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Press Office
0113 322 7950

Out of hours: 0113 322 7978

Stakeholder Relations Team

stakeholder@northerngas.co.uk

Making the right connection

We make around 7,000 new connections to our gas network every year. Jobs are extremely varied, and range from connecting up a typical kitchen extension to large projects for major industry.

These connections are commercial transactions, and customers expect a speedy, reliable service from their very first enquiry.

In 2016/17, we completed more than 98.5% of jobs on the date pre-agreed with the customer, and scored 9.16 out of 10 in Ofgem’s customer satisfaction survey.

For the most part, we got quotes and other vital information to customers in good time. We lagged behind our targets in one area  – but only just, and we are confident we can make up this ground.

This solid all-round performance is down to an experienced, commercially-minded team, and an ever more convenient online offering for customers.

We also began to review the application process for big industrial customers, so that we can provide a more tailored service.

Outputs - a detailed look

This table takes a detailed look at our customer performance in 2016/17. Simply click the plus arrow to read a brief commentary on what the statistic means, and how we did.

Connections Target
2013/14
2014/15
2015/16
2016/17
Status
% of connection jobs substantially completed on date agreed with customer
?

Hitting our completion targets is really important for customers, especially as any delays to our work can have knock-on consequences for the customer’s wider project (e.g. a building extension or new build). Our 95% target was challenging, and we performed extremely well to exceed it.

95%
97.2%
98.6%
98.4%
98.50%
Ahead
% of commencement and completion dates for connections above 275 kwh provided within 20 days
?

We know that our customers have busy lives and that a new connection is often just one part of a wider project, so it’s important that we give as much notice as possible about when the work is due to start and finish so that customers can plan around the wider project. We strive to do this 100% of the time and made our target for connections above 275kwh.

100% (for connections above 275kwh)
100%
98.5%
97.6%
100%
On target
% of commencement and completion dates for connections below 275kwh provided within 20 days
?

We know that our customers have busy lives and that a new connection is often just one part of a wider project, so it’s important that we give as much notice as possible about when the work is due to start and finish so that customers can plan around the wider project. We exceeded our annual target for connections below 275 kwh.

99.6% (for connections below 275kwh)
99.3%
99.8%
100%
99.97%
Ahead
% of standard quotations issued in 6 working days
?

As private connections are commercial transactions, we quote for each and every job. A speedy turnaround for quotes is important, especially as the gas connection is usually just one element of a wider project, such as a building extension. Delays from us can affect the whole timetable. Despite setting ourselves demanding turnaround times, we managed to exceed our target in 2016/17.

99.6%
99.5%
99.7%
99.8%
99.92%
Ahead
% of non-standard connection quotes below 275kwh issued in 11 working days
?

A 99.6% target is very testing for this measure. A ‘non-standard’ connection often means a complex job, requiring significant research before we can provide an accurate quote. Beating our annual target represents a great performance.

99.6%
99.5%
99.6%
99.8%
99.85%
Ahead
% of non-standard connection quotes above 275kwh issued in 21 working days
?

A 99.6% target is very testing for this measure. A ‘non-standard’ connection often means a complex job, requiring significant groundwork before we can provide an accurate quote. We beat our target.

99.6%
97.5%
98.7%
100%
100%
Ahead
% of land enquiries where response sent within 5 working days
?

We just missed our target, but the margins were extremely fine – with just 2 failures out of 348 jobs.

99.6%
99.5%
99.6%
100%
99.43%
Behind

Case studies

We’re always looking for new ways to make life as easy as possible for our customers and we have a number of projects on the go to help do just that.

Payments at the click of a mouse

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We now provide an online payments service for private pipe connections and alterations.

Customers can retrieve a quotation on line, accept terms and conditions, make a payment and request a start date, all in one simple transaction.

When setting up the service, we took the opportunity to review all our connections quotation letters and terms and conditions to get rid of the jargon and make things easy to understand.

The online service has improved the whole experience for both customers and our back office administrators.

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Same day connections

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Customers often need a new service connection during a building project, such as an extension.

With so much to think about, the service pipe can sometimes be overlooked until the last minute, threatening to derail the most carefully laid plans!

Where practical, we now offer a same day connection service for urgent projects. Customers love this service, as it allows them to keep their project on track.

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Benchmarking against tougher standards

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We’ve begun benchmarking our connections performance against tougher European standards.

The new standards are driven by CEER, the Council of European Energy Regulators. CEER has made 16 recommendations covering a wide range of different service areas, including connections, disconnections, planned energy interruptions and customer communications.

The new standards are not due to take effect in the UK until 2020, but measuring ourselves against them now is helping us to raise our game.

For example, we now provide a 24 hour turnaround for domestic service pipe disconnections, a CEER requirement. This is great news for customers, as it means a building project doesn’t incur lengthy delays if contractors forget about the gas pipe!

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