Understanding the profits of the large energy suppliers

The six large energy suppliers are complex businesses. They generate electricity and buy gas to supply energy to homes and businesses, as well as trade between different parts of their businesses, both in Great Britain and abroad. Since 2009 we’ve required the large energy suppliers to produce an annual Consolidated Segmental Statements (CSS) to show the costs, revenues and profits for the different segments of their generation and supply businesses. We’re leading the way in making this information easily accessible.

We require the large suppliers to have their CSS independently audited. This is so consumers can have confidence that information on reported profits is accurate and robust. The large suppliers must publish their CSS no later than four months after the end of their financial year.

Following our referral in 2014, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched a full investigation of the energy market. On 24 June 2016 the CMA issued its final report. It has made a number of recommendations relating to financial reporting requirements – including adding a requirement for the energy companies to provide information on their balance sheets. Following these recommendations, we will be engaging with stakeholders about potential changes to the reporting requirements. In 2019 we started a formal review of the supply licence conditions that require submission of a CSS. We issued a policy consultation with our initial reform proposals in May 2020, see here.

How much profit did suppliers make in 2019?

Total domestic supply profits aggregated across the six firms, measured as earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), decreased by 150%, compared to the 35% reduction between 2017 and 2018. All of the six large suppliers showed a year-on-year decrease in profit margins in domestic supply.

In non-domestic supply the combined EBIT was down 21% compared to 2018. Half of the six large suppliers, E.ON, British Gas and EDF, showed a year-on-year increase in profit margins.

In 2020, OVO completed the purchase of SSE and E.ON acquired npower. The Consolidated Segmental Statements of 2019 are not affected by these sale transactions.

Select from the charts below to see interactive summaries of some of the data provided by the companies in their statements. You can refine and expand chart views as well as download data and graphics based on your selections.

Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Generation profits in £ million by supplier.

Source: Companies’ consolidated segmental statements.

Information correct as of: August 2020

This chart shows the aggregate profits of the large suppliers across the generation segment from 2009 to 2019. It is based on reported data from the six large suppliers’ annual Consolidated Segmental Statements.

Five of the suppliers (British Gas, EDF, E.ON, npower and ScottishPower) have financial years ending in December whereas SSE’s financial year runs from April to March.

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - retail markets
  • Gas - retail markets

Data Table

Generation profits in £ million by supplier
British GasE.ONEDFnpowerScottishPowerSSE
20091472991,131145165424
2010226142683211352396
2011258293963168260466
201229117387512694392
2013153-587752152415
201438-77598-11880338
20157372602-18128456
201643214747076471
201711130352204538
20188162-13057273381
2019-513850103331614
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Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Domestic supply profits in £ million by supplier.

Source: Companies’ consolidated segmental statements.

Information correct as of: August 2020

This chart shows the aggregate profits of the large suppliers across the domestic supply segment from 2009 to 2019. It is based on reported data the six large suppliers’ annual Consolidated Segmental Statements.

Five of the companies (British Gas, EDF, E.ON, npower and ScottishPower) have financial years ending in December whereas SSE’s financial year runs from April to March. 

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - retail markets
  • Gas - retail markets

Data Table

Domestic supply profits in £ million by supplier
British GasE.ONEDFnpowerScottishPowerSSE
2009595-100-186-23846104
201074219-100-154-4266
201154478-124-56-11250
201260698-92131129318
2013589182-90132153185
2014441205-880180261
2015623177-21-173168248
2016553251-24-150141261
201756617526-11612260
2018466-1052-10511184
2019137-45-183-155-560
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Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Aggregate profits in %: supply segment.

Source: Companies' 2016 CSS (adjusted).

Information correct as of: August 2020

The graph and data table show the profit margin (profit before interest and tax divided by revenue) as a percentage (%) across the supply segment from 2009 to 2019.

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - retail markets
  • Gas - retail markets

Data Table

Aggregate profits in %: supply segment
Total supplyDomestic supplyNon-domestic supply
20091.8%0.9%2.9%
20103.8%3.0%5.0%
20113.1%2.8%3.6%
20123.6%4.3%2.6%
20133.4%3.9%2.5%
20143.7%4.5%2.4%
20153.2%4.1%1.6%
20163.5%4.5%2.0%
20173.1%4.2%1.4%
20182.2%2.7%1.4%
2019-0.4%-1.5%1.1%
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Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Non-domestic supply profits in £ million by supplier .

Source: Companies’ consolidated segmental statements.

