For years, Npower has been one of the largest gas and electricity suppliers in the UK. However, it is now facing extinction as fellow Big Six supplier Eon effectively swallows it up! Read on for the latest Npower news on the merger and what it means for current customers in terms of tariffs, prices and online accounts.
|Domestic Market: England, Scotland, Wales||Large range of tariffs|
|Customers: 3.6 million||Lots of services, including boiler cover and grants|
|Electricity sources: Natural gas, nuclear, renewables, coal||Poor customer service|
|Fuel mix score: ★||Expensive rates|
|Selectra score: ★★||Customers are being switched to Eon|
With almost two decades of experience, Npower Limited is one of the most seasoned energy suppliers in Britain, supplying electricity and gas to 3.6 million households and business premises.
The Npower Limited head office is based in Swindon and the company trades under the name Npower.
Eon and Npower
There has been a lot of uncertainty recently about the future of Npower since Eon UK acquired the provider in 2019. Here we answer all your questions.
1. Who owns Npower energy?
Npower is owned by Eon UK, which itself is a subsidiary of the giant german energy company Eon. Npower was acquired by the company in 2019 after a planned merger between Npower and fellow British supplier, SSE, fell through.
2. Does Npower still exist?
The brand Npower still exists, but the supplier has been taken over by Eon UK. Over the space of two years, Eon will effectively swallow Npower, cutting jobs and taking on all of its customers. This means that, eventually, the Npower brand will disappear.
For now, the Npower website still exists and current customers can log into their online account to manage their tariff. Existing customers are being moved over to the new supplier over time. Npower will contact you when this starts to happen and has promised there will be no disruption to your energy supply during the process.
New customers cannot take out a Npower tariff. When getting a quote on the Npower website, you will be redirected to the new supplier's website.
3. Are Eon and Npower the same company?
Technically, Npower and Eon are not the same company. Having said that, the latter is currently in the process of absorbing Npower, meaning that Npower customers will soon become Eon customers and the Npower brand will eventually cease to exist.
4. Who is the CEO of Npower?
Paul Coffey was the Npower CEO from 2015 until November 2019. As Npower is now owned by Eon UK, it's CEO is now Michael Lewis.
5. Is Npower going bust?
Npower has faced many difficulties since the introduction of Ofgem’s energy price cap, which saw the profits of all of the Big Six energy companies drop. As the CEO of Npower's new parent company stated:
The price cap has had a very detrimental effect on the whole of the energy sector and the business is not sustainable.
In an attempt to mitigate these financial losses, Npower has cut around 4,5000 jobs and plans to close many of its UK sites, including those in Hull, Leeds and Swindon, as part of a two-year plan to restructure the company. This plan will see Eon UK absorb Npower, thus cutting costs by having all Eon and Npower customers on the same platform.
Npower in the news
Over the years, Npower news has consisted of fines and investigations by Ofgem, financial losses and job cuts. Let’s take a look at some of the supplier’s top headlines:
- April 2008, Npower was fined £1.8 million by the energy regulator Ofgem for the fraudulent sales tactics of its door-to-door salespeople. The allegations included misleading potential customers by giving false information. This was done with the objective of getting them to sign what they were told was “just a form”, which in fact, was a binding contract.
- September 2013, Npower was accused of avoiding corporation tax for three years. This sparked public anger as millions of UK citizens were being pushed into fuel poverty while Npower made huge profits. In fact, its profits had totalled £766m throughout the previous three years from the date of the story’s publication. Npower denied any tax avoidance. Meanwhile, public interest groups such as 38 Degrees called for Npower customers to boycott or switch over to other providers.
- December 2015, Npower was ordered by Ofgem to pay a £26m settlement over poor customer service and inaccurate bills to its customers. Ofgem launched an investigation into Npower’s widespread billing errors and poor complaints handling practices. This included chasing debts that were in dispute. Npower blamed their faulty IT system, which had issued 500,000 late bills, with little detail on how the totals had been calculated. As customers left, Npower’s losses were reported to the tune of £111m in the first nine months of the year.
