Government advice on ventilation in the workplace during coronavirus outbreak

With lockdown easing and the workplace adjusting to a new version of normal, offices that have managed to open back up for employees are doing so under the guidance of government. There are social distancing restrictions still in place at work, as well as procedures around movement in and around the office, hygiene and hand sanitisers, and the sharing of office equipment and lunch stations.

Good ventilation can help reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus. Businesses were already required by law to ensure adequate supply of fresh air in the workplace – this continues to be the case. Considering ways to maintain and increase the supply of fresh air, for example, by opening windows and doors (unless fire doors) is of paramount importance during the current coronavirus outbreak, as it was before the pandemic.

The risk of air conditioning spreading coronavirus in the workplace is extremely low as long as there is an adequate supply of fresh air and ventilation.

The government advises that the continued use of most types of air conditioning systems is fine but if you use a centralised ventilations system that removes and circulates air to different rooms it is recommended that you turn off recirculation and use a fresh air supply.

The government also advises that air conditioning systems that mix some of the extracted air with fresh air and return it to the room do not need to be adjusted, as this increases the fresh air ventilation rate. Also, systems in individual rooms or portable units do not need to be adjusted as these operate on 100 per cent recirculation. You should still, however, maintain a good supply of fresh air ventilation in the room.

Ultimately, the focus should be on improving general ventilation, preferably through fresh air or mechanical systems.

All government advice and guidelines can be found on and if you’re unsure, ask the advice of your heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) engineer or adviser.

For all your energy related questions, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302
8149 or

Do businesses still have to pay for their energy during the coronavirus lockdown?

Coronavirus lockdown has resulted in the temporary suspension of many businesses (both small and large) or at least, reduced operations. Does this mean that companies still have to pay their energy bills?

The simple answer is yes. All business utility and energy bills are expected to be paid as normal including standing charges.

The good news is: your business is likely to be using less energy, which will reduce your energy costs! – Especially if no one is at work. (Just make sure all of your energy-sapping equipment is turned off at the mains, and turn off your heating!)

What if your small business is struggling to stay solvent and paying your bills is threatening the survivability of your company? – Good question.

Although there’s no financial help available for energy bills, suppliers have agreed with the government that no meters will be cut off during the coronavirus pandemic. As a business owner, your best course of action is to your supplier as soon as possible to explain the situation and work out an arrangement, which could include either of the following:

  • Debt repayments being reassessed, which could see them paused or cut.
  • Bill payments being reassessed, which could see them paused or cut.

It’s worth noting that whilst your energy supply might not be cut off during lockdown, if you don’t pay your bills you will fall into debt with your supplier – and steps can be take n to reclaim the debt (like put in a pre-payment meter).

There are a couple of things you can do to avoid falling into debt with your provider:

  1. Change supplier if you can get a better deal elsewhere. Just remember:
  • If you’ve been in debt with your supplier for more than 28 days, you won’t be able to switch until the debt is paid off.
  • You won’t be able to compare business energy deals until your current deal enters its switching window, which is usually between one and six months before its end date.
  1. Submit a meter reading. If you still have access to your business premises, and it’s safe to do so, you should provide a gas or electricity meter reading online. This way, if your business is closed, you’ll receive an accurate bill which will be lower because you’re using less energy. If your business is open, but on reduced operations, you’ll only pay for the energy you’re using.

Thank you to and for the advice! Do visit these sites for further details.

For all your energy related questions, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or