Power Assets sees satisfying our customers as one of the highest priorities in our operations. We believe customer satisfaction is essential to maintaining consumer confidence and to brand-building whilst at the same time finding sustainable solutions for our business.
With business established on Hong Kong Island and Lamma Island, we take pride in having once again achieved power supply reliability of over 99.999% in 2010, an exemplary record for 14 consecutive years. Our customers experienced only 0.9 minute on average of unplanned power interruption in 2010.
This achievement and the world-class service behind it help support Hong Kong's position as an international finance, transport and trade centre. Enhancement of our distribution network, which covers all of the population situated within our licensed distribution areas, will continue.
To further enhance the reliability and safety performance of our operations, we are conducting corrosive sulphur analysis of insulating oils in transformers and shunt reactors. This is in tandem with metallurgical studies and lifecycle analysis of boiler tube materials. We are also working towards improved boiler combustion control systems in order to handle a wider variety of coals with different calorific values. In addition, we will commission Hong Kong Polytechnic University for a technical study on the possible impact of the proposed Offshore Wind Farm to our power system stability and operational reliability.
Internally, we make every effort to maintain strong corporate governance and secure senior management commitment to the implementation of our integrated management systems in major operations. These systems conform to ISO and OHSAS standards with regard to quality, the environment, health and safety. In keeping with this, two of our operations, Inspection and Testing of Fixed Fire Service Installations in Lamma Power Station and Provision of Accredited Testing Services, were certified as fulfilling the requirements of ISO 9001 standard in 2010 to enhance our delivery of a stable electricity supply.
Maintaining long-term close relationships with customers creates value for both sides. We employ a variety of channels to effectively interact with customers. Our Customer Information System has better equipped us to provide more personalised services to our customers. In case of emergency, customers may seek help at any time of the day or night through our upgraded Customer Emergency Services Centre. We have reduced the average waiting time for telephone calls to the Centre to just 3.21 seconds in 2010.
We encourage customers to go green and reduce paper consumption by launching an e-bill promotion campaign in July 2010. Customers can register for the e-bill service with a one-off incentive either on their electricity bill or for donation to designated green groups. By switching to e-billing, each customer can reduce CO2 emissions by about 620g per year. Customers can view their energy consumption on our website and monitor their own carbon footprint. We have since successfully processed more than 20,000 new e-bill registrations.
The catering industry remains one of our key commercial customers and during the year, we continued to offer free, comprehensive and professional consultations for electric commercial kitchens through our Electric Commercial Kitchen Centre.
To extend our care to the minorities in our community, customer service pamphlets were published in two additional languages, Thai and Japanese, complementing the previous versions in Indonesian, Tagalog and Urdu. The pamphlets offer extra convenience to minority customers in using electricity services and help promote the safe and efficient use of electricity among them.
We are pleased to report that 100% of our pledged customer service standards in 2010 were either achieved or surpassed. The number of commendations received from customers during the year also reached a record high of 1,555 motivating us to continue to provide quality service to our customers.
Promoting Energy Saving
Promoting energy efficiency in the commercial and industrial sectors is part of our community efforts to promote a low carbon lifestyle. We provide a free energy audit service to commercial and industrial customers, including non-governmental organisations, and help them identify potential areas for energy-saving improvements. The programme, launched in 2009, covers commercial buildings, offices, shopping centres and public areas of residential buildings. We conducted 54 energy audits in 2010 for these customers.
Through the new Smart Power Centre, we give advisory services to customers on the safe and smart use of electricity. Currently, smart meters are installed for all Maximum Demand accounts and for some large commercial and industrial customers. With these smart meters, we can provide our customers with more comprehensive energy usage data for their better understanding of energy consumption patterns and the formulation of energy efficiency measures. To further improve our customer services and promote energy efficiency, we will progressively deploy more smart meters for our customers.
Two green features, "Electricity@office" and "Electricity@home", are also available on our website, allowing our customers to conduct virtual energy surveys. Customers are able to estimate their electricity consumption and set their own saving plans for their offices and homes. The features also provide useful information for businesses on energy conservation, power quality and tariffs. Information on energy efficiency, safety tips and a guide to purchasing electrical appliances is provided for domestic customers.
One of the driving forces behind our service enhancement is the valuable feedback from our customers. Active dialogue sessions such as Customer Liaison Group (CLG) meetings and "We Meet on Friday" sessions provide a platform for an open and direct exchange of views with our customers.
The CLG was established in 1992 to help us interact more closely with our customers. In 2010, 13 new members from different backgrounds were invited to join the CLG for a term of two years. Through regular meetings and visits to company premises, we keep them updated on our operations, our business and our performance, and solicit their views on our services.
To step up face-to-face interaction with our customers, a new initiative, the "We Meet on Friday" session, was introduced in late 2010 at our Customer Service Centre in North Point. It is a monthly event initiated to offer a comfortable and friendly atmosphere for customers to share their views with us. A specific issue is discussed over tea on one Friday each month with the first session conducted in December 2010 during which we gathered customers' feedback on e-bills.
In addition, we have also conducted regular surveys to measure the level of customer satisfaction and complement the existing system with customer feedback. Monthly customer surveys in 2010 recorded an average score of 4.4 out of a 5-point scale in our after-service customer satisfaction index.
Electricity tariff is another issue of concern among our customers. Our Group Managing Director, Mr. Tso Kai-sum, and Senior Management attended a special meeting of the Legislative Council's Panel on Economic Development on 14 December 2010, during which the results of the tariff review for 2011 were announced and the rationale behind the adjustment explained. The tariff increase reflects mainly the rising fuel costs and to alleviate the impact on customers, it is our company policy to continue to provide assistance through Concessionary Tariff Schemes for the elderly, disabled, unemployed and single-parent families receiving the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance.