Stakeholder action plan

At Northern Powergrid, we are committed to continually improving the quality of our communications and engagement. For this reason, each year, we publish a detailed action plan which identifies ways to improve stakeholder relations. This plan is developed and updated based on suggestions and feedback from both internal and external stakeholders.

Last Updated : 02 Apr 2022
88%
To date:
24 of 27
tasks are
complete
Area of improvement
What you told us
What we are doing
Status and measure

Provide a more detailed PSM list
Details weren't clear enough
Ringing round custeomres to do datat quality check
completed
End Date
Mar 2022
Percentage updated
stage_completed
Provide targeted support to fuel poor people in the region
We need to go further to create job opportunities, break the cycle of poverty and provide targeted support to vulnerable and fuel poor people in the region
We are developing a partnership with the Money and Pensions Advice Service to expand our reach across the region, at the same time as developing targeted media campaigns in areas of high fuel poverty to promote energy saving measures
completed
End Date
Mar 2021
Number of fuel poor customers supported in the region
reviewing
Be more ambitious in our promotion of support for vulnerable customers
We should do more to raise awareness of the support available to vulnerable customers during power cuts
In addition to extensively promoting the Priority Services Register and running a winter awareness campaign, we are partnering with MIND to support mental health provision during COVID-19, and will be promoting support services through this channel
completed
End Date
Apr 2021
Number of customers on the Priority Services Register
reviewing
Supporting local green recovery
You would like us to bring forward investment to decarbonise quicker, to support the regional economy (e.g. by creating new jobs).
We’re working with Ofgem and other network operators on a national green recovery scheme. We’ll be investing in network capacity to unlock decarbonisation activity and stimulate the local economy. We’ve been engaging with our regional stakeholders to identify locations that would benefit and are reviewing and shortlisting potential investment sites
completed
End Date
Mar 2021
Additional spend in the region, above anticipated levels (pre-COVID-19)
reviewing

Frequency of engagement
Our stakeholder engagement should be ongoing and result in genuine relationships and partnerships, rather than transactional and/or sporadic
As part of our business planning for the next price control period, we are proposing the continuation of several panels and engagement styles into "business as usual"
completed
End Date
Feb 2021
Frequency of recurring engagement events
reviewing
Address known barriers in the transition to DSO
Affordability and accessibility are key barriers in the transition to DSO that vulnerable customers are likely to experience
We have commissioned a piece of research by an agency called BoxClever to identify, explore and address identified barriers in the transition to DSO, including affordability and accessibility. Wave two of this research is set to commence, in collaboration with Energy Savings Trust
on track
End Date
Dec 2021
Vulnerable customer access to DSO and low carbon technologies
implementing
Promote the Green Homes Grant
The Green Homes Grant provides us with an opportunity to do more to support vulnerable people by helping them access additional support
We are seeking to develop a partnership with National Energy Action to promote Green Homes Grants across the region, as well as host focused engagement events with installers
completed
End Date
Apr 2021
Number of Green Homes Grants awarded in our region
reviewing
Develop clearer DSO messaging for customers
Our role in being a 'socially-inclusive DSO' is primarily around education, raising awareness, putting vulnerable customers at the heart of change and developing practical solutions/examples to share with customers
We have commissioned several projects to refine our DSO messaging and help customers to understand this. Wave one of a piece of research to support this with a vulnerability lense is now complete, with wave two in development
completed
End Date
Jun 2021
Customer understanding of DSO at engagement events
reviewing
Expand the use of our SROI model
You would like to see the benefits of our projects measured against attributes other than cost, such as benefit to the community / vulnerable groups / fuel poverty sufferers
Having refined our Social Return On Investment model, strengthening the methodology and agreeing a value-led framework for selecting projects, this is now being embedded in the business
on track
End Date
Jan 2021
Percentage of projects per annum with a clear SROI
implementing
Building capacity in community energy
You would like us to build capacity in community energy organisations by sharing best practice, especially in rural areas, and by promoting practical steps to enable energy efficiency and decarbonisation
We are developing an awareness and capacity building programme for community energy organisations which will launch in 2021
completed
End Date
Jun 2021
Number of community energy organisations supported
reviewing
Co-creation of AutoDesign features
You would like to be involved in developing our AutoDesign tool which enables customers to self-serve, identify the most viable connections options and get an indicative cost in minutes, instead of the usual 10-day turnaround
We have been engaging with stakeholders and seeking their feedback to help us develop AutoDesign. In December 2020 we hosted a co-creation workshop where stakeholders provided feedback that will help us develop the functionality and future use cases for the tool
completed
End Date
Dec 2020
Stakeholder satisfaction with the AutoDesign tool
reviewing
Information on cyber security risks associated with digitalisation
You want to see an action plan for communicating cyber security risks and mitigations associated with digitalisation, including security of transferring smart meter data
We are working with a third-party consultancy to develop a digitalisation roadmap which will include consideration of cyber security risks, and will engage digital experts to review and improve our roadmap
completed
End Date
May 2021
Publication of our digitalisation roadmap
reviewing
Absence of resilience in climate change engagement
Resilience is missing from current business planning discussions in relation to Climate Change Adaptation
We are planning a resilience roundtable in early December which will consider this topic and its overlaps with Climate Change Adaptation, Reliability, Decarbonisation and other significant engagement topics
completed
End Date
Dec 2020
Number and execution of tailored engagement plans on cross-cutting themes
reviewing
Off-grid collaboration
You want us to work with third parties to support the relatively high number of off-grid customers in our region, given the importance of this to decarbonisation and social inclusivity
We have created a cross-disciplinary taskforce to consider social, engineering and innovation solutions for off-grid customers. This should lead to recommendations and actions for Northern Powergrid and its partners (including policy recommendations)
on track
End Date
Jun 2021
Number of actions and projects initiated to support off-grid customers
initiating
Identify known barriers in the creation and implementation of Local Area Energy Plans
There are lots of barriers to creating and implementing Local Area Energy Plans, including political / organisational challenges. You would like us to document, analyse and understand these, before creating a set of actions and recommendations to aid LAEP implementation
We have initiated a piece of research to understand which areas do and don't have LAEPs in place; what has enabled or prevented progress; and plan to share best practice across the region
completed
End Date
May 2021
Number of LAEPs adopted in our region
reviewing
Stakeholder feedback
We need to provide feedback to stakeholders about how their feedback has been adopted or used
We have created and published this action plan and will be updating it regularly as we respond to what you've told us. We will also playback what we have heard in our recent business planning events to customers and stakeholders in the first part of 2021
completed
End Date
Jun 2021
Stakeholder feedback on this action plan and our 2021 engagement collateral
reviewing
Community energy and net zero
You would like us to explain how local / community energy can enable net zero, and to do further engagement on this topic
We are creating a series of short engagement videos to explain key concepts such as community energy, net zero and flexibility. We have also established a Community Energy Panel which met for the first time in Q4'20 and are planning more Community Energy Forums in Q1/Q2'21
completed
End Date
Jun 2021
Stakeholder feedback on education videos and panel meetings
reviewing

