Energy sector must aim high to build trust with customers

The first Independent Accountability Panel Report published today has been welcomed by the Energy Charter signatories as they forge ahead on their path to improve customer outcomes.

The Report’s 32 recommendations offer an ambitious roadmap for the world-first CEO led initiative that aims to deliver a more affordable, reliable and sustainable energy system for all Australians.

During its review, the Panel analysed disclosure reports submitted by 18 energy companies including generators, transmission companies, distributors and retailers. This was supported by a period of consultation which included CEO briefings, stakeholder forums and public submissions.

Chair of the Energy Charter CEO Council, John Cleland, said the inaugural Report was a defining moment for the Energy Charter and would guide signatories both individually and collectively in achieving tangible improvements for the customer.

“We welcome the Independent Accountability Panel’s recommendations and are determined to turn them into action, to rebuild trust in the sector and improve affordability and customer satisfaction,” said Mr Cleland.

“It is clear we need to dig deeper to know our customers, increase collaboration on high-impact initiatives across the entire energy supply chain, and take actions to advocate and support all customers so we can succeed together.”

The Independent Accountability Panel, led by chair Dr Wendy Craik, published the Report. Among the Panel’s recommendations were key themes to:

  • Increase customer voice and experience at governance and strategic levels
  • Together deliver high-impact initiatives for change such as tariff co-design and roll-out advocacy for customers facing vulnerability and access to distributed energy resources
  • Measure, track and benchmark progress on customer outcomes across the sector, closing the loop on the impact of individual initiatives
  • Elevate customer feedback and complaints strategically within each business 

As signatories look to 2020, the Report provides guidance and motivation to continuously improve, listen and engage in open, honest conversations with customers and importantly, work together.

“We look forward to continuing to work with our customers, stakeholders and end-user representatives to develop a maturity framework to guide our next annual disclosures and inspire others to join,” Mr Cleland said.

Formed in January this year, the Energy Charter is a CEO-led initiative of 19 Australian energy companies, including newest signatory Horizon Power, from across the energy supply chain. Companies are focused on embedding customer-centric culture across the sector, and delivering a more affordable, reliable and sustainable energy system. Signatories collectively service more than 10 million Australian energy customers.

To view the Independent Accountability Panel Report visit: www.theenergycharterpanel.com.au/panel-reports/.

Media Release Download

The Energy Charter welcomes Horizon Power

MEDIA RELEASE – 24 November 2019

The Energy Charter welcomes Horizon Power

The Energy Charter today welcomed Horizon Power to its growing signatory base, after the Western Australian energy provider joined the whole-of-industry initiative which aims to improve customer outcomes across the entire energy supply chain.

Formed in January this year, the Energy Charter is a CEO-led initiative that acknowledges the need for industry-wide collaboration to support customers as the energy market rapidly changes.

Chair of the Energy Charter CEO Council, John Cleland, congratulated Horizon Power and its CEO Stephanie Unwin for committing to the industry vision and values that underpin the Energy Charter.

“Horizon Power is a significant generator, distributor and retailer of electricity for regional and remote Western Australia, and we are delighted they have joined the Energy Charter,” he said.

“Our signatories look forward to collaborating with Horizon Power’s senior leadership team as we progress the Better Together initiatives in 2020 and beyond.

“By working together, our signatories are striving to improve customer outcomes across Australia.” Mr Cleland encouraged other energy companies to join the world-first initiative.

“At the end of November, we will welcome the Independent Accountability Panel’s inaugural report, which will set a baseline for continuous improvement. We hope more energy companies will see the value of the Energy Charter and get involved.”

Horizon Power generates, distributes and sells electricity to residents and businesses across regional and remote Western Australia. Its service area spans approximately 2.3 million square kilometres.

The Energy Charter now has 19 signatories, which service more than 10 million energy consumers in Australia. For more information visit: www.theenergycharter.com.au.

Media Release Download

Australian energy companies take big step in putting customers first

Today marks a significant milestone for the Australian energy industry.

For the first time, Australians can gain unique insights into improvements by generators, transmission companies, distributors and retailers to provide better services and to put their customers first.

Formed in January this year, the Energy Charter is a CEO-led initiative of 18 Australian energy companies. This is the first time that all parts of the energy supply chain have come together and committed to a disclosure framework to help deliver a more affordable, reliable and sustainable energy system for all Australians. Importantly, each company has reviewed how they can support cultural change within their own business and as an industry.

Today, a recently formed Independent Accountability Panel will commence a period of public consultation after receiving disclosure reports from the 18 signatories.

Chair of the Energy Charter CEO Council, John Cleland, said the energy industry has recognised that it needs to do better and the independent panel process will provide further guidance, discussion and motivation for the signatories.

“This is a milestone for the Australian energy industry and those companies that have opted to be involved. For the first time, companies are coming together to see how they can better support customers,” said Mr Cleland.

“Together with Energy Consumers Australia and other end-user representatives, we have recognised that there’s a long way to go in this space, and that things won’t change overnight, but this is an important shift towards a greater understanding of customer needs.”

The Independent Accountability Panel will now review the disclosures. The CEOs of the Energy Charter signatories will meet with the panel over coming weeks to discuss their respective disclosures.

Mr Cleland added that this was also an opportunity for energy customers to see for themselves the positive changes already put in place by the signatories.

“The Energy Charter was established in recognition that the industry was undergoing a period of tremendous change and needed to transform its approach to customers,” Mr Cleland said.

“While there are many opinions about the Australian energy industry, the fact that so many Boards, CEOs, Managing Directors and senior executives have been engaged in the Energy Charter is a reflection on how seriously we are taking this. We are committed to being more open, accountable and doing more to listen to our customers.”

The Independent Accountability Panel’s period of public consultation will include CEO briefings and stakeholder forums to be held in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne in October. Written submissions about the signatories’ disclosures will be accepted by the panel until 25 October.

The Independent Accountability Panel’s report will be published at the end of November.

For more information visit: www.theenergycharter.com.au.

Media Release Download

Expert panel formed to review Australian energy businesses

An independent Accountability Panel has been appointed to review many of Australia’s key energy businesses under the Energy Charter. The Panel consists of Dr Cassandra Goldie (consumer representative), Mr Andrew Richards (commercial and industrial representative) and Mr Philip Weickhardt (industry representative) who join the Chair, Dr Wendy Craik AM.

Download Media Release