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One of Britain’s largest energy firms will ‘disappear over time’

Yahoo! Finance UK logo Yahoo! Finance UK 02/12/2019 Edmund Heaphy
A sign hangs outside an npower building in Solihull, Britain March 7, 2016. RWE's British unit npower plans to cut around 2,500 jobs as it seeks to improve its financial performance, Sky News reported on Sunday, citing unidentified sources. REUTERS/Darren Staples A sign hangs outside an npower building in Solihull, Britain March 7, 2016. RWE's British unit npower plans to cut around 2,500 jobs as it seeks to improve its financial performance, Sky News reported on Sunday, citing unidentified sources. REUTERS/Darren Staples

The Npower energy business in the UK will disappear “over time” as part of a two-year restructuring process, according to the UK boss of E.ON (EOAN.DE).

“We’re restructuring Npower’s business and we’re moving Npower’s customers onto the E.ON platform,” Michael Lewis, the CEO of E.ON UK, told Sky News.

While Lewis said there would be “no immediate impact” on Npower customers, he said that the Npower brand would cease to exist gradually.

“Over time, the Npower brand will disappear, but it won’t disappear immediately. This is a two-year process of restructuring,” Lewis said.

The CEO’s comments came after E.ON, the German firm that owns Npower, on Friday announced that it would cut 4,500 jobs at the energy supplier, which is the UK’s sixth-largest.

The news prompted a fiery reaction from unions, which described the cuts as “horrific” and a “cruel blow” to the firm’s staff.

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“They’ve been worried about their jobs for months. Now their worst fears have been realised, less than a month before Christmas,” said Dave Prentis, the general secretary of the Unison union.

“What we’re going to be doing is make sure we treat employees fairly over this period and I want to reassure all of the employees that we’ll do everything we can to mitigate the impact of this restructuring,” Lewis told Sky News.

Many home and small business customers will be transferred to E.ON UK, while the company has said that the Npower division that supplies businesses and larger industrial customers will continue to operate for some time.

Lewis said that the cuts were necessary, considering the run of losses at Npower.

“Npower is a business that has been losing money for many years. The price cap has had a very detrimental effect on the whole of the energy retail sector and the business is not sustainable. And what we want to do is to create one sustainable business, secure jobs, and a long-term future for our business in the UK.”

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