COVID-19 is a new illness caused by the Coronavirus that can affect your lungs and airways. The Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Health is leading Uganda’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. In line with the Government’s Directives (the ‘Directives’) on the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Electricity Supply Industry (ESI) is adopting various measures to tackle the adverse situation that might arise due to the potential spread of the COVID-19 Virus.
We are working closely with Government to ensure that the Electricity Supply Industry is taking all the necessary steps to serve the needs of customers, particularly people in vulnerable situations and people who may need to self-isolate at home.
During the period of the COVID-19 Pandemic, all Electricity Companies (from Generation to Distribution) have been directed to defer or postpone all planned and scheduled maintenance works with the exception of those which are likely to affect Power Supply Reliability in the short term.
Given that the availability of the National Grid is of paramount importance, the System Operator, the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) has been directed to ensure that the Grid is monitored and remains available with minimal or no disruption at all.
All Electricity Companies have also been directed to ensure the protection of their power plants and or installations against cyber-attacks and possible external fires. Where possible, plants and installations shall be operated remotely using the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system provided that the communication facilities are in operation.
All Electricity Generation Companies have been directed to establish Business Contingency and Continuity Plans to mitigate any disruption in operations in order to maintain continuous Electricity Generation.
No. Your Electricity Supply will NOT be disrupted, and all Electricity Distribution Companies are still working by the same rules and obligations we have put in place.
We expect the Electricity Distribution Companies to continue delivering good customer service and consider how best to respond to customers, particularly vulnerable people, in a timely manner while following the Government’s Directives.
We are in constant contact with Government, Industry and Consumer groups so that we can act to protect you if any problems arise.
Contact your Electricity Distribution Company straight away if you have an Electricity problem, such as a disconnection or faulty meter. Tell them if you are unwell or self-isolating.
All Electricity Distribution Companies have been directed to ensure the functional proficiency of their CALL CENTERS and ONLINE platforms so that Customers are adequately and satisfactorily served through these channels.
The public is encouraged to minimize physical visits to the Electricity Distribution Companies unless under unavoidable circumstances.
All Electricity Distribution Companies have been directed to ensure that all lines with poor reliability are patrolled immediately and fixed adequately to minimize the strain and movement of the linesmen and ensure Continuity of Supply.
5 - What Should I Do If the Electricity Distribution Company Needs to Access My Property and I Am Self-Isolating?
If the Electricity Distribution Company contacts you to visit your property, tell them if you are unwell or are self-isolating.
All staff of the Electricity Distribution Companies should follow official guidance from the Ministry of Health such as avoiding close contact with you and washing their hands regularly.
The Electricity Distribution Companies must monitor and respond to Government guidance on self-isolation and health and safety, and take timely decisions on how best to protect customers and staff while delivering their services. We expect them to have the safety, health and wellbeing of their customers as their central priority with a particular focus on risks to vulnerable customers or where customers are at risk of going off supply or have gone off supply.
Under the current Government Directives, the Electricity Distribution Companies can still install yaka meters. We expect the Electricity Distribution Companies to monitor Government’s guidance and adapt their approach as circumstances change.
Ahead of a meter installation visit, your Electricity Distribution Company should contact you and establish if there are any people in the household who are more vulnerable to the COVID-19 infection or are self-isolating in line with Government guidance.
All installers should follow official guidance from the Ministry of Health such as avoiding close contact with you and washing their hands regularly.
If you become unwell or are self-isolating, contact your Electricity Distribution Company to tell them. You can postpone or rearrange your installation appointment if you want to.
One can use the Mobile money services and Online banking services. All the Electricity Distribution Companies have been directed to ensure that Prepaid Vending Systems remain functionally sound or offer alternative vending options so that consumers do not encounter problems with buying Electricity and receiving tokens.
If you are struggling to pay your Electricity bills or having money problems, the Electricity Distribution Company should offer other options that include:
- Reviewing bill payment plans, including debt repayment plans.
- Payment breaks or reductions in how much you pay.
- Giving you longer time to settle your bill.
All the Electricity Distribution Companies serving critical national services including referral hospitals, water services, security and telecommunication have been directed to ensure that there is seamless continued Supply of Electricity services without incidences and interruptions that can have negative knock-on effects on the services of those institutions.
The Electricity Regulatory Authority remains fully committed to promoting a Safe working environment across the Electricity Supply Industry and to ensuring the Continuity of Electricity Supply in the Country.