French flavour for new 24seven brand

CONTROVERSIAL energy distribution company 24seven officially ceased to exist today.The name disappeared on the same day as Powergen retired the TXU Energi brand – it's now sending out all bills under its own name.

By Paul Geater

CONTROVERSIAL energy distribution company 24seven officially ceased to exist today.

The name disappeared on the same day as Powergen retired the TXU Energi brand – it's now sending out all bills under its own name.

Bosses at 24seven were today telling their staff that they will now be known as EDF Energy.

That reflects the fact that the company is owned by French nationalised company Electricité De France.

"We decided on this name change because it reflects the fact that we are part of a major European energy group and we are proud of that," said EDF director Paul Cuthill.

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"All our power networks across south east England will now be branded EDF Energy – we operate all the distribution networks south east of a line from Kings Lynn to Aylesbury and down to Littlehampton on the south coast."

Although the company owns three retail brands: Seeboard Energy, London Energy, and SWEB Energy, Mr Cuthill said about 70 per cent of its business in Britain was from its distribution network.

"Analysts have calculated our network covers about 40 per cent of this country's GDP," he said.

The name change was not an attempt by the company to get away from the problems which emerged after last autumn's disastrous storms which left hundreds of thousands of East Anglian customers without power – some for up to a week.

"If this was an attempt to get away from those problems, we'd have changed the name much faster than this," Mr Cuthill said.

"We're not trying to get away from anything with this name change – we have the same responsibilities through Ofgem," he said

"And we have done a great deal to try to ensure that if there is a repeat of last autumn's gales then our initial response will be much better."

Meanwhile as 24seven was biting the dust, Powergen was writing to former TXU Energi customers to say that name had now been discontinued.

From now on all bills will be sent out under the Powergen brand name.

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See page 22 for a closer look at the troubled times of Ipswich's giant companies.

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