ERRA Chairman’s Letter

27/03/2020

Dear ERRA Members,

One of our, energy sector regulators’, primary responsibility is tackling uncertainty by assuring affordable and reliable energy supply. Uncertainty, however, can take many forms and, as the developments of today clearly show, can sometimes hardly be measured or controlled. In the COVID19 context, the worry touches us not just as regulators but plain people. It is needless to say that we, together with our loved ones, have to face a silent, potentially deadly threat, that hugely affects the way we live and work. Most of us by now had to switch to the home office regime, our children cannot go to school (or soon will not be able to do so) and we have to stay alert even when buying groceries. As people we all care about our families and naturally prioritize the safety before work. Nevertheless, our responsibility as energy regulators, stretches far beyond the comfort of our own homes and this needs to be remembered especially now. As we are currently witnessing an unprecedented unpredictability levels that stem from the officially recognized pandemic, the ERRA would like to share a message that contradicts the havoc which the virus is spreading. In this difficult time – adaptation, reason and calmness – are the principles that we continue our operation according to. 

We would like to make it very clear that ERRA is adjusting and continues to exist for its Members. Despite the necessity of postponement or cancellation of all physical events of the March-June period, the Secretariat’s staff stays busy and has been carrying on its duties in a home office setting since March 16th. We continue to dedicate our resources to research projects, future virtual events and the support for the Members that seek knowledge-sharing solutions or other assistance, especially in these challenging times. All this was additionally confirmed during the most recent, online Presidium meeting on March 26th, when the body discussed the challenges and agreed on certain interim measures.

Even though we cannot meet physically, the virtual meetings of April 6th and 7th are taking place and we would like to use this opportunity not only to share regulatory insights or learn what is new but also to strengthen our community’s spirit. We are also working on how, when and on what terms to move our training activities fully online.  We would like to assure you that the Secretariat together with the Presidium are monitoring all ongoing developments and are ready to react in case of a need of realigning the plans that stand as of today, especially in the context of September events in Tbilisi. We would like to emphasize that good communication and transparency will be maintained.

To conclude – in a challenging period of social distancing and increased vigilance – let me wish you all good health, persistence and positivity! Even though none of us, as people or organizations, has ever experienced anything like this before, we truly believe the situation will normalize and we will all be able to leave our homes safely and meet in large groups once again in a not-too distant future. Please stay strong and keep up with the good regulatory work that can always be supported by ERRA – for the sake of minimizing parts of the general uncertainty in the areas we continue to regulate. We hope to meet you on April 6 in our virtual platform!

Yours sincerely,
Mart Ots, ERRA Chairman