Safety is not only our top priority and one of our core values — it’s a way of life for us. At UGI, we are committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for our employees, and to making safety a priority in all of our interactions with colleagues, customers and the communities we serve.
We maintain a strong safety culture and emphasize the importance of everyone’s role in identifying, mitigating and communicating safety risks across the Company. UGI believes the achievement of superior safety performance is an important short-term and long-term strategic initiative. Safety is included as a component of the annual bonus calculation for executives and non-executives, reinforcing our commitment to safety across our organization.
UGI’s safety efforts begin with its Board of Directors’. The Board’s Safety, Environmental, and Regulatory Compliance (SERC) Committee is responsible for the governance and oversight of environmental, health and safety matters, including compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The Committee works to ensure that the Company maintains a culture focused on protecting the health and safety of our employees, contractors, customers, the public, and the environment. In addition, each of our businesses has a safety team that is responsible for overseeing the safety of our operations, reinforcing our values, and enhancing our safety culture.
Our safety programs are required to comply with both OSHA and industry-specific regulations. UGI is committed to continuously improving our safety performance. As part of that commitment, we have robust training programs that ensure that field employees can safely execute their job responsibilities. In 2019, UGI Utilities developed The UGI Safety Culture Program and established the “i’llbethere” Feedback Team. The i’llbethere safety brand is our new philosophy, created internally at UGI Utilities, and is now the anchor of all things related to safety. The brand embodies our commitment to safety, and our promise to be there for our family, our co-workers, and our customers. I‘llbethere is how we get our work done safely and return home to our families and friends.
UGI Utilities Safety Highlights from 2019:
- Over 140 UGI executives, managers, and supervisors completed Safety Leadership Workshops and
safety coaching events
- Developed 6 safety-related videos with UGI employees participating in the videos
- Created a monthly safety newsletter titled “i’llbethere TODAY” distributed companywide
- Began quarterly Union Leadership Meetings between the executive team, safety manager, and union leaders
- Approximately 60 employees from various levels and departments participated on Process Improvement Teams (PIT) or Kaizen Teams
AmeriGas Safety Training
AmeriGas recently developed six Centers of Excellence throughout the country to provide a new centralized, consistent training approach for field employees, such as entry-level drivers and service technicians. All on-boarding now includes an in-person training element led by skilled facilitators in both a classroom and hands-on laboratory setting. The lab allows us to simulate real-life experiences, such as performing a leak check, in a safe, controlled environment. AmeriGas continues to expand access to personal, hands-on training experiences for all employees to refresh their knowledge. The provision of the same level of high-quality, vetted training throughout AmeriGas supports our goal of continued reduction in safety incidents.
UGI will spend a total of approximately $38 million to construct new, state of the art training facilities at our UGI Utilities and AmeriGas businesses.
UGI Utilities and Midstream & Marketing
12019 Numbers include UGI Utilities, UGI Energy Services, HVAC and UGI Appalachia
AmeriGas and UGI International
UGI’s businesses drove approximately 138 million miles in Fiscal 2019, as compared to 205 million miles driven in Fiscal 2018. Part of the decrease is due to investments in efficiency through route optimization. While the total numbers of miles driven remains high, we demonstrated continuous improvement in our safety metrics through a combination of technology enhancements, employee awareness, and training. As part of this effort, we installed Fleetmatics on 100% of UGI Utilities fleet and DriveCam on 6% of Utilities fleet. Fleetmatics tracks vehicle location, speed, speed limit, acceleration, braking, cornering, and idle time. In addition to Fleetmatics and DriveCams, fleet vehicles are equipped with back-up cameras and alarms.
AmeriGas requires DriveCams in all delivery vehicles, such as bobtails, ACE beverage trucks, cylinder trucks, and Over The Road (OTR) tractors. Approximately 68% of AmeriGas’ delivery trucks have back-up cameras installed. AmeriGas implemented Airsweb as its incident tracking system to provide better visibility into trends, which allows its safety teams to take action and build safer practices and working environments. This data drives stronger engagement of the front lines through regional safety directors and field safety managers, who partner with the local district and operations managers to proactively respond to potential areas of concern. Safety training materials and topics presented at monthly meetings are driven by field data and designed to be more interactive and engaging for our employees, incorporating positive stories that promote the safety behaviors our team members take on a daily basis.
