The Government has now announced the reintroduction of a regional- tiered system across the UK, in response to the current coronavirus pandemic.
Here’s how we’ll be responding to the latest news. Our goal is to ensure minimal disruption for our customers, brokers and colleagues during this unprecedented time, as well as provide resources to help advise the next steps for your business.
Three Tier Restrictions
Latest Government News
The Government has officially announced the return of three tier restrictions.
These tiers have been broken into three alert levels:
- Very High
Decisions across each tier have been based around:
- Case rates across all age groups
- Case rates in over 60’s
- Positivity rate
- Rate in the rising or falling of cases
- Pressure on the NHS
Tier allocations are set to be reviewed every 14 days. You can take a look at the full list of local restrictions here.
What this means for small businesses
The impact on businesses is dependent on the tier you are in.
Medium levels of restrictions allow for the rule of six to apply both in and outdoors.
All businesses in a medium alert level area can remain open, as long as they meet COVID-19 guidance. When working, face coverings must be worn by both customers and staff.
All food and drink venues must issue table service-only and must collect data from the NHS Test and Trace service. They must stop taking orders at 10pm and must be closed between 11pm-5am.
High alert areas prohibits mixing indoors, however the rule of six can be followed outdoors.
Pubs and bars must stay closed, unless they are operating as restaurants. For hospitality venues, alcohol can only be served with substantial meals.
The same table service-only and self-isolation rules from the medium tier also apply, but businesses must ensure that all customers are from the same household or support bubble.
Large event rules also remain the same and working from home is advised where possible.
Now for the Very High Alert level, which applies to places where the virus spreads rapidly.
This stage prohibits social mixing indoors and enforces the closure of hospitality businesses.
Bars, restaurants and pubs are closed, with the exception of takeaways, deliveries and drive-through services. Indoor entertainment venues should close, and no large outdoor events are allowed to take place, unless they are drive-in events.
Sports and leisure facilities can stay open, but group classes are not allowed to go ahead.
Working from home is strongly advised where it is possible to do so.
Customer and Colleague Guidance
Supporting our customers and colleagues though these changes
We understand that despite many of our customers working across different tiers, energy and water supplies are still essential for businesses.
We have a robust plan in place so that we continue to provide high levels of service and meet our regulatory obligations, whilst following Government advice to manage the spread of the virus and ensure the safety of our team here at Yü Energy.
We are monitoring the situation daily and adjusting our plans to minimise disruption. We have arrangements in place to allow remote working for our team where required.
We remain contactable as normal and you should see little change to your service, but please bear with us if it takes slightly longer for us to respond on some occasions.
Customers and TPIs can continue to contact us for new business quotes or any other queries in the usual way. For TPI partners our TPI Energy Portal provides quick and easy online quoting and contracts for small business electricity and gas quotes whenever you need.
Actions for your business
We are acutely aware of the impact the current COVID-19 situation can pose to a business. The Government has announced a series of funding support mechanisms to reduce the impact of coronavirus on small and medium businesses:
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme– has been extended until March 2021. The Government will continue to pay at least 80% of employee wages (to a max of £2,500/month)
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme– has been extended until 30 April 2021. This is for the self-employed who are eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, who are still trading but are facing hardship due to COVID-19.
Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan- deadline is January 2021. This is designed for businesses who have borrowed less than their maximum. They will be able to top up their existing loan. Details of this will be expected soon.
VAT Deferral Payments- deadline is 31 March 2022. Businesses who deferred VAT from 20 March to 30 June 2020 have the option to pay over the course of 11 payments until the deadline.
We have also put together our own guide, complete with further support packages to help with your business.
You can also find out what support your Business Representative Organisation or Trade Association offers and there are a host of public bodies, organisations and charities that have produced additional resources that may be useful.
Taking Control of Your Energy Spend
Improve your energy efficiency
It’s vital that you take every action you can to reduce your cost base and avoid unnecessary spend. Here are some of our recent handy tips on reducing your business energy and water spend in our helpful guides:
We have also introduced our new Energy Health Check tool, specifically designed for small businesses. Using the tool aids businesses to identify how they can be save through switching suppliers- across a range of sectors and business sizes. All you have to do is fill out a few short details and compare your usage with similar businesses to yours.
Provide regular meter readings
In the current situation you may find that your business energy consumption varies due to factors such as changing customer behaviour or increased homeworking.
Make sure that your bill accurately reflects these changes in your energy usage by providing regular meter readings at the end of the month or as close to this as you possibly can. Without up to date meter readings, your energy supplier will use estimates which may not reflect your business’ energy usage and could result in you paying more than you need to.
Ensure payments are in order
Whether you normally pay your energy bill by BACS or Direct Debit, ensure that during the current situation, you still have arrangements in place to ensure timely payment of your business energy bills in line with your energy supplier’s payment terms. Remember that if you do not pay on time, this may result in late payment charges. Yü Energy customers can find more details in our terms and conditions.
Contact your business energy or water supplier immediately if you foresee any issue with your payments or other aspects of your account so that they can work with you to find a solution.
If you have any other questions, you’ll find lots of useful help and advice on our website. We’ve also put together a customer FAQs post, so you can check on there if you have any queries.
Get in touch if you have any issues
If need to contact Yü Energy, you can continue to do this via:
Thank you in advance for the support of our customers, partners and colleagues during these exceptional and challenging times. Our thoughts and best wishes are with anyone who is personally affected by COVID-19.
We continue working hard to ensure a smooth delivery of business energy and water supplies for our customers and we’ll continue to provide updates during the current situation as it evolves.