The Challenge:

  • Customer service is paramount to firmus energy, which is why we had to ensure there was a positive brand reception during all Streetworks and customer connections
  • Social impact was key to build a strong relationship with the community and present Natural Gas positively as a lifestyle product
  • To construct and maintain an entire gas network from scratch, we had to create a skilled workforce within the area for both network construction and 24/7 gas escape emergency response and repairs
  • The utility regulator within Northern Ireland's aim is to become more cost-effective and suitable. Through innovation, we aim to develop an optimal solution specifically for the Natural Gas market and firmus, instead of importing products and practices from abroad
  • Collaboratively implement the use of digital working, to incorporate client working instruction and present real time information and digital access. This will ensure quality and productivity is consistent throughout the project

The Solution:

  • In addition to our customer service team, we created a stakeholder engagement team specifically for the framework, who established a positive brand reception within the community by organising:
    • face-to-face events
    • letter drops
    • regular engagement during the contract
  • Social impact: Drawing upon our four-decade heritage of delivering utilities engineering in Northern Ireland, we could successfully expand existing workforce recruitment, development and retention programmes to build the new professional gas workforce firmus energy needed. This included:
    • Graduate programmes
    • Apprentices
    • Hiring and development of school leavers
  • Creating, uniquely for an outsourced distribution partner, a full in-house First Call Operative team to deliver 24/7 response and repairs
  • Use of trenchless techniques, e.g. directional drilling, which reduces environmental impact and supports local authority relationships;
  • Causeway was implemented as a market-leading digital mobile workflow system

The Impact:

  • Installed and maintained over 1,600km of MP and LP mains and services within the new network area in ways which minimised disturbance to the local community
  • Successfully delivered natural gas to over 48,000 customers thereby alleviating fuel poverty and supporting modern lifestyles
  • 100s of gas professionals were trained and developed in accordance with firmus standards, including unemployed and graduates within the licenced area
  • Our First Call Operatives achieved 100% service leakage guarantee reaching 80% of gas escapes within 10 minutes
  • Our trenchless techniques reduced material use, lowered carbon emissions and supported minimal disruption during Streetworks to potential customers, which saved over 100,000 tons of excavated material going to landfill per year
  • By delivering a high volume of natural gas mains and services to the licenced area, we forged a collaborative partnership with firmus for the past 15 years
  • Causeway mobile working has improved our digital workflow by 15%
" We are engaged in a significant build programme to make natural gas available to over 200,000 homes and businesses across Northern Ireland. We see our close working relationship with Kier as fundamental to the success of this project in terms of safety, quality and customer satisfaction. "
Eric Cosgrove Director of Engineering firmus energy

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