Better Energy Ambitions petals, customers

Our ambition is to be better than anyone else at solving our customers’ energy needs. As a responsible business we aim to be simply better than anyone else at solving customers’ energy needs. We will achieve this by doing the basics brilliantly, whilst caring for the most vulnerable in society, and seizing the opportunities that demand for digital will offer; including digital energy efficiency solutions. 

The fundamental need for energy won’t disappear, but traditional ways of working with our customers will change. We are embracing this future and taking action to ensure we are better than anyone else at solving customers’ energy needs. We will achieve this by doing the basics brilliantly and offering great service, which in turn will earn us the right to add value to our customers and innovate.  This includes making things easier for customers whilst providing them more choice and more control over their energy consumption.

At EDF Energy, as a responsible business, caring for all of our customers is something we have always considered our duty. For the most vulnerable in society, our aim is to develop our internal processes and develop more collaborative third party partnerships. This will enable us to provide more holistic support to make sure that we add sustained value for those that need it most.

Demand for digital is radically changing the way we interact with customers.  We are therefore seizing these opportunites including digital energy efficiency solutions and services, to enable customers to manage their energy better.

Customer service

To build trust, we have always believed that customers need solutions that make a real difference. 

In an ever changing world, we are constantly improving our existing services and developing new ones. Digital tools have radically transformed how we engage with our customers and presented us with opportunities to make their lives easier.

Our broad target is to be the most trusted brand in the UK energy industry, with the highest customer advocacy. We will do this by concentrating on how we can better respond to and solve our customers’ changing energy needs. 

 

Our programmes

MEETING CUSTOMER NEEDS

We hold a Standards of Conduct Advisory Panel with respected third parties such as Which? and Citizens Advice to help us understand what we need to do next to best meet customer needs and deliver high standards for every customer.

We measure and reward our staff to balance the number of calls they take with the quality of what they do.  Although we have incentives in place for the promotion of additional products, they are modest and are only honoured if high quality standards and targets are met.


TACKLING COMPLAINTS HEAD ON

We have a complaint improvement programme in place to ensure complaint management is focused on positive customer outcomes. The programme has also implemented a systematic root cause approach that identifies and delivers the changes required to prevent complaints arising.


SELF SERVICE

To make energy easier for our customers, we provide many ways for customers to contact us and manage their accounts. Our customers can email us, call us to speak to an advisor here in the UK, get support with our live webchat service or access and manage their account online with MyAccount whenever they need to.

Our residential and small business customers can also use the EDF Energy app to manage their account on the go.

How we measure our progress

GOALS and TARGETS

To be the best and most trusted for customers:

• By 2020, customer trust index score of 100

• Continue to increase % of customers using self-serve

What we measure:

  • Customer trust index. this is based on measures such as the Net Promoter Score, which measures the likelihood of customers recommending us to a friend or colleague.

 

  • We also look at other indicators that include;
    - Average speed of answering calls from residential customers
    - High level complaints from residential customers
    - Advisor recommendation score
    - Average speed of answering calls from business customers
    - High level/written complaints from business customers

How are we doing

TRUST

We understand that we need to do more to earn the trust of our customers and so in 2016 we set out a new target: to be the most trusted brand in the UK energy industry, with the highest customer advocacy. We will continue do this by concentrating on how we can better respond to and solve our customers’ changing energy needs.

Trust Index scores for the energy industry improved through 2015/16 with greater price stability. In early 2017 scores dipped slightly following price increases in the market. Trust scores have now recovered to pre-price increase levels with EDF Energy reaching 3rd place amongst the major suppliers at the end of 2017. In the second half of 2017 there was a consultation on widening the Citizens Advice-led comparison metrics to give a broader and more representative consumer view of service capability and delivery. Our performance in the revised league table in quarter 4 was 9/28. In 2018 our focus will be on being at the top end of the table across the wider suite of comparison metrics.

