UK Energy Suppliers

Introduction

The deregulating movement in the early 90's led to the UK Electricity Supply Industry in England and Wales being privatised. The goal was to increase the affordability and dependability of the service by opening up the market to competition. Similar measures followed, leading to a fully deregulated market by 1998 and the commoditisation of electricity.

Now there are over 20 different gas and electricity suppliers in Britain offering a range of tariffs. The most predominate leaders of the market, known as the 'Big 6', are British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, Scottish and Southern Energy, Npower and ScottishPower.


Npower

Npower logo
  • Ownership: RWE AG
  • Head Office: Essen, Germany
  • Revenue: €50.72 billion (2010)
  • Employs: 70,860
  • Founded: 1931

Npower is part of the German RWE Group. Originally formed as National Power, one of the principal power generators from the 1990's privatisation, the company acquired Midlands Electricity, Calortex and Independent Energy before being rebranded as Npower in 2000. It then demerged to become International Power and Innogy. Innogy proceeded to buy the supply businesses of Northern Electric and Yorkshire Electricity, taking its customer base to 7m. In 2002, it was acquired by RWE and rebranded as RWE Npower. The renewables side of the business has been established in a separate company, RWE Innogy.

Eon Energy

Eon Energy logo
  • Ownership: E.on AG
  • Head Office: Dusseldorf, Germany
  • Revenue: €92.86 billion (2010)
  • Employs: 85,105
  • Founded: 2000

E.ON Energy is the UK's third largest natural gas supplier. It is a subsidiary of German E.ON Group that is one of the world's largest investor-owned power and gas companies. The UK division was established in 2002 when E.ON bought Powergen UK PLC. Its UK operations are based in Coventry and employ over 16,000.
The business is vertically integrated with interests in electricity generation, supply and distribution, as well as gas distribution and home energy support services. It has a 50% share of the London Array, a major wind-power scheme to be built in the Thames Estuary, as part of a 1,500MW programme of renewable energy capacity under development in the UK.

EDF Energy

EDF Energy logo
  • Ownership: Électricité de France S.A.
  • Head Office: Paris, France
  • Revenue: €65.17 billion (2010)
  • Employs: 158,760
  • Founded: 1946

Électricité de France (EDF) is the world's largest utility company and UK's largest electricity supplier. The UK group was formed in 2002 from the acquisition of SEEBoard, London Electricity Board, South West Electricity Board and 3 power stations. In 2009, EDF purchased British Energy Group from the UK government, adding 7 nuclear power stations to its portfolio. It also has investments in wind energy and is developing Teesside Offshore Wind at Redcar. The group employs over 20,000 and has 5.7m customer accounts in the UK.

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE)

Scottish and Southern Energy logo
  • Ownership: Scottish and Southern Energy
  • Head Office: Perth, Scotland
  • Revenue: £28,33 billion (2011)
  • Employs: 20,177
  • Founded: 1998

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) is a FTSE-100 energy group based in Perth, Scotland. It is the UK's third largest electricity supplier. It is also the country's largest electricity generator from renewables, with over 2GW capacity, to which it is adding 500MWp through developing the world's largest offshore wind farm in Suffolk.
The group was formed in 1998 from the merger of Scottish Hydro and Southern Electric. It incorporates the brands SWALEC, Southern Electric, Scottish Hydro and Atlantic Electric & Gas. SSE also owns Scottish Hydro Power Distribution, Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission and 50% of Scotia Gas Networks. Annual revenues exceed £25billion and the group employs over 20,000. All its call centres are in the UK.

GDF Suez

GDF Suez logo
  • Ownership: GDF Suez S.A.
  • Head Office: Paris, France
  • Revenue: €84.48 billion (2010)
  • Employs: 236,120
  • Founded: 2008

GDF SUEZ Energy UK is firmly established as a specialist energy supplier to industry and commerce across the UK and has been operating in this market since 1999. Offers an innovative range of energy supply products to meet the requirements of all types of business, from small industrial and commercial companies, to energy-intensive industrial plants.

