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Northern Gas Network

The north of England’s gas distributer, Northern Gas Networks (NGN)beat stiff competition at the UK Customer Experience Awards on 25th September 2014, scooping six awards including the award for Overall Best Customer Experience.

NGN entered into five award categories including Best Customer Experience Award, Business Change / Transformation – Simplification Award, Small Contact Centre Award, Employee Engagement – Taking the Lead Award, Team – Customers at the Heart and Overall Customer Experience Award. Despite being up against tough competition including Nationwide, Balfour Beatty, Graze, Royal Bank of Scotland and LV=, the network operator won every category as well as scooping the ‘bonus’ award.

The gas distributor was recognised for revolutionising its business to put the customer at the centre of everything it does. From transforming its connections service, to introducingrigorous complaints resolution targets, including the challenging 90 in 60, an initiative to seek to resolve 90% of customer issues in 60 minutes, judges praised NGN for its focused and relentless drive and passion to be the best when it comes to delivering exceptional customer experience. NGN was also recognised for its approach to employee engagement, in particular the success of its inspire Academy, which offers an active programme of training and personal development and a chance for employees to learn and develop new skills and identify and contribute to resolving business challenges.

Mark Horsley, Chief Executive Officer, Northern Gas Networks said: “Providing an exceptional customer experience to both our customers and our own employees is something very important to us, so we are absolutely delighted to have won six UK Customer Experience Awards. “Gaining these awards reinforces our passion and commitment to putting the customer at the centre of everything we do andunderlines just how far NGN has come, setting the benchmark for customer service not just within the utilities sector, but across the retail industry.” Congratulating the 2014 winners,Neil Skehel, Managing Director of Awards International, said:“We are delighted and inspired by the best practice showcased at this year’s UK Customer Experience Awards. We have seen some shining examples from companies who have demonstrated outstanding customer experience and as a result have seen clear benefits in terms of business growth and customer engagement. The standard of entries has yet again been outstanding and the Awards day gave us the opportunity to acknowledge those companies and celebrate with the finalists and winners.”

Now in their fifth year, the UK Customer Experience Awards are the second biggest business awards in the UK1, and the only UK awards dedicated to recognising the importance business places on customer experience. The winners were selected by a panel of judges made up of over 100 industry practitioners. During the morning finalists in each of the categories presented their entries to the judges. Winners were then announced during a gala lunch for over 800 people including Heather Small, singer and ambassador for the UK children’s charity Barnardo’s, who treated the audience to a wonderful live performance in aid of the charity! The Awards raised thousands of pounds for their chosen charity Barnardo’s, via the raffle, silent auction and generous donations, to help support the UK’s most vulnerable children.

The UK Customer Experience Awards are owned by the operators of the successful UK Digital Experience Awards, and the newly launched UK Employee Experience Awards and are presented in partnership with Customer Experience Magazine, Cranfield University School of Management and Awards Systems. Sponsors of the Awards included InMoment, formerly Empathica and Global Reviews.

Photo shows L-r: Gareth Bullen, Director of inspire Academy and Talent Management, Donna Davies, Academy Lead, George Mudie MP for Leeds, Eileen Brown, Head of Customer Experience and Kirsten Jameson, Customer Experience Officer.