Although not a primary performance indicator, we also consider our Net Promotor Score. As with the Trust Index, we saw a similar dip in early 2017 which recovered in the second half of 2017 to leave EDF Energy in joint 1st place at year end.

Both measures evidence that EDF Energy remains in a solid position amongst major UK suppliers. This should be viewed positively in a year that included significant cost reductions, restructures and pressure to increase the rollout of smart meter installations.

We know that price increases are always a challenge for our customers and 2017 saw a number of residential prices changes – both up and down. In January 2017 we reduced variable gas prices by 5.2% and in March 2017 we raised electricity prices by 8.4%. From June 2017, dual fuel Direct Debit prices increased by 7.2%, gas prices increased by 5.5% and electricity prices increased by 9%.

In common with all suppliers, we have faced a range of rising costs for some time, in both wholesale energy and non-wholesale energy costs and obligations. As a responsible and long term business, EDF Energy seeks to make a fair margin in supplying customers with gas and electricity. This fair margin allows the company to invest for the long term, in particular in good service, innovation and smart metering.


RESIDENTIAL AND SMALL AND MEDIUM SIZED ENTERPRISE (SME) CUSTOMER SERVICE

In the second half of 2017 the residential contact centres saw increased call demand of around 15,000-20,000 calls per week, driven by increased smart meter appointment volume and a stronger focus on debt recovery. Despite the additional volume and further reduced resource levels to hit OPEX targets the average speed of answer for the full year was an acceptable 2 min 51 seconds. Although this was behind the target of 2 minutes, the service to customers was not adversely impacted to levels which increased complaints significantly or created industry reputation risk.

SME average speed of answer for the full year was 1 min 52 seconds.

Our advisor recommendation scores hit the year-end target of +56 across all channels demonstrating that feedback directly from our customers confirms that our customer service advisers across call, live chat and e mails continue to do a great job.

Following changes to the SME operating model there has been a significant improvement in average call handling time, showing improved productivity, and a positive reduction in both directly recorded SME complaints and weighted scores in escalated complaint league tables for SME.

EDF Energy remained in a stable 2nd place for the residential escalated complaint league tables behind SSE. There was also a c.3% reduction in directly recorded residential complaints, which is a good performance considering the additional volume and process pressures from smart metering and debt recovery.

In other external league tables and benchmarks EDF Energy was joint first of the major suppliers with EoN in the broad Which? survey and 2nd of all suppliers in the overall Citizens Advice league table for the July to September 2017 survey.


INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL CUSTOMER SERVICE

In the second half of 2017 the Industrial and Commercial teams completed a significant restructure programme which included the transition of a number of data processing activities to our delivery partners. The restructure was designed to improve efficiency and provide a greater focus on billing and debt performance.

Contact performance in this area remained on target as a result with a full year average speed of answer of 1 min 23 seconds, against a stretch target of 1 min 30 seconds. Considering the effort required with the restructure and a 6% growth in the customer base this is represents an excellent performance.

Customer feedback remained positive with an average net ease score[1] of 73% for the year and with lower than forecasted complaint volumes.

[1] Customer Easer score (Net Ease) is defined as the average feedback score from customers within I&C and provides the customer’s rating of an email query response

Supporting vulnerable customers

As a responsible company caring for our customers is something we have long since considered our duty, this includes protecting the most vulnerable people in society with additional advice and support.

EDF Energy have a long standing commitment of helping vulnerable customers, including households that have difficulty in covering the cost of fuel dating back many years. We’ve developed a deep understanding of what our customers think is important and as such, we’ve put together a range of additional services to meet their needs. These range from advice on paying bills, managing their money and energy efficiency, to checks to see whether they’re receiving all the benefits they’re entitled to. We have been proactive in working with Government and other agencies to develop policies and extra services, and continue to work collaboratively with partners on these. 

Our programmes

Seasonal Health Interventions Network - London (SHINE London)S – 1,847 clients throughout London have been supported through this specialist energy-focused service. This includes 733 Home Energy Doctor visits with full energy efficiency reviews and installation of low cost energy efficiency measures;115 customers who received debt support; and 63 outreach events delivered to London-based community groups.


Plymouth Citizen Advice Bureau (CAB) – 4,460 customers accessed wider debt advice through our partnership with Plymouth Citizens Advice Bureau. 1,220 of these received support from highly qualified debt specialists with 47% of those customers subsequently applying for the Warm Home Discount. CAB Plymouth also supported 29 customers to a successful application into the EDF Energy Trust fund reducing debt by £32,000 in total. 69% of customers supported by CAB received energy efficiency advice and via this partnership £115,000 of additional income was realised by our customers through benefit entitlement take up.


Income Max – EDF Energy teamed up with IncomeMAX, a social enterprise that helps people to maximise their household income, by arranging for them to provide a dedicated support service for our customers. In 2017, 2,298 customers received benefit entitlement checks with 90% of them receiving additional income; totalling over £1 million of additional income received.


EDF Energy Trust – The EDF Energy Trust is a registered charity operating since 2003. It continues to help individuals and families in need, poverty, suffering and other distress who are struggling to pay their gas and/or electricity debts. During 2017, we provided £2.7 million of financial support to 2,625 customers with an average award of £743 and in doing so gave vulnerable individuals and families a fresh start to enable them to stay debt free going forward.


OTHER SUPPORT SERVICES

In addition to the above, we also provide funding to projects that offer expert advice and assistance at a local level, like the Seasonal Health Interventions Network - London (SHINE London) and our “Improving Energy Efficiency in Communities” project, that’s delivered by National Energy Action (NEA).

SHINE London is a one-stop referral system that provides residents who are in or at risk of fuel poverty, with a whole host of support, including installation of low cost energy efficiency measures as well as general energy and debt advice. Last year, over 1,000 residents accessed the much needed support this scheme offers.

Our “Improving Energy Efficiency in Communities” project helps to provide training to front-line professionals such as nurses or advice centre staff to recognise and support people who are in or at risk of fuel poverty. The scheme also provides support out in the local community, carrying out advice sessions to over 1,000 energy consumers at various organisations including food banks, health related support groups and children’s centres.

How we measure our progress

GOALS and TARGETS

To offer all vulnerable people information about and support with energy use and energy benefits:

• Develop an updated internal vulnerable customer’s strategy to support those who need it most

• Develop new third party partnerships to help us give customers more holistic and specialist support

• Find ways to add long term value for customers who need it most 

We have taken a new approach to vulnerable customers following Ofgem’s Consumer Vulnerability Strategy (CVS) in 2016.  This included expanding the eligibility criteria and increased proactivity to identify and engage with customers. Our Vulnerable Customers Strategy includes services that focus on customer well-being, especially through the winter months.

This builds on our existing reporting commitments on vulnerable customers.

How are we doing

PROGRESS

Throughout 2017, we have made good progress in embedding new regulations and obligations to identify and record wider instances of customer vulnerability. This has resulted in an increase in both Priority Services register customers and wider vulnerability categories.

The increased size of the vulnerable customer operational team and addition of the field based Customer Care Adviser team has led to further progress in deploying more help to those most in need through the “5 steps of assistance” model – checking the right tariff and payment plan, energy efficiency advice, wider debt advice and support, income maximisation through benefit entitlement checks and in extreme cases grants and hardship awards via the EDF Energy Trust.

The Warm Home Discount scheme, now in its seventh year, is progressing well with all industry initiative targets on track and processes in place to deploy discounts to core and broader group customers on time.


DEMONSTRATING LEADERSHIP

For the second year in a row, we’ve received a ‘Gold’ award from Energy UK for our performance against a voluntary code called the Safety Net, which assesses how suppliers protect their customers – particularly those who are vulnerable – from disconnection due to debt. By volunteering for the code, energy suppliers pledge to never knowingly disconnect a vulnerable customer for non-payment at any time of year.

