CEZ Group CEO Daniel Benes comments on the COVID-19 pandemic: CEZ is ready
The current COVID-19 pandemic has changed our everyday lives tremendously. More than ever, we are aware that in situations such as this one it is important to stand side by side together in a joint attempt to stop the virus from spreading further.
We at CEZ are fully aware that maintaining reliable power supply is now of the upmost importance – hospitals, laboratories, shops, companies, but also hundreds of thousands of employees working from home and tens of thousands of children learning on-line depend on electricity.
That is why we have started to implement series of preventive measures since the end of February, even before the first coronavirus case was confirmed in the Czech Republic. These measures are aimed both at protecting our employees and ensuring we have enough workers to keep the power plants and the distribution grid running smoothly. Our special Crisis Team has followed the development of the situation closely and it frequently coordinates with the State crisis management authorities. Our crisis and emergency preparedness plans are ready and can be launched when necessary. We are reorganizing shifts so that we always have a back-up team of key personnel.
At the same time, we strive to reach out to our customers and offer them a helping hand in these difficult times: we have limited power outages to absolute minimum, we have enabled to postpone energy payments and we do not carry out electricity disconnections due to late payments. We are helping parents with the home schooling of their children via our educational website.
This is a difficult time for everybody. But I firmly believe that together we can manage it. A big thank you goes out not only to the employees of CEZ, who are doing their best to keep the electricity and the heat running, but also to all our customers, who respect the government´s regulations and thus help to overcome the current crisis as soon as possible.
Yours, Daniel Benes.
Measures taken by CEZ in the fight against COVID-19
Reliability of power supply and protection of employees
- CEZ will maintain power supply under all circumstances, because without electricity, nothing would work
- We have reorganized the shifts so that we always have a back-up of the key personnel. Distribution dispatching employees are working in weekly isolation shifts, without meeting each other.
- Nuclear power plants have already implemented over twenty preventive measures. They are ready to tighten them up within hours.
- It is mandatory to use masks or other coverage of mouth and nose in all CEZ grounds. Hand disinfection is provided to CEZ employees.
- Employees coming to power plants and call centers have their temperature taken.
- Cleaning and disinfection of selected areas is done more often. We also disinfect the buses that bring nuclear power plant employees to work.
- Those employees, who can, are encouraged to work from home.
- Dining areas have been rearranged to prevent large concentration of people.
- All excursions and unnecessary visits to operation grounds have been canceled.
Customer relief and helping others
- CEZ Prodej (Sales) has allowed postponing energy payments for up to three months. At the same time, the company has stopped disconnecting customers who have not been able to pay in time due to the pandemic and offers an interest-free repayment schedule.
- CEZ Distribuce (Distribution) has postponed 40 % of all the planned electricity outages for grid repairs in March to minimize discomfort of the people working from home. Other postponements are planned in April.
- CEZ Foundation has prepared a special Crisis Grant for activities aimed at combating the epidemic.
- CEZ has granted free access to over one thousand educational videos focused on physics to help children with their home studies