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Introduction
AGL Energy Limited 14
Stakeholder engagement
Stakeholder groups/main issues
Engagement mechanisms
Customers
To maintain and improve market share within Australia’s highly competitive energy market, it is essential that AGL responds to customer feedback and constantly seeks
to improve the level of customer service provided. AGL endeavours 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 rising cost of energy;
improving energy efficiency in their homes and businesses;
the quality of AGL’s customer service; billing (for example,
timeliness or accuracy); and the impact, perceived or real, of
government policy, such as the carbon tax.
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 2012, the Customer Council Charter was revised
to provide for an independent chair. By improving governance of this body, it is anticipated that stakeholder
engagement in this context will be enhanced.
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. In FY2012,
AGL held one customer face to face session, and in FY2013 we plan to host quarterly sessions. The main
objective of these sessions is to provide an opportunity for AGL employees from all areas and levels of the
business to listen to customers, face to face (generally over a dinner hosted by AGL), in a non-transactional
environment about their experience and expectations of 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 financial outcomes, but also by the social and environmental impact that our actions have on the wider community.
Effective engagement 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 with the respect and support 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, the Gloucester Gas Project and the Newcastle Gas Storage Facility. 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
information (agl.com.au/about/EnergySources/Pages/energy-assets.aspx).
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 around 60 blog posts by AGL
contributors in FY2012. The blog was visited by 7,662 unique visitors in FY2012.
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, and UnitingCare
Wesley Adelaide.