Eastern Electricity

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Eastern Electricity plc
Public limited company
Industry Energy
Fate Acquired
Successor Texas Utilities
Founded 1948
Defunct 1995
Headquarters London, England, United Kingdom

Eastern Electricity plc was an electricity supply and distribution utility serving eastern England, including East Anglia and part of Greater London. It was renamed Eastern Group under which name it was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index until it was acquired by Hanson plc in 1995.

History[edit]

It had its origins as the BC&H which was nationalised in 1948. The old company was in fact The Beds Cambs and Hunts, and the Chairman was a Mr Church. Many of the employees who worked for the BC&H had their electricity tariff frozen at the 1948 figure. My father who died in 2004 had a meter charge of 2/6 pence (two shillings and six pence) with a unit charge (one Kw hour) of one old penny. (240 to the pound) This concession ceased when he died in 2004. Many of the Power station employees had a fixed rate of three farthings per unit. The Eastern Electricity Board (EEB) formed in 1948 as part of the nationalisation of the electricity industry by the Electricity Act 1947.

In 1990 the assets of the board passed to Eastern Electricity plc, one of the regional electricity companies formed by the Electricity Act 1989. The company was privatised later in the year in a stock market flotation, one of many UK Government public share offers which saw formerly state-owned utilities sold off, including British Telecom, British Gas, and the UK's regional water companies. It subsequently became known as Eastern Group, with offices across the east of England including Norwich and Ipswich.

In 1995 Hanson plc gained control of Eastern Group.[1] Hanson ownership lasted until 1997 when The Energy Group was demerged from Hanson plc and floated on the London Stock Exchange.[2]

Then in 1998 the Energy Group was bought by TXU Europe.[3] Following the acquisition Texas Utilities was renamed TXU, with The Energy Group becoming TXU Energi, part of TXU Europe.

In October 2002 TXU announced it was pulling out of Europe due mainly to the collapse of its UK operations.[4] Powergen purchased TXU's UK businesses for £1.37bn ($2.9bn) later that year.[5]

The company's distribution rights were sold on to EDF Energy, owners of London Electricity, SWEB Energy and SEEBOARD, three other former regional electricity companies. The Eastern, London and South-Eastern distribution networks were later sold on to UK Power Networks.

In 2006, artist Rory Macbeth painted Sir Thomas More’s entire novel Utopia onto an old Eastern Electricity building on Westwick Street in Norwich.

References[edit]

  1. ^ British utility agrees to Hanson's cash bid New York Times, 1 August 1995
  2. ^ Hanson hits 7-year low in run up to demerger Independent, 9 July 1996
  3. ^ Texas raises Energy bid to £4.46bn BBC News, 3 March 1998
  4. ^ US firm pulls plug in power crisis BBC News, 14 October 2002
  5. ^ Powergen buys TXU's British arm BBC News, 21 October 2002

See also[edit]