British Big Six provider E.On flags up renewables policy shift after generating record £14bn loss

German generating giant E.On – which is also one of Britain’s Big Six energy providers – has signalled a major change in corporate direction after generating a record annual loss of £13.9 billion.

Charges last year included a €13 billion write-down on the value of its recently spun-off power business Uniper, while E.On also paid €2 billion towards a domestic policy of phasing out nuclear energy in its German homeland.

In common with most other Big Six providers in the British energy supply market, E.On has hiked up its prices and will increase electricity prices by an average of 13.8% and gas prices by 3.8%, from 26 April.

Prof. David Elmes, Head of the Global Energy Research Network at Warwick Business School, commented;

“E.On would desperately like to draw a line under the old company that generated electricity from fossil fuels and to now be seen as a new company with a mix of energy services and renewables. 

“These results throw many of the problems that change created into a huge loss, hoping markets will swallow it and let the new company flourish. 

“It’s been a long and expensive process with dramatic steps such as the decision to split the company into two parts, E.On and Uniper, made in 2014.

“All the ‘Big Six’ power companies in the UK and their competitors across Europe are shifting their focus to more sustainable energy.  That’s often driven by government policies that set a pace of change which is faster than we’ve historically changed the energy we use.

“Researchers talk of energy transitions taking 20-30 years and we’re making that change in half that time or less. That means there’s a cost and that’s part of the bills we pay.

“It also opens up the debate of whether we should carry on with big power stations and centralised networks, or shift to energy being made, stored and consumed more locally. The new version of E.On looks to move ahead with those ideas.”  

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