DATE

January - July 2019

AUDIENCE

Customers, Industry, Wider Workforce & Supply Chain, Third Sector, Skills Research & Accreditation Institutions

ENGAGEMENT

19,070

OBJECTIVES

To get high-volume engagement with thousands of customers and stakeholders across a spread of relevant issues at a broad level.

YOUR COMMENTS & OUR RESPONSES

You told us that you expect us to ensure that existing levels of customer service performance are at least maintained during the next regulatory period.  

To ensure that we are maintaining our high standards of service levels, we will hold quarterly meetings of a Citizen’s Jury to provide customer input to and scrutiny of decision making, supported by an independent Customer Engagement Group and our annual reporting. The Citizen’s Jury will include a range of different customers reflecting the demographic make-up of our diverse customer base. 

You told us that the more familiar you are with with work we do, the more likely you are to perceive value for money from our services. 

Because of this feedback we have set out how we will educate and engage customers on how they can shape the delivery of our services in a way that creates value for them. We will focus this activity on engagement that promotes longstanding, trusted relationships as opposed to extensive marketing.

You told us you want to see a continued focus on raising relatively low levels of awareness of carbon monoxide, to save lives.  

We have decided to increase CO awareness through multiple mechanisms: by training 100 community partners a year; by providing free monoxide detectors as part of our welcome pack for new domestic customers and by reaching 100,000 customers through awareness activities. 

You emphasised to us the hardship that some people go through by not being connected to the gas grid and suggested that we should meet or exceed the number of fuel-poor gas connections we have been providing per year over the last five years. 

In response to the clear feedback heard, we will commit to delivering a minimum of 1000 free connections to off-grid, fuel-poor customers per annum from 2021 to 2026 but with an ambition to improve on that and deliver closer to 2000.

You told us that it is imperative we act against climate change by reducing both shrinkage and non-shrinkage emissions to reduce the environmental impact of our activity. 

In response to this feedback, we committed investment that will reduce gas leakage by a further 24% in the next regulatory period. This, along with further reductions in non-shrinkage business carbon footprint will mean that we are operating with our lowest ever level of environmental impact. 

You told us that you want to see our staff providing advice or referrals on energy efficiency in addition to carbon monoxide awareness when undertaking our normal activities. 

In response to this suggestion, we will provide customers who are interested with advice about how they can improve energy efficiency in their homes. This can be delivered by delivering 1000 referrals each year through our energy efficiency partner organisations and by training 100 community partners to provide energy efficiency advice.

You told us that you support our staff taking up to 2 days paid leave to volunteer in the community to support a range of relevant causes. 

We are glad that you support this initiative and will therefore continue this policy going forward. However, at least one day of the two will be dedicated to supporting our social priorities such as carbon monoxide awareness and tackling fuel poverty.

You said that attending gas escapes within one hour is the most important safety response and that you want us to set targets for 1– and 2hour response that are higher than our performance has been in the past. 

Over the last 5 years we have led the industry with an average of 99.8% and over 99.9% of gas escapes attended within the 1- and 2-hour standards respectively and we aim to continue to outperform.

You told us that you want us to use our resources responsibly and operate considerately by leaving the local environment clean and tidy. 

In the next regulatory period, we will see less than 1% of our spoil sent to landfill as 95% of the aggregate we use for reinstating our excavations will be made from recycled material.

You expressed your appetite for us to reduce our vehicle carbon footprint and go above and beyond by phasing out our diesel vehicles ahead of the next regulatory period. 

Taking this feedback on board we have committed to ensuring that 100% of our company cars will be ultra-low emission or hybrid by 2026, with electric vehicle charging infrastructure installed across all of our offices and depots. We also commit to renew our commercial vehicle fleet with newer, more efficient vans and ensuring at least 25% of our non-engineering fleet being ultra-low emission by the end of 2026.

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