Explanation of bill impacts
You would like us to explain the short- and long-term impacts of price increases and decreases in a clear and accessible way
In our engagement in 2021, we plan to explain bill impacts over short (5 years) and long (45 years) periods of time, and to place the impacts in the context of current and likely future expenditures
completed
End Date
Jun 2021
Stakeholder understanding of bill impacts
reviewing
Non-digital engagement during COVID-19
While recognising the challenge of meeting face-to-face due to COVID-19, we need to expand our non-digital engagement with stakeholders to ensure non-digital stakeholders' voices are heard
We are reviewing all engagement plans for the rest of 2020/2021, with a view to adding telephone, SMS and direct mail components where feasible. We are also engaging digitally-excluded people through our partnerships with Citizens Advice and Green Doctors
completed
End Date
Jun 2021
Number of non-digital customers engaged per quarter
reviewing
Improved regional focus
We need to develop a clear understanding of regional variance using demographic and other data, and to develop a strong regional dimension in our emerging business plan
We developed tailored engagement plans for six sub-regions in advance of running two sets of regional conferences and political bilaterals in Q4'20 and Q2'21, during which tailored sub-regional propositions were / will be discussed
completed
End Date
May 2021
Stakeholder satisfaction at regional conferences
reviewing
Understanding customer wants
We need to test what customers actually want. This is distinct from asking them about how much they want of current priorities
In addition to asking open-ended questions wherever possible, we are initiating indepth customer interviews to understand more about their values and expectations of Northern Powergrid, to understand how this should influence future services. This will be reflected in the development of our Customer Value Propositions in Q2'21
completed
End Date
May 2021
Number of Customer Value Propositions in our business plan developed through engagement
reviewing
Deeper customer engagement
To facilitate deeper engagement with customers, we should consider developing a "single point of contact" management model
We are consulting customers and stakeholders about this idea as part of our Wave 2 engagement (September to December) and will continue this in Wave 3 (January to May) as part of "giving consumers a stronger voice"
completed
End Date
Jun 2021
Number of engagements where this potential approach is discussed
reviewing
Listening to small and micro businesses (SMEs)
SMEs seem to be overlooked in many of our engagement plans
We are establishing a dedicated SME Panel as part of our business planning process, with a view to making this a permanent feature of our engagement during the next price control period (ED2)
completed
End Date
Sep 2020
Number of SME Panel insights reflected in our business plan
reviewing
Develop a weighting methodology
You "would like to see more about what NPg will do with insights gained" from across its business planning engagement
We are working with an agency to develop a weighting methodology for ED2 engagement, and are currently trialling this with colleagues
completed
End Date
Dec 2020
Existence of a standard approach to evidence weighting across NPg
reviewing
Making more of colleague insights
We need to work harder to engage colleagues in the business planning process, to make the most of their valuable insights as stakeholders and customers
We have developed and are implementing a multi-channel internal communications plan using focus groups, emails, surveys and SMS to drive colleague engagement
completed
End Date
Jun 2021
Number of colleagues engaged per quarter
reviewing
Non-domestic customer engagement
We need to work harder to engage large non-domestic customers as part of our ED2 business planning process
We have engaged with a significant number of non-domestic customers, including Local Authorities, generators and major works connections customers to inform our ED2 plans and priorities. We have held deliberative sessions and ‘bolted-on’ ED2 engagement to our business-as-usual activities to reach a broad and inclusive range of stakeholders
completed
End Date
Jun 2021
Number of large non-domestic customers engaged per quarter
reviewing

