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Quality in distribution

Electricity is essential for a community’s economic and social development, as well as for people’s daily lives. In consideration of the different geographical situations, and in accordance with one of the commitments taken on with the United Nations 2030 Sustainability Goals (“Sustainable Development Goals”), bringing electricity to isolated areas is a primary goal of the company, through the use of new technologies and the development of specific projects to create shared value (see the chapter “Responsible relationships with communities”). It is Enel’s responsibility to guarantee that the national electricity systems of the countries where it operates as a distributor enjoy a continuous and safe energy supply. The quality of the supply is closely linked to the reliability and efficiency of the transmission and distribution infrastructure, which must be able to handle the levels of demand requested. Enel, in coordination with the others who, for whatever reason, operate on the grid infrastructure, works continuously to develop the distribution network and make it more efficient. As for existing infrastructure, in all the countries Enel undertakes grid maintenance and modernization, mainly to reduce the number and length of interruptions to the service. Interventions can regard changes in the structure of the grid, replacement of components of networks with inadequate technical characteristics, an increase in the degree of grid automation, as well as remote operations on substations. From the viewpoint of “commercial” losses, the use of the smart metering system (“Telegestore”) has led to more effective controls over energy balances, at the same time allowing a reduction in fraud.
The main innovation projects for networks regard the development of smart grids which can handle a high level of distributed generation (also from renewables) and optimize the use of storage and remote management systems. Smart grids combine traditional technologies with innovative digital solutions, thus making the management of the electricity network more flexible thanks to more effective information exchange. The creation of innovative digital technologies enables the monitoring of the whole network in order to intervene promptly in the case of breakdowns and to guarantee an optimal electricity supply. Remote control systems are essential for the management of distribution networks, allowing local centers to carry out all the operations needed to guarantee the quality and continuity of the electricity service provided.

In this continuously developing system, customers become protagonists thanks to the use of electronic supports which make consumption transparent, provide incentives for active participation in the energy market, and promote rational use of energy.

In 2016 the spread of smart meters in the Group’s countries continued, in particular in Romania, Iberia, Chile and Brazil. Smart meters are now in Italy with 32 million customers and in Iberia with 9 million customers, around 7.4% more than in previous years. The Strategic Plan 2017-2019 envisages the installation of around 18 million meters in coming years. In June 2016 Enel presented the new meter 2.0 (for more details see the chapter “Open Innovability”) which is increasingly becoming the focal point for data exchange. Innovative skills and technologies also enable the development of Smart Cities, combining in a single urban model protection of the environment, energy efficiency and economic sustainability. In exactly the same way the platform can support the development of production process models for complex systems (industrial districts, etc.) in the transition to the circular economy.
The electricity network is, therefore, the factor which facilitates numerous services, not only due to the continuous process of digitalization, but also thanks to its extension and broad coverage.

Enel is interested in hearing the opinion of its interlocutors regarding the services it offers and undertakes surveys to measure their level of satisfaction. In December 2016, e-distribuzione, the Group’s energy distribution company, put into operation a new telephone infrastructure and innovative services which will enable an increase in the ability to respond and to provide information to customers increasingly quickly and precisely (www.e-distribuzione.it).

From Brazil to Romania: the Ferentari community

In the logic of creating shared value and customer focus, there are some programs promoted by Enel in Brazil, such as the Reta, EcoEnel, and Social Electricity Bill Rio projects. With EcoEnel, for example, all the customers resident in the Brazilian State of Ceará and in the metropolis of Rio de Janeiro can benefit from a program which entitles them to subsidies on energy costs by differentiating their waste and taking it to waste collection centers. On the model of EcoEnel and in line with Sustainability Development Goal 7, Enel has started a similar project in the community of Ferentari, one of the poorest and most degraded districts of Bucharest with a high level of commercial losses. The application of a Creating Shared Value (CSV) approach enables the creation of an advantage both for the company through the recovery of commercial losses and an increase in the number and loyalty of customers in the district, and for the community whose quality of life improves thanks to the offer of social services, educational projects and protection of the environment.

Enel Romania has started collaborating with two local NGOs, the Policy Center for Rom and Minorities (PCRM) and Carusel, and has designed a community action program based on three pillars:

  • research and analysis of the context to identify the causes of inefficient, unsafe or illegal electricity management;
  • periodic consultations, such as community engagement initiatives which enable awareness and understanding of the problems of the communities after winning their trust;
  • community development initiatives which focus on issues of interest for the community and for Enel: energy efficiency, education, health, hygenic/sanitary services, etc.
Defined in 2015 and launched in 2016, the project is still at a preliminary stage but has already provided a lot of information useful to improve services by meeting the needs of vulnerable consumers.
With the help of the Mothers Club and the newly appointed “energy mediator” from the community, consumers have started to approach Enel of their own accord to ask to become regular customers. On the basis of the results of this pilot project,other initiatives are underway to contribute to defining a legislative framework which could offer systematic solutions for the various needs of vulnerable consumers, in particular the Rom community.

Italy - Management of the earthquake

During the second half of 2016, central Italy was hit by a series of large earthquakes. The first occurred on August 24, 2016 and was of magnitude 6.0, with its epicenter located along Valle del Tronto, between the Municipalities of Accumoli (Rieti) and Arquata del Tronto (Ascoli Piceno). Two further tremors occurred on October 26, 2016 with epicenters on the border between Umbria and Le Marche, involving Municipalities in the province of Macerata, i.e. Visso, Ussita and Castelsantangelo sul Nera, while on October 30 the strongest quake was registered, of magnitude 6.5, with its epicenter between the Municipalities of Norcia and Preci, in the province of Perugia.

Enel immediately took action with dedicated task forces to restore the electricity service, which was completed over 24-36 hours, respectively in buildings which were still useable and for public lighting systems. In addition, towers were installed to guarantee lighting in the “red zones” and work started to monitor the hydroelectric plants affected by the earthquakes.

In addition, Enel started, in accordance with the Creating Shared Value (CSV) approach, a series of initiatives to accompany the reconstruction stage, such as:

  • mobile “Enel retail outlets” to facilitate the collection of requests from customers in Amatrice and other affected areas;
  • running of safety coordination groups at the Prefectures of Rieti and Ascoli Piceno;
  • fund-raising among employees in favor of those affected by the earthquakes promoted by Confindustria/CGILCISL- UIL: around 320 thousand euro was the total amount paid into the account of the Italian Civil Protection dedicated to initiatives for those affected by the earthquakes;
  • donation of 2 containers to Valfornace.

In addition, an experimental project was launched in Cittareale in collaboration with Athonet for the realization of a mobile phone data network to guarantee LTE (Long-Term Evolution) connectivity in the areas hit by an environmental disaster and during which primary services are not available.
Enel Cuore, the Group’s non-profit organization, promoted initiatives in favor of the elderly and children with the involvement of the Sant’Egidio Community (also with a consultation point) and of the Reggio Children foundation.

Reference SDGs: 
Main actionsTargets
Acquisition of new customers on free market+15.7 million customers in the 2017-2019 period
New energy efciency solutions and dissemination of new products and services
Commercial offers and integrated services tailored on customers’ needs
Initiatives to promote responsible consumption 
Promote sustainable electric mobility through the development and adoption of innovative business models
Increase the diffusion of digital billing through initiatives and campagins targeted at all customers
Cabling ratio74% by 2019

* The management of relations and the development of the various initiatives/offers is defined at the level of each individual country where the Group is present, therefore refer to the related Sustainability Reports for the identification of the individual targets.

Sustainability Plan 2017-2019