- The highest level of customer satisfaction in the market resulting from the quality of energy services,
- Integrating contact and service channels in PGE Group,
- Development of professional energy services based on strong competences,
- Increased profitability of energy services,
- Margin growth in the retail segment (annual average).
The year 2022 was a challenging year for the Polish energy sector. PGE Group undertook numerous initiatives to ensure that the geopolitical situation and the ensuing crisis in the energy market were felt as little as possible by the company’s customers and did not affect the quality of service.
The companies involved in customer service are primarily: PGE Obrót, PGE Dystrybucja and PGE Energia Ciepła. PGE Obrót, which sells electricity within PGE Group, in 2021 provided services to nearly 5.5 million customers, who purchased over 34 TWh of electricity from the company.
PGE Dystrybucja, a company licensed to distribute electricity and providing electricity supply services within PGE Group, supplied nearly 37.1 TWh of electricity in 2022 over an area of 129 800 km2 (nearly 40% of Poland’s area), connecting to the grid nearly 94 000 customers and over 128 000 prosumer installations.
PGE Energia Ciepła, Poland’s largest producer of electricity and heat generated through high-efficiency cogeneration, has 16 combined heat and power plants (with a thermal capacity of 6.9 GWt and an electrical capacity of 2.6 GWe) and district heating networks with a length of 700 km. The company produces and supplies heat to large Polish cities, including: Kraków, Gdańsk, Gdynia, Wrocław, Rzeszów, Lublin, Bydgoszcz, Kielce and Szczecin. The company is also present in Toruń, Zielona Góra, Gorzów Wielkopolski, Zgierz, Siechnice and Gryfino, where it also distributes heat to end customers.
In addition, PGE Group became involved in securing coal supplies for the winter season in the situation of disrupted supplies as a result of the war in Ukraine.
Through the company PGE Paliwa, sales of imported hard coal (as the basic heating fuel in Poland) were launched for institutional customers (e.g. hospitals, schools, health centres, social welfare homes or others), entrepreneurs who use hard coal in their professional activity and intermediary coal entities.
Local government units and municipalities were invited to cooperate by the company. The quality of coal sold by PGE Paliwa was guaranteed by appropriate certificates and was verified both in the country of origin and on receipt. PGE Paliwa imported coal from verified contractors. Testing was performed by independent, accredited laboratories.
Due to the emergency situation, the energy crisis, in 2022 PGE Group supplied approx. 278,000 tonnes of hard coal to over 700 municipalities and approx. 21,000 tonnes of lignite to individual customers. For the processes, dedicated phone lines were set up in the Group to support customers in providing them with the necessary fuel.
Policies and standards
PGE Group carries out all its activities in the spirit of Partnership, Development and Responsibility – the values on which the PGE Code of Ethics is based. The Group builds trust by providing reliable information on its activities. It focuses on the development of its employees’ competencies and the exploitation of business opportunities, while partner relations with its contractors come first.
The employees of all PGE Group entities, including the management and all persons working for the company, are obliged to observe the Code.
PGE Group’s priority is the transparency of business relations, building cooperation based on partnership, respect and trust. The Code of Conduct for Business Partners of PGE Group Companies sets out the principles and minimum requirements for companies cooperating with PGE Group.
High quality standards of customer service and the services provided are one of PGE Group’s priority objectives and are reflected in the adopted, consistently implemented and updated policies and other management documents such as the Code of Good Practices for Distribution System Operators, the Code of Ethics, the Quality Books – Customer Service Standards and the Customer Service Principles and Standards.
These documents are in force in the individual PGE Group companies providing customer service and are designed to precisely describe processes related to service and business relations with customers. They concern processes related to grid connection, sales, after-sales service and distribution services. Their main objective is to build partner relations with customers while ensuring the highest quality of service and services.
PGE Group’s customers expect fast, competent and comprehensive service. The above elements are reflected in the adopted customer service standards. Customer queries are dealt with within 14 days (up to 30 days if additional analyses and investigations are carried out).