Safety metrics are presented quarterly to the SERC committee. As a result of the efforts described above, UGI Utilities reduced its preventable motor vehicle accident rate from 4.36 per million miles driven in 2018 to 2.34 in 2019. AmeriGas’ accountable vehicle incident (AVI) rate in 2019 was 4.5 per million miles driven.
UGI’s dedication to safety also extends to our contractors. At UGI Utilities, our standard contract language includes expectations for contractors to maintain current operator qualifications (OQ) needed for job requirements. UGI also provides training to satisfy these qualifications. Contractors are held accountable for complying with all applicable laws, regulations and industry standards.
Public safety is always a top priority. Education and engagement with local stakeholders help us prevent safety incidents and reduce third-party damage to pipelines. Each year, UGI Utilities sends a public awareness mailer in our service territories detailing the importance of calling “811” at least three days before the start of any digging project. In addition, the UGI Pipeline and Public Safety team provides safety training to excavators, plumbers, emergency responders, and other utility partners to help them stay safe when working near our systems. We also offer training programs such as safe digging training for excavators, cross bore awareness training for plumbers, and natural gas & electric training for emergency responders.
UGI Utilities was recently recognized by the American Gas Association for leading practices related to emergency response. During Fiscal 2019, UGI Utilities’ emergency response rate was 99.7% within 60 minutes, putting us in the top quartile compared to our peers. In addition, we had a record year and responded to 98.5 % of emergencies within 45 minutes.
UGI prides itself on being a customer-focused company. We continue to invest in technology that ensures our customers have safe, reliable, modern and affordable energy solutions delivered to them every day. Our LPG businesses are investing over $200 million over the next two years to optimize our operations and build on our self-service tools and digital capabilities to promote a stress-free engagement.
Our Company evaluates the customer experience through various channels, including interactions with customer service representatives through the call center, direct mail, telephone, email, and online surveys. UGI believes customer feedback provides great insight into our operations and can focus our attention on areas that need improvement. We measure customer experience by the following metrics:
- Reliability of customer deliveries
- Responsiveness to phone calls
- Customer retention and loyalty
- Ease for our customers to conduct business
UGI Utilities gauges customer satisfaction through the JD Power survey. JD Power measures customer sentiment on six drivers of utility satisfaction and benchmarks that performance against other utilities of similar size and geographic location. The data is reviewed on a quarterly basis and actionable items are created to address any concerns in the customer experience.
During 2019, UGI Utilities achieved “Most Trusted Brand” status for the second consecutive year in the Cogent Syndicated Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Residential report from Escalent, a leading human behavior and analytics firm. UGI received the highest score among natural gas companies in the East Region Utilities Brand Trust Performance. In addition, UGI Utilities was named a 2019 “Environmental Champion” in a study by Cogent Reports™, a division of Market Strategies International – Morpace for the second consecutive year.
AmeriGas monitors customer experience through a Net Promoter Score (NPS). Our 2019 NPS score of 53 positions us with some of the top-ranking service providers in a variety of industries. We are committed to improving the customer experience and are proud of our improved results.
AmeriGas’ local managers and customer service representatives review customer feedback daily and proactively contact customers regularly to ensure customers are receiving their expected level of service. NPS is a focus at all levels of the AmeriGas organization, from the front lines to the CEO.
In Fiscal 2019, our business in France received a 92% global satisfaction rating by their customers.
We understand that there are times when our customers need additional assistance. UGI Utilities is committed to helping customers who make a sincere effort to pay their bills. That’s why we offer a variety of energy assistance programs, referrals to local agencies, participation in fuel funds, or payment arrangements. These comprehensive assistance programs ensure that we are there when our customers need us the most. UGI’s Customer Outreach Team held a series of Winter Assistance Relief Mobilization (WARM) events beginning in 2019 in cities and towns throughout the Company’s service area to make it easier and more accessible for eligible customers to apply for assistance programs.
Customer Assistance Program (CAP)
Offers special reduced payment plans and debt forgiveness based on a customer’s income and usage. UGI works with 26 community agencies on behalf of more than 26,665 customers.
Low-Income Usage Reduction Program (LIURP)
A weatherization program that provides home energy-saving measures to limit heat loss and help lower utility bills. The program is available to low-income customers with higher-than-average energy usage. UGI partners with 10 customer agencies and, in 2019, provided home improvement energy-savings initiatives to 455 natural gas and electric customers.
Provides financial assistance to families unable to pay their natural gas or electric bill due to unemployment, disability, significant medical expenses or other hardships. Donations from employees, customers and UGI fund Operation Share. In 2019, Operation Share donations totaled $370,802 and helped 1,405 households.
