Big Six to become Big Seven after npower agrees £218m sale of subsidiaries

A new player is to step into the energy arena following an announcement from RWE npower to offload around 770,000 customers from its gas and electricity subsidiaries to Telecom Plus, an energy and telecoms provider trading as Utility Warehouse.

The sale will mean Britain’s Big Six energy firms will now become seven.

The deal is the result of new rules from the industry regulator Ofgem limiting the number of tariffs on offer to domestic customers to four. Utility Warehouse already manages the brands on behalf of npower. The sale will allow the two companies to continue to offer their customers up to four tariffs under their respective brands.

npower has its Electricity Plus and Gas Plus subsidiaries for £218m in a deal that must now be cleared by Telecom Plus shareholders and the UK competition authorities.

npower, named this week as the UK’s most complained-about energy provider, said that customers would see no change in services.

RWE npower chief executive Paul Massara said: “In one move we have helped to create the biggest independent competitor in Britain’s household energy supply market.

“This is good for competition and good for consumer choice. Today’s announcement shows that Britain is well on the way to having a Big Seven rather than a Big Six.”

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