Fiona McDonald, Head of Customer Services for Switch2, was presented with the Champion Award in recognition of her commitment to putting the customer at the heart of Switch2’s business, and her leadership in raising standards of customer care and support within the district and community heating industry.
Her important role in championing heat network customer protection, as a Heat Trust committee member, was recognised by the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) judging panel. They said: “Fiona’s contribution to the wider industry and her organisation impressed the judges, as did her determination to making sure customer needs drive the solution.”
Switch2 also won the Domestic Award – for its partnership with Wolverhampton Homes. This involved developing, implementing and operating a complete heat metering strategy for three residential sites connected to a new energy centre. The installation of Switch2’s pay-as-you-go smart meters has given residents full visibility of how much heat they are using and how much it is costing them. It also provides a simple and flexible payment system that is managed by Switch2’s billing team.
In moving from a flat-rate charging scheme, energy billing is fairer, with residents expected to reduce payments by 30 to 50%. This is driving lower CO2 emissions as customers are encouraged to moderate their consumption. Accurate, transparent metering data is also helping to inform efficient operation of the energy plant, leading to optimised performance.
Stuart Hobbs, Sustainability Manager of Wolverhampton Homes, said: “We are proud to share this award with Switch2 Energy and to work together to tackle fuel poverty and provide affordable, reliable heat to our residents. It is excellent news for the dedicated teams who worked collaboratively to regenerate the heat scheme.”
The award recognised Switch2’s role in engaging with residents to implement the changes, which resulted in a smooth transition and exceptionally high customer satisfaction. Measures were also introduced to ensure continued monitoring and care for vulnerable residents.
Kirsty Lambert, Director of Switch2 Energy, said: “We are extremely proud to win two of the eight prestigious awards. I would like to thank our fantastic and talented team, especially Fiona McDonald, who ensures that customer excellence is at the heart of everything Switch2 does. Her leadership within the company is outstanding, but she also plays a huge role in improving customer service standards across the wider heat network industry.”
It is the third year of success for Switch2 at the ADE awards, having won the Customer Engagement Award of the Decade last year, and an award for outstanding customer care in 2016. This year, the company was also shortlisted for the Innovation Award.
Switch2 Energy provides an end-to-end service to the district and community heating sector – supplying 70,000 residents and 180 clients across 500 heat networks.
Further information: www.switch2.co.uk