#BetterTogether – COVID-19 Customer Vulnerability Insights – Wave 3, Q2, 2021

Energy Charter signatories Jemena, ActewAGL, Energy Queensland and Powershop, together with Simply Energy, are collaborating #bettertogether with Deloitte to research the impacts of COVID-19 on our customers and communities. 

Research was conducted to understand the degree of customer vulnerability, as well as customers’ consumption and sentiment towards energy in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, via survey between April 28th to May 3rd 2021 which found:

  • 35% of people are optimistic about Australia’s economic direction
  • 45% of people agreed that COVID-19 had increased their stress levels
  • 56% of people on JobSeeker reported a decrease in household income
  • 31% of people indicated that that they are spending more on energy bills over the last 3 months
Key themes from the COVID-19 Customer Vulnerability Research include:
  • Respondents wellbeing continue to trend upwards across the entire sample population, suggesting a continued trajectory of recovery
  • Pandemic induced stress has improved as the COVID-19 situation becomes more manageable across the country, however figures remain high
  • Whilst JobSeekers have improved since Wave 2, the ending of income supplements may amplify their vulnerability over the coming months
  • The proportion of respondents needing hardship support has persisted since Wave 2.

The snapshot placemat and full report are now available on COVID-19 Consumer Research

#BetterTogether – Know your Customers and Communities initiative in action

#BetterTogether – Know your Customers and Communities is a key initiative of the Energy Charter focused on ensuring diverse customer and community voices are heard at all levels within businesses, and across the sector, to shape the expectations of the energy industry.

Delivering against Principle 1: We will put customers at the centre of our business and the energy system, the latest example of #BetterTogether – Know your Customers and Communities initiative in action is APA’s Stakeholder Advisory Panel. Similar to other industry-leading customer and stakeholder engagement groups from Energy Charter signatories such as Essential Energy and Aurora Energy, APA’s Stakeholder Advisory Panel is designed to share what they’re doing with stakeholders and the broader community, as well as gain insights from them about their interests, concerns and expectations.

“The panel will act as a sounding board to APA on policy matters, strategic programs and plans, as well as identifying additional matters that panel members consider of importance to their stakeholders. Listening to our stakeholders and responding to their needs is key to our purpose to strengthen communities through responsible energy.” – Nives Matosin, Chair of the #BetterTogether – Know your Customers and Communities and Manager Regulatory at APA Group

The inaugural panel comprises senior representatives from a range of high-profile and diverse Australian organisations:

  • Council of Small Business of Australia
  • St Vincent de Paul
  • Energy Consumers Australia
  • National Native Title Council
  • Australian Energy Council
  • Clean Energy Finance Corporation
  • Energy Users Association of Australia
  • Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia

The establishment of this panel is a significant milestone for APA and represents a step-change in how they engage with their customers, consumers, and the communities in which they work.

Reflecting their commitment to transparency and accountability, APA will make a summary of the panel’s discussions at each of their meetings available on their website. In addition, feedback from the panel will inform new Stakeholder Engagement Forums to be held at least twice a year.

The #BetterTogether – Know your Customers and Communities initiative is led by APA and Essential Energy together with Endeavour Energy, Energy Queensland, Jemena, Horizon Power, Powerlink Queensland and TransGrid consulting with National Consumer Roundtable. Since inception in 2019, they have delivered robust and fit-for-purpose customer, community and stakeholder engagement activities including a Better Practice Toolkit for customer engagement and a Shared Learning Customer Engagement Platform to highlight better examples of customer and stakeholder engagement across signatories. For more information visit #BetterTogether

The Energy Charter June News Update

Message from the Chair of the CEO Council – Frank Tudor MD at Jemena, Customer Voice, Doug Allen, Australian Red Cross Lifeblood, COVID-19 Customer Research CEO Insights Panel Wave 3, Quarter 2, Voices for Power, WE (water + energy) MoU. Read More