Among the issues reported by customers, complaints and grievances reported by customers are analysed in particular. The companies provide various channels for submitting them from in-person through remote channels increasingly used for communication.
PGE Obrót customers can report complaints and grievances via:
- helpline (telephone number +48 422 222 222),
- online form (https://www.gkpge.pl/dla-domu/strefa-klienta/dokumenty-i-formularze),
- eBOK/mBOK service,
- by e-mail: email@example.com,
- in person at any customer service point,
- by traditional post to the company’s registered address.
Each customer case is registered in a dedicated service system. An individual case number is assigned for each customer request, which, by referring to it, the customer can obtain information on the status of the case or how it has been handled.
Remote contact channels are in place for PGE Dystrybucja customers, such as:
- e-mail addresses (https://pgedystrybucja.pl/strefa-klienta/informacje-dla-konsumenta),
- online contact form (https://pgedystrybucja.pl/strefa-klienta/formularz-kontaktu),
- in-person channel at any Company branch,
- post channel – via traditional mail.
Any irregularities reported by customers are recorded in dedicated registers.
PGE Energia Ciepła customers can submit complaints and grievances electronically to dedicated e-mail addresses (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org) or in person at any branch office.
Each customer case is registered in a dedicated service system. An individual case number is assigned for each customer request, which, by referring to it, the customer can obtain information on the status of the case or how it has been handled.
Customer requests are analysed and used to improve service processes. The service standards adopted are reflected in the internal management system documentation of the individual companies dealing with customer service, i.e. policies, procedures or instructions.
The application of adopted standards is systematically monitored and reported. Customer notifications, including complaints and claims, are a valuable source of information about their expectations, and conclusions from their analyses often provide grounds for introducing changes to internal processes. Thanks to this, the standards of services offered by PGE Group are continuously improved. Complaints are subject to special analysis, thanks to which it is possible to detect possible irregularities or abuses. These are recorded and subject to monitoring.
Based on the results of the analyses, corrective programs are implemented as part of the ongoing operational activities of PGE Group companies to eliminate the occurrence of similar situations in the future.
In PGE Obrót in 2022, complaints amounted to 0.02% of all customer submissions. The share of complaints forwarded by customers to the Energy Regulatory Office in relation to all customer submissions registered with the company was 0.005%. The main channel for the receipt of complaints (approx. 70%) was remote channels: email, telephone. Despite the many challenges for the energy industry in 2022, the overall number of complaints in PGE Obrót remained at the level of complaints registered last year.
In PGE Dystrybucja, as a result of the company’s corrective actions, the number of customer complaints decreased by approx. 10%. In the case of PGE Energia Ciepła customers, the number of complaints has remained at a low level for years – up to 10 complaints per year.
Customer satisfaction indicators
In PGE Group, marketing surveys are carried out periodically, allowing for multidimensional monitoring of customer satisfaction. The marketing research system implemented since 2015 serves this purpose, covering key areas and points of contact for the company-customer relationship.
Multidimensional monitoring of customer satisfaction makes it possible to verify the application of adopted standards. Conclusions from the surveys and analyses provide grounds for changes in internal processes, contributing to the continuous improvement of the service standards.
Electricity pricing issues are having a major impact on how customers are served and are creating increasing challenges for consultants and managers. The handling of the government’s Anti-Inflation Shield, the Solidarity Shield, required adaptation of billing processes and systems, procedures and employee involvement.
Thanks to their collective effort, competence and commitment, the CSI (Customer Satisfaction Index) in the case of the work evaluation for PGE Obrót Customer Service Offices, despite the difficult situation in 2022, recorded a slight decrease, but remained at a high level, both among G tariff and C1 tariff customers.
Fig. Customer Satisfaction Index
Fig. Customer Satisfaction Index
Thanks to its high service standards, PGE Obrót was awarded the Customer Friendly Company certificate for the tenth time. Its award is preceded by a quality inspection conducted by independent auditors.