Marketing of the Priority Services Register
The naming and marketing of our Priority Services Register could be improved (two-thirds of colleagues thought customers don't understand what being on the PSR actually means)
The PSR has been rebranded, turning it into a membership scheme with broader benefits for current PSR customers. This was launched in December 2020 with a suite of supporting materials; the campaign will run until the end of March 2021
completed
End Date
Jan 2021
Number of customers joining the register/scheme on a monthly basis
reviewing

Provide a more detailed PSM list
What you told us
Details weren't clear enough
What we are doing
Ringing round custeomres to do datat quality check
Measure
Percentage updated
completed
Status
Mar 2022
End Date
stage_completed
Provide targeted support to fuel poor people in the region
What you told us
We need to go further to create job opportunities, break the cycle of poverty and provide targeted support to vulnerable and fuel poor people in the region
What we are doing
We are developing a partnership with the Money and Pensions Advice Service to expand our reach across the region, at the same time as developing targeted media campaigns in areas of high fuel poverty to promote energy saving measures
Measure
Number of fuel poor customers supported in the region
completed
Status
Mar 2021
End Date
reviewing
Be more ambitious in our promotion of support for vulnerable customers
What you told us
We should do more to raise awareness of the support available to vulnerable customers during power cuts
What we are doing
In addition to extensively promoting the Priority Services Register and running a winter awareness campaign, we are partnering with MIND to support mental health provision during COVID-19, and will be promoting support services through this channel
Measure
Number of customers on the Priority Services Register
completed
Status
Apr 2021
End Date
reviewing
Supporting local green recovery
What you told us
You would like us to bring forward investment to decarbonise quicker, to support the regional economy (e.g. by creating new jobs).
What we are doing
We’re working with Ofgem and other network operators on a national green recovery scheme. We’ll be investing in network capacity to unlock decarbonisation activity and stimulate the local economy. We’ve been engaging with our regional stakeholders to identify locations that would benefit and are reviewing and shortlisting potential investment sites
Measure
Additional spend in the region, above anticipated levels (pre-COVID-19)
completed
Status
Mar 2021
End Date
reviewing

