Welcome from Tony Cocker, our CEO

2015 - A year of change

Tony Cocker - E.ONIn many ways 2015 was a defining year for our business. We continued to work hard to earn our customers’ trust today while preparing for tomorrow following the decision to split into two separate companies from 2016. Our company has retained the E.ON name and we’re focused on meeting our customers’ expectations in the rapidly-changing world of energy.  We want to become our customers’ partner of choice for energy solutions, preparing ourselves and helping our customers to be ready for the new energy world.

A question I’m often asked is: have we achieved what we set out to do three years ago, and won the trust of our customers? I would say: for some customers yes, we have, but for others, it’s still a work in progress. I believe we’ve achieved a huge amount to improve the products and services we offer our customers – and this is increasingly reflected in the positive feedback we receive – but earning trust is not like reaching a destination and stopping. We constantly seek to improve and do the very best we can for all our customers and, equally important, when we get things wrong, we hold up our hands, say sorry and put things right as quickly as we can.

Sadly, we did have to do that in 2015, where we agreed settlements with our regulator, Ofgem, for incorrectly applying price increases and termination fees to some of our customers who expressed a wish to leave, and also failing to meet a target to install advanced electricity meters for some of our business customers. In both instances we should have done better for our customers.

Looking to the future, I believe we have given ourselves a solid platform from which to transform our business and meet the increasing expectations of our customers. It’s not enough simply to sell our customers gas and electricity; our customers want choice, simplicity and convenience and they expect us to be ready to advise them and to give them control – whether it’s control over their heating, their lighting or how they pay their bills

We’ve already made progress towards this ambition and we reached a significant milestone in February 2016 when, for the first time more residential customers carried out transactions with us digitally than over the phone.

Our app has been downloaded by over half a million people and we’ve now made it even easier for customers to update personal information without contacting one of our advisors.

We’ve worked hard to provide our customers with a simple and seamless online experience and we will continue to develop our digital offering and make it an attractive proposition for even more customers.

So what have been our other key achievements for our customers during 2015?

 

Focus on treating customers fairly

Our customers continue to be at the heart of everything we do and our aim is to treat them fairly at all times. We’ve defined what we think that means for our customers and have been putting it into practice. We also want to make energy easy for our customers, helping them understand their energy use and in turn, control their energy bills. 

Focus on energy efficiency

We believe our innovative saving energy toolkit has changed the public’s perception of energy efficiency over the past two years and it continues to go from strength to strength. 1.2 million of our residential customers have signed up to this toolkit which enables users to compare their energy use with similar homes in their area.

We rolled out our new SME Energy Toolkit during 2015 to encourage small business customers to take control of their energy use and the take-up has been excellent, with more than 13,500 SME customers having signed up so far.

We’ve helped 20 large businesses that fall under the Government’s Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) to undertake an audit of the energy used by their buildings, industrial processes and transport to identify cost-effective energy saving measures.

Supporting our vulnerable customers

We’ve taken great strides to improve the way we look after our vulnerable customers.

We rolled out our Care & Assessment tool, which makes it easier for our advisors to identify those customers who most need our support.

With this tool we’ve improved our approach to vulnerability to include life events and financial circumstances, in addition to health conditions, age and children. And this approach better reflects Ofgem’s definition of vulnerability.

Our E.ON Energy Fund has now given away more than £2 million since its inception. This fund was set up to provide a helping hand to people who need it most, irrespective of who their supplier might be, by providing essential white goods or helping them pay their energy bill. 

We’ve now helped almost 2,800 households across the UK; including  households affected by floods in areas like Cumbria, Northumberland and Scotland, who between them received more than £127,000 worth of support.

 

Feedback from our customers

We’re pleased that all of our hard work over the past year hasn’t gone unnoticed by our customers as, for the fourth year in a row we retained our position of number 1 large supplier for customer satisfaction in the annual uSwitch survey. This is widely recognised as the leading survey of the UK’s energy consumers.

2016 and beyond

At the start of 2016, on the back of falling wholesale prices, we were the first supplier to announce that we were reducing our residential gas prices by 5.1% and we introduced the two cheapest tariffs of their kind into the market place.

Looking ahead we know that our customers need our help more than ever to find new solutions to give them more control over the energy they use. As the world becomes ever more digitised our customers need and expect us to harness technology to make their lives simpler. An example is our E.ON Touch app that gives customers instant control over their home’s heating wherever they are, whenever they want.

We’re also playing our part to meet the Government’s target that every household is to be offered a smart meter. This will open up new opportunities to give customers more control over their energy.

And it’s not just our residential customers; we’re helping big businesses keep their costs down in many different ways – like the Arena and Convention Centre in Liverpool where we’re covering their roof with more than 900 solar panels so they can generate their own energy and reduce their CO2 emissions.

And we’re helping whole communities with cutting-edge technology that means we can provide hundreds of homes and businesses with heat and hot water from a single energy centre.

These are just a few examples of how we’re continually looking for new ways to make life simple for our customers. We will never rest on our laurels.