Big Six energy provider E.ON said its sales have fallen due to plunging global wholesale fuel prices.
The German-owned group said yesterday that revenues from its UK supply business fell 5.6 per cent to £5.1 billion in the first nine months of the year compared to a year earlier as oil prices have fallen by more than half since the summer of 2014.
It also suffered from the UK government’s introduction of carbon taxes that have come into force to encourage energy firms to burn cleaner fuels. But the group said its UK earnings only slipped 1.3 per cent to £156 million in the period, due to savings it gained from earlier energy efficiency measures.
It supplies gas and electricity to about five million customers in the UK, a number which the firm said had held steady over the year.
But the business said sales had fallen “due to a continuing competitive market environment in the business-to-business sector and the decrease in its standard gas prices in January”.
The energy firm cut its standard gas prices by 3.5 per cent, equivalent to £24 off an average annual household gas bill.
This was part of a round of cuts implemented by all the Big Six firms – the others being British Gas, EDF, ScottishPower, Npower and SSE.
E.ON chief executive Tony Cocker said: “Increasing competition within the energy market means we’re working even harder to provide the services that our customers want.”
Earlier this month, the firm was told by the regulator Ofgem to pay £7m to the Carbon Trust for its “unacceptable” failure to supply enough advanced meters to business customers.