Members’ Regulatory Response Measures to COVID-19


ERRA Chairman’s letter on the Pandemic

Regulatory Response Measures to COVID-19 in ERRA Member Countries

The impacts of COVID-19 pandemic across the energy sector require immediate joint actions and measures by policy makers, regulators and utilities. The below measures taken by ERRA member regulators and national utilities serve the purposes of sharing best regulatory practices. (The list of actions is updated on a daily basis.)

Safety of Staff


All meetings of the ERE Board during this period will be made online and not open to public, will be held virtually, with conference call. As of today the Board meetings are hold periodically through online means and possibilities to open to public participation in the platforms are under consideration from the board.



E-Control’s CEO prescribed Home Office for the whole staff, no business travels, Twinning projects done remotely.



AREA and the regulated entities placed the employees above 65 years on additional paid leave.

The scope of the working staff at the office was decreased to 10%.  The rest of the staff works remotely from home.

The services provided by AERA, incl. the meetings with the citizens were arranged distantly (post, email, phone call, SMS, video-meeting).


Czech Republic

Opening hours for public of the ERO is limited to 3 hours a day (applicated by all state and municipal authorities).

For consumer consultations the phone or email form is preferred.

All meetings with external partners must be held via teleconference.

When possible, all staff is allowed to work from home.

Scheduled and unscheduled inspections are not performed (decision of the Board of ERO).



GNERC has gone to a completely remote mode since 31st of March.

GNERC ensured distant services for the customers. They are enabled to send an application/ complaint via post or e-mail or contact via GNERC hotline with extended working hours from 9:00 till 24:00 including weekends.

In case of necessity of attending the GNERC’s public hearing, company representatives and  customers have been enabled to participate online via Skype.



As much as possible, to keep an ordinary course of business, only the minimum number of colleagues shall stay in the office (home office for others).

Company cars shall be kept at least 50% of fuel level at all times.

Each colleague shall contact the secretariat until 10 AM about their current status (sickness, physical presence in the office, home office etc.)

Make a list of ’one-stop’ contacts for all departments at our authority, with a phone number and email address.

Create an information-sharing platform for all major electricity and natural gas incumbents.

Enter into cooperation and share applied/ best practices to mitigate the effect of coronavirus in energy sector with neighbouring NRAs.



NERC Emergency situations’ operation center has reviewed the recommendations for NERC staff which among others include the information provision requirements for NERC designated person in case of a confirmed coronavirus diagnosis or contacts with someone who has a confirmed case of coronavirus. All staff members are provided with the possibility to work from home unless it is necessary to be at the workplace.



The inspection/control activities by ANRE staff was suspended. Public hearings, the procedure of registering petitions, declarations, requests, extensions, withdrawals of permissive acts at ANRE headquarters were suspended.

ANRE employees are working from home. The head of the departments supervise and ensure that all tasks are done within established deadlines. The employees that are over 63 years old – working from home is mandatory.

The public hearings are scheduled to be conducted online.



NERC Staff:

All staff other than essential staff of the Commission currently work from home.

Essential staff of the Commission (i.e. Commissioners, heads of divisions, designated members of the IT unit, Registry and other staff nominated by the Commission) continue to work from the office.

The Commission advises members of the public that are conducting business with the Commission to refrain from visiting our offices during this period but contact us through other channels of communication.

There shall be no hearings at Forum Offices and all customer complaints should be lodged to the Forum Offices through other channels of communication.

All official travels have been suspended and staff advised to limit personal travels to that which is essential.

The use of biometric sign-in by staff at the Commission’s head office is also suspended.

Staff who have not completed their Health Insurance registration were directed to do so and ensure that they have the required details to access healthcare from relevant providers in case of need.

Regulated Entities:

The Commission issued the “NERC Guidelines for the Continuity of Service in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI)”.


North Macedonia

Minimum staff in the office with concrete schedule.



Working hours have been reduced.

Where possible employee have been allowed to work from home.

Providing of protective equipment to staff e.g. face masks.

Cancellation of all public hearing.