- January 2019, Npower announced that it would cut 900 jobs, which would amount to a 15% cut to its UK workforce. This was in response to the supplier’s financial losses, which it attributed to the government’s price cap on default tariffs. Npower argued that this had made a huge dent in Npower’s revenue. The government contested Npower’s justification for the job losses, citing inefficiency as the real reason.
- September 2019, The European Commission approved a deal for Eon to takeover Npower, along with other Innogy assets.
Tariffs and prices
As we mentioned early, new customers can no longer take out a Npower tariff. When getting a quote online - you will be redirected to the tariffs offered by the new parent company.
Existing customers with a Npower tariff will gradually be moved over to their new supplier, but you will be notified when this happens. If you are not moved over before your current tariff runs out, you will not be able to renew with Npower and will be switched on to an Eon tariff, unless you choose to switch providers.
In this section, we give a brief overview of Npower tariffs. For more details on their features and prices, see our Npower tariffs guide.
1. Fixed-rate tariffs
Npower offered a total of four fixed-rate tariffs. These vary in features and contract length, and all imposed exit fees of £30 per fuel.
Current customers on a fixed-rate tariff will see no change to their contract, unit-rates or standing charges. Npower ensures that fixed-rate means fixed-rate and no changes will be made for the duration of the agreement.
2. Variable-rate tariff
Npower’s variable tariff is called the Standard Variable Price tariff. Like all variable tariffs, this has no contract length or exit fees, but also offers no price security as unit rates can change according to the wholesale price of energy.
As the new parent company starts to take over Npower customers, customers on this tariff might see a change to their unit rates to fit with those offered on the supplier’s variable tariff.
3. Economy 7 tariffs
All of the fixed-rate tariffs offered by Npower can be taken out as Economy 7 tariffs for customers who have an Economy 7 meter. This means you will have two unit rates for both gas and electricity - a day rate and a night rate.
The night rate is the cheaper rate and applies during slightly different hours depending on where you live. The easiest way to find the hours that apply to you is to check your meter or read the Economy 7 hours by region table in our detailed Npower tariff guide (linked above).
As these are fixed-rate tariffs, the same conditions apply as normal fixed-rate tariffs in regards to changes with your new supplier - nothing will change until the end of your contract.
4. Prepayment tariffs
Npower offers three different prepayment tariffs:
- Economy 7
With these tariffs, customers pay for energy as they use it, meaning they have no contract and do not receive regular energy bills.
When switched over to the new energy supplier, you will be swapped on to one of the provider’s prepayment tariffs, meaning your rates might change.
5. Business tariffs
Npower offers several business-specific tariffs for its corporate customers. These include fixed-rate contracts (12 months and four years), as well as a variable rate tariff.
Head to Selectra’s Npower for Businesses guide to find out more about the provider’s business tariffs and how the merger will affect them.
How do Npower prices compare to the market?
The UK energy price cap has been attributed to Npower’s financial losses and subsequent downfall, so how does the price of the supplier’s variable standard tariff actually compare to the price cap?
In the table below we have broken down the price of this tariff for a medium-sized household in London paying by monthly direct debit.
|Npower Standard Tariff||Gas||Electricity|
|Unit rate (per kWh)||3.610p||17.604p|
|Standing charge (per day)||27.34p||23.72p|
Overall annual cost
*price correct as of July 2020
Based on this calculation, at £1,130 a year, Npower’s variable tariff comes in right above the price cap (currently set at £1,127). The standard tariff with Eon comes in just £20 pounds under the price cap. While it is a bit cheaper than Npower, customers won't save too much on their energy bills.
By switching to a cheaper tariff with a different supplier, customers could easily save hundreds of pounds on their energy bills over the course of the year. If you’re looking for the best deal on the market, we recommend you also check out the following Selectra guides:
How can I pay my Npower bill?
