Looking back, leaping forward to a year of sustainability

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Looking back, leaping forward to a year of sustainability

There’s no doubt that we’re coming to the end of what has turned out to be one of the most challenging years in recent times.

Despite the challenges, there are positives that are worth celebrating – for the planet and for our customers too.

Here we take a look back at some of the highlights of the past year, as we look forward to 2021. 

For the planet

This year has been one of the most sustainable in recent history.

The UK set a new record1 in 2020 by stopping coal powered energy generation for 67 consecutive days - the longest period since the Industrial Revolution.

That, combined with the reduced traffic on our roads during the first lockdown, meant that pollution levels fell dramatically. Our air was cleaner than it had been in many years. We believe that it's important to maintain and improve on this reduction and we launched the 'Change the Weather' service, alongside weather data provider DTN, to get air pollution levels included in the daily TV weather forecasts.

This was in response to our Air Care Research, which gathered the views of more than 4,000 people across the UK and found that 62% of them missed how clear the air was during the first national lockdown.

People all across the UK have been making commitments to helping the planet too and have said that the first lockdown made them re-think sustainability and they'll be making greener choices for transport, shopping and managing food waste at home.

Research we carried out this year has also revealed that almost nine in 10 prospective homeowners are now more interested in finding homes that have sustainable solutions, such as solar panels and efficient boilers, over having a garden or en-suite bathroom. After the government announced the temporary stamp duty relief earlier this year, over three quarters (78%) of the people we surveyed also said they'd be willing to use these savings to invest in sustainable solutions in their new home.

For our customers

We saw the one-year anniversary of providing all our customers’ homes with 100% renewable electricity as standard – that’s some 3.4 million homes. And in 2020 we extended this our small business customers that sign a contract directly with us too.

We also celebrated the milestone of installing three million smart meters in our customers' homes. These next generation gas and electricity meters are helping customers better manage their energy use and can help to lower bills.

These aren't the only ways that we helped our customers make their lives more sustainable and lower their carbon footprint. Our solar panels, energy efficient boilers, air source heat pumps and home insulation have all helped our customers cut their carbon footprint and save money at the same time.

So while 2020 was a difficult year in so many ways, those difficulties have brought about changes in all of our minds that can only mean the future will be cleaner and greener.

We're all looking forward to a better, and even more sustainable year in 2021.

1. Independent: Climate crisis: UK's record coal-free power run comes to an end
2. Electricity backed by 100% renewable sources. All our customers' homes and eligible businesses get 100% renewable electricity, at no extra cost. Eligible businesses are SME customers that sign a contract directly with E.ON. Electricity sourced from E.ON’s renewable generation assets, supply agreements with independent UK wind generators and the purchase of renewable electricity certificates. The electricity supplied to homes and businesses comes from the National Grid and DNOs. eonenergy.com/renewable.