Eleven regional units manage our operating business in Europe. They are responsible for sales, regional energy networks, and distributed generation. They are also close partners of the global units operating in their respective region, for which they provide a broad range of important functions, such as HR management and accounting. In addition, they are the sole point of contact for all stakeholders, including policymakers, government agencies, trade associations, and the media.
In 2012, we were active in the following countries: Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Italy, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Hungary, Czechia, Slovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria (end of June 2012).
Russia is a special focus country, where our business centers on power generation. This business is not integrated into the Generation global unit because of its geographic location and because Russia's power system is not part of Europe's integrated grid.
In addition, through E.ON International Energy (which is not a reporting segment) we want to work with local partners to develop renewable-source and conventional generating capacity in attractive, fast-growing regions outside Europe.
Our Germany regional unit is responsible for power and gas distribution, energy sales, and distributed generation in Germany. It also serves as an important partner of our global units, particularly the Generation unit.
E.ON Vertrieb Deutschland (E.ON Sales Germany) manages our energy sales business in Germany for all customer segments, from residential to industrial. Regional sales companies give us a strong presence in our customers' communities, while E wie Einfach (E like Easy) markets affordably priced power and gas service nationwide.
Our eight network companies operate a total of 455,000 kilometers of power lines and 65,000 kilometers of gas pipelines. They deliver energy safely and reliably to about 9 million people across a large area of Germany. E.ON Netz's high-voltage network serves as the link between the trans-European power transport system and regional energy networks. Through several subsidiaries, we provide a broad spectrum of distributed-generation solutions for the German market: micro combined-heat-and-power units for homes, biomass-powered heating units for manufacturers, and larger units for industrial enterprises.
E.ON UK is a leading energy supplier with around 8 million electricity and gas customer accounts. Through its retail business, E.ON's Energy Solutions, it supplies energy to homes as well as small-medium-enterprises and industrial customers across the country.
As a trusted energy partner, it is also helping its customers to save energy. E.ON offers maintenance and consulting services for energy efficiency and is partnering a number of U.K. cities to help them reduce their carbon footprint. E.ON offers expert advice, installs microgeneration and fits efficiency measures that have a real impact.
E.ON UK is also the market leader in combined heat and power and will soon operate the one of the world's largest CHP plants at Grain, in Kent.
Our Sweden regional unit supplies a total of about one million customer accounts, mainly in south and east-central Sweden. We also market power, gas, and heat nationwide and provides a full range of energy services. The unit also has responsibility for E.ON's businesses in Finland, Denmark, and Norway..
E.ON Italia, the lead company of our Italy regional unit, is headquartered in Milan. Among the highlights of 2010, our energy retailer in Italy grew its customer base to nearly 900,000 accounts and now ranks among the country’s top four suppliers in terms of sales volume. It also added innovative renewable-energy products and continued its successful customer-loyalty program, which promotes energy efficiency and conservation.
Our Spain regional unit is engaged primarily in power distribution and retail. Our retail businesses supply electricity to 600,000 homes and businesses nationwide. Our objective is to build on this position to become one of Spain's leading energy players.
Our France regional unit sells power and gas to industrial and wholesale customers. This unit also plays a key role in supporting the Generation and Renewables units in the operation and development of our conventional and wind, solar, and hydro capacity in France.
Our Netherlands regional unit markets power and gas to residential, business, and industrial customers in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Our Hungary regional unit is primarily engaged in power wholesaling and power and gas distribution and retail. We supply energy to about three million customers (2.5 million power, 0.5 million gas).
Our Czechia regional unit operates a power and gas business. With 1.4 million electricity customers and 110,000 gas customers, we are the biggest integrated energy supplier nationwide.
Our Slovakia regional unit is active in the Slovak electricity market. We operate a power distribution network and provide energy services to all customers segments, from residential to industrial.
Our Romania regional unit is engaged in the downstream power and gas business, both distribution and retail. We serve a total of 2.7 million customers (1.3 million gas, 1.4 million power).
In 2011, we will be the first integrated power and gas supplier in Romania.
Our business in Russia is all about power: generation, sales to industrial customers, and wholesale marketing. Our Russian generation fleet — the third-biggest in our company after Germany and the U.K. — consists of a strong and regionally diverse portfolio of gas-fired and coal-fired power stations with a total capacity of 8.3 GW. They're located in several key industrial regions: Central Russia, Ural, and Siberia. This gives us a superb platform with significant potential for value creation in the world's fourth-biggest electricity market. Our multi-billion investments in new generating capacity are aimed at making Russia's electricity supply more reliable, efficient, and climate friendly.