The certificate is awarded directly on the basis of an independent opinion poll conducted electronically, by telephone and on paper. In research conducted by the Experience Institute, respondents indicated that in their contact with PGE Obrót they valued the high level and merit of service.
They also appreciated the stability and energy security guaranteed by Poland’s largest electricity company. The highest-rated aspect of the company’s approach to customers is its keeping of promises. At least eight out of ten customers believe that PGE treats them fairly, communicates clearly and meets customer needs well. In the 2022 survey, PGE Obrót achieved a score of 88%.
Survey results for certification: Customer Friendly Company
|Willingness to recommend||90%|
|Approach to customers||86%|
|Customer Effort Score||84%|
|Quality of service||92%|
PGE Group also carried out an evaluation of the service provided at the customer service office of PGE Obrót. The company was evaluated at a very high level. The percentage of positive evaluations of individual aspects of the area in question ranged from 86 to 97%.
The highest ratings were given for the advisors’ willingness to help and their competence (97% of positive responses each). The ratings are comparable to those of the previous waves of the survey, and in some aspects (willingness to help of advisors and competence) are higher than in 2021.
Contact with the PGE Obrót helpline was also rated at a high level. Positive ratings ranged from 84 to 95%. Respondents rated the willingness to help of helpline consultants highest. Compared to the last wave of the survey, the percentage of positive ratings for the aspect of willingness to be helped by telephone consultants has also increased.
Business customers with a dedicated tutor also rated their work highly (85 – 95% positive). In this case, the willingness to help also received the highest marks. On the other hand, the ease of contact with the dedicated carer was rated lower.
As a reliable and trustworthy partner in the market, PGE Obrót SA has also been certified as a company operating in accordance with the Good Practices of Electricity Sellers developed by the Association of Energy Trading (TOE) for the next year, based on an audit conducted in December 2022. The company is initiating a number of information activities to warn against dishonest energy sellers.
In 2022, work began on the development of a Customer Service Facilities Design Manual in line with the new Customer Service Conceptual Design.
Satisfaction with electricity supply services
The issue of how electricity is supplied is crucial for customer satisfaction levels. This is why PGE Dystrybucja has been monitoring customer satisfaction with its services for six years. This analysis covers the connection process and contact with the emergency call centre. PGE Dystrybucja’s customers rate the work of the key failure reporting area highly. The CSI (Consumer Satisfaction Index) has been consistently close to 90% for years.
Source: Research agency 4P 2015-2020, ARC Rynek i Opinia 2021
Communication with customers
The changing environment and customers’ needs point to the need to use multiple channels of communication with customers. Developing them is a key element of PGE Group’s strategy.
Raising and standardising service standards will be the foundation for the further development of the retail area, focusing on providing energy and thermal comfort to customers. This is supported by further initiatives being launched, in particular regarding remote service.
In 2022, PGE Obrót introduced a number of customer service improvements, including:
- Virtual Agent
- online forms
- Service for prosumers via remote channels
At the same time, the Customer Service Offices have been extended from November 23 to 30, 2022, until 7 pm.
The company organised webinars about the Solidarity Shield in an online format for local governments and institutions that purchase energy under the public procurement procedure. Around 500 representatives of local governments and institutions attended. The topic was the law on emergency measures to limit the amount of electricity prices and support for certain consumers in 2023.
Pro-customer initiatives at PGE Dystrybucja
In 2022, PGE Dystrybucja continued its customer advocacy efforts. One of these was the further development of the 991 Assistant application, which allows users to remotely report an outage and track the status of their request.
To make it easier to use the app, the company made available an instructional video at www.pgedystrybucja.pl, making it easier to install and use the tool. Already in January and February, the 991 Assistant app proved its worth in practice during mass emergencies caused by strong storms.
