Npower boss Paul Massara blames “old and draughty” homes for high bills

Tewkesbury Admag: Npower's Warndon headquarters during a Monday evening last October. Picture by Newsteam. Npower's Warndon headquarters during a Monday evening last October. Picture by Newsteam.

THE boss of Worcester-based energy giant Npower has claimed power bills in the UK are so high because many homes in the country are “old and draughty”.

In a report issued this week the company’s chief executive Paul Massara said unit prices for gas and electricity in the UK are among the lowest in Europe, but bills are high as houses waste so much electricity.

Mr Massara – who earns about £450,000 a year and last November refused to give up his £150,000 bonus – said: "If we can increase the efficiency of the UK's old and draughty housing, we can ensure that annual energy bills are some of the lowest too."

In October last year – the same week the company announced a 9.3 per cent increase in electricity bills and an 11.1 per cent rise in gas costs – your Worcester News reported lights were being left on at its Warndon headquarters on all night.

Earlier this month it was reported the company had once again received the greatest number of complaints of any of the top six energy supplies between June to September last year – receiving eight times as many as its closest rival SSE.

But Mr Massara said bills would continue to increase as a result of infrastructure modernisation works across the county unless householders take action to improve energy efficiency in their homes.

"Suppliers control less than 20 per cent of a bill and I want to shine a light on all the different aspects of energy, particularly to reassure my customers that there is no hidden profit,” he said. “We made a 3.2 per cent margin in our retail business in the first nine months of 2013.

"Over the same period our power stations were struggling to recoup the hundreds of millions of pounds in investment required to build them and made a loss of £59 million.”

But power regulator Ofgem disputed the claims, calling them “incorrect and misleading”.

A spokesman said: “We offered to help Npower improve the accuracy of their numbers for network charges and it is disappointing that they did not engage fully with us until after the document had been circulated.

"Ofgem directly regulates the money that network companies can earn through charges. Given this level of certainty we can see that after 2014 network costs per household are expected to remain broadly flat in real terms. It is unclear how Npower can state with any authority otherwise."

A spokesman from the Department of Energy and Climate Change called Npower’s report “incorrect on so many levels”, saying bills are likely to be lower in 2020 than they are today.

Comments (8)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:21am Wed 22 Jan 14

lovelyjubbly says...

We dont all have his salary to try and improve our 'old and draughty homes' to an acceptable level!
We dont all have his salary to try and improve our 'old and draughty homes' to an acceptable level! lovelyjubbly
  • Score: 5

11:38am Wed 22 Jan 14

liketoknow says...

that's ironic! I'm sat in my old and draughty home and I blame Npower .
that's ironic! I'm sat in my old and draughty home and I blame Npower . liketoknow
  • Score: 6

12:09pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Andy-Apache says...

What an idiot. No grip on reality at all!

The amount of energy one uses is irrelevant, the price of energy is rising!
What an idiot. No grip on reality at all! The amount of energy one uses is irrelevant, the price of energy is rising! Andy-Apache
  • Score: 4

12:35pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Marant says...

I've dropped my gas and electricity use my approximately a third over the past four years (not bad for what was an 1870's draught box), but am still paying much more for utilities than I was. The fault has to be the rising power bills!

Thorium and fracking are the way forward to energy security for Britain without reliance on third parties.
I've dropped my gas and electricity use my approximately a third over the past four years (not bad for what was an 1870's draught box), but am still paying much more for utilities than I was. The fault has to be the rising power bills! Thorium and fracking are the way forward to energy security for Britain without reliance on third parties. Marant
  • Score: 4

1:28pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Andy-Apache says...

...or if we'd built nuclear stations with the enthusiasm of the French, we could be selling excess energy to Germany in a few years!
...or if we'd built nuclear stations with the enthusiasm of the French, we could be selling excess energy to Germany in a few years! Andy-Apache
  • Score: 3

2:52pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Jabbadad says...

I am astonished that I am agreeing with Andy-Apache.
What a Country.
I am astonished that I am agreeing with Andy-Apache. What a Country. Jabbadad
  • Score: 2

8:00pm Wed 22 Jan 14

stevegs says...

Well, Mr. Massara - perhaps you could persuade the council to allow me to extend my 1880's house into the road so I can increase the thickness of its 9" solid walls? Thank you, however, for paying me a goodly amount for the electricity my solar panels are producing since I got in with a good feed-in tariff (FiT) before March 2012, after which they halved the FiT and started penalising old houses with a further reduced FiT. But, while we have the ludicrous situation where energy producing companies can sell electricity to distributing companies they own at an inflated profit, of course the price of electricity will be artificially high. They clearly need to do this to pay these bloated salaries and bonuses!
Well, Mr. Massara - perhaps you could persuade the council to allow me to extend my 1880's house into the road so I can increase the thickness of its 9" solid walls? Thank you, however, for paying me a goodly amount for the electricity my solar panels are producing since I got in with a good feed-in tariff (FiT) before March 2012, after which they halved the FiT and started penalising old houses with a further reduced FiT. But, while we have the ludicrous situation where energy producing companies can sell electricity to distributing companies they own at an inflated profit, of course the price of electricity will be artificially high. They clearly need to do this to pay these bloated salaries and bonuses! stevegs
  • Score: 4

10:42pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Jabbadad says...

When I was in the home improvement industry there were several types of interior cladding available for houses witthout wall Cavities. And of course you only need to clad the walls that are external walls.. Yes you have to disrupt your decoration, But it will give the little woman / man an excuse to change the colour scheme.
I also understand that there is a very efficient paint also available which has been adapted from the space programme, yes it works but is costly. But just like cavity wall insulatio there is a payback, when you lose less heat through the walls. And yes I think that the Warm Home scheme should apply to interior insulation as I have described. I know they won't consider the paint insulation.
When I was in the home improvement industry there were several types of interior cladding available for houses witthout wall Cavities. And of course you only need to clad the walls that are external walls.. Yes you have to disrupt your decoration, But it will give the little woman / man an excuse to change the colour scheme. I also understand that there is a very efficient paint also available which has been adapted from the space programme, yes it works but is costly. But just like cavity wall insulatio there is a payback, when you lose less heat through the walls. And yes I think that the Warm Home scheme should apply to interior insulation as I have described. I know they won't consider the paint insulation. Jabbadad
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree