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2015: A look back

Posted on 31 December 2015 01:16 PM by rudli1m

As we approach the end of the year I always like to take a step back and reflect on events of the past 12 months, and it’s certainly great to be able to say that the reliability of power supplies is going from strength to strength.

We have achieved the best ever performance in terms of reducing power cuts by a third from 2010 to 2015, and I put that impressive result down to increased investment in network equipment. If an incident does happen, there is an increased focus to get it resolved quickly for customers and that’s largely down to the commitment of our employees.

Improving customer experience
We have vastly improved the experience customers have when they speak to us, through making it easier to access information on our website - one example being our live power cut map, training hundreds more back office staff to take customer calls at peak times, and increasing use of texts and tweets which is what many people prefer these days.

We are also spreading the word about the extra help we can offer you such as home visits and proactive phone calls if you are on our Priority Services Register. This is designed for vulnerable people who would benefit from extra support during a power cut.

An eventful year
I think it’s fair to say that it has been another eventful year. Of course, I couldn’t produce an overview of 2015 without touching on the events of Easter weekend - namely the Kingsway fire which some of you will remember. Without doubt this was the most challenging incident our company has come across since we took over the three power networks five years ago - and unprecedented in the industry. It was an extremely complicated event, involving colleagues from different sectors, as well as the local authorities and emergency services. The way everyone pulled together to get Central London working again, was testimony to all involved, and I would like to pay special tribute to our own teams of engineers, who worked round the clock (many of whom were doing so having volunteered to come in from their holiday) and carried out around a three-month cable replacement project in the space of just a few weeks. Our customer service during this time, where we even directed pedestrians round the council’s road closures to their destinations, was also a key part in our winning the Utility of the Year Award for the second time in four years – again an unprecedented feat.

Our fifth birthday
2015 was our company’s fifth birthday and the first year in our new eight-year regulatory period so it’s been exciting to see our detailed Business Plan kick off in earnest. It contains 77 commitments which we are working to achieve, and we are looking forward to making sure we continue providing the best value for our customers. This includes making savings where we can and finding new ways of working. This year we launched of our brand new ‘Alliance’ - a unique collaboration bringing key contractors together under one roof so that we all work as one entity, towards the same goals, which will lead to a saving for our customers of around £1bn over the next 12 years.

We continue to pioneer new technology to store energy from wind and solar farms to help run the electricity network in future and embrace the UK’s low carbon agenda.

There’s still a lot to do, and there will be some challenges, but just for a moment I think we can look back on 2015 with not a little pride in how we have helped our customers.

Happy new year, and please do get in touch if we can help you with any power issues in 2016!


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