Information correct as of: August 2020

This chart shows the aggregate profits of the large suppliers across the non-domestic supply segment from 2009 to 2019. It is based on reported data the large six suppliers’ annual Consolidated Segmental Statements.

Five of the companies (British Gas, EDF, E.ON, npower and ScottishPower) have financial years ending in December whereas SSE’s financial year runs from April to March. 

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - retail markets
  • Gas - retail markets

Data Table

Non-domestic supply profits in £ million by supplier
British GasE.ONEDFnpowerScottishPowerSSE
2009901301371296104
20102122271626485104
201119215275128165
201218496669478
201314610339852624
20141239740751260
2015-16723563-4112
201660911655-1186
20176801546-2286
2018405624331252
2019548741-158-4
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Chart

Source: Companies' 2016 CSS (adjusted).

Information correct as of: August 2020

The graph and data table show the aggregate profits in £ million across the generation and non-domestic and domestic supply segments from 2009 to 2019.

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - retail markets
  • Gas - retail markets

Data Table

Aggregate profits of the large energy suppliers: Generation and supply (£ million)
GenerationDomestic supplyNon-domestic supply
20092311221569
20102010769854
20112408681568
201219511190410
201313581151423
20148581160407
201513121022262
201611541031297
2017938924211
2018751599216
20191231-302170
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Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Breakdown of a dual fuel bill.

Source: Companies’ consolidated segmental statements.

Information correct as of: August 2020

This chart shows an estimate of the different costs that make up an average dual fuel bill for a typical domestic customer of the six large suppliers. It is based on reported data from the six large suppliers’ annual Consolidated Segmental Statements.

Click the ‘more information’ tab above for information on our methodology.

For information on supplier prices and profits, please see our page Understanding the profits of the large energy suppliers.

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - retail markets
  • Gas - retail markets

Data Table

Breakdown of a dual fuel bill
Annual costPercentage
Wholesale costs39.66%
Network costs23.84%
Operating costs18.48%
Environmental and social obligation costs13.05%
VAT4.76%
Supplier pre-tax margin-1.33%
Other direct costs1.53%

More Information

Methodology

To estimate the breakdown of an average gas and electricity bill, we:

  1. Took the sum of each category of cost (e.g. wholesale, network etc) and the pre-tax supply margin reported by the suppliers for gas. Did the same for electricity.
  2. Divided the gas sum by the total number of customers and added VAT at 5%. Did the same for electricity.
  3. Added together the resulting two figures to get a combined estimate of the overall cost of a dual fuel bill.

Please note that chart calculations are drawn from suppliers’ reported total costs and total customer numbers, irrespective of tariff type. They will therefore reflect a mixture of the costs to supply dual fuel and single fuel customers. As such, the dual fuel breakdown is an approximation – values may differ, for example, if electricity-only customers use more electricity than those customers who are also supplied with gas.

The data presented is based on the latest available Consolidated Segmental Statements (CSS). It may differ from the data in the suppliers externally published CSS. This is because we have made some adjustments to the way exceptional items are reported to improve comparability.

Figures relate to the suppliers’ financial years. Five of the companies (British Gas, EDF, E.ON, npower and ScottishPower) have financial years ending in December, whereas SSE’s financial year runs from April to March. 

close

Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Breakdown of a gas bill.

Source: Companies’ consolidated segmental statements.

Information correct as of: August 2020

This chart shows an estimate of the different costs that make up an average gas bill for a typical domestic customer of the six large suppliers. It is based on reported data from the six large suppliers’ annual Consolidated Segmental Statements.

Click the ‘more information’ tab above for information on our methodology.

For information on supplier prices and profits, please see our page Understanding the profits of the large energy suppliers.

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - retail markets
  • Gas - retail markets

Data Table

Breakdown of a gas bill
Annual costPercentage
Wholesale costs46.24%
Networks25.64%
Operating costs20.41%
Environmental and social obligation costs1.86%
VAT4.76%
Supplier pre-tax margin-0.49%
Other direct costs1.58%

More information

Methodology

To estimate the breakdown of an average gas bill, we:

  1. Took the sum of each category of cost (e.g. wholesale, network etc) and the pre-tax supply margin reported by the suppliers for gas.
  2. Divided the gas sum by the total number of customers and added VAT at 5%.

Please note that chart calculations are drawn from suppliers’ reported total costs and total customer numbers, irrespective of tariff type. The chart will therefore reflect a mixture of the costs to supply dual fuel and single fuel customers. As such, the bill breakdown is an approximation – values may differ, for example, if gas-only customers use more gas than those customers who are also supplied with electricity.