With the comfort of customers in mind, from the beginning of 2022 the company reactivated two Energy Regions: in Radzyn Podlaski in the area served by the Lublin Branch and in Janów Lubelski in the area served by the Rzeszów Branch.
The reactivation of the Energy Regions in these locations is a guarantee of energy security and increased investment attractiveness of the regions. These measures also made it easier for more than 100,000 customers from the districts of Janów, Kraśnik, Nisko, Stalowa Wola and Radzynski to contact the company.
In July 2022 – responding to the needs of local communities in the Warsaw agglomeration – it also opened a Distribution Customer Service Point in Wolomin (Warsaw Branch), which allowed it to resume direct service in the Wolomin district with a population of nearly 250,000.
Ensuring continuity of electricity supply
|Operating data||Data for 2022||Data for 2021||Data for 2020|
|SAIDI [minutes] (System Average Interruption Duration Index), including:||495.06||367||251|
|Unplanned, with catastrophic||459.50||334||211|
|SAIFI [pcs] (System Average Interruption Frequency Index), including:||5.20||4.28||3.67|
|Unplanned, with catastrophic||5.00||4.08||3.43|
PGE is committed to increasing supply reliability and lowering SAIDI and SAIFI indices and is taking a number of measures resulting in faster and more effective outages.
The increase in SAIDI and SAIFI in 2022 is due to the deterioration of weather conditions in Poland compared to previous years. Weather anomalies such as strong winds, snow, icing and storms (Orkan Dudley and Orkan Eunice) at the beginning of the year and storms in the middle of the year caused a lot of damage, including damage to electricity grids.
The increase in the number and scope of investment works increased the average duration of scheduled outages for energy supply by approx. 3 minutes.
In 2022, PGE Dystrybucja carried out a number of investments aimed at minimising the impact of weather conditions on the power grid, with the main objective of improving the energy security of residents and increasing power supply reliability for both households and businesses. The company patented two solutions to reduce power grid failures:
This is an innovative technology, developed by PGE Dystrybucja employees, which allows power to be supplied to the MV network during maintenance, investment or repair works
The innovation lies in the fact that the connection of the mobile substation for the duration of the works and the disconnection after their completion is carried out without interruptions in the supply of electricity to consumers. The return to the power supply of the distribution network is virtually unnoticeable. In addition, the system has the additional security of an uninterruptible energy supply. Also noteworthy is the fact that the mobile system can be used in all terrain and weather conditions.
Which was developed to reduce the effects of failures on the medium-voltage overhead distribution network through faster, more precise localisation of outages. The system measures MV network parameters in real time. When an anomaly occurs, it autonomously cuts off the faulty section, leaving power to consumers located on the section of the power line not affected by the fault. At the same time, it automatically sends information about the incident and its location to the dispatcher managing the grid. The information transmitted at the time of the fault results in a rapid response and the dispatch of a repair team to the indicated location. The system does not remove the causes of the failure, but nevertheless reduces its effects, speeding up the repair process and limiting the number of customers deprived of electricity. The solution is the result of cooperation between PGE Dystrybucja as Project Leader and companies: Apator Elkomtech SA and MindMade sp. z o.o.).
In 2022, PGE Dystrybucja also carried out modernisation work on the power infrastructure aimed at increasing the reliability of supply, e.g. modernisation of substations (110/15 kV Rzeszów-Baranówka, 110/15 kV Sosnowiec, 110/15 kV Łomża 1), conversion of lines from overhead to cable (Rzepedź-Smolnik, Kozienice municipality), construction of main supply points (Grójec 2, Huszlew), construction of a substation (110/15 kV Małopole with 110 kV line).
The district heating companies and branches, which belong to PGE Energia Ciepła, are able to remotely manage the operation of district heating networks, receive and register customer requests and provide comprehensive customer service remotely, thanks to IT systems that have been developed over the years.
