THE RELATIONSHIP WITH INSTITUTIONS

The relationship between Acea and institutions affect both the economic dimension (paying duties and taxes) and the social dimension (the relationship with local institutions and specific authorities, the dialogue with Consumers’ Associations and other civil representatives, the professional and institutional co-operations).

The economic value distributed to public administrations in 2013 in the form of taxes amounted to approximately 128.3 million euros (88.8 million in 2012). The operation tax rate was 45.6% (51% last year).

The overall increase in the tax liability was the result of the increase of the operating income and the number of companies subjected to the IRES surtax.

Acea regularly pays contributions and membership fees to other public and private bodies, such as chambers of commerce, independent administrative authorities, specific associations and representative bodies. In 2013 this kind of expenditures amounted to about 3 million euros. In particular, about 1.8 million euros were paid to supervisory authorities (AEEG, AGCM, Consob and other public service authorities), 115,000 euros were incurred as mandatory charges for chambers of commerce and 1.07 million euros as contributions to confederal bodies and membership fees (Federutility, Confservizi, Unione Industriali).

The cooperation with institutions aims at carrying out measures for the social and economic development of the territory, the improvement of the supplied services and the citizens’ quality of life, in a perspective of containment of the impacts deriving from structural works (see chapters Customers and the community, Personnel and Environmental issues).

The interaction between Acea and institutions is based on the principles and rules included in the Group’s Code of Ethics. Article 19 of the Code refers to the relationship with institutions, Public Administration, political parties and trade union organisations. It states:

«Acea shall not contribute in any manner to the financing of parties, movements, committees and other political or labour organisations, even if an association or foundation essential to same, or their representatives or candidates. The relations between the company and political and trade union organisations, as regards issues of interest to the company, are based on mutual respect and cooperation.

Every relationship must be authorised by the competent structures, paying particular attention to avoid situations in which there may be conflicts of interest between Acea and the figure authorised to establish relations with the political or trade union organisation.

In any event, Acea shall abstain from conduct designed to exert pressure, either directly or indirectly, on political and trade union figures in order to obtain advantages.»

In Acea institutional relations are managed through an organisational model defining appointments and responsibilities of the different corporate Functions: Acea Spa’s Chairman ensures the legal representation and the definition of the institutional strategies; the Institutional Affairs Function ensures the overall representation of the Group’s positions at local, national and European bodies and institutions, monitors the legal scenario and co-ordinates the relations with the Consumers’ Associations, focusing on the activities concerning the joint conciliation procedures; the Corporate Affairs Function is responsible for communication and provides the Supervisory Authority with information about movable goods market and companies (Borsa and Consob); the Regulatory Function manages relations with the Regulatory Authorities in the reference sector, representing the positions of the Group’s companies in the participatory procedures for the creation of the regulation carried out by authorities, bodies and institutions.

Together with the parent company, the Group’s operating companies manage the technical aspects of the provided services – water, electricity and public lighting – also thanks to the consultation with different administrative, regulatory and control bodies.

Together with the competent institutions and research bodies, Acea carries out many social, environmental, common heritage protection and technological innovation initiatives.

As far as safety, prevention and emergency management are concerned, Acea takes part in technical working groups composed by experts.

During the year, indeed, as far as the identification and protection of Critical Infrastructures are concerned, the Group participated in the Interministerial Technical Commission for Civil Defence (C.I.T.D.C. – Ministry of Internal Affairs) and in the national emergency prevention and management periodic exercises. Moreover, in the event of emergency conditions, Acea supports competent Authorities in the fields of public health, civil protection and public security.

Also in 2013 it cooperated with the National Security Observatory (OSN) in order to define and protect the strategic infrastructures and services, together with the government representatives for Defence, Health and Civil Protection, the main public service operators and qualified representatives from the academic world.

In continuation of last year’s trend, in 2013 Acea contributed to the following initiatives carried out by the National Security Observatory:

  • the 34th COCIM COURSE – the fifth national emergency exercise – Gilgamesh 2013 – for the civil and military cooperation in emergency management: this course aims at providing soldiers and civilians with an updated overview of the current rules and procedures in the fields of civil defence, civil protection, civilmilitary cooperation and national emergency civil planning, UN, NATO and EU;
  • the Cyber World Working Group, a national think tank for institutions and companies, whose mission is to create an interdisciplinary cyber security culture aiming at increasing cohesion between public and private worlds. In 2013, the Cyber World Working Group continued to work on cyber security, particularly focused on the protection of national “critical infrastructure” from computer attacks, analysing all the possible scenarios concerning Hacktivism, CyberWar and CyberWarfare. Acea cooperated with the subgroup focused on the technical and terminological aspects.

As far as safety in the workplace is concerned, Acea takes part in an initiative – to be carried out between 2013 and 2016 and coordinated by INAIL and Concorzio ELIS - for the integration of the guidelines for the Workplace Safety Management Systems with the best safety management practices adopted by the companies (see chapter Personnel).

