Florida Power President and CEO Bill Habermeyer recently outlined the company’s aggressive plan to improve customer satisfaction, reliability and operations over the next three years.
Last year, Florida Power began laying the groundwork to reduce customer rates, improve reliability, enhance customer service and increase generating capacity. Those elements are part of a new far-reaching strategic plan aimed at significantly increasing customer satisfaction, improving operational performance, and better preparing the company for stability in the fast-changing energy industry.
“Customer service is the top priority at Florida Power, but we understand that we are not where we need to be,” Habermeyer said.
One of the key focus areas of Florida Power’s new plan is improved system reliability. The average number of minutes Florida Power customers are without power on an annual basis is 89.7 minutes, down from 100 minutes last year. The company’s goal is to reduce that number to 80 minutes by 2004. To accomplish this, Florida Power will invest more than $100 million over the next three years in system reliability. Florida Power expects to improve its reliability through implementation of new service technologies, such as real-time information exchange between line dispatchers and field crews. Florida Power also plans to build several new operating centers across its 20,000-square-mile service territory, placing line, service, engineering and management resources closer to customers. Florida Power hopes locating these operating centers closer to customers will result in improved response time and quicker service restoration.
Customer service enhancements are another integral component of Florida Power’s plan. In an effort to improve customer service, Florida Power has added 150 new pay locations. Other service enhancements allow customers to view and pay their bills online. A toll-free outage number and 1,000 additional phone lines are also available to customers.
To measure improvement, Florida Power will continue to survey its customers and employees and conduct regular “feedback” meetings with them. The utility will also use external measurements, including the J.D. Power customer satisfaction survey.