AGL’s digital investment begins to pay off

Investment delivers growth in customer acquisition through digital channels

Image credit: AGL

Image credit: AGL

AGL’s $300 million, three-year digital transformation program is already delivering results for the energy company, it said today.

The ASX-listed company reported today that customer acquisition and retention through digital channels had increased 44 per cent in FY17, with AGL attributing the result to the customer experience transformation program it outlined in August last year.

“The customer experience transformation program is progressing,” AGL managing director and CEO, Andy Vesey, told a briefing on the company’s results for the 12 months ended 30 June.

“Our foundational systems, which are already market leading are getting more efficient. Adoption of digital and mobile interfaces is on the rise and we now have five ‘signature moments’ in market.”

Those “signature moments” available through digital channels include self-service meter reads, a simple login for customers across all channels, the ability to track energy use by appliance, a faster experience for people moving house, and one-click bill payment.

“We continue to expect a strong return on this investment from reduced operating costs and decreased customer churn,” Vesey said.

The investment is supported by a $130 million upgrade for the company’s enterprise resource planning system.

“We are also continuing to invest in innovation,” the CEO said, citing AGL’s US$10 million investment US-based smart home company August Home and an investment in Advanced Microgrid Solutions, which Vesey said specialises in energy storage optimisation and data analytics for business customers.

“This complements our flagship orchestration initiative, the Virtual Power Plant Project.”

That $20 million project is based on the platform of US company Sunverge and involves the rollout of 1000 connected batteries to homes in Adelaide to create a virtual solar peaking plant.

The CEO also touched on AGL’s trial of blockchain-inspired peer-to-peer energy trading by households and a virtual solar project that allows customers who can’t directly access solar energy to subscribe to solar generation based elsewhere.

AGL reported a statutory profit after tax of $539 million and an underlying profit after tax of $802 million (up 14 per cent).

In May AGL announced that its chief information officer, Simon Moorfield, would join the energy company’s executive team and report directly to Vesey.

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