Eneco takes action against poverty

Eighty thousand citizens of Rotterdam are living below the poverty line. On top of their daily worries, they also have to deal with the stress of the collection of debts by uncooperative utilities and other companies and imposed fines. By obtaining the Warm Incasseren [Warm Debt Collection] accreditation, Eneco says yes to helping employees and customers who have difficulty paying their bills. Eneco is the first nationally operating company to qualify for this accreditation.

Eneco is one of the largest energy suppliers in the Netherlands. “By obtaining the Warm Incasseren  accreditation, Eneco publicly opts for a fair and humane debt collection policy,” says the Warm Rotterdam Foundation.  “That is a great result. Due to Covid19 and the rising prices of gas, groceries and other necessities, a growing number of people are finding themselves in financial difficulties. The need to approach employees and customers with care and offer to help them to alleviate their financial concerns is becoming increasingly urgent.” The accreditation certificate is presented to CEO As Tempelman by two representatives of the Warm Rotterdam Foundation who know from experience what it is like to live with debt and what it feels like to see the pile of debt collection notices grow higher and higher. They have also been involved in the development of the Warm Incasseren accreditation.

“It is worrisome that in times of rising energy prices, energy poverty increases. As a socially responsible energy company, we consider it our responsibility to help customers who are having difficulty paying their bill to the best of our ability. Our long term support involves reducing the energy consumption in the home, which also contributes to more sustainability. In the short term we provide support by implementing an even more socially oriented debt collection policy that is aimed at individual customers. This Warm Incasseren accreditation is a wonderful recognition of our efforts and one that we are proud of,” says Tempelman.

Warm Incasseren accreditation
The accreditation is aimed at all public and private companies that collect debts or have debts collected for them. Following water company Evides, Eneco now also qualifies for Warm Incasseren accreditation. Accredited organisations assume social responsibility by making an effort to reduce the debts of their employees and customers, even in seemingly desperate cases. This means that ‘warm debt collection’ will become the norm for the close to 3000 Rotterdam-based Eneco employees. It also has a huge positive impact on citizens of Rotterdam who have a contract with Eneco, as they can count on help if they are having difficulty paying their bill. With the Warm Incasseren accreditation , the Warm Rotterdam Foundation is delivering on one of its promises: addressing unfair and irresponsible debt collection practices. Eneco’s accreditation will be reassessed in two years’ time.

Not only humane, but also wise from a business perspective
Eneco’s socially responsible and customer friendly debt collection policy is aimed at avoiding disconnection. On top of that, Eneco invests in prevention and providing assistance in finding help and debt relief support by proactively working together with municipalities, administrators and debt counsellors. Warm Rotterdam Foundation: “The Warm Incasseren accreditation has proven to be effective and saves costs for everyone involved. Companies such as Eneco are paying more attention to financial difficulties. They are helping employees and customers by means of payment arrangements. Ultimately, the Warm Incasseren accreditation also has an impact on society: it contributes to the reduction of overall debt in the Netherlands and the social costs associated with debt collection, which at present amount to €11 billion a year.”

The experts of the Warm Rotterdam Foundation call on all companies in the Netherlands that in one way or another deal with debt collection to qualify for the Warm Incasseren accreditation. Eneco supports this appeal. This is not only humane, but also wise from a financial perspective.