Fulfilling great expectations
WPD has strengthened its place at the top of the industry table for stakeholder engagement and customer vulnerability in the annual Ofgem incentive, extending their lead over the second placed company and making it eight years running at number one.
The Ofgem Stakeholder Engagement and Customer Vulnerability Incentive is designed to encourage electricity and gas network and transmission operators to proactively engage effectively with stakeholders and deliver a socially responsible and inclusive service. The reward is based upon the assessment of three submitted written documents covering the strategy and resulting outcomes that evidence how the company is collaborating with stakeholders to achieve positive results. A thorough, independent audit is completed and the process culminates in an Ofgem panel interview.
This year WPD demonstrated that engagement with over 35,000 stakeholders led to 290 positive individual outcomes for customers, including actions that were embedded in the business (for example an impressive £6.4m savings made by our fuel poor customers), enhanced engagement in the last year (such as engagement with local authorities on our investment plans) or completely new initiatives such as the launch of ‘Flexible Power and a series of useful tools to aid customers in this area, including capacity maps and a new flexibility signposting website.
WPD’s score of 8.35 out of 10 will return a reward in current day prices of approximately £6.35m. Key factors in the success this year included:
- The industry’s largest fuel poverty programme
- The first DNO to appoint the Customer Engagement Group for RIIO-ED2
- The first DNO to significantly engage with stakeholders to devise a social contract as part of the next business plan, setting out ways to support local communities.
Alex Wilkes, WPD Stakeholder Engagement Manager said: “To maintain our position as the best in the industry is a fantastic achievement. We are absolutely thrilled with the result, which is down to a lot of hard work from everyone across the business. The fact that engagement is embedded in our operations, with support from staff in all departments, continues to set WPD apart and is something I hugely appreciate.”
Speaking about WPD specifically, Ofgem said: “The company demonstrates a highly professional approach to stakeholder engagement, providing strong examples of stakeholder engagement making an impact on business decisions. They continue to perform above and beyond requirements in the consumer vulnerability space.”
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