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Last updated: 24 May 2022
Who owns the company who supplies your gas and electricity? Where are they based? And where do they get their energy from?
Does any of this really matter?
Read our short guide to find out.
Who owns British Gas?
British Gas is owned by Centrica, a British-owned multinational utility company based in Windsor. British Gas is one of the oldest and largest energy companies in the UK, with a history stretching back all the way to the 1800s.
If you are looking for a large, traditional energy supplier based in the UK, British Gas might be ideal for you. And you wouldn't be alone. British Gas has the largest market share of any supplier, currently serving 27% of the UK's gas customers, and 18% of the UK's electricity customers (source: Ofgem).
Who owns Scottish Power?
Despite its name, Scottish Power is not actually British owned. It is located in Glasgow, however it is currently a subsidiary of the Spanish utility company, Iberdrola.
If your priority is to find a British owned energy company then Scottish Power may not be for you. However, as we will see, there's not much of a reason for this to be a priority, and you're better off judging suppliers by more basic criteria like price or green energy credentials.
Are the Big Six British-owned?
If you are looking for a British owned energy company within the “Big Six” then you might struggle. In fact, it’s only British Gas and SSE who are British owned. EDF, E.ON, Npower and Scottish Power are all internationally owned.
SSE’s headquarters are based in Perth, Scotland. It’s the second-largest energy supplier in the UK making it a great choice if you are looking for a large, British owned energy company.
EDF Energy is the distribution arm of French part-state-owned giant EDF. EDF is one of the largest distribution network operators in the UK, after taking control of British Energy.
npower is owned by the German company Innogy and is the third-largest energy company in the UK. npower (through Innogy) is currently owned by E.ON, although tariffs continue to be sold under the npower brand.
E.ON is also German owned and distributes energy across Europe.
Does it matter where my energy supplier is based?
Not really. If you are particularly concerned about supporting British businesses, then you can let that guide your decision. However, all suppliers operating in the UK, regardless of where their head office is, must abide by the same regulations, and so there is no inherent benefit to picking a British-owned supplier over one based abroad.
Which energy suppliers are British owned?
Fortunately, if you are looking for a UK energy company, the Big Six are not your only choices. You can use our energy comparison tool to find a British owned company with the best deal for you.
Some of the smaller energy suppliers that are British-owned include:
- OVO Energy is a small energy company focused on becoming carbon-free with sustainably sourced electricity and carbon-neutral gas.
- Bulb is a relatively young energy company distributing across the UK. Its aims are to bring simpler, cheaper and greener energy to its UK customers.
- Octopus Energy is a start up energy provider based in London. It also places a lot of emphasis on greener energy.
- So Energy is based in London. Their aim is to bring customers 100% renewable energy at an affordable price.
Do any suppliers source all of their energy from the UK?
The short answer is no. The gas and electricity that suppliers put into the grid comes from a variety of sources, some domestic, and some imported from elsewhere.
The amount of energy consumed in the UK that is imported from abroad is known as our 'energy dependency'. Due to both falling consumption, and increased domestic generation, our energy dependency has been steadily falling, and the latest figures (from 2018), put it at 35% (source: Statista