Leading energy supplier Opus Energy contributed £588m towards UK GDP in 2016 and supported nearly 7,000 jobs across the country. The findings were revealed in a new report looking at the economic impact of British energy company Drax Group, which Opus Energy joined earlier this year.
In the space of a decade Opus Energy has grown from a challenger brand to the sixth largest supplier of gas and electricity to British businesses. It provides energy to over 300,000 customer meters, including national brands such as Lloyd’s Pharmacy, Your Housing Group and White Stuff.
The company employs roughly 800 employees across a number of offices in Northampton, who will move to new offices at John Dryden House in The Lakes Business Park in 2018. Opus Energy purchased John Dryden House from Northamptonshire County Council earlier this year and has capacity for 1,400 members of staff.
The report also found that in the East Midlands area alone, Opus Energy and Drax combined to generate £147 million in the local economy and support 1,900 jobs.
Researchers at Oxford Economics used three measures to calculate Opus Energy’s GDP contribution: the economic activity associated with the day-to-day running of the business; the activity created by the purchase of goods and services from its suppliers; and the wages the company’s employees and suppliers’ employees spend in their local area.
Opus Energy’s activities support employment in a wide range of sectors including renewable energy generation, IT, professional business services and transport.
Drax Group Retail CEO, Jonathan Kini said: “This report shows that in addition to being a leading supplier of energy to British businesses, Opus Energy, and the rest of Drax Group also play an important role in the local and national economy. Through the people we employ and the businesses we use, we have supported thousands of jobs and generated nearly £1.7 billion of economic activity across the UK.”
Opus Energy COO, Nikki Flanders said: “We have a strong link with Northampton, having been based here for several years. In addition to employing people from the local area, we use a number of businesses in the region to provide us with products and services that enable us to deliver the best possible experience for our customers.”
Michael Ellis, Member of Parliament for Northampton North, said: “I am delighted to see Opus Energy supporting hundreds of thousands of businesses from its operations in Northampton, while at the same time employing hundreds of local people and generating wealth and employment opportunities for the region.”
Osman Ismail, Senior Economist at Oxford Economics, said: “The implementation of the Group’s new strategy means that Drax is uniquely placed to impact the wider challenges for the UK’s energy system through helping to balance the Grid.
“The Opus Energy acquisition solidifies Drax’s principal activities of generating energy and supplying energy services to businesses and directly impacts a number of different regions in the UK in terms of both job creation and contribution to GDP.”
Full details of the study can be found at draximpact.co.uk
Notes to editors:
About Drax Group
Drax Group plc plays a vital role in helping change the way energy is generated, supplied and used as the UK moves to a low carbon future. Drax operates the largest power station in the UK, based at Selby, North Yorkshire and supplies 7 percent of the country’s electricity needs. The energy firm converted from burning coal to become a predominantly biomass-fuelled electricity generator. Drax is the biggest single site renewable generator in the UK and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe. Its 2,300-strong staff operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.
The Group includes:
Drax Biomass, based in the US and manufactures compressed wood pellets produced from sustainably managed working forests
Haven Power, based in Ipswich, providing businesses with electricity.
Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, providing electricity and gas to businesses.
Billington Bioenergy, based in Liverpool with depots across the UK, is one of the leading distributors of wood pellets for sustainable heating in the UK.
For more information visit www.drax.com/uk
About Opus Energy
Opus Energy is the UK’s sixth biggest business energy supplier, ranking in The Sunday Times Top Track 250 for the last six years, most recently in 6th position. It employs over 900 people between Northampton, Oxford and Cardiff, and was named one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2015 by The Sunday Times.
Opus Energy supplies more than 310,000 business locations across the UK with electricity and gas. Generating 96% of its electricity from renewable sources last year, and purchasing power from over 2,000 renewable generators in the UK, Opus Energy is a multi-award winning business, with recent highlights including being announced as finalists for the 2017 British Small Business Awards and the 2017 Lloyds Bank National Business Awards.
For more detailed information please visit www.opusenergy.com/
About Oxford Economics
Oxford Economics was founded in 1981 as a commercial venture with Oxford University’s business college to provide economic forecasting and modelling to UK companies and financial institutions expanding abroad. It is now one of the world’s foremost independent global advisory firms, providing reports, forecasts and analytical tools on 200 countries, 100 industrial sectors and over 3,000 cities. Its best-of-class global economic and industry models and analytical tools give an unparalleled ability to forecast external market trends and assess their economic, social and business impact.
About the study
Oxford Economics assessed the economic benefits of Drax Group using a standard means of analysis, called an economic impact assessment. This approach is applied in each of the three stages of the study.