Download full copy of the Commitment here.
This morning, General Manager of Retail Energy, Stephen Mikkelsen and Chief Economist and Group Head of Corporate Affairs, Paul Simshauser met with community and consumer group leaders to publically launch AGL’s Affordability Initiative.
After extensive consultation with 35 different community and consumer groups over the past three months, along with our Customer Council we heard directly from the community about the range of improvements we can make to better support our customers.
We acknowledge that as an essential service provider, AGL has a responsibility to ensure it provides appropriate support to vulnerable members of the community. Life changes, the unexpected can happen and energy costs can – not for an insignificant portion of the population - cause stress in the household budget.
The commitment we are making today to our Community Partners Queensland Council of Social Service, Public Interest Advocacy Centre, St Vincent de Paul Society, Financial Counselling Australia, Brotherhood of St Laurence, Kildonan Uniting Care and South Australian Council of Social Service, is the first step in a 12-18 month program of improvements. We’re taking a much more integrated way to how we engage our stakeholders and enhance our operations. The first changes we will be making are outlined below:
This will mean changes from the way we communicate, to product design to more regular engagement between AGL employees and disadvantaged communities and this will be implemented across the organisation over the coming year.
Our $6 million support fund will also go towards energy efficient appliances, home visits/audits, funding for financial counsellors and incentive payments for customers experiencing financial difficulties. The details of the fund will be released in February 2015 after consultation with community groups.
Refreshing our approach on affordability reflects AGL’s acknowledgement of the importance of meeting community expectations. As a company, ensuring we are acting in the best interests of our customers will help us build a stronger and more sustainable business and community for the future.