German utility E.ON to announce about 500 UK job cuts: The Times

(Reuters) – German utility E.ON (EONGn.DE) will announce about 500 job losses next week in its British business, the Times reported on Wednesday, as the energy giant tries to cut costs before the British government imposes a price cap.

Electric car parking place with the charging stations is seen at the front of the German utility E.ON headquarters in Essen, Germany, May 9, 2018. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

The redundancies exclude frontline call center staff, the Times said citing sources. The company employs 9,400 people in the UK.

E.ON, which is one of Britain’s big six energy suppliers, did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside regular business hours.

The British government asked energy regulator Ofgem to put the price cap on to combat what it has called “rip off” energy prices.

The Competition and Markets Authority found that utilities had overcharged some British households a total of 1.4 billion pounds ($1.84 billion) a year on average from 2012 to 2015, prompting the government to act.

Ofgem is required to cap prices on Standard Variable Tariffs offered by the six dominant energy providers for households using gas and electricity which studies have shown were far higher than other tariffs on offer.

Last month, E.ON said it would raise prices for British customers taking both gas and electricity by 4.8 percent from Aug. 16, due to an increase in wholesale energy costs by more than 20 percent since March, largely due to the impact of extremely cold temperatures earlier this year depleting European gas storage.

Reporting by Rama Venkat Raman in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler

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