E.ON – formerly Powergen – supplying gas and electricity to the UK

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Owned by a German parent company of the same name, E.ON are currently the fourth most powerful energy supplier in the UK, supplying gas and electricity mainly to domestic clients.

As part of the so-called ‘Big Six’, they sit behind larger rivals British Gas, Npower and EDF Energy with around 6 million domestic customers, drawing revenues of around £10 billion per year.

Founded in 1989 as Powergen, the company changed their name to E.ON following a buyout in 2002 and have had a somewhat tumultuous rise since then. Despite being a dominant force in the industry, the rising costs of fossil fuels has seen E.ON become one of the few energy suppliers to post operating losses in recent years.

From 2010 onwards, E.ON have been actively attempting to sell assets and downsize aspects of their business in order to try and break-even – including selling stakes in their nuclear plant and making around 600 of their customer service staff redundant.

In keeping with the rest of the energy industry, E.ON are still dependent on carbon based fuels to generate much of their power – though they have taken steps towards making their business greener. As of 2013, the company had around 17 onshore and offshore wind farms, in addition to 11 low carbon CHP plants and a biomass fuelled generator – initiatives they advertise under the tagline ‘The Wind of Change’.