There are many ways you can pay your Npower bill.Direct debit - Npower direct debit is probably the easiest way to pay your bill. This involves paying a set amount every month for a year based on yearly estimated energy usage. You can set up this payment and it will automatically leave your account each month, so you don’t need to worry about remembering to pay your bill.
Online - when you receive your bill, you can log into your Npower online account and pay your bill by debit or credit card.
Phone - you can also pay by debit or credit over the phone, just call the automated phone line on 0800 073 3000
Bank transfer - Npower will also accept a bank transfer. Make sure you use your account number as the payment reference. The Npower bank details are:
- Sort code - 62-30-09
- Account number - 00000000
At the bank - your Npower bill will come with a payment slip, you can fill this in and take it to your bank to pay.
Post office - you can also pay your Npower bill at the Post Office by cash or cheque.
Payzone/PayPoint - another option is to pay by cash at a Payzone or PayPoint store.
Post - you can send a cheque made out to ‘npower’ to npower, Payment Processing Centre, PO Box 203, Leeds, LS14 3WE.
Having some difficulties reading your Npower bill? Use our Your Bill Explained guide for a full breakdown of what everything on your bill means.
Prepayment and top up
Another Npower payment method is pay-as-you-go. This means you pay for your energy as you use it. To ‘pay bills’ in this way, you must have a prepayment meter and a prepayment tariff.
In reality, this method does not really involve paying bills. Instead, you top up your meter with credit.
Npower customers can top up their prepayment meters at their local Payzone or PayPoint store, or at the Post Office. The maximum you can top up is £49. Unfortunately, there is no online Npower top up option.
If your credit drops below £1 and can’t top up, you have access to £7 (£12 for Economy 7) of emergency credit. To activate this you simply need to put your gas card or electricity key into the relevant meter and the emergency credit will kick in.
How do I submit my Npower meter reading?
Do you need to submit your Npower meter reading? If you have a second-generation smart meter (SMETS2), the meter will automatically submit the Npower meter reading to the supplier. If you have a standard credit meter or a first-generation smart meter (SMETS1) that is not compatible with Npower, you will need to manually submit your meter readings.
Customers who need to submit a Npower meter reading can choose to do so through one of the following three ways:
- Online - just log in to your online account and submit your meter readings.
- Mobile app - just click onto the app and you can submit the readings in a few simple clicks. The app even has a handy torch to help you read your meter if needed.
- Phone - you can also submit a Npower meter reading any time over the phone. From landlines call 0800 073 3000 and from mobiles rings 0300 100 3000.
You don’t need to have an online account to be able to submit your Npower meter reading online. To submit the reading, go to the supplier’s homepage and scroll down until you see a box that says Manage your account on the right-hand side. Click on Send a meter reading. You will then be prompted to enter your account number, last name and postcode.
Are you tired of having to submit your Npower meter reading each month? We recommend having a smart meter installed. Since this type of meter will automatically send this information to the supplier, you will no longer need to worry about providing meter readings to ensure accurate billing. You’ll also have the ability to monitor your consumption in near real-time, which will help to cut back on how much you spend.
Npower boiler care
Npower customers are now offered boiler, heating, plumbing and electrics cover through a partnership between Eon and HomeServe, a leading home assistance provider.
Only homeowners who live in the property are eligible for Npower boiler cover through HomeServe. Tenants and landlords are not eligible. If you’re a landlord, check out our guide on boiler cover for landlords to find the best plan for your property.
When you take out a Npower boiler cover plan, an engineer will visit your property to make sure the boiler runs properly, as well as complete a free boiler service.
