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How NIE Networks is responding to COVID-19

Important information for customers on how our services are adapting during this period.

NIE Networks' Response – COVID-19

Last Updated: 10 April 2020
As the owner of the electricity transmission and distribution networks in Northern Ireland, NIE Networks is working to ensure that we continue to bring electricity to the 880,000 customers we serve across Northern Ireland. The health and wellbeing of our employees and customers remains our priority.

In response to COVID-19 we have been implementing protective measures over recent weeks across all our locations including increased hygiene schedules, health protection advice and the distribution of antibacterial products to all our employees.

Our emergency response planning is in place and we are liaising with all relevant partners and authorities to ensure that we continue working in the best interests of both our employees and customers as the situation develops.

Below you will find further information about any of our services which are currently affected and we will continue to update on our work as the situation develops.

How are we responding at this time?

Essential Work

Our response to COVID-19 remains under daily review and we are following the advice of government and public health bodies closely to ensure we implement changes to our operations where necessary.

Our essential work, including maintenance and power cut response, is continuing as this is important for ensuring the network remains resilient and any disruption to supply is minimised. By continuing with this critical work we are able to protect the network for the months ahead when more than ever homes and vital services across Northern Ireland will need a reliable electricity supply.

We will do everything we can to keep these interruptions as short as possible and we would ask customers to be understanding at these times. If our teams, or the contractors we employ to work on our behalf, are due to be working in your area, and we need to interrupt your supply, we will tell you in advance so you know what to expect.

Our services will be critical to supporting the thousands of home offices that have become necessary, for families to video call grandparents, for keeping friends connected and to allow people to access the important information they need online. Our employees, including those in our customer service teams, will be working on the front line to support homes and businesses through the coronavirus crisis and we would ask customers to be patient and courteous when dealing with our staff.

Our emergency response will also continue as normal and if you need to report a power cut or a hazard please call our Customer Helpline on 03457 643 643.

Meter Reading

We have now stopped all meter reading services for both domestic and commercial premises. We are working with all electricity suppliers in Northern Ireland to implement the process for customers submitting their own meter readings going forward. Customers will receive a notification from NIE Networks, or their supplier, when their meter reading is due, to remind them to submit their own reading and avoid an estimated bill. When your reading is due there are three ways you can submit your reading to us:

Online – www.nienetworks.co.uk/metering 
Call Us - 03456 093 030
Email - meter.reading@nienetworks.co.uk

You only need to submit your reading to either NIE Networks or your supplier, there is no need to do it twice. If you are unable to submit your meter reading you will receive an estimated bill from your supplier based on your usage history. It is important to provide an accurate meter reading during this time to ensure your consumption is accurate.  

Metering Electricians

If you experience a meter fault, a metering electrician will need to enter your property if you have an indoor meter. If your meter is being changed due to a new tariff request from your electricity supplier you should let us know in advance of your appointment if you would like the work to be postponed. In the event you experience a meter fault but you are self isolating you need to let us know in advance so we can take precautionary measures before entering your property. Please contact our Customer Helpline on 03457 643 643. 

Wayleave Officers

Our electricity equipment is, for the most part, located on customer’s fields or outdoor areas and managed by a wayleave agreement. Our wayleave officers may call to your home to view or access the land and to discuss the wayleave agreement. If you are self-isolating we would ask you to inform our wayleave officer as soon as they call at your property and we will complete any discussions with you over the phone at a suitable time.

Wayleave Queries - Payments & Notifications

All wayleave payment queries from customers remain very important to us. Changes to the way in which we are working during this time however may result in us being unable to review letters being sent to us by post and requests for copies of legal documents may be subject to a delay.

To help us process wayleave payments during the COVID-19 pandemic we would encourage all customers to submit their queries via our online forms available here. We will endeavour to respond to you as quickly as possible.

For customers unable to access our website, please call our Wayleave Helpline Messaging Service on 03452 470 003. You will be invited to leave a message including your name, grantor number, telephone number and any other relevant information. We will return your call as soon as possible and complete the form on your behalf.

Connections

As part of our response to COVID-19 our connections design and quotation teams are able to carry out their roles from home.  You can apply online, receive your quotation via e-mail and make your payment online.  However, please note that the majority of our site visits and construction work associated with connections will now be postponed and rearranged with customers, unless there is a critical need for the work to be carried out. If you have already submitted a connection request, our teams will contact you to discuss this further.

Vulnerable Customers

We are committed to providing the best possible service for all of our customers. We understand that this is a particularly concerning time for those most vulnerable in society and we remain committed to keeping our customers safe and supporting those who rely on life-saving medical equipment. You can read more here about joining our Medical Customer Care Register and the other services we provide.
 

General Etiquette

  • If we should meet with you over the coming weeks, we will not be offering to shake hands as we normally would. This is in the interest of protecting the health of both our employees and you. Please do not be offended.
  • We are regularly issuing health and safety guidance to all our teams. Hand sanitisers have been placed in all of our offices and our employees are following best practice in terms of hand washing.

Other Useful Links

Below you will find a number of useful links providing information in relation to Coronavirus.

Public Health Agency Northern Ireland

NI Direct

The Consumer Council

 

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