July 2, 2022
  • July 2, 2022

Which energy suppliers are British owned?

By on March 11, 2021 0

Wondering which suppliers are ‘UK Made’? Find out which energy companies are native and from which countries the UK buys energy.

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You might be surprised to know which of the top six providers is owned and operated by foreign companies. Below you will find a breakdown of the property of each big six.

However, most of the energy consumed in the UK is imported from other countries, so it is unlikely that 100% of your energy will come from the UK even if the supplier is UK owned and operated.

Which of the six largest energy suppliers are British?

British gas

As the name suggests, British Gas is indeed British owned. British Gas is the oldest energy company in Great Britain, founded in 1812 as the Gas Light and Coke Company (GLCC) before becoming British Gas in 1973. Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, is an international utility company based in Windsor, Berkshire.

EDF energy

EDF Energy was founded after a French energy company Electricity in France bought London Energy. Therefore, EDF Energy is owned by the French state. It is also one of the largest distribution network operators in the UK after taking control of British Energy’s British nuclear generator.


SSE was established in 1998 after the merger of Scottish Hydro Electric and Southern Electric. The SEZ is based in Perth, Scotland. The SSE also includes the sub-brands SSE Atlantic, SSE Southern Electric, SSE SWALEC and SSE Scottish Hydro.


The owner of the big six is ​​Innogy SE, a subsidiary of the German concern RWE, which is a combination of leading German energy companies.

Scottish Power

ScottishPower was established in 1990 after privatizing the state-owned Scottish energy industry. Its headquarters may be in Glasgow, but since 2006 the supplier has been a subsidiary of the Spanish utility company Iberdrola.


Founded in 1989 and then known as Powergen, this big six was bought by the German energy company E.ON in 2002. Its headquarters are in Dusseldorf.

What about small energy suppliers?

Since 2013, small suppliers have been reducing their market share to the big six – and now there are over 50 UK household suppliers to choose from!

But which one? these owned and operated by the British? Just some of the popular small energy suppliers that do business in the UK are:

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Where does my energy come from?

In recent years, the UK has imported more energy than it exports from other countries.

About 60% of energy supplied to Great Britain comes from abroad: incl. from Norway, Qatar, Sweden and the Netherlands.

About 60% of UK natural gas imports come from Norway and 30% from Qatar.

About half of the crude oil imported to the UK comes from Norway and just over 30% comes from OPEC.

OPEC is the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and has 14 member states that jointly coordinate international oil trade policy and jointly sell their products.

OPEC members are Iraq, Iran, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Ecuador, Gabon and others, mainly in the Middle East region.

This trend of importing more energy than exporting is not only happening in the UK. All EU countries now import more energy than they export.

Why don’t we get more energy from the UK?

There has been a decline in gas and oil production in the North Sea, so the UK is getting more and more energy from other countries.

Even though the UK is using less energy and increasing the use of renewables, our dependence on imported energy has returned to levels unseen since the 1970s.

However, it is also the result of the UK moving away from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources. The UK is investing less in fossil fuel production and more in renewable energy.

Is Britain using less energy than before?

Yes, the overall trend shows that the UK as a whole is consuming less energy than in recent times. From 1998 to 2015, UK energy consumption decreased by 17%. Despite the steady growth of the UK population, the amount of energy used continues to decline.

There are three main reasons why this is so:

  1. More households are becoming energy efficient
  2. Small measures like energy-saving light bulbs and appliances start to make a big difference when everyone starts using them. In addition, thanks to technological progress, more and more products that we use at home and at work save energy better and better.

  3. Government policy
  4. Over the years, government policy has focused on reducing energy consumption and has introduced regulations and restrictions on the amount of energy that businesses and products can consume. Actions and investments were also undertaken to support the promotion of energy-saving technologies.

  5. UK production down
  6. The manufacturing industry is very energy-intensive. The biggest consumers of energy, according to a 2014 article by The Telegraph, are metal producers, chemical producers and tobacco factories. The collapse of this industry and its jobs has meant that the UK as a whole is consuming less energy.

Do you want to know more about energy suppliers?

Thirsty for more energy knowledge? Find out more about all suppliers, including price history, independent customer reviews, and more about the big six and independent energy suppliers in our energy supplier guides section.