Headquarters Swindon, England
Founded Founded as Innogy PLC in 2000. Acquired by RWE in 2002.
Npower has already had a rather large list of activity linked with its operation despite its relatively short history: following the privatisation of the energy market in 1990 led by Margaret Thatcher and her government, the then-governing electricity supply company ‘Central Electricity Generating Board’ was split up, creating a chain reaction of foreign investment. The following timeline shows a little about how this created the Npower as we know it today.
- National Power formed
- Generation divided between three generating companies across the country (‘PowerGen’ (who would eventually become E·ON), ‘National Power’, and ‘Nuclear Energy’ (who would eventually become British Gas)).
- National Power was the biggest of the new companies that were formed as a result of privatisation, holding around 52% market share in generating.
- National Power begins in the supply market by buying ‘Midlands Electricity’.
- The ‘Npower’ supply brand is formed.
- Following pressure from German investors, National Power were forced into separating operations into two new companies: ‘Innogy’, who were responsible for UK based operations and ‘International Power’, who began control of international operations.
- Is once again reacquired by German energy giants ‘RWE’ for £3 billion.
- Innogy UK renamed ‘RWE Npower’, or ‘Npower’ as we know them today.
Although Npower now operate two generation businesses under their name, the majority of their energy is sourced from the wholesale market. With a rather large £8,868m revenue in 2015, Npower is a well established piece of the Big Six, supplying around 5.1 million residential and business accounts in the UK. Npower employ around 11,500 people; however, due to reported losses of around £48m in 2015, is set to cut around 2,500 of those jobs. Npower has an extremely large presence in the charitable sector: since 2004, Npower has been in partnership with the Macmillan cancer support trust, aiding those who have felt the affects of cancer within their home manage energy concerns, and even spending one-on-one time with cancer patients in their ‘Buddying Initiative’.
Despite Npower’s intentions of cutting their workforce in 2016/17, they are constantly investing in the future using their extensive graduate programmes and educational resources. This is a very valuable asset in today’s current market, preventing age and inexperience from blinding employment decisions. This, however, has not prevented the extreme drop in custom at Npower; during 2015 a massive 200,000 customers changed their allegiance. According to the BBC, they received the most complaints out of any of the Big Six during 2015, and unfortunately these complaints were not met with the standard of customer service necessary to prevent the amount of losses they suffered.
As of 8th November 2016, Npower currently hold a 0.3 out of 10 review rating from 621 ratings for customer service on Trustpilot. 93.9% of which voters gave the lowest possible rating. During a podcast interview with ‘This is Money’, chief executive Paul Massara stated that the company are looking to make a radical change and want to become the number one customer service experience in the energy industry. They do, however, accept that their past customer service efforts were not sufficient and do apologise for this fact.
Npower currently provide a variety of tariffs for dual fuel energy, including 'Reducing fix: Feel Good Fix August 2018', ' Fixed medium: Intelligent Fix October 2018', and 'Standard Variable'. Each of their fixed tariffs try to play to the needs of the consumer by having different fixed term periods, thereby creating a time frame for each customer need, even those who have no desire to sign a fixed term contract: the 'Standard Variable' tariff adjusts its prices according to the wholesale energy market, meaning prices could fall or rise at any time, and also allows the customer to cancel their tariff whenever they desire. As searched on 8th November 2016, the unit price for Npower’s ‘variable’ tariff in the Yorkshire area is 16.79p per kWh of electricity and 4.48p for gas, whereas in Glasgow is 16.50p for electricity and 4.29p for gas.