New councils will bring the voices, concerns and goals of customers directly to operating company leaders
Albuquerque, New Mexico — AVANGRID, Inc. [NYSE: AGR], a leading sustainable energy company, and the company seeking to merge with PNM, has announced the ongoing formation of new Customer Listening Councils for its electric and gas utility companies in the northeast. The company has committed to creating a similar Customer Listening Council when the merger is complete in New Mexico.
The formation of these councils is consistent with the company’s strong Environmental, Social, Governance and Financial (ESG+F) framework, and will enable a representative group of customers and stakeholders to voice their interests directly to company leaders. In addition, the companies will share operational updates and planned activities to build increased understanding of the companies’ operating and strategic goals.
“At AVANGRID, we know that the success of our organization depends on the success and satisfaction of our customers in every market we serve,” said Dennis V. Arriola, CEO of AVANGRID. “Building deeper, stronger relationships with our customers, including residential, businesses, municipalities, as well as other community stakeholders is the best way to manage a successful sustainable energy company and align our goals with the expectations of the people we are proud to serve.”
Through Avangrid Networks, the company operates eight utilities including: Central Maine Power, Maine Natural Gas, New York State Electric & Gas, Rochester Gas and Electric, Berkshire Gas and United Illuminating Holdings (UIL), which includes United Illuminating (UI), Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas. The councils will represent customers in the states and service territories where the utilities operate and are forming now through outreach and invitation. If the merger is approved by the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, Avangrid Networks will operate PNM as well as its sister company Texas-New Mexico Power Company.
“Our customers rely on us to deliver their energy services reliably, safely and affordably, and they expect and deserve operational excellence,” said Catherine Stempien, CEO and President of Avangrid Networks. “But what a customer views as 'excellent' may differ from the way we view it, and that’s why these councils are vital. Sitting down with customers to hear what they have to say and talk through their issues, expectations and goals for the future is the right and important thing to do.”
In each state, the councils will comprise individuals representing consumers, businesses, municipalities and state and local agencies that operate in the communities we serve. The councils are expected to meet 3-4 times annually and will be coordinated by the local company president. Membership of the council will rotate periodically to ensure new voices and perspectives are heard.
“Regardless of what a business makes, sells or delivers – from pizza to automobiles to electricity – we are all in the ‘people business’,” Arriola added. “And especially since our products are fundamental to modern life, we must understand, respect and listen to the customers who rely on the services and products we provide. I believe these councils will make us better, stronger partners to our customers. I thank those who have joined our council and look forward to future meetings.”