Keeping our customers safe & warm

Posted on: 11/06/2015

Celebrating 10 years of keeping our customers safe & warm

2015 marks ten years since National Grid sold four of its eight UK gas distribution (link to homepage) networks to independent owners. As one of the new companies established, we’ve come a long way in our first decade. So what has the past 10 years looked like for us? And what does the future hold? Our chief executive, Graham Edwards, tells all… 

There were those who doubted our very survival when we first came to market. Not only have we endured, but prospered by delivering excellent customer service with safety, reliability and value for money at the heart of everything we do.

Celebrating Excellence

By every key measure set by our industry regulator Ofgem, the independent gas networks have led the way in performance, driven by the desire to succeed in the new world of comparative regulation. Natural scepticism and disillusionment over changes in the gas industry have, I believe, been replaced by confidence and optimism. 

I am hugely proud of the journey our business has made, now widely recognised as a leading player in our sector. Careful investment in both our gas network, and importantly our people, is most certainly central to this success.

Today we are a major employer across the regions we serve, with more than 1,300 talented and skilled colleagues. This includes recruitment of 500 new people, 100 of them apprentices, since launch. Recent recruitment programmes to attract new graduates and apprentices have proved hugely successful; it’s this commitment to developing skills for the future that will see us prosper for years to come.

And if our performance record doesn’t speak loudly enough for itself, a raft of awards during this time provides further reassurance that we’re moving in the right direction.

But whilst we’ve come a long way in our first 10 years and achieved some great results on behalf of the millions of customers we serve everyday, the challenge remains to build on that success in the next decade. We are certainly not complacent.

We fully recognise the energy market is changing, but have no doubt that gas is here to stay. So it’s vital that we continue to contribute fully to the on-going discussion around UK energy policy, making sure that we continue to play a key role in a balanced and affordable energy mix for generations to come. 

It’s up to us as gas networks to constantly demonstrate that we are delivering good value for consumers’ money while improving transparency around the real cost of different energy sources as the UK seeks a clear energy strategy. 

For us, maintaining a firm focus on our core business priorities and values is central to our success. These will guide us to continuously improve, supported by on-going investment in our people so we have the skills, confidence and innovative thinking to build our business long into the future.

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Graham Edwards

Wales & West Utilities CEO