Covid-19: Safety of Meter Readers

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – in the House of Commons on 9th February 2021.

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Photo of Sam Tarry Sam Tarry Shadow Minister (Transport)

What assessment he has made of the safety of gas and electricity meter readers during the national covid-19 lockdown that has been in place since January 2021.

Photo of Anne-Marie Trevelyan Anne-Marie Trevelyan Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)

We have introduced safer working guidance so that workers, including gas and electricity meter readers, can continue to work safely during national restrictions. This guidance is kept under constant review and updated in line with the latest scientific evidence.

Photo of Sam Tarry Sam Tarry Shadow Minister (Transport)

Meter readers can visit between 50 and 200 properties a day, sometimes more in large cities. A large majority of these meter readers and their unions, such as the GMB, do not believe that it is right to enter those properties and put themselves and others at risk for the sake of someone getting an accurate gas or electric meter bill. Will the Minister listen to meter readers up and down the country and call for an end to internal meter readings during lockdown, to protect both meter readers and householders?

Photo of Anne-Marie Trevelyan Anne-Marie Trevelyan Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)

There was an extensive series of engagements to support the drafting process for the safer working guidance, with more than 1,000 users responding. The safer working guidance has had 3.3 million views, and the evidence shows that it is working well and supporting those who are doing the incredibly important work of keeping utility services going. My door is always open, and I would be very happy to discuss any concerns with the hon. Gentleman and his constituents.