(L-R) Matt Cleveland (PwC), Ceri Scott (PwC), Paul Bennett (EDF Energy) holding the ‘Blue’ mascot Zingy, Richard Porter (PwC), Jules Davenport (EDF Energy), Rachel Nevens (EDF Energy)
At a time when the public’s faith in the energy industry has been strained by price rises and investigations into market practices, we were delighted to be asked by EDF Energy to deliver an innovative assurance project designed to help build customer trust.
EDF Energy sees the benefits of nuclear power and wants its customers to do likewise. It believes a diversified energy mix will offer society an energy supply that’s secure, affordable and carbon friendly. It recently launched a range of ‘Blue’ products with tariffs based on low-carbon generation sourced from nuclear power stations. The idea was to help customers engage with the source of their electricity and be aware of the impact of their choices on carbon contribution and the future energy mix.
Our role was to evaluate EDF Energy’s procedures and controls to make sure it met its commitment to customers to match their energy supply to nuclear-sourced generation. We tailored our traditional financial audit methodology to fit this entirely new area and considered how the concept of materiality could apply to a promise that was either kept or broken.
The PwC UK performance assurance leader, Richard Porter, and his team spent 12 months working with marketing, operational and legal teams at EDF Energy to create the vision of how the assurance would work and how it would be shared with customers on the EDF Energy website.
Sid Cox, EDF Energy Business 2 Business Director, sees the value in the project: “The processes underpinning these products are extremely innovative and complex. So the role of the external assurance provided by PwC, in simply conveying the rigour with which the products are delivered, was a critical component of the work and has played an important role in its success.”
Andy Sinclair, PwC Director, went on to say: “EDF Energy’s Blue initiative is all about making nuclear power simpler and easier to engage with. By creating an assurance report that was easy to access and understand, our work helped make sure the low-carbon promise behind the range of Blue products was transparent to EDF Energy’s customers. It’s really exciting that a major energy supplier sees the potential for assurance to build trust with its customers.”