A system that additionally supports maintenance processes in PGE Toruń, Zielona Góra CHP and Gorzów Wielkopolski CHP is telemetry. It enables remote monitoring of the operation of nodes and consumer installations. The telemetry system also provides information on the location of disturbances in the operation of the network and nodes, so it is possible to react remotely and quickly, even before the disturbance is noticed by the customer.
A remote monitoring system for alarm installations of pre-insulated networks has been in operation and development at Zielona Góra CHP for five years now. It allows efficient and fast identification of faults on new networks / connections. Data from alarm system readings is automatically sent to a server via GSM or LAN so that it is possible to monitor the condition of the heating network in real time and obtain information on the occurrence of an alarm. The RATMON system serves 129 devices located in the chambers and rooms of the heat substations. For the past two years, a similar system has also been gradually developed at PGE Toruń.
Thanks to the fact that the systems are remote, CHP employees can access them from any location, from a device (e.g. phone, tablet) that is connected to the Internet. Such technological solutions have ensured and continue to ensure, on the one hand, consistent and optimal operation of the district heating networks, maintained high quality of customer service and, on the other hand, preserved employee safety.
Guided by the responsibility to its customers, PGE Group draws attention to controversial and often dishonest practices of certain energy vendors who often impersonate proven and reliable brands such as PGE.
In order to counteract these phenomena, PGE Group conducts numerous educational and information campaigns in traditional and social media. It also cooperates on an on-going basis with administrative authorities to uncover and eliminate such market practices.
Serving people with disabilities is one of PGE Group’s priorities. More than 75% of PGE Obrót’s outlets are equipped with wheelchair ramps or are located on the ground floor, which facilitates accessibility for customers. The company has developed an appropriate way of serving customers with disabilities depending on their type of disability. Appropriate standards of conduct, including service priority, serve this purpose.
Encouraging pro-social and pro-environmental activities
In addition, for customers who have decided to use PGE eFaktura, the company has provided a tool through which they can make an online transfer by selecting the fast „pay online” option.
A customer can also pay their PGE eInvoice through the electronic Customer Service Office (PGE eBOK), where they can additionally check their payment and account history on an ongoing basis. Security is another important aspect. Electronic invoices in online systems are protected with a password set by the customer.
PGE Energia Ciepła supports the process of connecting customers to the municipal heating network and develops services to increase energy efficiency.
In 2022, the company invited managers of cooperatives and housing communities to a meeting on energy efficiency. The main topic of the event, which took place on 2 December in Gdańsk, was 'Funding opportunities for energy-efficient projects’. A seminar for administrators and managers of Gdynia properties was also held for the seventh time in 2022. What are the advantages of connecting to a district heating network? How can energy consumption be reduced in the face of current energy challenges, and how can it be saved? This was discussed at the meeting by experts from PGE Energia Ciepła, the City Hall of Gdynia, OPEC and WFOŚiGW in Gdańsk.
After a break caused by the pandemic, PGE Toruń organised the 'Heat Market in Toruń’ Seminar for key customers of district heating – representatives of the Municipality of Toruń, Toruń’s housing cooperatives, communities, administrators, managers and developers.
The seminar discussed energy security in Toruń, the fuel market and its impact on heat prices, as well as effective heat and energy management in multi-family buildings. Similar meetings with property administrators and housing associations were also held in Toruń, Kraków, Zielona Góra, Gorzów Wielkopolski and other branches of PGE Energia Ciepła.
In Gorzów Wielkopolski, the hot water connection support program continued in 2022. As part of the program, 185 flats were connected to hot water.
The aim of the program is:
The program is aimed at owners of buildings connected to the district heating network of PGE Energia Ciepła in Gorzów Wielkopolski, in which usable hot water was previously obtained from other heating sources.
Photovoltaics with PGE
Photovoltaics with PGE is an offer thanks to which customers generate energy for their household or business needs. PGE Obrót handles the sales process in a comprehensive manner – from free-of-charge valuation and technical audit, submission of an offer prepared by PGE Obrót experts and optimally matched to the customers’ needs, to professional installation of a prosumer photovoltaic installation (up to 50 kWp).