Osinergmin’s employees are working from home; some of them in a full-time basis, and some others on a working-license basis with subsequent compensations for the days not worked. In both cases wages are guaranteed.

A minimum number of supervisors are active for critical energy facilities, considering gas stations are opened and LPG distribution for domestic consumption is secured.



1. Before the approval of the Presidential Decree, one of the first measures that were taken in the energy domain was about the preventive isolation for essential personnel that operates Cernavoda nuclear power plant.

2. All ANRE employees who can work from home to do so. For this purpose, we set up a rotational system in which only two persons in each office have to be present at work, one expert and the team leader or the person who can represent him. The rotation is weekly.

3. At management level, the President, Vice-Presidents, General Secretary and Department Directors should have digital signatures in order not to be in person in the building, but still continue issuing decisions and responses from home.



1. Physical contact and mail delivery to URSO are limited, consultations over the phone or via email are preferred, in all other cases visitors to URSO have to wear a mask, opening hours of URSO registry are limited to 2 hours three days a week.

2. No new inspections will be performed until further notice.



EMRA Personnel can work more flexible and also work from home.

Senior citizens, pregnant women and those with chronic health conditions were given administrative leave until the end of April.



Temporary restriction to access the NEURC central office and NEURC territorial bodies premises for unauthorized persons during the period of quarantine (from March 17 till the end of the quarantine). Licensees representatives, applicants, other persons are allowed to access NEURC premises only in case of emergency upon the decision NEURC Chief of Office.

Employees over 55 y.o are advised to take a vacation for period of quarantine.

NEURC open hearings are held in an on-line format.

Application submission for obtaining (cancellation) of licenses is carried out exclusively through the Single State Portal for Administrative Services.


Regulated Entities – Dispatch Centers


ERE has addressed the main operators in the power sector to take necessary measures and action plans in order to guarantee supply of  electricity as well as quality of service imposing measures for social distancing to the employees as well as clients in the agencies.



System operators in Austria have taken extraordinary measures to ensure that the network remains up and running during the crisis. This has included:

  • alternating shifts between their dispatching centres (to avoid direct contact between essential personnel) and thoroughly cleaning facilities in between shifts;
  • the same holds for other critical equipment (compressors, metering, power supply etc.): maintenance teams are split so that there is no direct contact;
  • reducing contact with contractors;
  • a bloc of essential employees voluntarily quarantining themselves at the control centre etc.



Energy dispatchers at the National Dispatching Centre and the Territorial Dispatching Centres are identified as key personnel. As they have 12 hour shifts, each new shift travels from home to work. Contact, in accordance with the recommendations of the National Crisis Headquarters, takes place only between the shift transferee and the transferor.


Czech Republic

Establishing fixed alternating shifts in order to avoid physical contact among bigger staff, e.g. splitting dispatching centre staff into 2 teams to avoid physical contact with one another.

All excursions and unnecessary visits to operation grounds have been cancelled.



To enhance security, the Hungarian electricity TSO has ordered that the system control dispatchers must not leave the headquarters. Essential conditions to work and live in the HQ are provided.


North Macedonia

1. Concerning national dispatching centre (NDC) it is organised in a separate plan that includes three different premises in case one is contaminated (regular, reserve and crises) on three different locations.

2. Dispatchers follow strict plans for shifts in which different groups of dispatchers do not have contacts among each other. This work schedule is designed to minimize employee contact. Also, this schedule ensures that half of the dispatchers work in a continuous 24-hour shift for two weeks, and the other half of the dispatchers are at home ready. In this way, it is believed that continuous operation of the dispatch center is ensured even when one of the regular dispatchers is infected with a virus, so that the entire lineup will be replaced with the home lineup.

3. Also on the reserve list are employees that previously worked as dispatchers and are now on different positions in the TSO.

4. Carrying out only previously scheduled and started activities on the field.

5. In the following period the number of employees (isolated from other employees) is increasing, who from home will be ready to respond in case of need (outbreaks of illness among employees).

6. The number of maintenance teams for transmission lines and substations that will be in-house is increasing. These employees are organized and equipped with the necessary number of vehicles, tools, instruments and more. Ready to intervene at any moment.