Boiler cover plans and pricing
Npower boiler and electrics coverage plans range from just £0.99 per month to £19.99 per month. To have your boiler included in the coverage plan, you will need to pay at least £7.99. When you take out a boiler cover plan, you’ll also receive a free boiler service during the first year of the agreement.The table below breaks down Npower boiler coverage plans and prices with the new supplier, as well as what they include.
|Cover plan||Price per month||What it covers|
|Electrical emergency and breakdown cover||£0.99||Electrics (electrical wiring system and immersion heater repairs)|
|Gas boiler breakdown cover||£7.99||Gas boiler, gas supply pipe, boiler service|
|Gas central heating cover||£12.99||Gas boiler breakdown cover + gas central heating|
|Electrics and heating cover||£15.99||Gas central heating cover + electrics|
|Plumbing, heating and electrics||£19.99||Electrics and heating cover + plumbing and drainage + water supply pipe|
Not sure which Npower boiler cover plan to choose? Give us a call on 020 3936 0059 to get free advice on which boiler coverage is the best option for your home.
As well as tariffs and boiler cover, Npower also offers a number of extra services to its customers.
1. Smart Meters
Npower began its mass rollout of smart meters to over 3 million customers in 2016, in response to the government’s countrywide roll-out scheme.
If you are a Npower customer, you can request an installation through your online account. You will simply need to book an installation date and time. An engineer will then come and install your meter and show you how to use the in-home display and hub.
Unfortunately, if you have had a smart meter installed by another energy provider, it will not function with Npower’s systems and will default to a normal meter. This means you will need to submit meter readings every month to make sure you continue to get accurate bills.
All Npower smart meters will continue to work after your supply is switched to the new company. For more information, consult our Npower smart meters guide.
2. Home insulation
Since most heat is lost through your roof and walls, ensuring that your home is well insulated is key to creating an energy-efficient home and reducing your energy bills. To help, Npower offers three types of home insulation services:
- Cavity wall insulation - key benefit includes reducing heat loss to bring down your energy bills down by as much as £250 per year (Energy Saving Trust 2018).
- Loft insulation- Loft insulation prevents heat from escaping as it rises. You could save up to £215 per year with loft insulation (Energy Saving Trust 2018).
3. Solar Panels
Npower also offers solar thermal panels. Partnering with installer ecofirst, Npower solar SP can install two types of solar panels:
- Flat-plate collectors enclosed within a glazed, insulated box. In effect, this acts as a mini-greenhouse to retain heat within the collector.
- Evacuator tube collectors have parallel tubes, each one containing a glass thermal absorber.
In both types, the "collectors" absorb solar energy and transfer it into thermal energy.
Due to the cut to the Feed-in Tariff scheme, Npower has stopped taking new enquiries for solar panels.
4. Reward and loyalty schemes
For business customers, Npower offers a rewards scheme that can give them discounts on a range of services, including entertainment, such as cinema vouchers, and discounts at restaurants. Businesses can sign up for Npower Business Rewards when they have a Npower business tariff.
For domestic customers, the supplier offers free annual membership to a leisure scheme called Take Time. Customers can get discounted deals on restaurants, travelling, hotel reservations and health and beauty services. Npower customers simply have to log in to their account to sign up for the membership.
If you’re one of the many homeowners around the UK who need a bit of financial help with energy bills, Npower offers its customers a variety of grants.
1. Warm Home Discount
The Warm Home Discount scheme is a one-off payment of £140 that is automatically taken off the sum total of your electricity bills between October and April. It is a government scheme that all energy suppliers with more than 250,000 customers must take part in, meaning Npower is obliged to offer it.
For details on eligibility and how to apply with Npower, read our Npower Warm Home Discount guide.
If you receive the Warm Home Discount automatically, or have already applied with Npower for the 2019/2020, you will automatically get the payment from the new supplier if your household is switched over.
2. ECO scheme
Under the ECO scheme, homeowners can receive home insulation services and/or boiler installation and maintenance services, either free of charge or at a subsidised rate. Former Npower customers have access to this scheme through their new supplier as well.
The scheme was made compulsory for the UK’s 11 largest energy suppliers to help homeowners with their heating needs. Both Npower and Eon have called this service the “Affordable Warmth” programme, under which it aims to provide free or subsidised replacement boilers, cavity wall insulation and loft insulation.