Frequency of engagement
What you told us
Our stakeholder engagement should be ongoing and result in genuine relationships and partnerships, rather than transactional and/or sporadic
What we are doing
As part of our business planning for the next price control period, we are proposing the continuation of several panels and engagement styles into "business as usual"
Measure
Frequency of recurring engagement events
completed
Status
Feb 2021
End Date
reviewing
Address known barriers in the transition to DSO
What you told us
Affordability and accessibility are key barriers in the transition to DSO that vulnerable customers are likely to experience
What we are doing
We have commissioned a piece of research by an agency called BoxClever to identify, explore and address identified barriers in the transition to DSO, including affordability and accessibility. Wave two of this research is set to commence, in collaboration with Energy Savings Trust
Measure
Vulnerable customer access to DSO and low carbon technologies
on track
Status
Dec 2021
End Date
implementing
Promote the Green Homes Grant
What you told us
The Green Homes Grant provides us with an opportunity to do more to support vulnerable people by helping them access additional support
What we are doing
We are seeking to develop a partnership with National Energy Action to promote Green Homes Grants across the region, as well as host focused engagement events with installers
Measure
Number of Green Homes Grants awarded in our region
completed
Status
Apr 2021
End Date
reviewing
Develop clearer DSO messaging for customers
What you told us
Our role in being a 'socially-inclusive DSO' is primarily around education, raising awareness, putting vulnerable customers at the heart of change and developing practical solutions/examples to share with customers
What we are doing
We have commissioned several projects to refine our DSO messaging and help customers to understand this. Wave one of a piece of research to support this with a vulnerability lense is now complete, with wave two in development
Measure
Customer understanding of DSO at engagement events
completed
Status
Jun 2021
End Date
reviewing
Expand the use of our SROI model
What you told us
You would like to see the benefits of our projects measured against attributes other than cost, such as benefit to the community / vulnerable groups / fuel poverty sufferers
What we are doing
Having refined our Social Return On Investment model, strengthening the methodology and agreeing a value-led framework for selecting projects, this is now being embedded in the business
Measure
Percentage of projects per annum with a clear SROI
on track
Status
Jan 2021
End Date
implementing
Building capacity in community energy
What you told us
You would like us to build capacity in community energy organisations by sharing best practice, especially in rural areas, and by promoting practical steps to enable energy efficiency and decarbonisation
What we are doing
We are developing an awareness and capacity building programme for community energy organisations which will launch in 2021
Measure
Number of community energy organisations supported
completed
Status
Jun 2021
End Date
reviewing
Co-creation of AutoDesign features
What you told us
You would like to be involved in developing our AutoDesign tool which enables customers to self-serve, identify the most viable connections options and get an indicative cost in minutes, instead of the usual 10-day turnaround
What we are doing
We have been engaging with stakeholders and seeking their feedback to help us develop AutoDesign. In December 2020 we hosted a co-creation workshop where stakeholders provided feedback that will help us develop the functionality and future use cases for the tool
Measure
Stakeholder satisfaction with the AutoDesign tool
completed
Status
Dec 2020
End Date
reviewing
Information on cyber security risks associated with digitalisation
What you told us
You want to see an action plan for communicating cyber security risks and mitigations associated with digitalisation, including security of transferring smart meter data
What we are doing
We are working with a third-party consultancy to develop a digitalisation roadmap which will include consideration of cyber security risks, and will engage digital experts to review and improve our roadmap
Measure
Publication of our digitalisation roadmap
completed
Status
May 2021
End Date
reviewing
Absence of resilience in climate change engagement
What you told us
Resilience is missing from current business planning discussions in relation to Climate Change Adaptation
What we are doing
We are planning a resilience roundtable in early December which will consider this topic and its overlaps with Climate Change Adaptation, Reliability, Decarbonisation and other significant engagement topics
Measure
Number and execution of tailored engagement plans on cross-cutting themes
completed
Status
Dec 2020
End Date
reviewing
Off-grid collaboration
What you told us
You want us to work with third parties to support the relatively high number of off-grid customers in our region, given the importance of this to decarbonisation and social inclusivity
What we are doing
We have created a cross-disciplinary taskforce to consider social, engineering and innovation solutions for off-grid customers. This should lead to recommendations and actions for Northern Powergrid and its partners (including policy recommendations)
Measure
Number of actions and projects initiated to support off-grid customers
on track
Status
Jun 2021
End Date
initiating
Identify known barriers in the creation and implementation of Local Area Energy Plans
What you told us
There are lots of barriers to creating and implementing Local Area Energy Plans, including political / organisational challenges. You would like us to document, analyse and understand these, before creating a set of actions and recommendations to aid LAEP implementation
What we are doing
We have initiated a piece of research to understand which areas do and don't have LAEPs in place; what has enabled or prevented progress; and plan to share best practice across the region
Measure
Number of LAEPs adopted in our region
completed
Status
May 2021
End Date
reviewing
Stakeholder feedback
What you told us
We need to provide feedback to stakeholders about how their feedback has been adopted or used
What we are doing
We have created and published this action plan and will be updating it regularly as we respond to what you've told us. We will also playback what we have heard in our recent business planning events to customers and stakeholders in the first part of 2021
Measure
Stakeholder feedback on this action plan and our 2021 engagement collateral
completed
Status
Jun 2021
End Date
reviewing
Community energy and net zero
What you told us
You would like us to explain how local / community energy can enable net zero, and to do further engagement on this topic
What we are doing
We are creating a series of short engagement videos to explain key concepts such as community energy, net zero and flexibility. We have also established a Community Energy Panel which met for the first time in Q4'20 and are planning more Community Energy Forums in Q1/Q2'21
Measure
Stakeholder feedback on education videos and panel meetings
completed
Status
Jun 2021
End Date
reviewing

