Npower (United Kingdom)
|Public limited company|
|Founded||2000 (as Innogy plc)
2002 (as RWE npower)
|Headquarters||Swindon, England, UK|
|Paul Coffey, CEO|
|Products||Gas and electricity|
Number of employees
Npower Limited (trading as npower) is a UK-based electricity generator and supplier of gas and electricity to homes and businesses, formerly known as Innogy plc. As Innogy plc it was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. In 2002 it was acquired by RWE of Germany and was subsequently renamed RWE npower plc. RWE split-off its renewable energy, network and retail divisions as Innogy SE in 2016, and npower transferred to the new business.
Innogy plc then went on to purchase the regional electricity company Yorkshire Electricity in 2001. It later disposed of the distribution side of Yorkshire Electricity to CE Electric UK in exchange for the supply business of Northern Electric. Innogy plc was taken over by the German energy company RWE in 2002 and renamed RWE npower plc with all the supply business adopting the "npower" brand.
In February 2006 Npower acquired 19% of Telecom Plus, a business which now provides Npower with management services, such as billing, customer service, metering, debt collection and administration: under the deal Npower can increase its stake in Telecom Plus up to 29%. In 2009 Npower acquired Superior Plumbing, a business providing services to social housing and business customers across the UK.
In 2010, Npower acquired SPI Group to add to its energy services business Npower Hometeam. SPI provides services to the social housing market and its commercial arm serves public buildings, including schools.
In 2013, however, Npower sold the two former Telecom Plus subsidiaries back to Utility Warehouse for £218 million. As a result, Utility Warehouse became one of the largest independent energy suppliers in the UK with over 500,000 customers and 770,000 gas and electricity supply points to their name. The deal also sparked commentary about the possibility of Npower's parent company RWE leaving the UK, or the emergence of a "Big Seven" in place of the existing Big Six Energy Suppliers.
In March 2016, the company announced losses of £106 million and 2,500 global job cuts along with the fact that they had lost 351,000 customers in 2015: a high level of customer complaints were cited as reasons for the issues.
On 1 April 2016, RWE split-off its renewable energy, network and retail businesses into the newly formed Innogy SE. npower became a subsidiary of the new business and was renamed npower Limited. The coal, natural gas and oil-fired energy power stations, which npower operated, are no longer part of npower, but of RWE Generation UK plc.
Npower supplies gas and electricity to residential and business customers in the UK. Its energy services business provides servicing such as repairing boilers and central heating systems through its Hometeam brand.
In 2008, Npower faced allegations over the conduct of its door-to-door salespeople. An undercover investigation by a UK newspaper resulted in allegations of Npower salespeople misleading potential customers, with suggestions that salespeople were 'routinely lying' and asking potential customers to 'sign a form without revealing it was a contract'. Npower was eventually fined £1.8 million by the UK energy regulator Ofgem. Npower have also been criticised for their customer service, having been rated the lowest of all energy suppliers in the Which? Switch 2010 customer satisfaction survey.
In 2013, Labour Party MPs and campaign group 38 Degrees accused Npower of avoiding tax. Npower defended itself by stating that tax paid had been lower than expected due to higher than expected capital investment in the UK, leading to capital allowances. A Bloomberg report for Greenpeace confirmed that RWE Npower was the biggest investor in new energy infrastructure in the UK recently. However, groups such as 38 Degrees called for customers to boycott or switch over to other providers.
In February 2017, Npower announced they were increasing their prices. Ofgem announced that Npower would have to justify this price increase.
- Energy policy of the United Kingdom
- Energy use and conservation in the United Kingdom
- Green electricity in the United Kingdom
- Plugging into Nat Power split The Telegraph, 21 March 2001
- Npower firm buys up Yorkshire Electricity BBC News, 22 February 2001
- Innogy, Northern in retail swap Power Engineering International, September 2001
- RWE is set to buy Innogy New York Times, 18 March 2002
- Big gas losses force Telecom Plus to sell Digital Look, 16 February 2006
- SPI Group is bought by npower Heating & Ventilation, 2009
- npower Acquires SPI Group Build, 4 February 2009[not in citation given]
- Chazan, Guy (20 November 2013). "Telecom Plus deal to challenge big six UK energy suppliers". Financial Times. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
- Macalister, Terry; Jennifer Rankin (20 November 2013). "RWE npower supply sale raises fears over UK withdrawal". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- Gosden, Emily (20 November 2013). "Energy challenger Telecom Plus leaps to Big Six's defence". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- Allen, Katie; Bowers, Simon (2016-03-06). "Npower to cut up to 2,500 jobs in UK and overseas". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-04-01.
- "Npower job losses 'devastating blow'". BBC. 8 March 2016. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
- "About npower". npower Limited. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
- "Retail – supplying the UK at home and work". www.rwe.com. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- npower suspends staff over claims BBC, 6 April 2008
- Exposed: energy giant cheats its customers The Times, 6 April 2008
- npower fined over doorstep sales BBC, 22 December 2008
- Customer Satisfaction Survey Results Which
- npower admits not paying taxes for three years MSN.com
- The big tax turn off 38 Degrees
- RWE npower
- Bloomberg report for Greenpeace
- "550 job losses at npower are 'grave mistake' say Unison". HR Grapevine. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
- "Npower fined record £26m over customer service failures". The Telegraph. 18 December 2015. Retrieved 8 March 2016.