Gianna Manes, president and chief executive officer of ENMAX.

Wil Andruschak,
Content Works

What do you want from us?

ENMAX asked that question — continues to ask it — and Albertans have answered.

Whether customers said they wanted the energy utility to simplify the disconnection and reconnection process, or were looking for ways to reduce costs, conserve energy and minimize service interruptions, ENMAX responded.

“We are focused on making sure we are thinking from the outside-in,” says ENMAX Corp. president and chief executive officer Gianna Manes.

“In one way, we are responding by determining what our customers would like us to focus on, but, in other ways, we are looking forward, anticipating what their needs will be tomorrow based on what we’re learning in our relationship with them today.

“It is our priority to provide reliable, affordable, safe and increasingly cleaner energy. That is our priority because it is the priority of our customers.”

The company’s My Energy IQ tool, which helps customers understand how they use energy and how they could use less, is one example of ENMAX’s energy leadership.

“About 60 per cent of our customers surveyed said the program motivated them to use less energy,” says Manes.

“That was really encouraging to us.”

The company also led by example by making strides forward in environmental stewardship.

About half of all solar panels installed in Alberta are part of ENMAX projects, including major facilities around the province. The Leduc Recreation Centre, for example, boasts the country’s largest commercial rooftop solar project, with more than 3,600 solar panels installed.

The 1.14 megawatt system is expected to reduce emissions by more than 1,000 tonnes per year — the equivalent of taking about 200 cars off the road.

“In the last five years, we have invested $1.2 billion in keeping pace with growth while also reinvesting in equipment to make us more reliable,” says Manes. “That is not always evident to the customer.”

When it comes to providing electricity, Manes says it’s often more about what doesn’t happen than what does.

 “In the past, if a tree were to fall on a power line it might have impacted 1,000 customers. Today we can limit those effects and no one would notice that tree that toppled,” she says.

“In 2016 alone, we prevented 1.4 million outage minutes.”

Other actions are more obvious.

“For example, people want convenience and value,” says Manes. “They want it to be easy to manage their affairs and to interact with us.”

Five years ago, the vast majority of interactions were over the phone, now self-serve options, social media and web chats have made it easier to serve customers on their terms.

“Last year we had one million interactions with customers in which they reached out to contact us,” says Manes, adding that about 25 per cent of those interactions are now self-serve.

When customers do want to connect with someone at ENMAX, Manes says the “who” is just as critical as the “how.”

“Our customers are Albertans, and 100 per cent of our customer care representatives are also Albertans,” says Manes. “They are your neighbours and that is valuable, because your neighbours are going to better understand your needs and your challenges.”

ENMAX representatives are even trained to direct customers in distress to appropriate resources and organizations that can assist them, such as the Calgary Distress Centre.

“We are proud that 82 per cent of our customers surveyed report they are highly satisfied with our service. That tells us we are doing many things right.

“But, of course we will always keep listening and striving to do more and do better, because there are some amazing companies in this province that set the bar very high and we want to excel.”

This feature was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.

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