Npower to slash one in five jobs after heavy losses

Energy giant Npower is to cut 2,400 jobs in the UK '“ almost one in five of the headcount '“ amid heavy financial losses for 2015.

Npower is to cut 2,400 jobs in the UK. Picture: Katie Collins/PA Wire

The company, one of Britain’s big six energy providers and owned by German utility giant RWE, said that it and its UK sister business, RWE Generation UK, made an aggregate loss of £154 million in 2015.

Npower, which lost more than 350,000 accounts last year, fell £99m into the red compared to a profit of £183m in 2014.

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RWE Generation’s losses narrowed to £55m. The accounts lost equate to more than 6 per cent of its gas and power clients in Britain. The job cuts at Npower, whose HQ is in Solihull, will be a mixture of direct and contractor staff.

A spokesman said the group only has a minimal customer service presence in Scotland, who are not affected by the redundancy programme.

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Paul Coffey, chief executive of RWE Npower, said: “Npower results continue the trend seen earlier in 2015, but they are nonetheless extremely disappointing and we are starting a two-year process to fix them.

“They show a business that tried to do too much, too soon, while not focusing enough on the fundamentals in a constantly changing market.

“This led to over-complicated processes and procedures resulting in unhappy customers, too many complaints and extra costs to put things right.”

Npower revamped its billing system in 2011, which led to widespread errors. Between September 2013 and December 2014 the retail energy supplier issued more than 500,000 late bills.

RWE replaced top Npower management last August, and in December 2015 regulator Ofgem fined the business £26m for failing customers.