|Municipalities served (no.)||189||188||187|
|Residents served (thousands)||3,323||3,311||3,313|
In 2017, the Hera Group again recorded an increase in the total number of customers. The result obtained confirms the effectiveness of the growth strategy adopted, i.e. the combined action of effective commercial initiatives and targeted corporate acquisitions. In this regard, the customers of Verducci Servizi and Enerpeligna, active in the provinces of Pescara and L’Aquila, have joined the Hera Group.
The effective sales activity and the acquisition of successful businesses that with the same values as the Hera Group uses in their approach to final customers, have enabled an increase of over 18,000 gas customers (+1.3%) and over 100,000 electricity customers (+11.5%).
Three factors contributed in a rather balanced manner to the strengthening of the Hera Group in the gas sector: growth in the last resort markets (suppliers of last resort and default service), corporate acquisitions in Abruzzo and commercial development. The growth was in the residential customer segment, where the deregulated market outperformed the protected market.
As far as the electricity service is concerned, the growth, across the segments, was the best in recent years, sustained by the increase in the number of protected customers, but above all by the excellent results of the sales activity; the weight of the deregulated market rose to 79%.
The decrease in the number of customers under protection conditions is common to all the services (gas and electricity), Group companies, and customer segments (residential and non-residential).
The trend of the water service confirms a trend that has been underway for three years, namely a reduction of the number of non-residential customers that was more than offset by an increase of residential customers thanks to initial signs of recovery in the real estate market.
The results achieved in terms of growth in the number of gas and electricity customers were the result of a number of actions and initiatives launched and implemented in 2017:
- expanding the portfolio of offers and solutions to support efficient energy use;
- development and training of our sales network;
- attention to improving service levels;
- analysis of the market in terms of both the evolution of customer needs and in terms of attention to competitors;
- the continuous monitoring of the territory, also by opening three new stores in three different regions (Friuli, Lombardy and Marche);
- the development of digital channels, achieved by updating our online services and launching the new My Hera app;
- the launch of innovative initiatives such as the Digi e Lode project, which promotes digital channels and services and concretely supports the development of the local area;
- targeted acquisition operations that enable synergies, and sharing of best practices.
The priorities for 2018 are the further development of digital channels and intelligent energy efficiency tools, together with innovative projects to build customer loyalty. 2018 will also be an important year for the consolidation and integration of the newly acquired sales companies.