Npower is to reduce its UK workforce by 2,500 jobs – about 20 per cent of the 11,500 employees of the company owned by German energy giant RWE.
The directly employed workforce numbers 7,500 at sites across Great Britain, and the rest of the cuts will be made at internal suppliers in the RWE group and at outsourcing partners.
Details of where the axe is to fall has yet to be announced. The Npower offices at Windmill Hill Business Park in West Swindon has about 1,000 staff and redundancies there could have a major impact on the town’s employment scene.
The Npower website describes Swindon as one of its main locations housing many areas of the company’s operations. It says Swindon ‘is the main link with our parent company RWE AG and other RWE operating companies across Europe. Our teams include Retail Energy Management, Communications, Procurement, Property Sustainability, Finance, Human Resources (HR), Compliance, Legal and Executive.’
The impact of declining world energy prices has had a major effect on energy companies which have come under pressure from government ministers to pass on lower wholesale energy prices to consumers. In February Npower announced a 5.2 per cent reduction in its gas price.
Npower has been heavily criticised by energy regulator Ofgem for its poor customer service performance and in December was ordered the company to pay a £26m settlement for ‘failing to treat customers fairly.’ It was the second such fine imposed by Ofgem.
Although the situation was improving, staff reductions could threaten the company’s ability to reduce the level of complaints further.
Npower has yet to make a statement on changes to its employee roll.
On Tuesday 15 March RWE announces its annual results. Details of developments at Npower is expected.