E.ON has today (WED) provided details of its financial performance in 2014. A combination of factors, including mild weather and improved energy efficiency among customers, has resulted in a £609 million decline in sales compared to the previous year. The company’s commitment to delivering the Government’s energy saving obligations well ahead of schedule has enabled it to reduce spend in 2014, which contributed to retaining a stable profit for the year.
E.ON UK Chief Executive Tony Cocker said: “The milder winter months that we experienced had a direct impact on sales during the year, as our customers used less energy to heat their homes and businesses. We’ve also been driving forward with our delivery of energy efficiency measures and in December we announced we had successfully completed all of our Energy Company Obligation (ECO) targets ahead of the March 2015 deadline. Since the start of ECO we’ve delivered more than 305,000 energy saving measures in around a quarter of a million homes, providing real help to customers across the country.
“We’ve been working hard to demonstrate that doing what’s right for our customers is at the heart of everything we do. For example, to help our customers control their energy bills further we launched a number of market-leading fixed tariffs during 2014. This was further evidenced when we were the first larger supplier in the market to reflect the reduction in wholesale gas prices. By acting quickly in early January, and cutting our standard gas price by 3.5% with immediate effect, our customers were the first to benefit from lower gas prices in 2015.
“Our 10,500 colleagues in the UK all work incredibly hard to provide great customer service and I’m proud to say that in 2014 their efforts were acknowledged when we won Large Supplier of the Year in the uSwitch Energy Awards. We also significantly improved our position on the Citizens Advice energy complaints league table, thanks in part to the changes we’ve made to our complaints handling processes.
“We’ve made real progress in the products and services we offer and the way we provide them. We understand our customers’ needs are changing and digital is a key element in their experiences and engagement with us. We offer a variety of online services and tools that make our customers’ lives easier, including our Saving Energy Toolkit – now visited by more than 900,000 people – which helps customers understand and transform their home energy use. Our smartphone app allows customers to send meter readings, receive energy-saving tips as well as keep up-to-date with their energy account.
“A significant amount of the £63 million invested in our supply business has been focused on meter installations. Our smart meter roll out is now well under way, with more than 400,000 meters installed in our customers’ homes and businesses. Feedback from our customers has been really positive and they are seeing their energy use reduce in line with DECC’s expectations.
“Last year saw an important milestone for the industry when Ofgem announced it had requested the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to investigate the UK’s energy market – something we first called for in 2011. We’ll continue to be open and fully supportive of the investigative work undertaken by the CMA and hope that the outcomes, due later this year, will be accepted and will help to restore trust and confidence as well as regulatory certainty for the energy sector.”
Generation, Upstream and other activities in the UK: Sales fall due to difficult market conditions affecting generation assets in 2014, while profits increase due to North Sea oil and gas activities
Commenting on the results across E.ON’s other activities in the UK, Tony Cocker said: “We continue to see growth in our North Sea oil and gas activities which has contributed to an £18 million increase in profits. We invested £657 million in our generation and upstream businesses, of which £433 million was spent on renewable developments. This overall investment for the year demonstrates how we’re continuing to play our part in improving the UK’s energy infrastructure and helping to increase the number of low-carbon generation sources available to power homes and businesses across the country.
“Last year we saw a number of renewable projects reach key development milestones. Our Blackburn Meadows Renewable Energy Plant in Sheffield generated electricity for the first time, supplying electricity to around 40,000 homes and businesses. In November, we announced the final design for our Rampion Offshore Wind Farm after receiving consent from the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change earlier in the year.
“Our Humber Gateway Offshore Wind Farm is now well into the construction phase with more than 58 of the 73 turbines already installed and in August the site’s £4 million operations and maintenance base was also officially opened. I’m pleased to say that the wind farm has now generated electricity for the first time and is on schedule to be completed by mid-summer. It will produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of about 170,000 homes, helping to secure the generation capacity needed during the winter months when energy consumption is at its peak.
“During both the construction and operational phases, our investment in projects helps create a number of job and new business opportunities, particularly for locally based companies. Furthermore, we continue to support the local communities in which we operate and last year alone we provided more than £276,000 of grants to community groups based near our operational onshore wind farms.
“We also saw the UK’s first Capacity Market Auction take place in 2014. Due to turbulent market conditions experienced by our conventional generation fleet, we strongly believe that capacity payments are needed to ensure that plant can operate sustainably, helping to secure the amount of electricity required to power the UK and encourage continued investment in new generation assets. This in turn will help to reduce carbon emissions and keep energy affordable for consumers.”
Notes to Editors
 Subject to Ofgem approval. 40,000 measures were installed by E.ON as part of the company’s over-delivery under the previous CERT and CESP obligations and carried forward into ECO.
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