Topics of Importance Customer Relations

2015 Performance


Our Liquids Transportation business segment (LP) transports 23 commodities, including multiple grades of light and heavy crudes, NGLs and refined products. In 2015, LP held more than 500 meetings with its top-ranked (by volume and revenue) customers and received direct positive feedback on its approach and ability to resolve issues collaboratively.

Enbridge Gas Distribution (EGD), which is one of the Enbridge affiliates under Enbridge’s Gas Distribution business segment (GD), is the largest natural gas distributor in Canada with more than two million residential, commercial and industrial customers. In 2015, EGD issued approximately 26.1 million residential utility bills and responded to approximately 2.9 million customer inquiries.

The Offshore division of our Gas Pipelines and Processing business segment (GPP&ES) primarily gathers and/or transports natural gas and associated NGLs.

GPP&ES’s Onshore division primarily provides gas gathering, treating and processing services.

Liquids Pipelines

LP has three main customer groups: producers, shippers (who range from integrated oil and gas companies to smaller regional producers to marketers who buy crude, aggregate volumes) and refiners.

LP works with these customers to understand their needs and business drivers. It treats customers equitably, and gives them an equal opportunity to engage with LP staff.

It engages with its customers through:

  • Enbridge’s online Nominations/Operations Portal,
  • telephone conversations and e-mails regarding scheduling,
  • regular face-to-face meetings,
  • shipper meetings and conferences,
  • feedback provided through regulators, and
  • senior-executive-level contacts.

LP provides customers regular updates on how its pipelines are performing and gives them an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.  Its customers are primarily concerned about pipeline capacity and capabilities, pipeline apportionment, and that LP is maximizing its network performance. In response to their concerns, LP offers its customers:

  • safe, predictable and reliable pipeline operations,
  • efficient scheduling of shipments,
  • predictable, cost-effective tolls,
  • access to pipeline capacity,
  • reliable pipeline capacity and throughput,
  • system optimization (i.e., maximizing pipelines’ efficiency),
  • market access,
  • system flexibility for shipper customers (access to multiple lines; ability to take multiple commodities; interconnecting facilities), and
  • ratable, reliable supply for refiner customers.

LP’s Mainline system has a lot to offer shippers. It transports 23 commodities, including multiple grades of light and heavy crudes, NGLs and refined products.

LP’s terminal network provides operating storage that significantly assists shippers during times of production facility or refinery upset. Batches on LP’s system can access multiple markets, and LP can facilitate in-transit trading of these batches to enable customers to optimize deliveries to these markets or manage supply in the event of a disruption.

In addition, LP offers competitive tolls, and is committed to keeping them as low as possible.

LP’s goal is to be the industry leader in customer relationships. To that end, LP has structured its customer relationship management function so as to enhance and proactively build better customer partnerships. LP takes the view that customers are unique and require well-thought-out relationship plans. Through these plans, LP aims to create a competitive advantage by understanding its customers—their needs, expectations and business drivers—so it can make better decisions about its transportation network and better serve its customers.

LP did not receive any significant substantiated complaints regarding breaches of customer privacy or losses of customer data in 2015.

In August 2015, Enbridge Pipelines (FSP) L.L.C. (Enbridge FSP) filed a depreciation study for the Flanagan South Pipeline (FSP) with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The depreciation study was available publicly on FERC’s website and inadvertently contained confidential shipper information. The situation was immediately corrected and Enbridge received no formal complaints.

Gas Pipelines, Processing & Energy Services

Our Gas Pipelines, Processing & Energy Services business segment (GPP&ES), which has an Offshore and an Onshore component, defines its customers as shippers who produce and/or market gas and natural gas liquids that they transport on GPP&ES’s gathering and transmission pipeline systems.

GPP&ES Offshore engages with its customers through various channels, including:

  • daily interactions via its online Nominations Portal,
  • GPP&ES’s Informational Postings website,
  • formal and informal shipper meetings,
  • toll-free telephone lines, email, and instant messaging,
  • subscription emails that GPP&ES Offshore distributes when it posts information regarding critical and non-critical events,
  • commercial and executive-level contact,
  • annual events, and
  • face-to-face and teleconference meetings, as needed.

GPP&ES Offshore provides its customers with the information they need to effectively manage their business priorities, while also ensuring equitable treatment and access to information.

Its customers are primarily concerned with operational reliability and timely access to critical information. To meet their needs, GPP&ES Offshore ensures:

  • safe and reliable pipeline operations,
  • maximization of pipeline throughput,
  • access to downstream markets and processing facilities,
  • operational flexibility,
  • prudent pipeline balancing practices,
  • timely notification and ongoing updates for planned and unplanned outages,
  • effective coordination of downtime and maintenance activities to reduce impact to system throughput,
  • cooperation and strong working relationships with upstream and downstream operators and interconnecting pipelines,
  • creative solutions to keep production flowing consistently and reliably, and
  • delivery of well executed projects, on time and on budget.

GPP&ES Offshore’s pipelines primarily gather and/or transport natural gas and associated NGLs. In addition, GPP&ES Offshore operates a crude gathering system, and is actively pursuing growth opportunities in both the offshore natural gas and crude segments of the industry.

