RIP 8,715 trees

We’ve just had a letter from our electricity supplier telling us how we could have saved money by signing up to a fixed-price deal or paying by monthly direct debit. It’s very kind of them to go to the trouble of doing this, though there is, of course, a suspicion at the back of my mind, that the letter isn’t really for our benefit.

A thought crosses my mind at this point. If they send one letter a year to their 33 million customers (I take this figure from Eon’s Wikipedia entry) and if each letter costs 50p (for ease of calculation) that costs £16.5 million. Sounds like a lot of money. They could do a lot with that money.


From 2006-10 their sponsorship of the FA Cup (including the Women’s and Youth Cups) cost them £40 million.  They spent money on other sports-related sponsorship too, but that’s the only one that has a figure attached on Wiki.

The question is, did this make them any money? I don’t know about you but “What sports do they sponsor?” isn’t top of my list when selecting an energy supplier.

Similarly, they spent around £28 million on supporting the Museum next to their corporate HQ over the years 1998 – 2014.

Again, it wouldn’t really influence me in my choice of supplier. I might feel good about indirectly supporting a museum, but it would come a long way after price and green credentials.

It may be that sponsorship pays its way. It may be that sponsorship is just a massive vanity project.

The only thing I do know for sure is that if they sent out one less letter per customer per year they could probably pay for all the sponsorship, and save 8,715 trees a year.


Woodland – Rufford Park

(I calculated the tree usage from this website).


20 thoughts on “RIP 8,715 trees

  1. beatingthebounds

    I miss the days when junk mail had pre-paid reply envelopes. I used to relish tearing up the junk and returning it to sender, but you hardly ever get those envelopes any more. I haven’t come up with a satisfactory alternative way of getting my own back. Any suggestions?

  2. Laurie Graves

    All kinds of interesting points! I agree that the Postal Service is essential. A week ago, our post office burned down, and the very next day, the carriers were on the road. But, let us save trees when we can!

  3. Aayush Priyank

    I think it’s not about associating a sport with it, but just advertising so more people see it all the time. All those going to the museum are likely to see that electrical company associated with it, and they will remember the company, even if they don’t remember what it was associated with. Similarly, I assume there will be a lot of people watching these FA Cups, and all these people would be exposed to their advertising. Just my views, and I could be wrong.

  4. jfwknifton

    So much important money is just wasted on stupidity. I personally hate all those shops which have their doors open all the time no matter what the weather is.

  5. Protopian Pickle Jar

    The tree saving calculator is great! Thank you for sharing. I am conflicted about getting paper snail mail. On the one hand, most of it is junk and goes directly into recycling. Some of it is useful, but could easily have been conveyed electronically (I have signed up for this for several accounts). On the other hand, the US Postal Service (probably most other countries, too) is primarily funded by stamps/postage fees, and as more stuff goes electronic, they may not make enough money to break even. I still need them around when I want to send a real-life handwritten note!

    1. quercuscommunity

      Yes, our Post Office service seems to be getting worse as email takes over, so I know what you mean. I rarely write traditional letters now as I type so much my handwriting has also deteriorated and even I can’t read it. 🙂


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