PGE Obrót also notifies the OSD of the photovoltaic installation in order to connect it to the power grid and submits an application for funding to the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management (NFOŚiGW) under the My Current program on behalf of the customer. Using the 'Photovoltaics with PGE’ offer, customers receive expert advice and service at every stage of the investment. Providing customers with broad access to green energy is one of the main tasks in the retail area of PGE Group’s strategy.
To take advantage of the 'Photovoltaics with PGE’ offer, all the customer has to do is fill in an eForm, available on the corporate website, in which the customer specifies their energy needs and installation options. Sales advisors then contact customers, completing further formalities. PGE Obrót uses first-class components and experienced and proven external partners to carry out such investments. Photovoltaic installations operate independently and maintenance-free.
Customers selecting the 'Photovoltaics with PGE' offering in 2022:
|Number of PV units covered by the offering||Number of MWp|
PGE Obrót offers a comprehensive service in the field of commissioning a photovoltaic installation together with energy storage – from detailed and professional advice, selection of an appropriate photovoltaic installation and energy storage, technical audit, through provision of high-quality devices with guarantee and service, installation of a photovoltaic installation and energy storage by a qualified team of fitters.
In addition, an additional solution in the form of an Energy Management System or Hybrid Inverters is available as part of the offer.
By combining photovoltaics with energy storage, surplus energy from the photovoltaic installation can be saved and used at any time in the household or business. In this way, the energy produced can be used efficiently, with only the bare minimum being returned to the grid. PGE’s offer is prepared for the prosumer net-billing system, which makes it possible to optimally manage energy and its costs for households and businesses.
The „Heat Pumps with PGE” offering is addressed to individual customers who are interested in installing them in their homes and are planning such an investment.
As part of the offer, customers receive a comprehensive package of services, i.e. advice on selecting the right device, sales and professional installation. A heat pump combined with photovoltaics is a particularly advantageous solution, both in terms of savings and environmental protection.
The installation process is carried out in cooperation with external partners, which are proven and experienced companies involved in the overall handling of such investments. In the first instance, the most important thing is to optimally match the appliance to the needs of the individual customer and the technical conditions of the building. Consultants carry out an analysis and then select the appropriate power and type of appliance that will work most efficiently with the customer’s existing heating system. The subsequent installation is carried out by qualified fitters. PGE Obrót is continuously improving its offer concerning heat pumps, in particular it is introducing a new model of cooperation with partners carrying out the installation on behalf and for the company, as well as successively building a sales network which will be responsible for the sales process of heat pumps.
The heat pumps offered by PGE are efficient and environmentally friendly units. Thanks to an appropriate adjustment, the unit is completely maintenance-free.
The significant increase in interest in micro-installations is associated with increased workload at the Distribution Customer Service Points.
In 2022, PGE Dystrybucja registered more than 122,000 applications for the connection of micro-installations to the electricity grid, including more than 99% of photovoltaic installations that were processed „on the basis of an application” and did not require the acquisition of connection conditions. PGE Dystrybucja employees were committed to serving the increased number of customers interested in prosumer installations, particularly in the first quarter of the year. They provided expert advice on the capacity of the equipment to be installed, verifying the needs of customers in line with existing consumption.
In the Łódź Branch, the 'Active Prosumer’ project is being carried out in cooperation with the Technical University of Łódź, Lublin University of Technology and Apator. The project includes the development of a control system for photovoltaic installations installed at prosumers’ premises, which, using an algorithm developed by the Technical University of Lodz, optimises the operation of PV sources so that – while maintaining the required voltage parameters in the grid – the highest possible volume of energy produced by prosumer installations is ensured. The solution is currently in the testing phase. The experience gathered and the analyses carried out will form the basis for initiating the legislative process for the prosumer market in Poland.