npower: CommunityMark Reaccreditation Case Study

Social Benefits
  • Health Through Warmth provided measures with a total value of £5,303,699 with an additional external leverage of £4,000,000.
  • In 2014 over 4,800 children and 4,000 adults learnt how to save energy at home and at school across England, Scotland and Wales.
  • In 2014 alone over 6,650 people affected by cancer received help and support on energy efficiency, with 2,325 families receiving fuel grants.
  • On a more local level, 1,209 npower volunteers have supported 73 charities/community groups close to its operating sites across the country.

npower’s community investment strategy targets the most vulnerable and those who are most important to the business. The company is acting above legal obligations, driving forward best practices in the industry, and involving long-term community partners and employees at every level to devise the strategy. 

Business Benefits

npower’s strategic priorities focus on working with customers to help with fuel poverty and encouraging people to save energy, while getting as many employees involved as possible.

npower has undertaken a strategic review, focusing on community benefits that are most relevant to the business. There are key measurements underpinning activities, such as the number of calls made by energy saving advisers. 

The CommunityMark assessors weree impressed by the way npower uses its community activities to change the way it does business, taking insight from them and adapting its overall strategy to increase the value of its offer. 

npower's Health Through Warmth programme aims to improve the health, wellbeing and quality of life for vulnerable people with illnesses resulting from, or made worse by, cold living conditions due to broken or non existent heating systems. The programme has provided £5million of measures through installations, advice and home visits, while developing (along with its Macmillan partnership) specialist knowledge of employees.

In response to changing external factors, the targets for the programme ceased to be based around volume of referrals, and were more focused on ensuring that each referral has a more intensive focus and reaches a successful conclusion with installation of appropriate measures. 

Following on from employee-led fundraising for Macmillan, in October 2013 RWE nPower made a three year commitment of £11 million to Macmillan. This was particularly focused on upskilling and supporting its energy advice team, offering a comprehensive income maximisation service to people affected by cancer. In 2014 alone over 6,650 people affected by cancer received help and support.

npower's environmental education programme, Climate Cops, has worked with 13,000 young people in the last two years to change environmental behaviours. Employee engagement is a key aspect of the strategy, reaching 75% of their 7,000 staff by the end of 2015.

The company's target for 2014 was to engage 20% of employees in volunteering, with 10% of employees (up from 1% in previous years) involved in the Macmillan partnership.  In fact, 28% of employees are actively volunteering, with 11% on the Macmillan partnership.

 

  • npower’s experience gained through its community investment programmes has generated an increased positive reputation among key stakeholders in the community, government and among customers.
  • Health Through Warmth media coverage alone led to a PR return on investment of 11:1.
  • Employee engagement is an important element of the strategy, with advisory programmes helping staff to develop specialist knowledge.
  • Engagement affects staff motivation and pride. Staff survey results show 70% of employees believe npower is ‘socially responsible in the community’.
  • Of the 2,323 employees engaged in the local community, 71% said that they were now more motivated at work.
  • CommunityMark assessment shows that positive feedback from npower’s employees has increased since 2011.