Explanation of bill impacts
What you told us
You would like us to explain the short- and long-term impacts of price increases and decreases in a clear and accessible way
What we are doing
In our engagement in 2021, we plan to explain bill impacts over short (5 years) and long (45 years) periods of time, and to place the impacts in the context of current and likely future expenditures
Measure
Stakeholder understanding of bill impacts
completed
Status
Jun 2021
End Date
reviewing
Non-digital engagement during COVID-19
What you told us
While recognising the challenge of meeting face-to-face due to COVID-19, we need to expand our non-digital engagement with stakeholders to ensure non-digital stakeholders' voices are heard
What we are doing
We are reviewing all engagement plans for the rest of 2020/2021, with a view to adding telephone, SMS and direct mail components where feasible. We are also engaging digitally-excluded people through our partnerships with Citizens Advice and Green Doctors
Measure
Number of non-digital customers engaged per quarter
completed
Status
Jun 2021
End Date
reviewing
Improved regional focus
What you told us
We need to develop a clear understanding of regional variance using demographic and other data, and to develop a strong regional dimension in our emerging business plan
What we are doing
We developed tailored engagement plans for six sub-regions in advance of running two sets of regional conferences and political bilaterals in Q4'20 and Q2'21, during which tailored sub-regional propositions were / will be discussed
Measure
Stakeholder satisfaction at regional conferences
completed
Status
May 2021
End Date
reviewing
Understanding customer wants
What you told us
We need to test what customers actually want. This is distinct from asking them about how much they want of current priorities
What we are doing
In addition to asking open-ended questions wherever possible, we are initiating indepth customer interviews to understand more about their values and expectations of Northern Powergrid, to understand how this should influence future services. This will be reflected in the development of our Customer Value Propositions in Q2'21
Measure
Number of Customer Value Propositions in our business plan developed through engagement
completed
Status
May 2021
End Date
reviewing
Deeper customer engagement
What you told us
To facilitate deeper engagement with customers, we should consider developing a "single point of contact" management model
What we are doing
We are consulting customers and stakeholders about this idea as part of our Wave 2 engagement (September to December) and will continue this in Wave 3 (January to May) as part of "giving consumers a stronger voice"
Measure
Number of engagements where this potential approach is discussed
completed
Status
Jun 2021
End Date
reviewing
Listening to small and micro businesses (SMEs)
What you told us
SMEs seem to be overlooked in many of our engagement plans
What we are doing
We are establishing a dedicated SME Panel as part of our business planning process, with a view to making this a permanent feature of our engagement during the next price control period (ED2)
Measure
Number of SME Panel insights reflected in our business plan
completed
Status
Sep 2020
End Date
reviewing
Develop a weighting methodology
What you told us
You "would like to see more about what NPg will do with insights gained" from across its business planning engagement
What we are doing
We are working with an agency to develop a weighting methodology for ED2 engagement, and are currently trialling this with colleagues
Measure
Existence of a standard approach to evidence weighting across NPg
completed
Status
Dec 2020
End Date
reviewing
Making more of colleague insights
What you told us
We need to work harder to engage colleagues in the business planning process, to make the most of their valuable insights as stakeholders and customers
What we are doing
We have developed and are implementing a multi-channel internal communications plan using focus groups, emails, surveys and SMS to drive colleague engagement
Measure
Number of colleagues engaged per quarter
completed
Status
Jun 2021
End Date
reviewing
Non-domestic customer engagement
What you told us
We need to work harder to engage large non-domestic customers as part of our ED2 business planning process
What we are doing
We have engaged with a significant number of non-domestic customers, including Local Authorities, generators and major works connections customers to inform our ED2 plans and priorities. We have held deliberative sessions and ‘bolted-on’ ED2 engagement to our business-as-usual activities to reach a broad and inclusive range of stakeholders
Measure
Number of large non-domestic customers engaged per quarter
completed
Status
Jun 2021
End Date
reviewing

Marketing of the Priority Services Register
What you told us
The naming and marketing of our Priority Services Register could be improved (two-thirds of colleagues thought customers don't understand what being on the PSR actually means)
What we are doing
The PSR has been rebranded, turning it into a membership scheme with broader benefits for current PSR customers. This was launched in December 2020 with a suite of supporting materials; the campaign will run until the end of March 2021
Measure
Number of customers joining the register/scheme on a monthly basis
completed
Status
Jan 2021
End Date
reviewing