First week of summer brings new CPS Energy community engagement effort

06/24/2014

News

With a uniquely designed electric vehicle nearby, CPS Energy leaders and District 5 City Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales today unveiled a new, proactive outreach initiative that includes a mobile Customer Response Unit (CRU).

The CRU is part of the Community Engagement group dedicated to increasing community awareness of and enrollment in assistance programs, educating customers about energy efficiency and safety, and working directly with customers with unique needs.

“Recommendations from City Council gave birth to the Community Engagement concept,” said President and CEO Doyle Beneby. “We then went directly to our employees and customers to get their input on creating a team that would be visible, mobile out in the community, and work with customers face-to-face on complex issues. Ideas and feedback from those focus groups led to the CRU.”

Community Engagement will perform outreach through the CRU as well as the Casa Verde weatherization and Community Outreach teams. The CRU will offer enhanced customer service by resolving situations through a case management approach. Casa Verde is geared up to enroll more customers into the program, which provides an average of $5,000 in free home weatherization improvements. Community Outreach will work to educate customers and match them up with the right programs and services. The overall effort is part of an ongoing strategy to take customer service to a new level.

“This is going to be meaningful to residents of District 5 and throughout our community,” said Gonzales. “I am pleased to see CPS Energy engaging in more proactive outreach in our neighborhoods.”

Community Engagement is a combination of existing programs and staffing and the new CRU, made up of a team of four specialized community field service representatives. CRU members are outfitted with uniquely designed uniform shirts and will drive visible electric vehicles to ensure customers can identify representatives as official members of CPS Energy.

“I personally asked CPS Energy to make a commitment to the community to make some of these changes. And, today’s unveiling of the Community Engagement group and the CRU is definitely a great, responsive step forward,” said District 7 Councilman Cris Medina.

“Our engagement includes partnering with community agencies to better serve our customers. Two of the first agencies we will work with are Merced Housing and the George Gervin Center as we seek to help more seniors and families in need make their homes more energy efficient,” said Community Engagement Vice President Maria Koudouris.

CPS Energy is offering a hybrid model of customer service with the addition of Community Engagement. The new approach is one of both proactive outreach along with access through the call center and four customer service centers.

Service features are being enhanced through those areas as well with the first official week of summer. Customer service representatives are now available for extended summer hours of 7:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday for residential customers. Saturday hours of 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. will remain in place.
Customer service is available by calling (210) 353-2222 or through online services at cpsenergy.com.

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