Drax announces package to support customers through Covid-19
6th May 2020
Covid-19 has had an impact on us all. At Drax, we’ve seen organisations of all sizes, and their employees and families, hit hard by both the pandemic and the rules it’s necessitated.
We put together a coronavirus response package to support our customers and communities, and our colleagues. And to say thank you to those on the front line. Below are some of the initiatives we implemented.
Supporting our customers
We teamed up with Business Debtline, a charity that gives free, confidential and impartial advice to small organisations. We gave £150,000 to run a dedicated Business Debtline webpage and phone line for the next two years. And we trained our own customer service agents to facilitate earlier interventions for smaller organisations facing financial difficulty.
We also gave two months of free energy to care homes in local areas. We offered this temporary cancellation of bills to around 170 care homes in our local communities:
- Ipswich and East Anglia
- Yorkshire and The Humber
And for organisations that had contracts ending, we temporarily froze electricity rates so bills didn’t change during lockdown and social distancing. We also helped some customers by agreeing reduced payment plans or payment holidays where necessary.
Supporting our communities
Drax donated £250,000 to provide nearly 900 laptops with pre-paid internet access to local schools and colleges across England and Scotland. Working with headteachers at partner schools, the donation allowed studies to continue during lockdown for children without a computer at home.
Drax lit up our power station near Selby in North Yorkshire to show appreciation for frontline workers in the NHS. Every Thursday at 8pm, we turned the 114m-tall cooling tower blue when the nation came together to clap for carers.
Supporting our colleagues
When the Government announced social distancing restrictions, we closed our offices and sourced IT and other equipment so all colleagues could work safely from home.
However, not everyone was able to work through this period – due to illness or caring for dependents. And this continues to be a real challenge for many. So, our policy is to give full paid leave to colleagues who can’t work due to Covid-19.
Finally, we wanted to celebrate colleagues who’d done extraordinary things to raise money for the causes that needed it most. Some used their daily exercise to cycle hundreds of miles over several weeks. Others did sponsored head shaves, while some used personal 3D printers to make PPE for frontline workers. We’re extremely proud of them all. We match-fund all charity fundraising, and Drax increased this match-funding by £60,000.
Click here to get the latest on how the whole of Drax responded to the Covid-19 crisis.