Looking Back: Npower's Ex-Boss in Row Over High Bills & Draughty Dwellings

Npower’s Ex-Chief Executive Paul Massara became the subject of grave criticism after accusing draughty housing as the major cause of skyrocketing energy bills in Britain.


Experts later proved through heat imaging that the two homes he owns are poorly insulated. This discovery was made days after he alleged that some Britons were wasting heat because they don’t insulate their properties correctly.


Scapegoating the public


Ex-Npower millionaire bigwig Paul Massara sparked the ire of consumers when he blamed poorly insulated homes as the culprit to rising energy bills. Britain saw a 10.4% rise in energy costs, adding to the struggles of the consumer relating to winter bills.


Massara, who earned £450,000 annually, accused Brits of failing to secure the insulation of their homes, despite it being an expense that most consumers can’t afford.


The ex-Npower chief also complained about the Big Six taking the blame for surging prices in the industry. It should be noted, however, that Npower raked £175 million in only nine months and burdening customers with the highest winter price rise out of all energy suppliers in 2014.


According to Massara, the UK’s unit energy price is one of the cheapest in Europe, but he alleged that British homes are wasting a lot of energy. He commented that the country could enjoy some of the lowest annual energy bills if the efficiency of old and poorly insulated housing is increased.

The Npower boss also pointed the finger at the government for increasing charges, blaming eco-schemes as the culprit for higher costs. He stated back in 2014 that green taxes are responsible for increasing bills as much as £1,500 per year by 2020. Industry watchdog Ofgem immediately refuted this figure.


Massara’s bold statement outraged millions of households that are already struggling to make ends meet due to the crippling price rises. They are also filled with worry that their children may be getting sick while living in cold and damp houses.


Blame game went wrong


A few days after the ex-Npower chief exec made his comment, several experts reported that both homes owned by the ex-Npower boss were also poorly insulated. Heat imaging on his properties revealed that the chief executive also failed to secure his houses’ insulation.


Massara owns a 16th-century country home located in Wolvercote, Oxfordshire. The other property sits at Clapham, South London, which is a terrace house.


Andy Smale from Expert Energy, an independent consultancy, said that the thermal images of Massara’s properties showed that they have lower energy efficiency than an average UK family home.


Smale added that the homes could have suffered some ‘nasty drafts’.


Leaders fire back


John Robertson – who was a Labour MP at the time – pointed out the absurdity of a large energy supplier boss placing the blame on everybody but their company. He said that the unfair price rises only affected customers and not bosses who are paid massive salaries plus bonuses.

Robertson cited that the disabled, elderly, and other vulnerable customers are already struggling with bills and heating, making it doubly hard to purchase items for insulation, such as walls, boilers, and roofs. He reckoned that Npower bosses could have paid for customers’ insulation using their excessive profits.


Big energy suppliers pressured the UK government to water down energy-saving schemes to lessen costs for them.


The Shadow Secretary of Energy and Climate Change then stated that energy companies are being hypocritical when they blame households for their energy consumption while lobbying the government to slash insulation schemes.


The Secretary added that Npower could have used a portion of their annual profits if they wanted to help their consumers. The secretary believed the public was aware that they are ripped off by the ridiculous prices, and they will not be gullible to consider old excuses as truth.