ISO/dispatcher (COES) control room continues its activities with three (03) permanent operators. Shift changes are set for 8 to 12 hours (06:30 am to 06:30 pm) to decrease the contact among employees. The rest of the operators at home should be available in case of emergency. Operation tests for generation units, transmission and distribution facilities are suspended.



Establishing fixed alternating shifts in order to avoid physical contact among bigger staff, e.g. splitting dispatching center staff into 2 teams to avoid physical contact with one another.


Regulated Entities – DSOs


ERE suspended the procedure for the adaptation of the new tariffs for the DSO and the Universal Supplier for year 2020, procedure which was started in January. This decision takes into consideration the restrictions on holding technical and public hearings with relevant stakeholders which could lead to a very difficult decision making and transparent in this very important process. The procedure will be suspended no later than 3 months after the finish of the pandemic situation and return into normality.



The regulated entities were instructed to remove the specific cut-off cases discovered and to restore the supply.

The regulated entities are open for the web-based video, voice (audio) and written requests on a 24 hour a day basis.

In order to ensure the uninterrupted gas supply for the consumers, DSO on gas supply conducts the most necessary operations (issue of new smart cards, restoration of the blocked operations, and replacement of the lost and damaged smart cards) free of charge.

In view of #stayhome calls DSO on gas supply also provides support for the consumers above 65 years, who are not allowed to leave their homes: in case of any necessity/request, the persons of the stated age category can contact Call Center or send message to Whatsapp. In case of any failure of the domestic gas equipment, the maintenance is provided free of charge.



Network maintenances are postponed.


Czech Republic

Customer centre services closed, customers are advised to contact their companies electronically or by phone.

All planned outages are cancelled until further notice, and companies are performing only those necessary to secure energy supply.

Companies enabled to postpone energy payments and do not carry out electricity disconnections due to late payments.



For the customers whose meters are installed inside their premises GNERC developed a distant rule for meter readings. The customers are enabled to provide their meter readings to the representatives of the regulated company remotely. Based on the rule the regulated companies have been obliged to provide the information about such procedures to the customers. In case customers do not provide the information distantly because of the force majeure the company will be entitled to calculate consumed amount of electricity, natural gas or water in accordance with the consumption data of the same month of the previous year. Such calculation shall be adjusted after the actual meter readings will be ensured.



DSOs reported to HEA that:

  • the most important is to ensure the continuous operational control and possible troubleshooting;
  • crisis units and new crisis plans were set up to ensure the business continuity;
  • only the most necessary maintenance is carried out;
  • business continuity plans and pandemic plans were updated to adhere to current circumstances;
  • essential staff was identified to maintain business continuity and operation;
  • plans were set to secure in-house isolation of key operational staff shifts in case of higher level of pandemic spread;
  • customer service closure;
  • rules have been made to ensure that only the most necessary staff stays in the building (the remaining part of the staff works from home).



Electricity and natural gas distribution system operator Energijos Skirstymo Operatorius AB will cut off the power supply for only the most critical work for no more than 4 hours and only on power lines that supply up to 50 households. If the complexity of the work does not allow to complete the work within 4 hours, other solutions to provide customers with electricity will be arranged.


North Macedonia

1. During the state of emergency, the reception offices in DSO will not operate in all User Energy Centres as well as the Info Centre in Skopje. Users during this period should use online services and in case of urgency contact phones at any User Energy Centre.

2. On the portal, users can apply for an invoice electronically and quickly pay invoices without registering. Account registration also includes services such as: checking and paying off debts, downloading invoices from the last 12 months, checking the history of all payments made through the user account and requesting a successful payment confirmation

3. In the period when the emergency measures are in force, no new connections will be made except those that are necessary to be realized.

4. The measuring points will not be read for at least one month, due to which the users will receive accounts with estimated values, similar to the summer period (average of the consumption in the last 12 months). After the crisis, with the re-reading, the possible deviations in the consumption will be equalized.



1. Companies are performing only the works necessary to secure uninterrupted energy supply, all other planned outages are cancelled until further notice, interruptions will only be necessary in emergency cases and/or in the removal of failures with the utmost effort to minimize the necessary interruption time.

