Page 16 - AGL Sustainability Report 2011

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AGL Energy Limited 14
Stakeholder engagement
Stakeholder groups/main issues
Engagement mechanisms
To maintain and improve market share within Australia’s highly competitive energy market, it is essential that AGL responds to customer feedback, as well as working internally
to improve the service delivered to customers. AGL needs to work collaboratively with governments and the community sector to support customers who are experiencing
difficulty accessing and affording essential services such as energy.
Customers are concerned with the quality of service provided
by AGL; billing and pricing; and the introduction of new
energy policy and infrastructure and the resulting impacts for
residential and business customers.
The Customer Council meets on a quarterly basis and is briefed on a wide range of matters that affect AGL
customers and the communities in which AGL operates.
In November 2009, AGL launched the Customer Connections program which provides opportunities for AGL
to interact with small groups of customers in an open discussion about their experiences with AGL.
The AGL Customer Charter outlines AGL’s commitment and time frames for responding promptly to phone
and written enquiries. AGL’s Customer Advocacy team also deals directly with customer concerns.
The account management of AGL’s major commercial and industrial customers is approached on a customer-
preferred basis; however mechanisms include face-to-face meetings, executive engagement, dedicated
communications, general correspondence and carbon briefings.
Other feedback mechanisms available to customers include an online information request facility.
Local communities
The success of AGL is shaped and measured not only by the financial outcomes, but by the social and environmental impact that decisions and actions have on the wider
community. Engaging with the community on development projects is vital to AGL’s long-term success. Only by engaging the community at every stage of the development
process, with transparency, accountability and regular communication, is AGL able to deliver and operate projects and maintain the respect of the community.
The key issues for local communities include the
environmental, social and economic impacts of developments
and infrastructure.
As part of the development approval and construction processes for each major project, AGL consults with
the local community and obtains feedback.
Community Consultation Committees (CCCs) are in place for upstream gas projects, including the Camden
Gas Project, the Hunter Gas Project and the Gloucester Gas Project. Each CCC is chaired by an independent
chairperson and includes local council appointed representatives, local residents, local environment groups and
AGL representatives. The CCCs form a key forum for community involvement.
AGL has opened information centres in two areas with significant and relatively new operations. In South
Australia, the Burra Information Centre is located near to the Hallett wind farms. In New South Wales, the
Hunter Customer Service and Information Centre was opened in May 2011 to share information on coal seam
gas operations in the area.
The information centres provide a focal point for local community engagement concerning the construction
and operation of infrastructure.
AGL has established a number of websites for energy generation projects in development. The websites
provide information on the projects and aim to address community concerns. An online contact form is located
on each of the websites, together with the details of a community consultation hotline to allow AGL to respond
to specific community enquiries. Refer to the Energy Generation page on the AGL website for further
AGL is increasingly using social media to communicate and engage with the community. The AGL Sustainability
Blog is a forum for AGL to provide timely and accessible information to interested stakeholders on a broad
range of issues, such as: AGL’s customer focused initiatives, key external presentations by employees, and
rapidly evolving energy policies. The AGL blog is updated frequently, with over 140 blog posts by AGL
contributors in FY2011.
Non-government organisations (NGOs)
AGL engages with NGOs to understand the causes which they represent and to find constructive ways to work together to deliver mutually beneficial outcomes.
NGOs represent a range of community interests, including
social welfare and environmental conservation.
The AGL Climate Change Council includes representatives from AGL and NGOs such as WWF-Australia,
Australian Conservation Foundation and the Climate Institute. The Climate Change Council meets quarterly
to enable discussion and constructive dialogue on a range of issues relating to climate change, including
government policy, emission reduction targets and program implementation.
AGL is a member of the Climate Institute Climate Partners Network. As a Climate Partner, AGL is a constituent
of a collective of leading businesses working together to promote climate change solutions and transition
Australia to a low-carbon, clean energy economy.
The AGL Customer Council includes representatives from the following NGOs and community groups:
Consumer Action Law Centre, Farmers Federation of South Australia, Kildonan UnitingCare, Public Interest
Advocacy Centre, Queensland Council of Social Services, St Vincent de Paul Society, UnitingCare NSW ACT
and UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide.