Our On-Line Services, of which we overhauled graphical design and content in January 2017, are a useful tool for customers to view their bills, check their consumption, submit reports, report readings and check the progress of their procedures.
We significantly upgraded our on-line services, leading up to the release, in January 2017 of a completely renovated website.
Hera Comm’s online services proved very popular among customers again in 2017: the growth trend of the past five years is continuing and in 2017, 18.9% of our customers had subscribed to the services. In fact, the number of subscribers has grown by almost 9% compared to last year, reaching 296,000 customers.
About 44,000 customers have enrolled in the on-line services of Estenergy and Marche Multiservizi (12% of the total, up by about three percentage points over last year) while about 27,000 customers have chosen electronic billing (6% of the total, up one percentage point over last year).
In 2017 AcegasApsAmga also activated online services, so that customers can manage their contract and payments via the web, increasingly digitalizing the customer interface. The usage of online services is gradually increasing and electronic billing has increased by 23% compared to 2016, thanks to promotion by the call centres and by the branch offices.
After the success of the “Get rid of bills. Give a tree to your city” campaign, in 2017, we launched the Digi e Lode project to encourage efficient behaviour, by using Hera Group’s digital services. The project finances school digitalization projects for first-degree public and state-authorized primary and secondary schools in the Bologna, Modena, Ferrara, Forlì-Cesena, Ravenna and Rimini areas with Euro 100,000 (Euro 2,500 per school). Rewarding behaviours also included electronic billing, chosen by over 418 thousand customers as of the end of 2017 (+57% compared to 2015 and +33% compared to 2016).
Actions planned for2017 will continue to promote electronic billing, further improve our on-line services and increase the number of subscribers.
The number of bills based on Hera’s customers reading their own meters is steady around two million in 2017, approximately 13% of total bills.
Electronic billing in the main Italian utilities
According to a comparative analysis carried out among the main Italian utilities by Utilitatis, Hera ranks first among the 12 companies considered, for the percentage of contracts billed electronically. In 2016, 16.1% of Hera’s contracts were billed electronically, compared to an average of 7.7%.