The data presented is based on the latest available Consolidated Segmental Statements (CSS). It may differ from the data in the suppliers externally published CSS. This is because we have made some adjustments to the way exceptional items are reported to improve comparability.

Figures relate to the suppliers’ financial years. Five of the companies (British Gas, EDF, E.ON, npower and ScottishPower) have financial years ending in December, whereas SSE’s financial year runs from April to March. 

close

Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Breakdown of an electricity bill.

Source: Companies’ consolidated segmental statements.

Information correct as of: August 2020

This chart shows an estimate of the different costs that make up an average electricity bill for a typical domestic customer of the six large suppliers. It is based on reported data from the six large suppliers’ annual Consolidated Segmental Statements.

Click the ‘more information’ tab above for information on our methodology.

For information on supplier prices and profits, please see our page Understanding the profits of the large energy suppliers.

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - retail markets

Data Table

Breakdown of an electricity bill
Annual costPercentage
Wholesale costs33.87%
Network costs22.26%
Operating costs16.77%
Environmental and social obligation costs22.92%
VAT4.76%
Supplier pre-tax margin-2.07%
Other direct costs1.48%

More Information

Methodology

To estimate the breakdown of an average electricity bill, we:

  1. Took the sum of each category of cost (e.g. wholesale, network etc) and the pre-tax supply margin reported by the suppliers for electricity.
  2. Divided the electricity sum by the total number of customers and added VAT at 5%.

Please note that chart calculations are drawn from suppliers’ reported total costs and total customer numbers, irrespective of tariff type. The chart will therefore reflect a mixture of the costs to supply dual fuel and single fuel customers. As such, the bill breakdown is an approximation – values may differ, for example, if electricity-only customers use more electricity than those customers who are also supplied with gas.

The data presented is based on the latest available Consolidated Segmental Statements (CSS). It may differ from the data in the suppliers externally published CSS. This is because we have made some adjustments to the way exceptional items are reported to improve comparability.

Figures relate to the suppliers’ financial years. Five of the companies (British Gas, EDF, E.ON, npower and ScottishPower) have financial years ending in December, whereas SSE’s financial year runs from April to March. 

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Adjustments

To ensure consistency with our guidelines on the treatment of exceptional items, we have adjusted published CSS figures in our summary analysis. The adjustments we have made mostly relate to the generation segment, whereas the overall level of materiality in the retail segment remains low (below 3%). For ‘as reported’ figures, please see the large suppliers’ individual published statements. Our adjustments are:

Centrica 2013

  • Reduced ‘Indirect costs’ by £11 million for ‘Electricity Generation – Renewable’ in respect of net losses on the sale and impairment of assets.
  • Reduced ‘Indirect costs’ by £10 million for ‘Gas Supply – Domestic’ in respect of impairment losses.
  • Reduced ‘Indirect costs’ by £8 million for ‘Electricity Supply – Domestic’ in respect of impairment losses.

Centrica 2014

  • Reduced ‘Other revenue’ by £16m and reduced ‘Indirect costs’ by £32.6 million for ‘Electricity Generation – Renewable’ in respect of the write off of investments and the profit on the sale of assets.
  • Increased ‘Indirect costs’ by £20.8 million for ‘Electricity Generation – Nuclear’ in respect of profit made on revaluation of contingent valuation rights.
  • Reduced ‘Indirect costs’ by £1.4 million for ‘Gas Supply – Domestic’ in respect of impairment losses.
  • Reduced ‘Indirect costs’ by £1.0 million for ‘Electricity Supply – Domestic’ in respect of impairment losses.
  • Increased ‘Depreciation and Amortisation’ by £58.0 million for ‘Generation – Nuclear’ in respect of depreciation of fair value uplifts relating to the strategic investment in Lake Acquisitions Limited. This was originally excluded from 2014 but has been added back to make it comparable with the 2015 figures which now include depreciation of these assets.

Centrica 2015

  • Increased ‘Indirect costs’ by £19.6 million for ‘Generation – Nuclear’ to exclude profit from the revaluation of contingent valuation rights.
  • Reduced ‘Indirect costs’ by £4.0 million for ‘Generation – Nuclear’ in respect of impairment losses.
  • Reduced ‘Indirect costs’ by £3.3 million for ‘Generation – Nuclear’ in respect of impairment losses.