In order to ensure the highest safety levels in the supply of managed services, Acea provided itself with operating tools that, in case of events jeopardizing the normal functioning of grids and plants, ensure a timely re-establishment of normal conditions. In particular, Emergency management plans and intervention procedures were defined, moreover, the control rooms of the companies constantly monitor the conditions of water and power plants, public lighting installations and grids, cooperating with the Civil Protection. The Emergency management plans allow the company to act rapidly and efficiently in case of failures (of equipment, grids, systems etc.) or extraordinary situations, such as adverse weather conditions (rain, snow etc.), fires or just different kinds of demonstrations (trade union, political, religious etc.) which draw a large audience in the capital city.

In particular, the Emergency management plan adopted by Acea Distribuzione faces the possible anomalous conditions which jeopardize the continuity and quality of the electricity supply service, defining the different activation statuses (ordinary, alert, alarm and emergency), the procedures, the operating units and the resources needed to re-establish the service; so operating personnel can implement targeted interventions under the coordination of a Person in charge of emergency management.

Finally, the Plan is also composed of detailed operating documents, aiming at managing specific kinds of problems (flooding, fire, malfunctioning of the remote control grid etc.). The Plan is updated annually and improved thanks to the analysis of actual cases and its efficacy is proved through exercises and simulations. As in previous years, also in 2013 tests and analyses were carried out in order to improve the Plan.

As far as the environment is concerned, after participating in the project of the Ministry of Environment for the definition of the “Criteri Ambientali Minimi” (Minimum Environmental Criteria) with which goods and services must comply in order to be admitted to the National Action Plan on Green Public Procurement – GPP NAP88, Acea adopted these criteria in the management of its tenders (see chapter Suppliers).

The partnership between Acea and the local public administration aims at promoting a new development model based on the sustainable use of resources and energy. In particular it was possible to carry out important initiatives with Roma Capitale, such as the project of sustainable mobility in Rome, included in the Sustainable Energy Action Plan.

Acea has always played an important role in the innovation sector in Rome. In 2013, together with other companies and thanks to RoMA project (Resilience enhancement of Metropolitan Area) it won the tender “Smart cities, Communities, Social Innovation” launched by the Ministry of Education, University and Research, which aimed at developing a Metropolitan Security Analysis Centre in the city of Rome. This Centre will provide the citizens with the best services, such as the Protection service of the Critical Infrastructures - whose malfunctioning could cause problems to citizens, the territory and industries – and the Traffic Prediction and Management service, provided with anticipatory systems which will optimize road traffic; this structure will be a useful tool for Civil Protection as well. The project will be coordinated by Acea Distribuzione, supported by La Sapienza University, Enea, Telecom, Finmeccanica and other companies; once defined the metropolitan area where to develop the project, the company will work on the public lighting infrastructure for the installation of part of the photosensors, the transmission of part of the signals coming from the sensors through its TLC infrastructures, the development of safety systems and the protection of Critical Infrastructures from natural calamities and effects produced by adverse weather events.

Acea supports Research Centres, Regulatory Bodies and Specific Associations promoting or contributing to specific research activities in the businesses in which it operates (see specific box).

88 The GPP NAP, recommended by the European Commission, has been adopted in Italy with Law n. 296/2006 and with Ministerial Decree 11th April 2008 (MATTM).

MEMBERSHIP OF RESEARCH CENTRES, REGULATORY BODIES AND SPECIFIC ASSOCIATIONS IN 2013
The main memberships renewed or started in 2013:
- Agenzia Nazionale per le Nuove Tecnologie, l’Energia e lo Sviluppo Economico Sostenibile - (ENEA);
- AGICI - Finanza d’Impresa;
- Associazione Amici dell’Accademia dei Lincei;
- Associazione Amici della Luiss;
- Associazione Italiana di Illuminazione (AIDI);
- Associazione Italiana esperti Infrastrutture Critiche (AIIC) ;
- Associazione Italiana Professionisti della Security Aziendale (AIPSA);
- Associazione Elettrotecnica ed Elettronica Italiana (AEI);
- Associazione Europea delle società di distribuzione dell’energia elettrica;
- Associazione Idrotecnica Italiana (AII);
- Associazione nazionale fornitori di elettronica (Assodel);
- Comitato Elettrotecnico Italiano (CEI);
- CSR Manager Network Italia (Altis);
- Distretto Tecnologico Nazionale sull’Energia S.c.ar.l. (Di.T.NE.);
- Energy and Strategy Group – Politecnico di Milano (ES-MIP)
- Federazione Italiana per l’uso Razionale dell’Energia (FIRE);
- Fondazione Einaudi;
- Fondazione EnergyLab;
- Fondazione Utilitatis (Centro di studi e ricerche per l’acqua, l’energia e l’ambiente;
- Global Compact Network Italia;
- I-Com (Istituto per la Competitività);
- ISES Italia (International Solar Energy Society – Sezione Italiana);
- Istituto Unificazione Italiano (UNI);
- Italian Association for Trenchless Technology (IATT);
- Laboratorio dei Servizi Pubblici Locali di REF-Ricerche;
- Osservatorio Energia di REF – E;
- World Energy Council (WEC). 