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
A federal program that offers financial assistance to qualified income-eligible customers. In 2019, 30,531
customers received $8,487,367 in LIHEAP grants with the assistance of UGI’s Customer Outreach team.
Customer Assistance and Referral Evaluation Services (CARES)
Provides referrals to community-based agencies and programs for those in need during a temporary crisis.
CARES operates through a series of local social agencies.
Additional information can be accessed at: ugi.com/assistance-programs.
Natural gas plays a significant role and has a positive economic benefit to the communities in which we operate. Over 90% of our natural gas supply is sourced in Pennsylvania and within 100 miles of our customer base, which was not the case a decade ago. This advantage has benefited our customers who see lower energy costs. Our average customer today versus ten years ago spends approximately $1,000 less per year.
Driving operational efficiencies across our LPG businesses is an important component of our Global LPG strategy. At AmeriGas, we have identified over $120 million of permanent operational efficiencies that will be delivered through accelerated investments in:
- Customer Digital Experience
- Customer Relationship Management
- Operations process redesign and specialization
- Distribution and Routing Automation
- Sales Effectiveness
- Procurement and G&A
- Supply & Logistics
We are earmarking a portion of the benefits achieved from these initiatives to be reinvested in the business to take a proactive approach to customer retention and growth, including reducing certain base business unit margins as a result of our lower cost structure. We are confident that these investments will position AmeriGas to be the best-in-class propane distribution company in terms of efficient and safe operations, competitiveness and customer focus.
Similar initiatives are underway at UGI International to identify synergies across all 17 countries in which we operate across Europe with the goal of centralizing certain enabling functions and directing our operating teams to focus their attention on customer service and safe operations through the establishment of two centers
of excellence. One will be focused on commercial excellence to identify and execute projects to continuously improve our customer experience and the other will be focused on operational excellence across our distribution network and filling plants.
Through these important transformational initiatives at AmeriGas and UGI International, we will position our Global LPG companies to be leaders at serving our customers with digital tools to provide a superior customer experience. We will drive efficiencies and cost control to enable continued solid margins and cost competitiveness in the markets in which we operate.
UGI understands the importance of protecting our customers’ personal information and privacy. We are committed to safeguarding our customers, employees, and business partners from data risk. Effective security is a team effort involving participation and support of every UGI user who interacts with data and information systems. UGI has a global data protection officer and safeguards used to protect customer data include:
- Maintaining comprehensive information security policies and procedures
- Performing risk assessments to identify and address new and changing risks to protect systems and sensitive data
- Training employees in the proper handling of personal data
UGI believes that diversity and inclusion are essential to business success. We want all employees to be respected and valued while offering everyone the opportunity to enhance their careers. By fostering an environment that values diversity we can leverage talent, unique perspectives, and varying employee experiences to ensure continued long-term success. Our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics (our Code) includes expectations related to our work environment, including guidelines to prevent workplace harassment. We provide ongoing diversity and inclusion training for all employees. UGI continues to increase its focus on representation of women and minorities across our businesses with a goal that our workforce represent the communities in which we operate.
UGI is an equal employment opportunity employer. We comply with applicable employment related laws and regulations and do not tolerate discrimination against anyone based on characteristics protected by law, which may include, age; race; religion; gender; marital status; national origin; veteran status; disability; and sexual orientation. All new hires must complete a mandatory training on Anti-Discrimination/Anti-Harassment and existing employees are required to complete training once every two years.
Our Anti-Discrimination/Anti-Harassment Policy supports UGI values by:
- Enabling employees to work in a culture that emphasizes and promotes the spirit of mutual respect within the UGI community
- Encouraging integrity by being respectful and trustworthy in our working relationships
- Embracing the diversity and uniqueness of individuals
UGI strives for diverse representation at all levels. In Fiscal 2019, women and ethnically diverse employees in VP and above positions represented 32% of UGI’s senior leadership. In addition, approximately 40% of UGI Corporation’s officers are female. Women and ethnically diverse members represented 40% of UGI’s Board of Directors in 2019.
Fiscal 2019 Women and Ethnically Diverse New Hires
UGI also believes that veterans play a vital role in building a diverse and collaborative workplace. The Veteran Employee Team (“VET”) works to provide career opportunities to military men and women. Military veterans and Reserve and National Guard members are valued members of UGI’s workforce.
