Npower – one of Britain’s Big Six energy providers – is this week set to announce the loss of 2,500 jobs from its UK workforce when it publishes it latest annual results tomorrow, according to industry sources.
The German firm RWE – which owns Npower – said in a trading update in November that Npower had lost about 200,000 customers in Britain since the start of the year, sending the division to an unexpected operating loss of £51 million pounds in the first nine months of 2015.
It received the most complaints of the six biggest energy suppliers in 2015.
The source said the job cuts would be made both internally and to contractor staff. Npower’s wesbite says it employs about 9,700 staff.
In December it was fined £26 million pounds – the largest ever fine for a British power utility – after overcharging customers and improperly handling customer complaints.
The cuts come as RWE, which generates energy as well as supplying it, has been hit by oil and gas prices falling more than a third in the last year.
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “These huge job losses will come as a devastating blow to the workforce.”
Npower’s headquarters are in Swindon and most of its UK employees are in central and north east England and in Yorkshire.
Last month, the company announced a 5.2% cut in its gas price, taking effect on 28 March – a £32 average annual reduction to customers on a standard domestic tariff.
Like other energy suppliers, it is under pressure from ministers and consumer groups to lower energy bills for customers amid the rapid decline in oil and gas prices.
The news on job losses also comes days before UK competition regulators unveil plans to make the energy market more transparent for consumers.
Npower, one of Britain’s six largest power companies, declined to comment.