2. Customer center services closed, customers are advised to contact their companies electronically or by phone.

3. consumption meter readings are done remotely or avoiding direct physical contact.


Payment Collection


ERE has adopted a decision that the invoices for the consumption of electricity during the pandemic situation on monthly bases will be made with the relative month of the last year for household customers. Differences with the real consumption will be adjusted in the following months after the restoration of normal situation.

For the business that result closed by Govt. Decision by mid of March, the reference price of the relevant March 2019 month will be made only for a period of 15 days and no charge will be made for the time the business result closed.



PSRC considered current situation as force majeure by the end of the declared emergency situation which allows residents not to pay in that period for supplied electricity, natural gas and drinking water. However consumers were informed that the above does not exempt them from the obligation to pay for such services.

The supply companies are not authorized to interrupt the supply of electricity, natural gas and drinking water to consumers in case of non-payment.

By Decisions of Government of RA subscribers of the natural gas supply and electricity supply contracts, whose consumptions for February 2020 amounted to:

  1. for natural gas consumption up to 10 000 AMD (approx. 19 EUR)
  2. for electricity consumption up to 5000 AMD (approx. 9,5 EUR)

will receive compensation equal to 50% payment for natural gas and electricity and

  1. for natural gas consumption, 10 001 – 30 000 AMD including (approx. 19-57 EUR)
  2. for electricity consumption 5 001 – 10 000 AMD including (approx. 9,5-19 EUR)

will receive compensation equal to 30% payment for natural gas and electricity.



Large Austrian network operators have already publicly said that they will not disable connections of consumers due to payment delays during the corona crisis. this arrangement extends to households and small enterprises.



The billing system was modified and in coordination with the consumers the notifications and warnings were send to them via SMS or email communication (earlier the notifications were submitted personally and in paper format).

The limit of energy consumption at the preferential rate was increased from 300 kilowatt hours to 400 kilowatt hours for April and May.

DSO on electricity also declared consumers, who face financial difficulties caused by coronavirus, will be able to defer their payments to the next month and make them in part.

The heating season is extended from 15th April, as defined earlier, until 25th.

Warning notifications on the current due payments were stopped by the heating supply operator and relevant measures were taken in-situ to ensure the additional services.

Special advance payment card system is implemented in the gas distribution. However DSO implemented the crediting policy for the gas sold for the resident groups and the gas supply was not cut-off due to open payments. Furthermore the small entrepreneurs were enabled to settle the payments in partly installments. 



Extended the payment due date and no interruptions of supply due to non-payment for the period of the state of emergency.


Czech Republic

Companies have allowed postponing energy payments for up to three months. At the same time, they have stopped disconnecting customers who have not been able to pay in time due to the pandemic and offers an interest-free repayment schedule.



Based on the decision of Government of Georgia the fee for the electricity and natural gas customers who consume less than 200 KW electricity and 200 cubic meters of natural gas will be reimbursed by the government within three months period. For those citizens who wish to refuse the privileges for the purposes of the solidarity, GNERC has implemented a special platform. Those citizens can reflect their decision of not accepting benefits ensured by the government by filling out several mandatory fields. Deadline for refusing the benefits is 11th day of each month (during 3 month period).



The Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the measures to support the economy and business that include the measures related to payment deferrals for residents and businesses, and that in the energy and drinking water sectors:

  • Provide the opportunity to defer payments or pay in instalments for electricity and natural gas consumed.
  • Recommend that municipalities are allowed to defer payments or pay in instalments for public utilities’ services and heat provision services.

The consumers, supplied with electricity and natural gas by Ignitis UAB, who will face financial difficulties due to quarantine, will be able to defer all payments for natural gas and electricity consumed during the quarantine period and for an additional one month if needed. In the case of large energy bills, customers will be able to pay in instalments on an individual schedule during the period for up to one year. Business customer payments will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Vilniaus vandenys UAB, the largest water supply company in Lithuania, has announced that customers who will be financially affected by coronavirus quarantine (those who lose their job, take unpaid leave, will be in downtime through no fault of the employee, or will not be able to engage in self-employment and consequently will not earn income) will not be subject to the interest payments and will be able to defer payments. The company will give its customers a longer period for paying their bills (after the quarantine), each case will be solved individually, and the best solution will be sought mutually.



