State Grid Beijing Electric Power Co has launched a series of initiatives to help improve the city's business environment and promote the development of local small and microbusinesses.
During an open house event on April 27 — the seventh of its kind since launching in 2012 — the State-owned power company showcased its improved services to government officials, and experts and scholars in economics and corporate social responsibility, as well as business and media representatives.
Xie Lili, a coffee shop manager who participated in the event, said she was impressed with State Grid Beijing Electric Power's efficiency.
She added that she had called the company's customer service center on April 20 to apply for power provision for her business, and that State Grid Beijing Electric Power's technicians visited her premises in the afternoon on the same day to explore connection possibilities.
The technicians told Xie that she needn't make a formal application in person and that the electricity could be connected in 13 days.
"It is much faster than I expected," Xie said. "I had thought it would take at least two months."
Ren Liaohui, key account executive for State Grid Beijing Electric Power, said the coffee shop is located far away from power stations, and that workers needed to lay cables running across roads and greenbelts.
"The approval procedures can be complex and demanding," Ren said. However, instead of Xie needing to deal will various government departments herself, State Grid Beijing Electric is able to streamline the process and get a green light quicker.
"We have already completed all the approval procedures," said Ren, adding that the external power supply project is under construction and power will be delivered to the coffee shop in May.
Xie said that in the past it would cost a business 100,000 to 200,000 yuan ($15,790 to $31,490) to complete such a power provision project.
In contrast, State Grid Beijing Electric Power has absorbed all the costs of external power supply, which has sharply reduced setup costs, Xie said.
Xie's comments were echoed by Wang Xi, head of a shadow play troupe in Beijing.
"I am just astonished by the company's work efficiency," Wang said. She applied for an electric connection on April 13, and the company finished the project on April 19.
"Our performances used to be interrupted by the electricity overloads, which seriously affected the audience's viewing experience, but now, we don't have that problem any longer," Wang said.
"Benefiting from the services offered by the Beijing power company, I saved 100,000 yuan altogether on this project," she added.
Both Xie and Wang are among thousands of beneficiaries from State Grid Beijing Electric Power's favorable policies.
Since early February, the company has offered services tailor-made to small and microbusinesses in Beijing.
By streamlining application procedures, reducing costs and increasing work efficiency, the company is contributing to creating to a more business-friendly environment in the city.
To date, more than 7,500 customers have benefited from the favorable policies. It takes an average of 25 days for an applicant to gain access to the power grid, and collectively customers have saved 191 million yuan in costs, according to the power company.
Yin Gefei, a corporate social responsibility expert, said the favorable policies rolled out by State Grid Beijing Electric Power focus on customer experience and aim to improve the local business environment.
"External demands prompt reforms in internal operations," Yin said. "The self-initiated innovation is a showcase of a State-owned enterprise's leading role in undertaking corporate social responsibilities."