Scottish Power

Scottish Power logo
  • Ownership: Iberdrola, S.A.
  • Head Office: Bilbao, Spain
  • Revenue: €30.43 billion (2010)
  • Employs: 31,340 (Iberdrola)
  • Founded: 1990

Scottish Power was purchased in 2006 by the Spanish utility Iberdrola, to make the group Europe's third largest energy company. Scottish Power is vertically integrated and is both a generator and supplier. Its headquarters are in Glasgow and it employs about 9,000 in the UK. The company was originally formed from the privatisation of South of Scotland Electricity Board (when the Scottish Hydro Electric Board was sold to Scottish and Southern Energy Group). It then acquired MANWEB, covering Manchester and North Wales and rebranded as Scottish Power. The group is the distribution network operator for central and southern Scotland, and for Merseyside and North Wales. It is also transmission owner for the south of Scotland. It also owns PPM Energy in the US.

British Gas Business

British Gas Business logo
  • Ownership: Centrica
  • Head Office: Windsor, England
  • Revenue: £22.42 billion (2010)
  • Employs: 34,000 (Centrica)
  • Founded: 1997

The group's current structure was established in 1997 when British Gas plc was demerged to form Centrica plc and BG plc. Centrica took over gas sales and gas trading, services and retail businesses, together with North Sea and Morecombe Bay gas production operations. It is allowed to use the British Gas brand in the UK, but not overseas. The company employs 15,000 and has over 16 million UK customers. BG plc operates as an entirely separate business and uses the British Gas trading style overseas.

Total Gas and Power

Total Gas and Power logo
  • Ownership: Total S.A.
  • Head Office: Courbevoie, France
  • Revenue: £159.27 billion (2010)
  • Employs: 92,855
  • Founded: 1924

Total Gas and Power is the country's third largest energy supplier. It is part of the French Total Group. It serves small to medium sized businesses, as well as large corporate customers, giving it a more significant share of these non-domestic sectors. It offers a wide range of products for larger energy users, allowing access to a range of price and product structures.

DONG Energy

Dong logo
  • Ownership: DONG Energy A/S
  • Head Office: Fredericia, Denmark
  • Revenue: 54.6 billion Danish Krona (€7.34 billion) (2010)
  • Employs: 5874
  • Founded: 1984

DONG Energy is one of the major energy groups in Northern Europe. They procure, produce, distribute and trade in energy and related products and have been operating in the UK since 2001, when they were awarded three oil and gas exploration licences. They are also a major contributor to the wind power industry with offshore wind farms in the UK and have more than 20 years of experience in energy generation.

DONG Energy's entrance into the UK commercial gas sales market was completed through the acquisition of Shell Gas Direct, which was previously part of Royal Dutch Shell Plc., for £30 million.

Gazprom

Gazprom logo
  • Ownership: Subsidiary of Gazprom Marketing & Trading Ltd (London)
  • Head Office: Manchester, UK
  • Revenue: £9.2 billion (Gazprom Marketing & Trading Group 2010)
  • Employs: 180
  • Founded: 2006

Gazprom Energy is a 100% wholly owned subsidiary of Gazprom Marketing & Trading Ltd, the trading arm of Gazprom - one of the World's largest energy companies. Gazprom Energy supplies gas and power to commercial users in the UK and is also in the commercial gas market in Ireland, France and Holland. The company recently entered the German power market after acquiring a domestic power supplier in late 2011.

Corona Energy

Corona Energy logo
  • Ownership: Macquarie Group Limited
  • Head Office: Sydney, Australia
  • Revenue: $243 billion (2009)
  • Employs: 13,300
  • Founded: 1969

Corona Energy was acquired by the Australian Macquarie Group in 2006 and has developed a range of risk management products. It also provides environmental services to provide customers with a complete gas supply and management solution. This includes automated meter readings to provide accurate billings and data for energy management and client strategic review.

Market share data provided by Datamonitor