Message from the President and Chief Executive Officer
When I joined Hydro-Québec, I made a commitment to improve the company’s image and see that it regained its place as a source of pride for all Quebecers. To achieve this goal, we made customers the focus of our decisions and enhanced the performance of our customer relations centres. The efforts we made to better meet customer expectations are beginning to yield results, as evidenced by an overall satisfaction index of 91% in 2016, up from 82% in 2015.
In the area of customer services, we can be proud of the 58% reduction in average call wait time and the 33% reduction in the number of complaints. In addition, the proportion of calls answered in less than 210 seconds rose from 62% in 2015 to 90% in 2016, well beyond the target of 80% set a year ago.
As regards communications with customers, we adopted a digital strategy that provided support for our initiatives and enabled us to explain our activities, business environment, challenges and contribution to the Québec economy more effectively. By opting for a personable communications approach emphasizing such means as the Web, and social media in particular, we were able to promote direct, rapid exchanges with our customers.
Our investments in energy efficiency from 2003 to 2015 are generating energy savings of 8.8 TWh—equivalent to the consumption of 500,000 households. Clearly, our customers are making energy efficiency an increasingly important part of their electricity use habits. This trend is growing steadily and will have a definite impact on demand in the coming years; in fact, the savings achieved by our customers will allow us to sell more energy on markets outside Québec.
Some of our customers are expressing more and more interest in alternative energy sources like photovoltaic solar. Use of this energy source will also affect residential demand growth. At the same time, by freeing up kilowatthours that we can market beyond our borders, it could very well open up attractive business opportunities.
New trends are emerging in the residential sector, where digital technologies such as smart meters, remote control and automation will eventually transform electricity use habits and consumption management. Tomorrow’s power system will feature growing feed-in from residential customers due to greater availability of grid-interactive technologies. More than ever, we must support the emergence of these technologies and capitalize on them.
Our energies are also focused on continuing to boost our productivity. To this end, we’ve set targets for reducing operating expenses throughout the company.
The performance and engagement of our employees play a large part in giving Hydro-Québec a vitality that will make it a model on many different levels. I thank them for their daily contribution to our success.
I’m also grateful to the members of the Board of Directors for their diligence in examining the various files submitted to them, and in particular for all the work they put toward the adoption of the Strategic Plan 2016–2020.