Centrica 2016

  • Increased ‘Indirect costs’ by £20.9 million for ‘Generation – Nuclear’ to exclude profit from the revaluation of contingent valuation rights.
  • Increased ‘Indirect costs’ by £1.8 million for ‘Generation – Thermal’ in respect of reversing impairment losses.
  • Increased ‘Indirect costs’ by £6.4 million for ‘Generation – Thermal’ in respect of reversing profit on disposal.
  • Increased ‘Indirect costs’ by £0.5 million for ‘Electricity supply – non-domestic” in respect of fines for delays smart meter roll-outs, and by £6.3 in respect of fines for billing failures.
  • Increased ‘Indirect costs’ by £3.2 million for ‘Electricity supply – domestic” in respect of fines for billing failures.

Centrica 2017

  • Increased ‘Indirect costs’ by £17 million for ‘Generation – Nuclear’ to exclude profit from the revaluation of contingent valuation rights.
  • Decreased ‘Indirect costs’ by £3.9 million for ‘Generation – Nuclear’ in respect of impairment losses.

Centrica 2018

  • Increased ‘Indirect costs’ by £9.7 million for ‘Generation – Nuclear’ to exclude profit from the revaluation of contingent valuation rights.

E.ON 2013

  • Reduced ‘Depreciation and amortisation’ by £122 million for ‘Electricity Generation’ in respect of impairment write offs on the Ratcliffe power station.
  • Increased ‘Indirect costs’ by £15 million for ‘Electricity Generation’ in respect of a gain on the disposal on the London Array onshore sub-station.

E.ON 2014

  • Reduced ‘Depreciation and amortisation’ by £1,121million for ‘Generation – Conventional’ in respect of impairment write-offs on the generation portfolio.
  • Reduced ‘Indirect costs’ by £20.9 million for ‘Generation – Conventional’ in respect of restructuring costs.
  • Reduced ‘indirect costs’ by £6.7 million for ‘Gas Supply – Domestic’ in respect of restructuring costs.
  • Reduced ‘indirect costs’ by £0.3 million for ‘Gas Supply – Non-domestic’ in respect of restructuring costs.
  • Reduced ‘indirect costs’ by £10.1 million for ‘Electricity Supply – Domestic’ in respect of restructuring costs.
  • Reduced ‘indirect costs’ by £1.1 million for ‘Electricity Supply – Non-domestic’ in respect of restructuring costs.

E.ON 2015

  • Reduced ‘Indirect costs’ by £15.6 million for ‘Generation – Conventional’ in respect of restructuring costs.
  • Increased ‘Depreciation and Amortisation’ by £56.0 million for ‘Generation – Conventional’ in respect reversal of impairment charges.
  • Reduced ‘Indirect costs’ by £2.5 million for ‘Gas Supply – Domestic’ in respect of restructuring costs.
  • Reduced ‘Indirect costs’ by £0.3 million for ‘Gas Supply – Non-domestic’ in respect of restructuring costs.
  • Reduced ‘indirect costs’ by £1.7 million for ‘Electricity Supply – Domestic’ in respect of restructuring costs.
  • Reduced ‘indirect costs’ by £0.1 million for ‘Electricity Supply – Non-domestic’ in respect of restructuring costs.

E.ON 2016

  • Reduced ‘Indirect costs’ by £10.4 million for ‘Generation – Conventional’ in respect of restructuring costs.
  • Reduced ‘Depreciation and Amortisation’ by £334.6 million for ‘Generation – Conventional’ in respect of impairment charges.
  • Reduced ‘indirect costs’ by £5.2 million for ‘Aggregate Supply’ in respect of restructuring costs. Of these costs £2.896 million relates to ‘Electricity supply – domestic’, £1.908 million relates to ‘Gas supply – domestic’, £0.311m relates to ‘Electricity supply – non-domestic’ and £0.084 relates to ‘Gas supply – non-domestic’.

E.ON 2017

  • Reduced ‘Depreciation and Amortisation’ by £21.5 million for ‘Generation – Renewable’ in respect of impairment charges.

