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Covid-19: these are the measures Terna has implemented

From agile working to operating committees and ad hoc insurance. Main goals: to protect employees and guarantee the security of the electricity service.

Electricity is an essential good, especially during a quarantine. Now that millions of Italians are forced to stay in their homes in order to combat the spread of the coronavirus, domestic consumption is rising. Industrial consumption is decreasing. Peak hours have changed. Those that deliver electricity must adapt to the changes and ensure that everything is running smoothly. This is why Terna, the company that manages the Italian electricity grid, has implemented plans so as to ensure that energy flows are always continuous. Every day, 24 hours a day. Safely. The first TSO (transmission system operator) in Europe to adopt this model, Terna is now sharing it with other European companies that manage electricity grids. Ready to restart and support recovery when the emergency is over.

Terna’s technicians on the front lines in the early days of the Covid-19 emergency (Terna photo)

These are the wide ranging measures that Terna has adopted, beginning with hygienic and sanitary measures enacted to keep employees safe and to reduce the risk of contagion. Specifically, starting on 23 February in the offices located in northern Italy, all office staff began telecommuting, this was later extend to apply to all office staff throughout the company starting on Friday, 13 March. Remaining personnel - those operating directly in plants, approximately 30% of the total workforce - are working on a weekly rotating shift schedule and are spread over several locations in order to guarantee safe social distancing of at least one meter.

(Terna photo)

That’s not all: company events and training courses have been suspended (with the obvious exception of online courses), while meetings are held via video conference and business trips, both in Italy and abroad, have been reduced to the bare minimum. As an additional safeguard, Terna has taken out a COVID-19 insurance policy for all employees, which goes into effect in the event of hospitalisation. Prevention remains the best strategy to follow, that is why anyone who enters the control and dispatching centres automatically has their body temperature read by a thermal scanner system.

From the outset Terna acquired all necessary protective equipment (FFP3 or FFP2 masks, disposable latex gloves, protective coveralls) to allow, in the event that the current scenario deteriorates, operational continuity of the control rooms to be guaranteed by ensuring the presence of personnel under adequate safety conditions for at least 10 days, consistent with the critical supply issues concurrent with the health facilities.

Work tools for Terna’s technicians in the Italy during the emergency (Terna photo)

In the meantime, the situation in Italy is changing on a daily basis and needs to be monitored constantly. That is exactly what the COVID-19 Crisis Committee does, which the company has set up internally. This new body monitors changes in the situation both nationally and locally, keeping up with all the changes made to the rules implemented by the Government and by the Regions. There is another Committee, which also includes trade union representatives, which verifies the application of the rules contained in the Shared Protocol signed by the Government and Social Partners of 14 March.

Regarding the economic impact of the coronavirus emergency, taking into account the highly regulated profile of the group's revenues, Terna does not expect major consequences on the turnover for the year, nor on the objectives of the Strategic Plan 2020-2024, presented at the beginning of March. On the contrary, Terna is convinced that it can make an important contribution to the recovery of the Italian economy, accelerating recovery once this emergency is over.