During Fiscal 2019, VET team members and AmeriGas leadership updated our Military Leave Policy to better support our colleagues who take time from work for military duty. The improvements to our Military Leave Policy are a small way for us to show our gratitude for the sacrifices made by our servicemen and servicewomen.
We are committed to helping all employees advance into leadership positions in our Company by creating more equitable playing fields. UGI has strategic partnerships with organizations such as POWER of Professional Women, Leaders Edge EXCEL, and the Women’s Impact Network (“WIN”). These programs and resources support women in their leadership development.
Our teams also work with organizations such as:
- Pennsylvania Economic Development Council’s Hire One Initiative
- Main Line Chamber of Commerce’s Society of Professional Women
- Franklin Institute’s STEM Project
UGI employs approximately 12,550 employees world-wide, of which approximately 2,500 are located in eastern and central Pennsylvania. Our Human Resources team works hard to attract and retain top talent by providing an environment where employees feel supported and encouraged in their professional and personal development.
Maintaining a robust pipeline of talent is crucial to UGI’s ongoing success and is a key aspect of succession planning efforts across the organization. The competition for attracting and retaining talent has increased in recent years. UGI understands this challenge and the importance of maintaining competitive benefits and appropriate training that provides growth, developmental opportunities and multiple career paths that enable professional development without leaving the Company. UGI provides tuition reimbursement for the continued professional development of our employees and opportunities for advanced certifications to promote employees’ development.
Annually, strategic positions are reviewed, potential candidates are identified, required job skillsets are evaluated, competency gaps are identified, and development plans are created to assist in employee growth.
UGI is committed to investing in its employees and offers the following training and development programs:
UGI University is a leadership development program for emerging leaders across all domestic and international business units. In addition to completing personal assessments and leadership and team effectiveness training, participants engage directly with executive leaders of each business, gaining a broader understanding of UGI and the stakeholders it serves.
UGI Academy is a leadership development program that provides UGI International’s emerging leaders an opportunity to learn more about UGI Corporation, including our culture, values and strategic direction.
Participants engage in self-assessments, meet colleagues from across the business, engage with the UGI
executive management team and sharpen skills that will equip them for future success.
AmeriGas Accelerated Leadership Program (ALP)
The ALP establishes key leadership competencies, behavioral traits, and skills required to be an effective field Area Director. This competitive program runs for a full year, with participants completing a series of training experiences, job shadowing, and completion of a detailed development plan to ensure their readiness for the next District Manager opportunity.
MBA Leadership Development Program
The MBA LDP recruits graduates of top-ranked business schools to develop into future senior leaders through challenging assignments across all business units and a variety of functional areas. These individuals work with the most senior leaders of UGI, driving business results as they grow their expertise and understanding of the broader objectives of UGI.
Learning Management System (LMS)
All employees have access to functional skills training, technical and interpersonal effectiveness resources, webinars and other targeted resources to support their growth areas. During Fiscal 2019, our domestic employees completed over 212,000 trainings in LMS comprised of 954 individual courses.
UGI believes that offering competitive benefits supports overall employee satisfaction and retention. We provide our employees with a comprehensive benefits program that includes base salary, annual bonus plan (ABP) incentive for eligible non-executive employees, competitive retirement benefits and a health and wellness program.
We are committed to recognizing and rewarding our employees who play a valuable role in our Company’s success. Our ABP is based on financial performance and safety goals. Incorporating a safety goal into our ABP reinforces our commitment to our employees, and holds all of us accountable to create and operate in safe work environments. UGI and AmeriGas matches employees’ 401(k) contributions up to 6% and 5%, respectively. We believe that by having a stake in the success of our Company, employees will find more opportunities to contribute to our long-term success.
At UGI, we are committed to the health and well-being of our employees. We believe that the most effective means of achieving both is through individual empowerment, acknowledging that each of our employees has the power to live his/her healthiest life. UGI incentivizes domestic employees (excluding HVAC) to participate in our wellness programs, including the Vitality platform through which employees may accumulate points/Vitality bucks to redeem for gift cards and fitness-related items.
