Drax announces package to support Opus Energy customers through COVID-19 crisis
5th May 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted all of us. At OpusEnergy, we’ve seen businesses of all sizes, their employees and families, hit hard by COVID-19 and the guidelines put in place to keep everyone safe.
Opus Energy’s parent company, Drax, has put together a coronavirus response package to provide support to our customers, communities and employees.
We’re very proud to be part of a group that’s able to give support to those most impacted by the pandemic and say thank you to those who are on the front line.
Below are some of the initiatives we’ve been working on over the last few weeks.
Supporting our customers
We’ve teamed up with Business Debtline, a charity that gives free, confidential and impartial advice to small businesses. We’ve given £150,000 to run a dedicated Business Debtline webpage and phone line for the next two years, as well as training our own customer service agents to facilitate earlier interventions for SMEs facing financial difficulty.
As part of Drax, we’ve also given two months of free energy to care homes in areas nearby to where we operate. Care homes have been put under immense pressure in this pandemic, so bills have been temporarily cancelled for around 170 care homes in our local communities:
- Ipswich & East Anglia
- Yorkshire & The Humber
And for businesses whose contracts have ended, we’ve temporarily frozen energy rates, so bills won’t change while they’re managing their businesses through lockdown and social distancing. We’re also offering more customers help with reduced payment plans or payment holidays where necessary.
Supporting our communities
Drax has donated £250,000 to provide nearly 900 laptops with pre-paid internet access to schools and colleges local to our operations across England and Scotland. Working with headteachers at partner schools, the donation is allowing studies to continue for children without a computer at home, so they can continue learning through lockdown.
Meanwhile, employees at Drax Power Station are lighting the power station up to show appreciation for frontline workers in the NHS. Every Thursday at 8pm, the 114m tall cooling tower is turned blue when the nation comes together to ‘Clap for Carers’.
Supporting our employees
When the government announced social distancing restrictions, we mobilised our workforce; closing our offices and sourcing equipment for all employees to they could work safely from their homes.
Not all employees have been able to work through this period, whether due to illness or caring for dependents. We recognise this has been a real challenge for many, and so any of our employees who’ve been unable to work due to COVID-19 have been given full paid leave.
Finally, we’ve wanted to celebrate our employees who’ve done some extraordinary things to raise money for the causes that need it most right now. From team members using their daily exercise to cycle hundreds of miles over several weeks, to sponsored head shaves, to using their personal 3D printers to make PPE for frontline workers – we’re extremely proud of all of them. We match-fund all charity fundraising, and Drax Group has increased this match-funding by £60,000.
Click here to get the latest on how the whole of Drax Group has responded to the COVID-19 crisis.
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