3. Npower Energy fund
Npower had set up its own charitable trust, the Npower Energy Fund, to help its domestic customers keep up with their energy payments. It ran two main schemes: the Health Through Warmth grant and the Npower Fuel Bank.
As of June 2020, these Npower schemes are no longer available to customers. Former Npower customers can check out our Eon Energy Fund guide for information about getting financial help with the new supplier.
Npower has a range of different contact details depending on why you need to get in touch with the supplier. Head to our full Npower contact guide for a breakdown of all the different contact details you might need.
For quick reference, we have included the main Npower phone number, email address and postal address in the table below.
|Phone number (existing domestic customers||800 0733000 or 330 100 3000 (Monday-Friday:8am-8pm; Saturday: 8am-6pm)|
|Npower address||npower, PO Box 177, Houghton le Spring, DH4 9AQ|
If you experience a power cut, it is likely not Npower’s fault so your best bet is to report it to 150, not Npower. This service will put you through to your local Distribution Network Operator who can help you get your service back up and running.
Npower business and domestic customers need to let the supplier know if they are planning to move house or business premises. You will be able to cancel your supply or arrange for a Npower supply to be set up at your new address. Find out how to let Npower know and what information you need to provide in Selectra’s Npower moving home guide.
Existing Npower customers still have access to the Npower portal, which allows them to submit meter readings, track their energy usage and view their energy bills all online.
There is a separate online account for domestic and business customers. Luckily, both systems are really easy to log in to and use, but if you are having a few difficulties, check out our Npower login guide for a step-by-step guide.
Manage your account with the Npower app
As well as the online portal, there is also aNpower app available. This allows customers to manage their account from their mobile or tablet, making it even easier to access your account whenever you need to.
A cool feature of the app is the ‘personal timeline’. This gives you a projected forecast of your energy usage for the year, letting you stay in increasing control of your usage and spending so there are no surprises. It also allows you to:
- Submit meter readings (you can receive notifications of when one is due)
- Tell Npower you’re moving home
- View your energy usage
- Chat to Npower customer service through Whatsapp
The Npower app is available from the Google Play Store and App Store for Android and Apple devices respectively.
What is Npower Select?
Npower Select launched in March 2019 as a brand within the Npower group. The supplier does not handle Npower customer queries, and Npower Select customers will not be supplied by Eon.
Npower Select targets customers who want to manage their energy account entirely online. The supplier offers exclusive tariffs online through select sales partners.
Need to contact Npower Select? We recommend either submitting a contact form on the supplier’s website or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact Npower Select by phone on 0800 048 0575. However, it took us more than half an hour to get through to a customer service representative. An automated service will let you know what number you are in the queue.
Npower reviews and verdictHow does Npower really measure up in today’s competitive market? We’ve done some digging to see what Npower's customer experience is really like.
Npower reviews are far from glowing. Many customers on reviews sites mention poor customer service, including difficulties in getting through to a customer service agent and never having calls returned if they requested a callback. Customer reviews also frequently mention inaccurate bills and poor bill clarity.
Complaint handling is another area Npower seems to fail at. Despite having a detailed complaint handling procedure outlined on its website, the company rarely seems to have followed it, resulting in poor and ineffective complaints handling that led to fines from Ofgem!
Overall, Npower reviews appear pretty negative across all areas: from customer service to value for money. For a more detailed look at reviews in each area, head to our dedicated Npower reviews page.
Does Npower's new parent company fair better when it comes to customer reviews? Head to our Eon reviews page to find out.
All things considered, we give Npower a rating of two out of five stars. This score is based on price, customer reviews, fuel mix and extra features that enhance the customer’s experience, or lack thereof.
We know that Npower has taken a nosedive, with customers leaving at higher rates than ever before, and we can’t really blame them. The business has been announced as unsustainable and will soon not exist. While customers won’t be left in the lurch by this, as they will be transferred to a new supplier and will not see their energy supply disrupted in any way, cheaper deals and better customer service are offered by other suppliers. Call us today on 07104 468120 to discuss your options.
Scottish Power Selectra score - ★★