TransCanada consults regularly with our stakeholders. Our goal is to share information about our plans and activities while receiving a clear indication of stakeholder views. We always gain insight from these discussions and use this information in our project planning, development, and operations.
Depending on the project, consultation may involve one-on-one discussions, public presentations, or open houses with affected stakeholders. We supplement these face-to-face meetings with written materials and other forms of communication such as fact sheets, brochures, websites, e-mail, and toll-free telephone lines. We respect both the culture and language of stakeholders. Our goal is to develop projects in a manner that is publicly supported and aligned with our business objectives.
Maintaining High Levels of Performance
Each year we engage an outside firm to conduct a pipeline customer satisfaction survey so we can see how we’re doing and identify areas for improvement.
In 2006, the survey found that TransCanada maintained high levels of overall customer satisfaction, particularly in the areas of the call centre, transactional systems, and staff.
Improving Service Flexibility
TransCanada is committed to delivering enhanced services and exceptional customer service and, as part of that, to providing new or enhanced services to meet customers’ evolving needs.
The Company was very productive in 2006 with respect to collaborative efforts with customers. The Mainline Tolls Task Force, the Alberta System Tolls, Tariff, Facilities and Procedures Committee, and the BC System and Foothills Shippers group produced a number of resolutions in 2006. These resolutions included new services, service enhancements, process improvements, a Canadian Mainline tolls settlement in early 2007 and the integration of the BC System into the Foothills system. Productive collaborative processes can result in significant savings for both TransCanada and the industry by avoiding the high costs customarily associated with regulatory proceedings.
Firm Transportation – Short Notice (FT-SN) service – In December 2006, TransCanada received approval from the National Energy Board (NEB) for a new service called FT-SN, which was developed, in part, to meet the unique needs of the growing power generation market. Natural gas-fired power generators require greater flexibility from gas pipelines in responding to real-time changes in the electricity market and associated gas demand. The new service provides customers with 96 opportunities each day to change their level of gas transportation, upon 15 minutes notice. Traditional pipeline services only offer customers four opportunities each day to change their level of transportation.
Consistent Communication Brings Results
TransCanada has an Integrated Public Awareness Program through which we engage in consistent, ongoing communication with key community stakeholders.
The objectives of this program are to inform landowners and key community representatives about our facilities and activities in order to protect the public from injury, protect or minimize effects on the environment, protect company facilities from third-party damage, and provide an opportunity for ongoing public awareness.
TransCanada’s Integrated Public Awareness Program includes the mailing of brochures to landowners, contractors and emergency response agencies, visits with landowners, contractors, and emergency response agencies, municipal officials and Aboriginal community residents, and participation in trade shows.
Tailor-made Consultation Programs
When we are planning a new project or undertaking new activities, we develop a stakeholder relations program suited to potentially affected communities. In 2006, notable examples of such focused programs included: