Beatrice Bigois

Our approach to customers

“Our focus is on fair value, better service and simplicity, with energy efficiency and support for vulnerable customers at the heart of our approach”

– Beatrice Bigois, Managing Director, Customers

 

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Better Energy Ambitions Report

Our report covers progress on our Better Energy Ambitions which are our plan for a sustainable business.

We will be the best and most trusted energy company, known for helping customers

Being best and most trusted for customers goes beyond being just picked as a supplier - it’s about how we help customers use and save energy, and how we support vulnerable customers.

In March 2012, our Chief Executive made three promises to our customers: to deliver fair value, better service and simplicity. These Customer Commitments represented our dedication to putting customers first and they continue to do so. They are a public acknowledgement of our responsibilities as an energy supplier and a producer of electricity.

Customer service and trust

Our goal: Earn the position of being the ‘best and most trusted’ energy company by continually improving our customer service and performance

Our key targets

  • Put customers at the heart of our approach by publishing progress on our Customer Commitments of Better Service, Fair Value, and Simplicity
  • Continual improvement in a ‘Best for Customer Index’

Our performance in 2015

  • We were rated top of the major energy suppliers in the Institute of Customer Service’s Customer Satisfaction Index. And in the July 2015 Index, we were rated one of the 10 most improved organisations.
  • Complaints per 100,000 customers decreased from a quarterly average of 1,766 in January 2015 to 793 at year-end thanks to a number of system process and customer service improvements.
  • In Autumn 2015, we ranked second out of 19 suppliers in the Citizens Advice Complaint League Table for our handling of complaints for our residential customers. 
  • Over the year we achieved the highest rate of improvement in the Citizens Advice Complaint League Table out of the six major suppliers.
  • In July we launched Blue Lab, an innovation platform dedicated to exploring potential new partners, products, services and business models.

Our programmes

Residential and small business customers

  • We launched a new Blue+Price Promise tariff and a personalised support service online tool to help those most in need – giving advice on finding the best tariff, keeping energy use and costs down, managing debt and providing help for those with special requirements (such as partially-sighted and disabled people).
  • Around 45% of our residential customers are now on fixed tariffs with no exit fees – a higher proportion than among most of our large competitors.
  • Since its launch in January 2015, the EDF Energy app has been accessed more than 3.2 million times. Residential and small business customers can now manage their Direct Debits, see the progress of their switch to EDF Energy and get help with live webchat.
  • We reviewed the email alerts we send to our residential and small business customers to make them clearer and easier to follow.
  • We successfully launched the first Quote and Buy digital platform, which enables our small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) customers to get a quote in less than a minute.
  • We teamed up with UK charity Business Debt Line to launch our Recovery for Small Businesses product, which helps small businesses get back on track with their energy bills.
  • We gained the Consumer Moneyfacts Award for Energy Provider of the Year for the second year running.

 

Large business customers

  • We were awarded the UK’s largest annual electricity supply contract (10TWh a year) by the Crown Commercial Service.
  • We launched a market-leading online portal tailored to large business needs with relevant market prices and information.  Along with our new 24/7 Live Chat service, more business customers have the information they need at their fingertips.
  • We upgraded our Market Insight service for half-hourly large business customers affected by Triads (high demand periods), allowing them to stay up to date with the latest market trends and avoid any unexpected costs. 
  • Our Talk Power programme continues to keep our large business customers informed about changes in the energy landscape.

The year ahead

In 2016 we plan to:

  • change our industrial and commercial complaint handling and categorisation to enable us to identify the root causes of complaints and address issues more efficiently
  • set up an operational excellence team to review SME complaints and ensure timely improvements

Energy efficiency

Our goal: Be the best energy company in the delivery of our energy efficiency obligations, minimising the costs to all our customers

Our key target

  • Be the most cost effective energy company in delivering the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) programme as reported by DECC by March 2017

Our performance in 2015

The UK Government’s Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme gives each large energy supplier a series of targets to achieve bill savings and carbon dioxide reductions. These are achieved by delivering energy efficiency improvements such as insulation in consumer homes.  There is not data available to compare our cost efficiency target performance compared to other ECO Scheme suppliers.

We’re committed to delivering a compliant yet cost-effective ECO scheme.  This is why we set a target to be the most cost-effective energy company in delivering the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) programme as reported by DECC by March 2017. At the end of December 2015, the data to evaluate our cost-effectiveness compared to the other large suppliers was not available.  Analysis conducted by EDF Energy however, shows  prices paid throughout 2015 were cheaper than the industry average and achieved a good balance between programme compliance, quality, and value for money.

Our programmes

  • Through the ECO scheme, we fitted more than 39,000 homes with replacement boilers, reducing bills for some of our most vulnerable customers, saving more than £663 million in total over the boilers’ lifetimes.
  • We continued to work with Bristol City Council and the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities, funding energy efficiency improvement works worth £4 million, with over 3,300 homes benefitting from the two schemes.
  • Other consortia schemes were also running in London and Glasgow.

The year ahead

We expect our ECO scheme obligation to be achieved ahead of the Government deadline. In 2016, our teams will be preparing for Energy Company Obligation 3 (ECO3) to help ensure it is simple and affordable while supporting the most vulnerable customers.

Vulnerable customers

Our goal: Provide ongoing support to our most vulnerable customers, ensuring they get the right help at the right time

Our key targets

We will report annually on how we are helping our most vulnerable customers by:

  • reducing the amount of energy they use
  • reducing their household energy costs
  • relping them better manage household debt
  • ensuring they know what help is available and how to access it
  • providing inclusive services that cater for their needs

Our performance in 2015

  • 87% of our customer service employees received vulnerability training in 2015.
  • Our Priority Services Register (PSR) increased by 22% compared to 2014, bringing the total to 478,568 customers.

Our programmes

  • We installed a total of 23,000 energy efficiency improvements through the ECO scheme, helping to reduce the energy use of low-income and vulnerable households.
  • Since its launch in January 2015, our Personalised Support Service Tool has received 10,300 unique visits with 1,752 completing the service and receiving their list of recommendations.
  • The EDF Energy Trust Fund made 3,260 awards to vulnerable customers and our dedicated independent Debt Advice Helpline, delivered through Plymouth Citizens Advice Bureau, helped 6,483 customers with debt.

The year ahead

We will roll out a new vulnerable customer’s policy, in line with Ofgem’s Consumer Vulnerability strategy. We will also ready our plans for coming industry changes that will impact our Priority Services Register. This includes providing more proactive services for our most at risk vulnerable customers to ensure they are on the right tariff.

We will provide a £140 rebate to more than 230,000 of our most vulnerable customers, totalling £33 million, as part of the Warm Home Discount scheme (April 2015-March 2016 year). Our Benefit Entitlement Check and Support helpline, delivered through community interest company IncomeMAX, is on track to meet its Warm Home Discount targets by the end of March 2016, likely to result in an average income increase of £1,600 per customer helped.

Number of customer accounts

We reached a record number of household customer accounts, with more than two million product accounts actively switching to our low-carbon, nuclear-backed product, Blue.

 

Electricity priority service customers

EDF Energy offers a range of free services, known as the priority services register, to their most vulnerable customers. These services are mandatory, free to join and are available from all mains gas and electricity suppliers.

Gas priority service customers

EDF Energy offers a range of free services, known as the priority services register, to their most vulnerable customers. These services are mandatory, free to join and are available from all mains gas and electricity suppliers.

Awards and achievements

We have a long track record in sustainability and responsible business which has been recognised and endorsed by many different organisations.

 

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