Smart Grid News and Analysis


E.ON reports boost in investments due to Smart Meter Deployment, despite a fall in Sales and Profits


E.ON has today announced details of its half-year financial performance for January to June 2014. E.ON UK Chief Executive, Tony Cocker, said: “Our supply business has seen a £422 million decrease in sales when compared to the same period last year, which is primarily due to milder weather. Although parts of the UK faced widespread storms, the first six months were actually considerably warmer in comparison to the same period in 2013. This has meant customers have used less energy.

“This fall in demand has also had a direct impact on profits, with EBITDA decreasing by £85 million to £188 million. Despite this, we continue to invest significantly in our supply business and I’m pleased to say that in the first half of this year we have increased our investments to £33 million.

“This boost in investment has predominantly been in smart meter installations. We’ve now installed more than 330,000 meters in our customers’ homes, which will help them control their energy use. We’ve also further enhanced the level of our customer service through a wide range of programmes including upgrading our IT systems in order to provide our colleagues with the best available technology to support our customers.

“Our overarching goal is to keep making improvements to the services we offer our customers as we believe there’s always more that can be done. For example, we’ve noticed a massive increase in the number of customers wanting to access our online tools via their mobile devices. As well as ensuring the majority of our website is now accessible in this way, in January we also updated our ‘Best Deal For You’ service so customers can ensure they’re on our best tariff quickly, easily and wherever they are, through their mobile device.

“We’re also investing in new recruitment processes which we believe will help tackle the skills shortage within the sector, support the government’s youth unemployment agenda and deliver improved training and development for our colleagues. For instance, our industry leading Customer Service Apprenticeship scheme will give 16-24 year olds, who live in the local communities in which we operate, the opportunity to embark on a career in the energy industry. This innovative scheme will also help us build on the progress we have already made in improving our services for our customers.

“We want to ensure that we’re playing our part in restoring confidence in the industry and are therefore pleased that the energy market has been referred to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) – something we first called for back in 2011. We feel that through our own actions, and the CMA investigation, we can take another step towards becoming our customers’ trusted energy partner.”

Commenting on the results across E.ON’s other activities in the UK, Tony Cocker said: “EBITDA has increased by £49 million when compared to the same period last year, following increased production in our upstream oil and gas activities. However, our fossil fleet continues to experience difficult market conditions and increasing regulatory costs which have significantly affected turnover for the first half of the year.

“Despite this we continue to invest large sums in new and existing projects throughout the UK. For example, our £120 million Blackburn Meadows biomass facility has recently generated electricity and synchronised with the local distribution network for the first time. Also, earlier this month we opened our £4 million Humber Gateway Offshore Wind Farm Operations and Maintenance base which will support the current construction stage and day-to-day running of the 219MW site. Once completed, the wind farm will produce enough energy to power around 170,000 homes.

“This investment in a mix of generation assets will help ensure future security of supply and help create an energy infrastructure in the UK of which we can all be proud.”