Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Npower boss: I won't give up bonus

Npower chief executive Paul Massara, who earns about 600,000 pounds a year including a bonus of about 150,000 pounds, said giving up his bonus would be a 'gimmick'

The boss of energy firm Npower has dismissed the idea of giving up his bonus amid widespread anger over rising energy prices, saying the gesture would be a "gimmick".

Chief executive Paul Massara told BBC's Hardtalk he earns about £600,000 a year, of which £150,000 is a bonus.

When asked if he would follow Centrica boss Sam Laidlaw, who on Monday said he would turn down his own bonus, Mr Massara said: "I think the issue is, are we doing absolutely everything we can to keep costs down and to make sure it's affordable?

"Gimmicks of saying, 'I'm going to reduce my bonus' - if Sam was earning five million a year and he's willing to give a million, good for him.

"My bonus is linked to my performance, is linked to getting it right for customers, is linked to employee satisfaction. All of my team are linked to that. If we don't deliver on that, we don't get a bonus."

Mr Massara also warned that power cuts could occur in the future unless there was a "stable environment" for investment.

He warned: " The amount of spare capacity to meet the peak requirement... has dropped from somewhere around 15% to five.

"That is extremely low by historical levels... and unless the UK can create a politically stable environment to attract new capital, that new capital will not come in."

Mr Laidlaw, whose company Centrica owns British Gas, said he decided to forego his bonus, which could be worth around £1.7 million, to help rebuild trust between the energy sector and consumers.

Public confidence in energy suppliers was dealt a major last month when four of the "big six" energy firms announced that charges would rise by an average of over 9%.

Npower announced average rises of 10.4%.

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