The relationship between Acea and the institutions dedicated to talented youth education and training creates a link between youth and the world of work, leading to a shared advantage. Acea, in fact, gives high-school graduates and recent university graduates the opportunity to do internships at the Group’s companies and supports master’s degrees and research activities by endowing funds and scholarships. (see chapter Personnel).

Moreover, the company’s high-qualified personnel cooperate with universities (in master’s degrees and courses or as thesis supervisors). During the year they gave lectures or shared their experiences with students, talking about electric mobility, smart grids, people management models and organisational change, corporate social responsibility, procurement management and safety management.

The Group’s operating companies and the Universities work together in both environmental-energy and water technical projects (see Research and Environmental issues).

Acea aims at developing strong links with companies working in similar sectors and technologically innovative companies. It develops collaborations and partnerships aimed at controlling the evolution of the reference sectors.

In 2013 Acea cooperated with the company “NEC”, operating in the area of technological innovation, in order to develop new electricity accumulation systems to be installed in the transformer rooms; moreover it signed an agreement with Telecom and Fastweb for the strengthening of ultra-wideband internet connection in Rome. In particular, Acea will coordinate the works of optical fibre laying with those concerning electricity supply in street boxes. (see chapter Customers and the community).

In 2013 Acea and Mekorot WC - the company managing the Israeli water service - signed a Memorandum of Understanding aiming at developing an exchange of experiences, expertise and knowledge between the two companies regarding the water area, especially the protection of water supply systems, new innovative solutions for the distribution grids of drinking water, wastewater and sludge treatment and waste incineration. The companies will also have the possibility of cooperating in the development of new water experimental technologies in order to optimise the investments for their commercialisation.

The company actively participates in many conferences and forums with the entrepreneurial world, the scientific community, institutions and citizens to discuss important national and international issues.

Again in 2013 Acea focused on the issues of sustainable mobility and development of smart cities, participating in seminars, round tables and workshops such as Electrocity, the sustainable mobility exhibition, the 2013 Forum of Milan Smart Tech Energy & Gas, about smart grids for energy and gas, the conference titled Dalle smart grid alle città del futuro, where they talked about the management of distribution grids (water, gas, electricity, district heating etc.) and the use of survey, control and inspection technologies, the SmartCityExhibition of Bologna, the round table titled Innovazione e smart city, the workshop titled Energia nuova per Roma, dedicated to sustainability and renewable sources. During the year Acea participated also in the 2° Festival dell’Acqua, the most important event dedicated to the water sector, where it presented an innovative satellite monitoring and control system of water infrastructure, aimed at protecting the territories managed (see chapter Customers and the community, paragraph Delivered quality).

The dialogue with the shareholders allows Acea to listen to and evaluate the requests of customers, citizens and other companies, also through the interaction with the bodies representing them: Federations, Business, Trade union or Consumers’ Associations.

One of the tasks of the parent company’s Institutional Affairs Function is to manage the relations with the Consumers’ Associations, through the Institutional Relations Unit and with the Group’s operating companies.

Acea has long since adopted the joint conciliation procedure, active in the companies Acea Ato 2 and Acea Ato 5, as far as the water area is concerned, and in the companies Acea Energia and Acea Distribuzione, as far as the electricity area is concerned. The conciliation activity is targeted to domestic consumers resident in Latium, represented and supported by the Consumers’ Associations recognised by the National Council of Consumers and Users – CNCU. Moreover, the joint conciliation is a legal tool, voluntary and not mandatory, which could be useful in solving possible disputes between Acea Energia and companies (“non domestic” consumers) which joined the Confcommercio of Rome, with whom a protocol of agreement was signed in 2012.

In 2013 access to the joint conciliation procedure, whose documents are available on the websites of the companies involved, registered a strong increase in comparison to the previous year. The total requests transmitted by the Associations on behalf of the customers of Acea Energia, Acea Distribuzione, Acea Ato 2 and Acea Ato 5 admitted to the conciliation procedure were 403 (296 in 2012). In particular, 220 conciliation requests were presented to Acea Energia; 48 to Acea Distribuzione; 114 to Acea Ato 2 and 21 to Acea Ato 5.

Thanks to customer satisfaction surveys, periodically carried out among customers of water and electricity services, Acea observes the joint conciliation notoriety level activated by the company and the use of this tool by those who declare to know it. The answers of the interviewed people highlight that the joint conciliation is still widely unknown, with notoriety percentages varying from 1% to 5% and a scarce use of this tool among those who know it, between 2% and 22%.

In 2013 Acea strengthened its relationship with the Consumers’ Associations, promoting periodic meetings aimed at facing the main problems of the electricity market’s customers. These meetings focused on the operating solutions carried out by the company in order to improve crisis management, as far as both the joint conciliation requests and the complaints presented by the customers through the Associations were concerned. In particular, in June, Acea Energia – electricity and gas company – carried out the project Al Centro il Cliente (The Client Comes First), the result of the collaboration between the company and the Consumers’ Associations aimed at finding new ways to make the customers fully satisfied (see in-depth box in chapter Customers and the community, paragraph Customer care).