Social aspects and relationships
Our customer relations
We are taking an increasingly holistic approach to customer relations too: for private customers, we aim to be the leading provider in our domestic market of sustainable, integrated products and services designed for households. For our business customers and municipalities, we are a partner specialising in the specific requirements of the sector that provides sustainable, leading solutions and products centred on the energy transition and telecommunications.
Self-determination: customers are “prosumers”
We expect the decentralised self-supply market to continue to grow. With our product “Mini PV” even tenants and flat occupants can generate electricity with a solar module, for instance on a balcony. It is due to be released in 2017. The marketing of our solar power storage system EQOO for private and business customers – with which home owners can meet 70 per cent of their electricity requirements on average – remained successful in 2016. We have attracted eight other public utility companies as white label partners.
We learn what our customers expect from us by carrying out regular customer surveys. For example, in 2016 we made our switching service easier for our customers to use. We are also working to avoid high additional payments towards annual energy bills by more accurately estimating monthly payments. In 2016 we introduced mystery shoppers to our business. We want to continue to expand this new means of customer analysis.
Our suppliers: procurement and supplier management
Our supply chain encompasses the acquisition of materials, services and energy resources such as gas and coal. We maintain supply relationships with around 10,000 companies in a range of sectors including plant and machine construction, metalworking, electrical engineering, marketing, consultation and information technology on a regional, national and international level.
At the moment, 54 per cent of our strategic suppliers have signed our Supplier Code of Conduct. This statistic cannot be compared with the previous year (74 per cent) because we have since carried out a re-assessment of which suppliers are of strategic significance to us on the basis of our new corporate strategy. We are working to persuade new suppliers to sign the Supplier Code of Conduct too, which will cause the ratio to increase significantly. Our goal remains to have 95 per cent of our strategic suppliers recognise the EWE Supplier Code of Conduct by 2020. In 2016 we spent around 1 billion euros on materials and services. Of this amount, 52 per cent was attributable to regional suppliers.
For the region: the EWE Foundation
The EWE FOUNDATION has been supporting charitable projects in the fields of art, culture, education and research and development in the regions of Ems-Weser- Elbe and Brandenburg and on the island of Rügen since 2002. In 2016 the Foundation subsidised 198 projects with a total of 745,000 euros. However, the EWE FOUNDATION never considers itself merely a financial backer. It strives to encourage its project partners to use their creativity, perseverance and commitment to the benefit of the region. This way, responsibility for shaping our society is shared equally.
Our focus in the future
We will work on customer satisfaction in particular. We aim to expand our energy storage and solar power generation portfolios further and augment our customer services from the perspective of a “prosumer”. We are also developing solutions for energy-efficient construction and renovation.
Everything we do is centred on the trust and satisfaction of our customers – be they private households, business customers or municipalities. Our increasingly digitised world is causing customer requirements to change fundamentally. By carrying out studies and surveys we can keep ourselves up to date regarding trends and expectations. This way we can keep close to our customers and provide them with an excellent service. Our relations with suppliers and the public are characterised by the values we have defined for EWE and by transparency and a focus on dialogue.
SELECTED MEASURES IN 2016
- EWE customer service: rated excellent once again in 2016
- Combination of the portals for energy and telecommunications products: all EWE services can be accessed through a single log-in screen
- 54 per cent of our suppliers have signed our Supplier Code of Conduct
The Group’s new strategy focuses on the customer, which means that EWE is working continuously to improve the value and added value of its services for customers.
The introduction of the Supplier Code of Conduct will raise the levels of transparency and engagement in relationships with suppliers.
The general public
EWE supports the region through sponsoring and the EWE Foundation.
See page 29, 34