Who owns the major energy and water suppliers and how much profit do they make?

·3-min read
Scottish Power has reported a 39 per cent decline in underlying profits  (Alamy)
Scottish Power has reported a 39 per cent decline in underlying profits (Alamy)

As energy bills soar and the nation is gripped in the midst of a cost of living crisis as bills mount, there are serious concerns that fuel poverty could spiral, particularly as Ofgem announced the energy cap will increase to £3,549 a year in October.

Campaigners and charities have raised the alarm on the UK government to do more to help those who are struggling the most.

With many household facing extreme hardship, people have been left asking how much money energy firms are making and whether it’s really justified.

So, who owns the UK’s biggest energy firms, and how much profit are they making?

Here’s everything you need to know.

Who owns Scottish Power and how much profit do they make?

Scottish Power is owned by the Spanish utilities firm Iberdrola. The company was originally formed in 1990, in preparation for the privatisation of Scotland’s energy supply the year after, reports Berkshire Live.

In October 2021, Scottish Power reported a 39 per cent decline in underlying profits, at its division responsible for providing energy to domestic customers. It cited rising wholesale costs, as well as low wind volumes, as the key reasons for the drop in profit.

Who owns Southern Water and how much profit do they make?

Southern Water supplies water and sewerage services to customers across the south of England. It loses 88.1 million litres of water per day from the pipes in its network.

Its shareholders took home £622 million in profit between 2013 and 201 and, in June 2019, it was forced to pay £126 million in fines for letting sewage pollute the environment and deliberately misreporting its performance, reports Berkshire Live.

Who owns British Gas and how much profit do they make?

British Gas is owned by the company Centrica, which is the largest domestic gas supplier in the UK, and is also one of the largest electricity suppliers.

It was previously publically owned, but in December 1986, Margaret Thatcher privatised it.

Centrica owns British Gas and other energy companies, including Ireland’s Bord Gais Energy, and it reported an operating profit of £948 million in 2021 – a 44 per cent increase over the previous year.

Who owns EDF and how much profit does it make?

EDF Energy is owned by the French energy supplier EDF, which is itself owned by the French government. According to its own figures, it posted a loss of £154 million in 2020.

Who owns E.ON and how much profit does it make?

E.ON is owned by E.ON SE, an electricity supplier based in Essen, Germany. The company was formed in 1989 and was originally known as Powergen, before it was privatised in the 1990s.

The company also owns Npower, which it acquired in December 2018, and was previously owned by German multinational energy firm RWE.

In November 2021, its parent company reported a nine-month adjustment to earnings before interest and tax, of €3.93 billion (£3.29 billion), while its customer solutions arm more than doubled its profits to €910 million.