Page 35 - AGL Sustainability Report 2011

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Sustainability Performance Report 2011 33
Customers in hardship
At the end of the financial year
, 8,652 customers were participating
in the Staying Connected program. This represents a decrease of
16.3% compared to the 10,343 customers participating in the
previous year.
The average level of energy debt among Staying Connected
participants at the end of FY2011
was $1,658, up 20% from
$1,382 in FY2010.
While the success of the program depends on a range of
complementary indicators, the average level of debt per customer
is a critical measurement for Staying Connected. It assists in
assessing AGL’s degree of success in the early identification of
customers who are currently experiencing hardship or who are
vulnerable to hardship. It also allows AGL to measure the program’s
success in helping customers return to a sustainable energy
consumption position.
Many customers with low levels of debt have successfully completed
the program this year; however, this results in an increase in the
average level of debt of those remaining on the program. By bringing
customers onto the program earlier, while their debt levels are still
relatively low, the average level of debt per customer will decline.
Accordingly, in the coming year, AGL will continue to focus on staff
training to ensure early identification of customers experiencing or
likely to experience financial difficulty.
AGL uses a number of indicators to measure the success of Staying
Connected, including the time it takes to return customers to a
sustainable energy consumption position, and the number of times
each participant has joined the Staying Connected program.
Of the Staying Connected participants as at 30 June 2011, 32.6%
have been on the program for two or more years. Approximately
16.5% of Staying Connected participants were customers returning
to the program.
AGL continues to offer Staying Connected participants energy
efficiency advice and home energy consumption audits, which assist
customers to return to sustainable energy consumption levels as
well as a sustainable debt position. In Victoria and South Australia,
AGL has maintained its long-term partnerships with Kildonan
UnitingCare and Mission Australia and during FY2011, 879 audits
were completed by these two community sector partners on
behalf of AGL. In Queensland and New South Wales, AGL worked in
partnership with the government funded home energy efficiency
programs in those states, referring eligible customers for assistance.
AGL Advocacy work
During FY2011, AGL continued to engage with customers and
consumer representatives in order to foster open communication
and mutual understanding and awareness. The AGL Customer
Council continued to meet quarterly allowing an open dialogue on
performance and policy between AGL and customer representatives.
AGL attended, and also presented at, numerous community
sector forums across the country, providing information about the
assistance offered to hardship customers by AGL and also gaining an
understanding from the sector as to what they would like to see AGL
do to improve customer service, particularly in relation to customers
experiencing payment difficulties.
AGL also worked collaboratively with a number of community
agencies to:
>> deliver practical information to newly arrived migrants on
managing energy costs
>> host and run a forum in Queensland on energy affordability –
a broad discussion attended by the community sector, industry
and government to improve assistance for vulnerable customers.
1 As at 2 July 2011.
Number of years on Staying Connected program
1 year or less
1 to 2 years
2 or more years
Data is based on Staying Connected
population, as at 30 June 2011.
Staying Connected return customers
First time Staying Connected
Return Staying Connected
customer (second time) 13%
Multiple Staying Connected
Data is based on Staying Connected
population, as at 30 June 2011.