To gauge our performance, we’re measured against 13 key objectives, including whether we capture information about our customers to help us identify potential vulnerability; attempt to contact all customers following a disconnection with the aim of agreeing a repayment plan; and reconnect, as a priority, any customer who is found to be vulnerable after disconnection. Receiving the ‘Gold’ award means we met all 13 objectives and that we are fully compliant with the Safety Net code, showing just how truly customer-oriented we are.


PRIORITY SERVICES REGISTER

We help customers with special requirements or circumstances, which may be temporary or ongoing, by adding them to our Priority Services Register, providing them extra help and support with their energy supply.
Please see graphs below


ONLINE PRIORITY SERVICES TOOL

Our Online Priority Services Tool brings all our services and advice together in one place. 

We also added more signposts to the Tool on our website so more customers can see what is available for them specifically on:

  • Making sure customers are on the best tariff and payment plan for them
  • Providing solid energy efficiency advice to help them reduce energy and save money
  • Access to expert debt and budgeting advice – through our relationship with Citizens Advice
  • Access to expert advice around benefit entitlement – through our partnership with Income Max
  • In extreme cases, support with energy debt or other urgent needs via the EDF Energy Trust
     

Since its launch there have been over 4,000 referrals through the tool. We hope this will continue in 2017 as we make further improvements. For more detailed information please visit: https://www.edfenergy.com/for-home/help-support/personalised-support-service/digital-tool


 

Electricity Priority Service Register

Gas Priority Service Register

Energy efficiency solutions

We want to make a difference to our customers’ lives. They want energy to be simple to use and they want to be in control. The world around us is changing but this fundamental insight will not.

Innovation is an important part of our approach to deliver future sustainability and support to our customers. Our Research and Development unit and our innovation accelerator called Blue Lab are delivering solutions that can benefit both our domestic and business customers, saving them money and reducing their environmental impact. 

Our programmes

ENERGY COMPANY OBLIGATION (ECO)

ECO is a government initiative created to help people keep their homes warm and cheaper to run by installing new energy efficiency improvements,. Under the ECO scheme EDF Energy aims to help our most vulnerable customers by installing gas boiler replacements, loft insulation and cavity wall insulation free of charge. Under the latest ECO scheme, running from January 2015, a total of 87,925 energy efficiency measures have been installed to date.

In support of ECO, our R&D teams are evaluating different energy efficient measures versus their cost per tonne of carbon and energy saved. The research is providing analysis on the best investment options for energy efficiency technologies.


GREEN HUB

The Green Hub is a dedicated and specialist customer service team made up of energy efficiency advisors. Together they handle all of our energy efficiency advice calls from all customers, including those covered under the ECO initiative.
 


ENERGY EFFICIENCY APPLICATIONS

EnerGAware. Acknowledging the role of behaviour in the achievement of energy efficiency targets, we have become actively engaged with the EnerGAware project. This 3 year European research project aims at improving behavioural energy efficiency through the concept of gamification.

Energy Consumption Application. The Blue Lab  has developed a prototype app that allows customers to understand their consumption of energy to specific appliances. In the future, we hope to make it available online to customers through their My Account App.


SUPPORTING VULNERABLE CUSTOMERS THROUGH INNOVATION

Working in partnership with digital healthcare company Intelesant, We are actively supporting the HOWZ system. This new system has been designed to support people to live independently, whilst letting those that matter to them know how they're doing. 


SUNPLUG

We have also launched Sunplug, a solar panel and battery storage system. Residential customers can manage their energy consumption through low-carbon generation and excess production can be stored and sold back to the grid.  


ENERGY SERVICES

For business customers, our Energy Services teams have been developing advanced energy efficiency programmes and innovative commercial offers. 

For our business customers, the strong co-operation between Blue Lab, Business Development and Business & Partnership teams has allowed us to deploy some innovative tools to support our customers in their energy efficiency journey:

In partnership with EDF Research and Development (R&D) and other UK companies, we have started work on high value projects such as our geo-solar low-carbon heating system. This year we are working on:

  • deploying the MotorBOX, a toolkit to help businesses decide on the best, most efficient motors for their operations
  • preparing and launching a demand side response demonstrator, to show how cutting electricity use at times of peak demand can benefit businesses and the nation
  • optimising our existing district heating scheme, Barkantine Combined Heat and Power (CHP)

INNOVATION

At Blue Lab, our innovation accelerator, we are trialling and developing solutions which will help our customers transform their relationship with energy.

For instance, last year we became the first energy supplier to launch voice controlled energy accounts with Amazon Echo. This innovation means that customers are now able to ask virtual voice ‘Alexa’ to check their account balance and next payment date, submit a meter reading, and check when their tariff is due to end.

Our research and development teams are creating new heat and electricity products, home management systems and ways to encourage our customers to use energy better. We are also sharing any lessons we learn about digital technologies that help people run their homes, with other EDF companies across Europe such as Luminus, Edison and Edelia. 


 

How we measure our progress

We want to help everyone to become a champion of low-carbon growth and play their part in the transition to a low-carbon economy.

GOALS and TARGETS

To innovate through digital energy efficiency solutions to enable all customers to manage energy better:

  • Reporting on KPIs and case studies from Research & Development (R&D) and our customer innovation accelerator, Blue Lab, focussing on Connected homes, Energy Services and Business Services.

 

How are we doing

INNOVATING THROUGH DIGITAL ENERGY EFFICENCY SOLUTIONS TO ENABLE ALL CUSTOMERS TO MANAGE ENERGY BETTER

Innovation is an important part of our approach to deliver future sustainability and support to our customers. Our Research and Development unit and our innovation accelerator called Blue Lab are delivering solutions that can benefit both our domestic and business customers, saving them money and reducing their environmental impact. Our work in innovation will continue to develop in 2018 with the team of full-time researchers and PhD students progressing a range of projects that include;

  • To support the current Energy Company Obligations (ECO), our R&D teams are evaluating different energy efficient measures versus their cost per tonne of carbon and energy saved. The research is providing analysis on the best investment options for energy efficiency technologies.
  • Our delivery of new smart meters continues across the UK. Over and above their current benefits, we are exploring the new opportunities brought by digital home energy services enabled by both smart meters and new connected home technologies such as Amazon’s Alexa system.
  • Acknowledging the role of behaviour in the achievement of energy efficiency targets, we have become actively engaged with the EnerGAware project. This 3 year European research project aims at improving behavioural energy efficiency through the concept of gamification.
  • The Blue Lab has developed a prototype app that allows customers to understand their consumption of energy to specific appliances. In the future, we hope to make it available online to customers through their My Account App.
  • Working in partnership with digital healthcare company Intelesant, We are actively supporting the HOWZ system. This new system has been designed to support people to live independently, whilst letting those that matter to them know how they're doing. 
  • We have also launched Sun plug, a solar panel and battery storage system. Residential customers can manage their energy consumption through low-carbon generation and excess production can be stored and sold back to the grid. 

ENERGY COMPANY OBLIGATION (ECO)

ECO is a government initiative created to help people keep their homes warm and cheaper to run by installing new energy efficiency improvements. Under the ECO scheme EDF Energy aims to help our most vulnerable customers by installing gas boiler replacements, loft insulation and cavity wall insulation free of charge. Under the latest ECO scheme, running from January 2015, a total of 87,925 energy efficiency measures have been installed to date.


GREEN HUB

The Green Hub is a dedicated and specialist customer service team made up of energy efficiency advisors. Together they handle all of our energy efficiency advice calls from all customers, including those covered under the ECO initiative.
 

Our Better Energy Ambitions

Our six Better Energy Ambitions set out our short, medium and long-term goals and targets for improving our social, economic and environmental performance.

By meeting these ambitions, we will have created Better Lives, Better Experience and Better Energy - The Better Plan - in a responsible and sustainable way.