Npower, the energy firm with offices in Solihull, has announced sweeping job cuts across its UK operations.
Up to 4,500 jobs could go, almost half Npower’s workforce.
It is thought the redundancy round will lead to the closure of most of its sites in Britain.
Johannes Teyssen, the chief executive of Npower’s parent company E.ON, said: “The UK market is currently particularly challenging – we’ve emphasised repeatedly that we’ll take all necessary action to return our business there to consistent profitability. For this purpose, we’ve put together proposals and already begun discussing them with British unions.”
Job losses will effect IT and customer services, leading to the closure of call centres.
On its website, Npower states the Solihull office at Princes Way is one of its largest, with over 1,300 employees working there. The company also has headquarters in Swindon, with regional offices in Oldbury, Houghton-le-Spring and Hull.
Last month, Npower’s parent company EON announced job cuts nationwide and at offices in Coventry, blaming losses and the government’s price cap.
This year Eon took over Innogy, the owner of UK supplier Npower, from German rival RWE, in a £34.5bn asset swap.
Dave Prentis, general secretary of union UNISON said: “This is a cruel blow for Npower employees. They’ve been worried about their jobs for months. Now their worst fears have been realised, less than a month before Christmas.
“The UK energy market is in real danger of collapse. If nothing is done, there could soon be other casualties.
“Npower’s demise means there’s no time to waste. It makes the powerful case for bringing the retail arms of the Big Six energy firms into public ownership.
“This would preserve jobs, ensure customers get a better deal and allow the UK to meet its carbon neutral targets.”
A spokesperson for EON said: “Solihull is one of eight Npower offices – these proposals will be subject to consultation with trade unions and employee representatives and we are committed to mitigating the impact on colleagues.”