SAN DIEGO, Nov. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) was recognized with top honors at the annual PA Consulting Group (PA) 2012 ReliabilityOne™ and ServiceOne awards ceremony, winning the ReliabilityOne Award for reliability performance among utilities in the western states and Canada for the seventh year in a row, the award for "Outstanding Response to a Major Outage Event" for the response to the Pacific Southwest Blackout, and the 2012 ServiceOne Award for outstanding customer care performance among North American utilities.
The ReliabilityOne Award recognizes utilities that have demonstrated superior reliability performance and have excelled in delivering reliable electric service to their customers.
"We are honored to be recognized for the seventh straight year as the 'Best in the West' for electric reliability," said David L. Geier, vice president of electric operations for SDG&E. "Safety, reliability and customer service are the cornerstones of our business and our goal is to make sure that our employees have the tools and training to get the job done safely. We realize this kind of consistency is possible only through the dedication of all of our employees who work round-the-clock to keep the lights on for our customers."
"ReliabilityOne Award winners are characterized by their total commitment to service quality," said Jeff Lewis, PA Consulting Group's ReliabilityOne program director. "SDG&E demonstrates its commitment to electric reliability every day from the senior leadership to the field crews and customer service representatives. To be the best in this industry, the entire organization must focus, align, and motivate around reliability."
The selection of the ReliabilityOne Award is based on publicly available data on reliability statistics in addition to data PA has gathered independently to evaluate recipients on a regional level; statistics that measure the frequency and duration of customer outages, major events (events that occur on non-SDG&E owned infrastructure are excluded). SDG&E has taken home top honors at the past seven ReliabilityOne awards, including the National award in 2010.
In addition to the ReliabilityOne Award, SDG&E was recognized with the "Outstanding Response to a Major Outage Event" for the utility's response to the Pacific Southwest Blackout that left 1.4 million SDG&E customers without power.
"At SDG&E, we're committed to safety, planning and proactive communication so we can be prepared for the worst – all of which were key factors in restoring power in less than 12 hours to our entire service area," said Michael R. Niggli, president and chief operating officer for SDG&E. "This is just one example of the professionalism our employees demonstrate daily and their ability rise to any challenge they are faced with."
The accolades continued as SDG&E was named the joint winner of the national ServiceOne Award for providing exceptional customer service. Criteria for the award covers nearly all the functional areas within customer service operations typical for a North American utility, including the contact center, billing, payment, revenue protection, credit and collections, meter reading and safety.
"Being connected to our customers is our goal each and every day," said Caroline Winn, vice president of customer services. "To be recognized as a leader in customer service and care is a testament to our team's effort to serve as our customer's trusted energy advisor and a one-stop shop for information and services."
Highlights of SDG&E's award-winning customer care program include a change in day-to-day operations at SDG&E. For example, "Customer Service Representatives" are now called "Energy Service Specialists" to reflect their role in advising customers on energy management, programs and optional services that meet their individual needs. SDG&E also leverages technology to reach customers through social media, online services and telephone.
"Excellent customer service can only be achieved if it is a core value for a company," said Jerry Sullivan, PA's ServiceOne program director. "This is particularly the case in the utility sector, where increasing demands placed on customer service organizations have challenged traditional delivery strategies, business processes and modes of customer interaction. SDG&E has successfully managed to create outstanding benefits for the customer through a combination of hard work, effective leadership, and an unwavering commitment to service."
All utilities operating electric delivery networks in North America are eligible for consideration for the ReliabilityOne and ServiceOne awards. The awards were presented at the 2012 ReliabilityOne and ServiceOne awards ceremony held on Nov. 27 in New York City.
About PA Consulting Group
PA Consulting Group is a firm of more than 2,000 people, specializing in management and IT consulting, technology and innovation. Independent and employee-owned, we operate globally from offices across Europe and the Nordics, the United States, the Gulf and Asia Pacific. PA Consulting works with businesses and governments to anticipate, understand and meet the challenges they face. We have outstanding technology-development capability and a unique breadth of skills, from strategy to performance improvement, from HR to IT. PA Consulting's expertise covers energy, financial services, life sciences and healthcare, government and public services, defense and security, transport and logistics, telecommunications, consumer goods and automotive. PA Consulting Group has partnered with energy clients for over 25 years to help them understand the challenges they face and define and implement an effective strategic response. PA Consulting Group's 2012 ReliabilityOne study, based on standard industry reliability statistics that measure the frequency and duration of electric power outages, has been analyzing electric utility performance since 1987. For more information about PA Consulting Group, visit www.paconsulting.com/energy.
SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 850,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The utility's area spans 4,100 square miles. SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help customers save energy and money every day.
SOURCE San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)