Cash-strapped TXU Energi plans ad effort to allay customer fears

TXU Energi is being forced to take out radio and press ads to reassure its customers that they will continue to be supplied with energy following an announcement that its US-based parent company TXU is cutting off cash supply to its UK and European subsidiaries.

Energy watchdog EnergyWatch is also launching a consumer information campaign this week for TXU Energi customers, to make them wary of sales people from rival companies. An EnergyWatch spokesman says: “A troubled energy company is an open invitation to sales agents of rival companies to start knocking on the doors of consumers asking them to switch suppliers.”

A spokesman for TXU Energi says: ” Our campaign is to tell consumers not to panic and assure them that it is business as usual.” The gas and electricity company uses Roose to handle its advertising. The utility company has 5.5 million customers mainly in the North-west, around Liverpool and Manchester, and in the East Anglia region.

Roger Partington, head of retail business for TXU Europe, parent of TXU Energi, recently lost his job, just days before US holding company abandoned Europe and the UK markets (MW October 10).

While fears of insolvency are surrounding TXU Energi, it is being rumoured that it will soon be put up for sale. Talks are already underway with a number of likely suitors, including Eon-owned Powergen.

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