SSE loses another 400,000 energy customers but presses on with controversial retail merger with N-Power

Perth-based utility SSE has lost 400,000 gas and electricity customers so far this year.

The company now has 7.68 million customers as at 31 Dec 2017 compared to more than eight million in the previous year.

However, this number will almost double when SSE’s retail division merges with N-Power, a move expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

The news comes as the Brit-Govt’s latest consumer research shows nearly half of customers continue to mis-trust their energy supplier.

The survey for the BEIS energy department shows that consumers are less likely to trust suppliers to improve their home to make it more energy efficient, if asked to do this (51%), to inform customers about their best tariff (54%) and to provide impartial and accurate advice on energy efficiency measures (59%).

Meanwhile, in electricity generation, SSE now expects that its full-year capital and investment expenditure will total around £1.6 billion.

Capital spend in the nine months since 1 April 2017 has totalled £1.1 billiion and includes around £355 million in on- and offshore-wind.

A total of 516MW of new onshore wind farm capacity was commissioned in the nine months to 31 December and a further 481MW of on- and offshore wind farm capacity is in construction. This includes SSE’s 235MW 40% share of the Beatrice offshore windfarm where substantive progress has been made in construction, with 36 of the 86 jackets installed in the Moray Firth.

This means SSE’s total renewable energy capacity (including pumped hydro storage) is expected to grow to 4.3GW by March 2020, enabling SSE to generate around 12TWh of electricity from renewable sources in a typical year.

Meanwhile, in November 2017, the Judicial Review legal appeal against planning consent for the the Seagreen offshore windfarm – a 50:50 partnership between SSE and Fluor Ltd (Phase One up to 1,050MW), came to an end, with the consent being successfully reinstated.

SSE and Flour are targeting 2022 as a potential build date for Seagreen, depending on renewable energy subsidies in any future Contracts for Difference auctions.

It is holding public information meetings later this month in Montrose, Arbroath and Carnoustie over the Seagreen renewable electricity turbine farm, which will be built offshore the River Tay estuary.

2 Feb 2018


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