Gas led MOP contract with our metering partner, Energy Assets, saving the customer time and effort at such a crucial time. 

The care home was also grateful we managed to upgrade their meter so fast, allowing them to safely care for their new residents. 

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