A new electricity and gas utility has been created in northern Germany by the merger of the Oldenburg utility EWE and UNH of Bremen. The merger has been backdated to take effect from 1 January 1998.

The new company is to be called EWE and based in Oldenburg. With an electrical output of 12 000 kWh and gas deliveries of 38 000 kWh, it will become one of the ten largest utilities in Germany.

The major German utility PreussenElektra, which held shares in both the predecessors of the new utility will hold 27.4 per cent of the stock of the new company. The remainder will be held by local communities.

EWE has a significant installed capacity of wind turbines. It offers a special tariff for consumers willing to pay a premium for power derived from renewable sources. Around 47 per cent of the customer base is prepared to pay the extra.