Big six energy suppliers E.on and Npower have quit their membership of trade association Energy UK, it was confirmed today.
The companies said that the decision was taken because they could no longer afford the membership fees.
The decision comes after Npower, which was recently bought by E.on, announced a major restructuring last month as the firm said it expected losses for the year to hit €250m.
Union sources said the shake-up could lead to 4,500 UK job losses and the closure of a number of call centres.
Npower reported that it had lost 261,000 customers in the third quarter, taking its total customer losses to the year to 447,000.
At the time, the firm’s new owner warned that it would not tolerate a loss-making business for long.
An E.ON spokesperson said: “We constantly review our costs in order to continue to deliver value for money for our customers.
“As part of this, we have decided being part of Energy UK is something we can no longer afford and we have therefore made the reluctant decision to leave Energy UK.”
An Energy UK spokesperson said: “It is a challenging environment for many in the retail sector and unfortunately E.on and Npower will both step down from Energy UK membership in the New Year.
“We will continue to maintain our positive relationships with the companies and hope they may rejoin in the future when the financial environment is less challenging.”
City A.M. understands that membership prices for retail suppliers is calculated by number of customers a firm has.