Npower closure plan threatens thousands of UK jobs

The company has been struggling for a long time due to competition in the energy industry.

Npower closure plan threatens thousands of UK jobs

Npower is set to close most of its eight sites in the United Kingdom, threatening thousands of jobs.

This move has been described as a ‘body blow’ by unions, leaving Npower’s massive 5,700 strong workforce in disarray just weeks before Christmas.

The company is described as being in a “critical an unsustainable business situation” according to company innogy, Npower’s owner.

Here’s what innogy’s chief executive, Leonhard Birnbaum, had to say on the matter: "The question of how to improve the performance of our retail business in the UK, Npower, has been a key issue for the past few years.”

"I want to express my sincere thanks to our employees for their unceasing dedication to delivering a great service to our UK customers in a very challenging market. We know that this is bitter and surprising news for many of our Npower employees and we are well aware of our responsibility towards our employees in the months ahead."

Dave Prentis, Unison general secretary, responded: "This is a cruel blow for Npower employees. They've been worried about their jobs for months. Now their worst fears have been realised, less than a month before Christmas.”

"The UK energy market is in real danger of collapse. If nothing is done, there could soon be other casualties. Npower's demise means there's no time to waste. It makes the powerful case for bringing the retail arms of the Big Six energy firms into public ownership. This would preserve jobs, ensure customers get a better deal and allow the UK to meet its carbon neutral targets."

Mark Todd, co-founder of energyhelpline, said: “It has been a tough time for Eon and npower and their announcement today of huge job losses shows how dramatically the market is changing. The price cap is continuing to squeeze energy companies so only the most efficient will survive.”

"As of August this year, EON had suffered the heaviest Big Six loss of 400,000 customers, Npower had lost over 200,000."

“Once EON owned npower, it was likely that they would merge their systems and cut staff to save money. Npower has been dogged by customer service problems over the years so using EON’s systems is likely to lead to better service in the end for customers. Their next step is likely to be the phasing out of the npower brand."

“From supplying 99% of the market in 2012, the Big Six has lost 11 million customers and now supply only 71% of the UK market. This reflects the huge change that the emergence of small suppliers and more competition has made."

“More and more consumers are realising that switching can get you a great deal and good customer service. Whether you stay with your current supplier, within the Big Six or go to a small supplier there are loads of great deals out there. There are 64 active suppliers in the market, lots of which are five-star rated. Energy is the easiest big bill to switch and on average energyhelpline customers save £252 per year.”

Source: Sky News


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