License holders are not allowed to suspend their services or apply penalties to consumers that did not pay the invoices for electricity, heating, natural gas or water. The operators can disconnect consumers from their services only if it is health or life threatening to people, as well as, damaging to the property.

License holders are entitled to issue monthly invoices based on average daily consumption estimations recorded during a similar month, last year. Following the end of the state of emergency, the invoices will be recalculated according to the actual data of the measuring equipment.

ANRE recommends consumers to pay the invoices by electronic means on time, in order to avoid the rising debt.



The Commission has deferred the extraordinary tariff review earlier scheduled to take effect 1st April 2020.


North Macedonia

1. ERC issued recommendation to distribution system operator for electricity and heat not to disconnect the consumers in the period of proclaimed pandemic situation.

2. Electricity and heat suppliers should not ask the distribution system operators to disconnect their consumers due to the non-payed electricity bill.

3. ERC warned electricity suppliers not to abuse the situation and increase the electricity prices.



Payment of bills by low end residential electricity consumers have been allowed to be submitted in three months installments without any late payment charges.



1. Continuity of the provision of basic public services for the vulnerable population.

2. Power, natural gas and telecommunications public services are guaranteed.

3. March 2020 receipts of power and natural gas by pipeline networks may be reprogrammed and refinanced (up to 24 months) for users with consumption less than 100 kWh and 20 m3 (natural gas). In this case, no default interest, fixed late fees, or any other concept related to non-payment of splitting receipts are enforced, except for the compensatory interest. The Social Inclusion Fund will serve this last purpose. The following cases are considered as “vulnerable population”:                      

  • Residential users of electricity consuming up to 100 kWh per month.
  • Residential users of electricity of unconventional rural electrical systems supplied with autonomous photovoltaic supply.
  • Residential users of natural gas consuming up to 20 m3 / month.

4. Rules to fraction or split the pending receipts are established.

5. No sanctions will be imposed if utilities fail to comply the technical quality standards of the power services; only if not related to security issues or non-imputable events as a result of the emergency.

6. No sanctions will be imposed if companies fail to comply with the procedures issued by the regulator regarding access and quality of the natural gas service by pipeline networks; only if not related to security issues or non-imputable events as a result of the emergency.

7. Commercialization activities of power, natural gas and telecommunication companies may consider some measures such as:

  • Stop delivering physical invoices considering alternative means such as digital invoices.
  • Stop reading the power and natural gas consumption of end consumers.
  • Stop physical attention by means of Customer Service Centers.
  • Power and natural gas companies are authorized to issue invoices for end consumers, using calculation methods that adjust to their consumption profile of the last six months prior to the month to be invoiced, based on actual readings.
    • This measure has been questioned by the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) as they are not producing nor currently using their infrastructure.
    • The penetration rate of smart meters in Peru is still very low.
  • Companies may determine alternative measures to comply with the marketing service to the end consumers.



During the period of emergency, the prices for medicines and medical equipment, for the food of strict necessity and for the services of public utility (electricity and heat, gas, water supply, sanitation, fuels, etc.) can be capped, within the limit of the average price from the last 3 months before declaring the state of emergency.



Slovakia´s biggest gas and electricity supplier SPP already informed that it will allow households to postpone their advance payments for electricity and gas supply by 3 months. Meanwhile, the competition analyzes the situation and promises an individual approach.



For the protection of meter reading staff and consumers, EMRA decided to issue invoices to consumers in certain regions based on the average consumption of the same months of the previous 2 years. It will be valid for the quarantine settlements where the meter readings are stopped by administrative decisions and the employees who cannot read the meter and will not be able to maintain their social distance and only the billing method will be changed for these situations. Installements to bills will also be possible for these case.



The administrative measures to electricity suppliers and DSOs will not be taken in case of late payment of their financial obligations to the TSO.

There are no penalties for non-payment of public utility bills for the quarantine period.