E.ON 2018

  • Reduced ‘Depreciation and Amortisation’ by £43.1 million for ‘Generation – Renewable’ in respect of impairment charges.
  • Reduced ‘Depreciation and Amortisation’ by £1.4 million for ‘Aggregate Supply’ in respect of impairment charges. Of these charges £0.782 million relates to ‘Electricity supply – domestic’, £0.520 million relates to ‘Gas supply – domestic’, £0.076m relates to ‘Electricity supply – non-domestic’ and £0.020m relates to ‘Gas supply – non-domestic’
  • Reduced ‘Indirect costs’ by £28.4 million for ‘Aggregate Supply’ in respect of restructuring costs. Of these charges £15.879 million relates to ‘Electricity supply – domestic’, £10.566 million relates to ‘Gas supply – domestic’, £1.543 million relates to ‘Electricity supply – non-domestic’ and £0.410 million relates to ‘Gas supply – non-domestic’

E.ON 2019

  • The Generation segment includes relevant impairments that relate to the operation of the Generation businesses. This includes a £7 million impairment of fixed assets in respect of the generation portfolio.
  • The Supply segment also includes relevant impairments that relate to the operation of the Supply business. Exceptional impairments of intangible assets related to IT projects amounting to £57 million have been excluded from the CSS.

EDF 2013

  • Reduced all figures for Nuclear by 20% to represent the 80% share relating to EDF.

EDF 2014

  • Reduced all figures for Nuclear by 20% to represent the 80% share relating to EDF.

EDF 2015

  • Reduced all figures for Nuclear by 20% to represent the 80% share relating to EDF.

EDF 2016

  • Reduced all figures for Nuclear by 20% to represent the 80% share relating to EDF.

EDF 2017

  • Reduced all figures for Nuclear by 20% to represent the 80% share relating to EDF.

EDF 2018

  • Reduced all figures for Nuclear by 20% to represent the 80% share relating to EDF.

ScottishPower 2019

  • During the year Scottish Power reported impairment and non-current assets write off of £6.8 million of which £6.1 million comprised of smart meter write off. In addition Scottish Power had expenditure relating to restructuring and other liabilities. It was decided to exclude the pensions adjustment as this can be seen as part of normal operations thus the amount recognised for adjustment was £21.3 million. The impairment amount of £6.8m was also included as an adjustment.

SSE 2019

  • Exceptional items relate to bad debt charges related to coronavirus, which have been classified as exceptional within SSE’s financial statements (they amounted to £27.9 million). Exceptional items also relate to restructuring costs prior to disposal, which have been classified as exceptional within SSE’s financial statements (they amounted to £10.8 million).

Publications and updates

  • Published: 25th Aug 2020
  • Charts and data
  • 1 Associated documents
This document provides links to the segmental generation and supply statements by the large energy companies.

  • Published: 23rd Jun 2020
  • Open letters and correspondence
  • 0 Associated documents
See our workshop on Consolidated Segmental Statements: Financial Accountants.

  • Published: 5th May 2015
  • Charts and data
  • 1 Associated documents
The latest version of the guidelines for how the Consolidated Segmental Statements (CSS) should be prepared.

  • Published: 10th Oct 2014
  • Closed: 6th Nov 2014
  • Consultations and responses
  • 14 Associated documents
We're asking for responses to our consultation on new rules we've proposed today to make information on energy companies useful and accessible.

  • Published: 10th Oct 2014
  • Charts and data, Reports and plans
  • 1 Associated documents
This document summarises the results of the six largest energy companies in 2013 and compares them across companies and over time. It also assesses the predictions of our Supply Market Indicator for 2013 against outturns.

  • Published: 26th Feb 2014
  • Decisions
  • 1 Associated documents
This letter presents the actions that we and the companies will take to make the information more robust, useful and accessible. There are a set of actions which will commence immediately.

  • Published: 25th Nov 2013
  • Factsheets
  • 1 Associated documents
To help consumers understand the revenues, costs and profits of energy suppliers, Ofgem requires the six largest suppliers to produce yearly financial statements. This factsheet focuses on the profits the companies made in 2012.

  • Published: 25th Nov 2013
  • Charts and data, Reports and plans
  • 1 Associated documents
Ofgem requires the large energy companies to publish annual statements showing separately the revenues, costs and profits of their generation and supply businesses. This document summarises the results of the six large energy companies in 2012 and...

  • Published: 31st Oct 2013
  • Closed: 6th Dec 2013
  • Consultations and responses
  • 14 Associated documents
Promoting transparency of energy company profitability is an important aspect of Ofgem’s efforts to rebuild consumer confidence in the energy market and improve competition.

  • Published: 11th Apr 2013
  • Factsheets
  • 1 Associated documents
To help make the energy market as open and clear as possible, Ofgem requires the six largest energy suppliers to publish annual financial statements showing the profits of the generation and supply parts of their businesses.