GPP&ES Offshore’s goal is to leverage its strong reputation in the Gulf of Mexico, and to expand and continuously improve the services it provides while maintaining its focus on Integrity, Safety and Respect.

GPP&ES Onshore (Midcoast Energy Partners) also has formal and informal engagement with its customers, including daily or weekly contact, either in person or by phone. Onshore customers are primarily concerned that GPP&ES ensures that their gas flows—because if it is not, they are not getting paid. They also want GPP&ES to be adaptable when issues arise, to be the lowest-pressure provider and to connect to their wells on time. In addition to providing gas gathering, treating and processing services, GPP&ES Onshore also provides integrated midstream solutions, including logistics and marketing services to market customers’ natural gas, NGLs, condensate and crude oil, as well as truck and rail services and crude and condensate loading and storage facilities.

Neither GPP&ES Offshore, nor GPP&ES Onshore received any significant substantiated complaints regarding breaches of customer privacy or losses of customer data in 2015.

Enbridge Gas Distribution

Enbridge Gas Distribution (EGD), which is one of the affiliates under Enbridge’s Gas Distribution business segment (GD), is the largest natural gas distributor in Canada with more than two million residential, commercial and industrial customers. In 2015, EGD issued approximately 26.1 million residential utility bills and responded to approximately 2.9 million customer inquiries.

EGD bills customers monthly, which gives it an opportunity to interact with customers at least 12 times a year. EGD takes advantage of this touch point by including information in its bills in the form of:

  • a company newsletter (six times in 2015),
  • rate notices (four times a year),
  • safety information (carbon monoxide; Call Before You Dig (Ontario One Call); smell of gas), and
  • company programs (budget billing; pre-authorized payment; third-party billing; golden age service).

In addition, EGD monitors questions and proactively engages customers through its website and Twitter.

Some of EGD’s recent initiatives to enhance its customers’ experience include:

  • implementation of a mobile website and improvements to the customer experience on its website and other contact channels,
  • improvement to the resolution of questions or concerns the first time (i.e., First Call Resolution),
  • simplification of common transactions,
  • proactive promotion of paperless billing to encourage enrollment (approximately 500,000 customers have opted for paperless billing), 
  • provision of energy efficiency information that allows customers to compare their energy use to similar homes and lower their energy use, and
  • provision of a new service that enables access to lower cost gas supply basins in eastern Canada and the U.S.

In 2005, EGD established an Office of the Ombudsman to resolve customer issues that EGD’s call center was unable to resolve. In 2015, nearly 7,700 issues (0.3 percent of all customer inquiries) were reported to EGD’s Office of the Ombudsman, the majority of which (approximately 5,600) pertained to billing and collections. With few exceptions, the issues were resolved to the customer’s satisfaction.

EGD also engages with its customers through its wide range of demand-side management (DSM) offers. From homeowners to large industrial facilities, EGD provides incentives to customers to encourage them to adopt energy-saving equipment and operating practices that reduce natural gas consumption. DSM also provides EGD a regular, positive touchpoint with customers. Cumulatively between 1995 and the end of 2014, these programs resulted in its customers conserving 9.6 billion cubic meters of natural gas. These reductions are similar to taking approximately 3.5 million cars off the road for a year or serving approximately four million homes for a year. For more information, please see the Energy & Climate Change section of this report, or the Energy Efficiency Tips section of EGD’s website at .

EGD’s customers are primarily concerned that:

  • their natural gas be delivered safely and reliably,
  • they are given fair and reasonable delivery rates, and
  • that EGD is responsive, responsible, trustworthy and accessible.

Because customer service and satisfaction are important to EGD, it measures its performance in these areas through a third-party market researcher that conducts ongoing telephone interviews with customers.

EGD also conducts a reputation study to monitor its reputation vis-à-vis its residential customers based on awareness, familiarity, service quality, trust and advocacy. EGD includes benchmarking questions in the study so that it can compare its performance with that of electricity providers in the EGD franchise area. The study conducted during the second quarter of 2015 determined that GD led in the areas of familiarity, service quality and advocacy.

EGD has developed a Customer Value Proposition and Commitment statement that includes the following Customer Vision statement:

“Enbridge Gas Distribution will be recognized as a leading safe and reliable distribution company. We will be known for consistent delivery on the promises we make to our customers. And, we will provide services to our customers at fair and reasonable prices.”

It also includes the following customer commitments:

  • provide a safe and reliable natural gas distribution system,
  • operate the distribution system in an environmentally sound manner,
  • deliver on our promises and provide hassle-free, quality service every time,
  • offer fair and reasonable delivery rates,
  • communicate with customers clearly and ensure that customers know what to expect,
  • provide effective, timely recovery,
  • be responsive, responsible, trustworthy and accessible,
  • provide consumer education and advocacy, emphasizing the benefits of natural gas, and
  • continue to enhance customer value based on feedback from employees, business partners, customers and the marketplace.

In EGD, a sorting error lead to the inadvertent disclosure of 10 customers’ billing information to another customer. EGD quickly notified the affected customers and implemented new privacy controls. None of its customers made any further complaints.