It is forbidden to suspend the provision of public utility services in case of non-payment or partial payment.

Forcible eviction of citizens for non-payment of public utility bills is prohibited.


Other Measures


Government, Parliament members and independent institution, including ERE executives agreed to reduce by 50% for the following three months their salaries as a sign of solidarity and this parts of salaries will be given to the fund created from the Govt. in order to face the economic situation.

ERE Board decided to suspend the execution of the articles of the Licensing Regulation related to the deposition in ERE of court and prosecution certificates, during the application procedure of licensing, since these institutions have suspended their activity. The companies will forward these certificates to ERE within one month from the end of this situation. Publications to start a licensing procedure will be done only through online media.

Licenses completed by June 30, 2020, will not be subject to a renewal process, therefore the expiry of the licenses during this period is waived. These entities, willing to obtain a renewed license have the obligation to submit an application, no later than 30 days from the end of the COVID-19 epidemic.



E-Control has issued a press release, assuring the public that we are working for them as usual and indicating the consumer rights they have.

Economic impact on the energy sector:

  • 10-15 % reduced daily average power consumption, up to 30% in touristic regions.
  • Power consumption of private households increases by a third (visible lunchtime peak).
  • Electricity prices are currently falling due to reduced electricity consumption and low prices for CO2 certificates.


Czech Republic

The Energy Regulatory Office (ERO) has published an appeal asking all energy market participants to consider the constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic when solving potential problems with customers. Small consumers are particularly at risk of late payment due to the situation. In the case of large customers, this mainly concerns unused reserved capacity due to production decrease.



As a part of visibility action GNERC has also created a frame with its logo for Facebook encouraging others to stay at home. 



HEA called on users of energy and utilities to use telephone, written and online services wherever possible to stay in contact with the service providers. Many utilities have decided to temporarily suspend their personal customer services in the face of health emergencies to protect the health and safety of customers and employees. HEA drew consumers’ attention to the fact that all service providers provide their customers with telephone, written and online contact information for their business.



NERC provides all services as far as they do not require physical contact (online, phone, virtual meetings, in writing and etc.) or can be provided outdoors maintaining the distance between people.

Public hearings of NERC during quarantine period are organised remotely to ensure the fulfilment of essential services during this period.



ANRE will ensure that the process of submitting the applications from potential eligible producers of electricity from renewable sources carries on, according to the recommendations of the Commission for Exceptional Situations.

Scheduled or unannounced state inspection are suspended.

ANRE took note of the Commission for Exceptional Situations to impose an obligation of public service electricity supply JSC “Energocom” covering 100% of the needs of the regulated electricity suppliers, distribution system operators and transmission system operators, as well as other electricity market participants, from a single source for a period of 3 months, with the possibility of extension.



Establishing of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry – NESI Situation Room to monitor happenings across the country real time and take immediate action to resolve issues and challenges as they occur.  The Situation Room is coordinated by the Commissioners, with Transmission Company of Nigeria (MO & SO), Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc and Federal Ministry of Power (FMOP) providing necessary support. 

Establishing three subcommittees to support the Situation Room; System Operator Report Analysis and Monitoring, Customer Complaints Handling and Transmission/ Distribution Interface.



Consideration (not yet invoked) of invoking force majeure clause of PPAs with IPPs and with LNG import orders.



The energy load in Peru has decreased 30.7 % due to large loads from the industrial, commercial and mining sectors.

  • As of April 18, 2020, the peak demand from large loads was 1212.4 MW, 46% less than the demand registered on March 16, 2020 (5 previous weeks).
  • The average demand from March 16 to April 16, 2020 (5 weeks) was 5095 MW.

The cold reserve increased from 57.5 % to 131.6% and the clean energy matrix increased its renewable base from 60% to 98%: hydro 89.7%, wind 5.3%, solar 2.3% and only  2.2% of natural gas.



EMRA extended the time for some reporting obligations of market players.

An additional 3 months has been defined for the deadlines of the operations for licensed and unlicensed generation facilities.



Temporary restrictions on commercial operations for  electricity import from countries other than the Energy Community Contracting Parties.


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