We understand that this is a difficult time for lots of businesses, big and small. Whether you have had to close for the time being or have shifted to remote working, here are a few actions you may be able to take to manage payments such as energy bills.
Keep on top of day to day business requirements
From restaurants turning to takeaway service to offices taking a leap into home working, many businesses have changed the way they operate to keep running until normality starts to resume.
Among the challenges this presents, make sure not to let key energy admin slip. This could add unnecessary costs to your outgoings.
- Make sure your bills are accurate by submitting regular meter readings. If you’re a Good Energy customer, submit a meter reading via our website or by setting up an online account.
- Don’t forget about your existing contracts and renewals periods to avoid out of contract rates. For support with your Good Energy supply contract, email email@example.com
Access government support
Government aid is available to support small businesses through the crisis. The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is being managed by 40 accredited lenders and provides UK SMEs access to a loan of up to £5 million.
To be eligible for a loan you must meet these criteria:
- The loan must be for business purposes.
- You must be a UK-based SME with annual turnover of up to £45 million.
- Your business must generate more than 50% of its turnover from trading activities.
- The loan must be used to support trading primarily in the UK.
- You wish to borrow no more than £5 million.
Full details on the scheme and how to apply are available here.
Look after remote working employees
If you’ve been able to transition to remote working, supporting your employees with both work and wellbeing is vital to maintaining productivity. Here are some of the actions that we have taken as a business; you may find some of these useful for your organisation.
Employers are still responsible for some aspects of their peoples’ health and safety when they work from home
Making sure our people have the equipment they need
Like work based at business premises, employers are still responsible for some aspects of their peoples’ health and safety when they work from home. At Good Energy we’ve arranged to have equipment such as monitors and desk chairs delivered safely to all of our people who have requested them.
You can check the ACAS website for further advice on making home working work for your business.
Keeping our teams working together
Meetings have been replaced with video conferencing across the business. To reduce the risk of isolation, we’ve also encouraged teams to set up daily group calls to check in on everyone and keep in touch. We’re even using an open conference call format to deliver our monthly team brief, where our senior management team share key updates with the whole business.
Flexible working and exceptional leave policies
We invited everyone to share their views on how we could support them, using this to develop policies to enable people to carry out their roles and take time out for care duties. These include offering paid exceptional leave for people who need to care for dependents or who wish to volunteer in the community.
Supporting health and wellbeing
Working from home for such an extended period is new to all of us. We recognise that it may take some of our people time to adjust – and that the stresses of being in a pandemic may mean some days are more difficult than others.
Here are some of the ways that we’re helping our team focus on wellbeing:
- Our Mental Health First Aiders are ready to support colleagues who need to talk.
- Our people are using our internal communications channels to share uplifting ideas and activities to help others through lockdown, including setting up a Strava club to inspire colleagues to log their daily exercise.
- We’re exploring running online social events such as a company quiz.
Think about sustainability – green businesses are more resilient
The working world will start to turn again. And the need to cut carbon emissions to tackle climate change hasn’t gone away.
Businesses that put long-term sustainability at the heart of their operations are more resilient in the face of external challenges. For example, research by HSBC has shown that shares in companies focused on environmental and climate issues outperformed others during the initial stock market turmoil caused by COVID-19.
Businesses that put long-term sustainability at the heart of their operations are more resilient in the face of external challenges
Being able to demonstrate you’re prioritising sustainability has multiple business benefits, including:
- Boosting your reputation with other businesses; consumers; and current and potential employees.
- Gaining a competitive advantage over businesses that are lagging behind on sustainability.
- Enabling you to meet government requirements to reduce carbon emissions.
Explore how you can further reduce emissions across your business; from making sustainability a clause in supply chain contracts to ensuring investments aren’t supporting fossil fuels. And in the long-term, thinking about how to incentivise clean travel for your clients and workforce.
Need to get in touch?
We want to do our best to help all of our business customers through this difficult time.
The government has announced a significant package of support for businesses and we’re monitoring any implications this has for energy supply.
If you are a Good Energy business customer and think it may be difficult to pay your energy bills and want to explore the options available, please email firstname.lastname@example.org