The Light You Can’t Live Without. How to Ensure Power Supply and Minimize the Outspread of COVID 19. BLOG

The Light You Can’t Live Without. How to Ensure Power Supply and Minimize the Outspread of COVID 19. BLOG

Power distribution02 April 2020

Three steps – the experience of DTEK Grids, an operator of the infrastructure with the staff of 18 thousand employees.

Quarantine introduced in response to the COVID-19 outbreak has become a challenge for the entire Ukrainian society. People are forced to stay at home in self-isolation. And we must honestly admit: this isolation is possible because the power system works – the houses have light, Internet, functioning household appliances and heating.

Electricity is a convenience first of all. And this convenience for all the people is ensured each day by thousands of power engineers, gas worker and miners. And this very second, thousands more power engineers are staying near turbines and boilers, behind unit control boards of power plants and control panels, controlling the safety of nuclear units, producing coal and gas, and repairing electric grids.

And while the whole country is forcedly staying at home to save health, these people continue working so that we can still use blessings of civilization. The distribution system operators of DTEK Grids supply electricity to 13.3 million Ukrainians living in Kyiv and Kyiv Region, Dnipropetrovsk and Odesa Regions and Ukraine-controlled parts of Donetsk Region. The work carried on by our employees has always remained a pillar of normal life, and we will use every possible effort to keep it this way in these turbulent times.

The situation’s severity required quick and decisive actions. 7 distribution system operators of DTEK Grids have more than 18 thousand workers employed, of which 70% are production personnel ensuring the continuity of the power supply, and so they cannot take vacation on a massive scale and quit working. We have chosen three main areas of action that allowed us to ensure the stable operation of the company and minimize the outspread of coronavirus in enterprises and in cities of presence.

Task 1: To minimize face-to-face contacts with customers. How do we do it?

  • All our customer service centers have switched to providing customer services exclusively remotely: via the website, social media, and the call center.
  • During the quarantine, our technical personnel monitors only those meters where unrestricted access is available: staircases, housefronts or supports. This means no contacts with customers.

Outcome: Customer consulting was arranged with no harm to process quality. For the first two weeks we received 142 thousand calls from customers, 3 thousand Facebook messages and 4 thousand emails. And we did our best to ensure that the power supply to our customers remains stable and our work – clear and coherent.

Task 2: To minimize contacts within the company. How have we arranged the process?

  • Our administrative personnel have been transferred to remote working to the maximum extent. Those employees who cannot work remotely were grated paid leave.
  • We have stopped having all in-person meetings and briefings. Daily reporting on the works done is carried out online via emails and mobile phones. Meetings are held via conference calls.
  • The company has arranged transportation for personnel who continue working, and, first of all, for emergency response teams; also, employees use their private cars to avoid completely using public transport. More than 300 vehicles have been provided.
  • We have introduced special working hours for our dispatchers. They must be on duty 24/7 to see in time if an emergency occurs that can stop the life in cities and villages, and to send a crew to eliminate the emergency. To ensure their safety, contacts with them are strictly prohibited for colleagues from other subdivisions. At the same time they can be reached by phone to solve working issues.

Outcome: 12 thousand employees continue working and ensuring the consistency of production process. The efforts we have put in helped us work during the first two weeks of quarantine without any major interruptions in our operations. The distribution system operators performed more than 4,300 repairs and restored electricity supply to 320 thousand customers. This means light and comfort in Kyiv and 4 regions.

Task 3: To ensure maximum safety of the working environment. What have we been doing?

  • We have purchased hand antiseptics and surface disinfectants for all our undertakings. Disinfectants are used to treat transport and premises on a regular basis.
  • We have purchased face masks and provide them to all members of our personnel who could have contacts with clients.
  • We have developed a sanitation instruction for employees. And each day we remind how important it is to follow it.

It is important for us that clients know that we care about them every day and do our best to ensure that their homes have light, and that is important for us all to prevent the outspread of virus in the country.

That is why our employees took part in the international flash mob to support the quarantine. They posted photos from their workplaces in the social media and asked people: “We are here for you so stay home for us.” These photos reached up to 800 thousand people. We want very much and believe that our clients listen to this call, and we all together will do our best to prevent the outspread of epidemics in the country.

Taken from