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Launch of virtual home visits for customers

A new digital service that can resolve power cuts by using customers’ own smartphones to diagnose the cause of the interruption will speed up decarbonisation and improve customer service, by cutting down on the need for home visits by engineers.

The new service, known as 'Streem', is an interactive video tool allowing us to see what you see in real time.

When customers call 105 to report a power cut, staff in our contact centre try to identify any possible issues – such as a problem with the property’s trip switch – but, in 30% of cases they still need to assign an engineer to visit the property.

The introduction of Streem means that many power cut calls will now be resolved over the phone in just 10 – 15 minutes without the need for a home visit.

Anyone reporting a power cut will be offered a link to join Streem. By clicking the link on their smartphone, customers can use their phone’s camera to show contact centre staff around their property, ruling out any easy-to-resolve issues and, in many cases, enabling power to be restored on the spot.

For more technical issues, an engineer based in the contact centre will join the call to offer expert advice to customers using the Streem service, often negating the need for a home visit.

New Connections 

As well as helping to resolve routine power cut calls, the new service will also cut down on time and journeys when it comes to new connections. Instead of waiting for an engineer to visit their property, anyone wanting a new connection to the network will be able to take part in a virtual call using Streem.

Mitch Golder, Project Manager, said: “The new Streem service really is a game changer.

“It will mean far fewer journeys for our engineers – either to investigate power cuts or to approve new connections – helping us to support decarbonisation by keeping emissions down. It will also mean a more efficient service for customers who won’t have to wait for an engineer to visit their property but will be able to resolve theirissues simply by using the camera on their smartphone.”

The new service will also help to rule out unnecessary journeys following reports of fallen poles which sometimes turn out to be telecoms assets.

Find out more and take a look at our virtual site visit FAQs here.