Better Energy Ambitions petals, customers

Our ambition is to be better than anyone else at solving our 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?

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

Service performance was strong throughout 2018 with full year results producing our highest ever score in the overall Citizens Advice supplier comparison league table. Although there were some live chat and e-mail channel volume pressures in Q3, the year finished strongly with above target performance for both speed of response and Adviser Recommendation scores for voice, chat and e-mail.

Residential average speed of answer for the full year was 2 min 55 seconds.

Directly recorded complaints continued to reduce through the year finishing slightly ahead of target, with a c.15% reduction in overall recorded complaints compared to 2017; driven by a solid root cause and fix process and general contact channel stability.

Escalated complaint levels to external parties such as the Ombudsman and Citizens Advice remained stable, ensuring 4 out of a possible 5 stars were achieved in the overall comparison league table.

Trials were completed in 2018 to increase capability and capacity to serve customers through SMS and Facebook Messenger contact channels, which will become more prominent moving forward. It is expected in 2019 that the ability and desire for customers to interact securely through other messenger channels such as WhatsApp, Apple and Google Business chat will grow rapidly and EDF Energy is well placed to adapt the operating model to meet the demand and channel preference shift.

Following detailed market assessment work in 2018, commercial and operational plans have been delivered to improve the cost base and flexibility of outsource service providers, creating a 2019 capability to maintain and improve service through a combination of in and outsource resource pools and across on shore and off shore operations; specifically, the mobilisation of a new service centre in Manila.

SME average speed of answer for the full year was 2 min 18 seconds.

A Service Improvement plan was also mobilised in Q4 2018 to ensure the next steps are taken to improve customer experience and be recognised as the industry leader for service.


INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL CUSTOMER SERVICE

I&C Customer Operations have focused on providing a positive and efficient customer experience, whilst preparing for the future. We have been able to reduce the age profile of our complaints by focusing on the reduction of any over 30 days old. We have reduced the number of unresolved complaints older than 30 days by 85% and aim to have none by the end of 2019.

We have increased our capacity to serve our customers better through our external partners. This has resulted in best ever levels of billing timeliness and accuracy. All customer queries are being answered within our agreed response times. I&C average speed of answer for the full year was 2 min 19 seconds.

In July 2018 we gained CSE accreditation for Customer Service excellence which is held in high regard by I&C customers.

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 – 1,516 clients throughout London have been supported through this specialist energy-focused service. This includes 526 Home Energy visits with full energy efficiency reviews and installation of low cost energy efficiency measures.


Plymouth Citizen Advice Bureau (CAB) – 18,199 customers accessed wider debt advice through our partnership with Plymouth Citizens Advice Bureau. 3,292 of these received support from highly qualified debt specialists. Successful debt write off for the value of £79,409.00 with an average of £1,444 per customer. 


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 2018 4,801 customers received benefit entitlement checks where new income was identified. Of these, the average income increase was £344. The total income increase YTD is a fantastic £1,653,857.


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 2018 3,111 energy awards have been made, with an average award value of £678 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

The team have continued to deliver tailored support to many of our most vulnerable customers, through the “5 steps of help”; through the in-house team and our external partners Citizens Advice Plymouth (Debt Advice) and Income Max (Benefits Entitlement checks) and the independent EDF Energy Trust (Debt & Hardship grants).

The relationship with MacMillan Cancer Support has also been strengthened and similar work is being done with organisations such as SSAFA (Armed Forces Charity) and Age Concern to build links to not only better understand and support vulnerable customers who face different challenges but also to upskill our own advisers in specialist areas of help.

Significant training has been delivered to increase awareness of Mental Health, Energy Care for Vulnerable Customers and overall Debt Assessment. EDF Energy has joined forces with Dementia Friends, delivering enhanced knowledge to many through voluntary Learning Lunches but also wider awareness training through tailored content in Team Meetings.

Through the Warm Home Discount obligation in Scheme Year 7 over £37m of assistance was provided through Core and Broader group rebates and recognised industry partners.

The team were also recognised as “Vulnerable Customer Support Team of the Year” in the Telecom and Utility National Awards.


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. 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.

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 SOLUTIONS

The Energy Solutions team remains on point to develop the offering to market across four initial areas of focus; flexibility and storage, data services, energy/building efficiency. Work continues to shape the propositions that give customers more choice and control over their energy use and infrastructure investments.

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.

Our data services comprise:
 

  • Power Now -  a live energy monitoring solution, giving customers visibility of their consumption at an asset level. Using easy to install hardware on site, their energy use is brought to life through an online dashboard. This helps improve awareness of their energy consumption at a new level and allowing them to drive energy savings opportunities from behaviour change and energy efficiency measures. The digital PowerNow platform itemises energy usage and spend, providing complete transparency on where and when energy is being used. PowerNow mixes both hardware and software to give the customer a digital experience that gives them the knowledge and awareness of what is happening at their site, to be able to identify opportunities to improve their energy efficiency.
     

  • Power Report - a remote analysis of a customer’s energy efficiency performance at individual sites or across their entire portfolio. Using sophisticated building analytics software and a customers consumption data we can provide insight into a customers energy profile, energy efficiency recommendations and estimated cost savings. PowerReport is a crucial digital energy efficiency tool for our customers. By using customers HH data, a non-intrusive report can be run in relation to customer sites, which will provide the customer key insight into the operation of their site and provide clear recommendations as to what actions they can take to reduce their energy consumption.
     

Progress continues in flexibility & storage:
 

  • Several deals have been structured with Infrastructure funds/developers for EDF Energy to provide optimisation services for projects managed through the PowerShift portal. Work continues to close these opportunities in a challenging climate for battery storage projects following the downward trajectory of revenue streams from grid schemes
     

Building Efficiency:
 

  • We continue to work closely with Imtech as the delivery partner for a number of projects for our I&C customers. The first projects already in progress and will complete/commissioned in Q1.
     

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 2019 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. EDF Energy is committed to delivering material improvements to vulnerable customers as part of the ECO programme.

ECO2 ended in September 2018 and EDF Energy successfully completed its target with the delivery of 114,000 energy efficiency measures, with 9000 of these being delivered during 2018.

The new 3.5 year ECO3 obligation started in October 2018 and is now 100% targeted at reducing energy bills for low income and vulnerable households. ECO3 also includes a fresh approach towards innovation with two attractive routes for deploying innovative energy efficiency measures. Innovation is capped at 10% of the target volume and EDF Energy is planning on delivering the cap in full by the end of the programme. EDF Energy has made a strong start with the delivery of 10k energy efficiency measures during 2018. Plans are in place to continue this good progress in 2019. 


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.