In addition, UGI has partnered with Carebridge Corporation to provide all domestic employees and those in their household the following:
- Support for emotional well-being (assessments for depression, anxiety, mania, drug abuse and more)
- Tools to improve financial literacy
- Tips to improve work/life balance
- Resources and education about domestic violence
- Tips to manage resilience
UGI benefits for domestic employees include:
- Medical and Prescription Drug Plans
- Dental Plans
- Vision Plans
- Flexible Spending Accounts
- Employee assistance programs
- Basic Group Term Life Insurance
- Voluntary Employee Life and Accidental Death Dismemberment (AD&D)
- Voluntary Dependent Life and AD&D Insurance
- Pet Insurance
- Disability Insurance (short and long-term)
- Long-term Care Insurance
- Paid Time Off (Vacation, Personal days and Holidays)
- Parental Leave (gender neutral)
You Asked…We Listened…
UGI continues to experience positive growth and change in many areas. We recently conducted an employee engagement survey to solicit feedback on our strengths and opportunities for improvement to ensure we continue to be a great place to work. The survey helped us to identify opportunities for improvement. One of those initiatives related to Flexible Work Options. In 2019, UGI implemented Flexible Work Options for employees to provide them personalized control over their schedule and work environment. Additional outcomes of our employee engagement survey resulted in increased employee vacation time and paid Parental Leave.
UGI has a long history of strengthening the communities we serve by providing both financial assistance and support for employee volunteer efforts. Our employees are actively involved in the community by serving on non-profit boards, acting as mentors and coaches and volunteering as firefighters, among other activities. UGI offers paid volunteer leave for full-time eligible employees.
In 2019, UGI employees continued this tradition of community support by donating over 56,000 hours to community-based organizations. More than 700 employees volunteered these hours and participated in activities ranging from helping students in a variety of school-related initiatives, delivering meals to the home-bound, cleaning and repairing community parks and facilities, coaching youth sport programs, and serving as volunteer firefighters and emergency responders. In addition to donating their time and expertise, UGI employees continued to generously donate to the annual United Way campaign that provides critical financial assistance to human service agencies across our service territory.
Education – A Rising Tide Lifts All Ships
A core component of UGI’s commitment to impact communities close to home is its longstanding support of education. Robust and successful education programs empower our communities and ensure their ongoing success. UGI employees have consistently volunteered for educational programs designed to enhance academic achievement, and UGI provides more than $1 million in financial support each year to support innovative school programs.
UGI’s educational support encompasses a number of areas of focus that includes:
Early Childhood Literacy
Since 1991, the UGI-Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) partnership has provided over 1.4 million books to more than 450,000 first-grade students. UGI volunteers have donated over 20,000 hours helping children read and building a foundation for success throughout both their education and their careers. UGI has complemented its partnership with RIF by supporting a variety of in-school and summer reading programs.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)
Recognizing the continuing need for skilled, technical workers across the economy, UGI has supported initiatives such as S.P.A.R.K.S. (Science Projects Are Really Kids’ Stuff), Pennsylvania College of Technology’s SMART (Science and Math Applications in Real-World Technologies) Girls, and Wilkes University’s W.E.B.S. (Women Empowered by Science) summer camp, and many other programs designed to spur student interest in technical careers.
Career Awareness and Exploration
Studies indicate students with a strong career focus are more academically engaged and less likely to drop out of school. UGI employees participate in programs such as Berks County’s Students Interacting with Business, as well as various programs focused on specific careers, mentoring, and other activities designed to help students identify educational and work options.
American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign
UGI has been a regional partner of the American Red Cross’ “Sound the Alarm” home fire prevention campaign since its inception. In that time, UGI has donated $500,000 to the American Red Cross to help make homes and residents safer across our service area. In addition to the Company’s annual $100,000 contribution, UGI employee volunteers have installed smoke alarms and helped families develop home fire preparedness plans in cities and towns across Pennsylvania during “Sound the Alarm” events.
Since the start of the program in 2014, the “Sound the Alarm” initiative has saved more than 700 lives and installed more than two million smoke alarms nationwide. More than 850,000 homes have been made safer. In recognition of UGI’s continued support, the American Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Chapter named UGI its 2019 “Partner of the Year” during its Hero Award Ceremony in March.
The longstanding partnership between UGI and United Way stands as an enduring tribute to both organizations. UGI employees set a record for total dollars pledged to the local United Way. In 2019, UGI employees contributed over $1 million to the United Way annual campaign.
UGI’s commitment to United Way and its mission of addressing community needs does not end with the conclusion of the annual campaign. Throughout the year, UGI employees dedicate their time and talents to participate in United Way Days of Caring events throughout the Company’s service area. Volunteers perform a variety of tasks – from painting and repair work to outdoor clean-up and landscaping – that provide local non-profit organizations with hands-on assistance.