PG&E Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report 2018

Northern California Wildfires

Engaging Customers

At PG&E, we consider it a privilege to serve the diversity of customers and communities that make California the Golden State. We work with customers on a local level, to help them better understand their energy needs and manage their energy costs, and to improve the overall customer experience.

Our Approach

Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Customer Care organization, led by the Chief Customer Officer, is responsible for our efforts to deliver the best experience for each and every customer. This includes using data to improve the customer experience, localizing our presence and strategies in the communities we serve, empowering customers with greater choice and control over how they manage their energy use, and continuously integrating customer feedback to improve our products and services.

Serving Customers Locally

We maintain cross-functional leadership teams, led by local managers in each region to address local issues, collaborate with representatives from across PG&E and incorporate the needs and concerns of our customers into operating decisions.

Integrating Feedback

PG&E regularly uses customer surveys, focus groups and other forms of research to obtain feedback and insights that help drive our decision-making and improvements in how we serve our customers.

Saving Customers Energy and Money

PG&E offers a full portfolio of savings options for customers, with a focus on tools and programs to help customers reduce their energy use and save money. We offer some of the industry’s leading programs and incentives for energy efficiency, demand response and solar energy, as well as choice and control through rate options, financial assistance programs and other resources. We’ve also begun building a network of EV charging stations, as approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

Making It Easy

A growing number of our residential customers prefer to manage their own energy use. To meet their needs, PG&E offers options via mobile phones, the web, email, social media and local offices, giving customers many choices for how to interact with us. We also provide customers with a paperless billing option to increase convenience and reduce clutter.

The vast majority of our customers can access hourly data on their energy use and compare their use to that of similar homes in their neighborhood. The redesigned Home Energy Checkup online tool analyzes a customer’s energy use on an annual basis—including appliances, heating and cooling—and provides tips and savings recommendations to help that customer take action to manage energy costs.

Small and medium business customers can also use PG&E’s Business Energy Checkup to find energy-saving ideas, as well as programs such as energy efficiency financing to address upfront cost barriers. We also offer support to businesses considering Time-Varying Pricing so they can choose the option that fits their needs.

Our energy statements provide clear and easy-to-understand information, and we offer numerous options for customers to pay their bills. Through our website, customers can get real-time outage information; start, stop or transfer service; and pay their bill from their mobile devices. They may also choose to receive messages by text, email or phone—and use My Rate Analysis to make sure they’re on the right rate plan.

In addition to digital offerings, PG&E continues to offer self-service capabilities over the phone, such as reconnection service via our Interactive Voice Response technology. Many of our communications are also available in multiple languages and formats, including English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Tagalog and large print.

2017 Milestones

We remained focused on responding to the unique needs of our customers in 2017, with a number of highlights:

  • Improved the customer experience for digital-first customers. We improved the experience for customers using mobile devices by upgrading pages with a responsive and accessible design and encouraging customers to sign up for paperless billing. In 2017, Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s website took top honors in the E Source Review of North American Electric and Gas Company Residential Websites.
  • Expanded customer data platforms. We maintained a service called Share My Data, which allows the approximately 127,000 enrolled customers to share their energy usage data with select third-party service providers, who can use the information to advise customers if energy products and services, such as private rooftop solar, may be right for them.
  • Continued strong growth of social media properties. PG&E produces customer-centric content for social media properties on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube. In 2017, PG&E’s social media platforms were essential, real-time communication tools during large storms and events, as well as a voice of warning to watch for scammers. Both customers and news media turn to our social channels and our news site at pgecurrents.com for updates from PG&E.
  • Improved outreach to diverse groups. By creating more materials and media services in languages other than English, as well as actively working with local organizations, we saw strong participation in our programs for low-income customers. For example, our CARE program, a discounted rate plan, achieved 89 percent participation by eligible customers.

Measuring Progress

We are committed to improving satisfaction for both residential and business customers. In 2017, our customer satisfaction score decreased to 75.6, which fell short both of our target of 76.4 and the prior year’s result. For 2018, our target is 75.2. The decline in 2017 was mainly driven by customer perceptions of energy costs and events such as the North Bay wildfires.

Measuring Customer Satisfaction
2015 2015 2017
Customer Satisfaction Score 75.5 76.1 75.6

We recognize the need for continuous improvement and are more focused than ever on communicating with customers about safety, our rates and the technologies and tools we have available to support sustainable customer energy solutions.

To measure customer satisfaction, we use a random-sample, proprietary customer survey that is conducted quarterly by an independent third party. The customer satisfaction score is determined by averaging customers’ overall satisfaction with our products and services using a 1 to 10 scale, indexed to a score from 1 to 100. This metric also serves as one of the measures we use for determining performance-related employee compensation, because employees from all PG&E lines of business contribute to improving the overall satisfaction of our customers.

Each year we also benchmark our customer satisfaction results against best-in-class performing gas and electric providers, using data from J.D. Power’s Customer Satisfaction Studies.

Looking Ahead

As we work to create a better customer experience, we will continue to draw upon sophisticated data and analytics, provide more self-service options for customers to enhance convenience, and make new technologies available to better tailor our services.

Through the work of our local cross-functional teams, we will also continue to strengthen PG&E’s local presence and relationships with customers and other stakeholders in our communities.