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SSE announces record annual profit of £1.5bn

The energy supplier has been criticised for not passing part of the gains on to its customers

SSE has announced a record £1.5bn profit

SSE has announced a record £1.5bn profit

Want to know which supplier is offering the cheapest energy deal? Check out our market overview

The figures represent a 9.6% rise in profits for the year to 31 March – up from £1.4bn for the previous 12 months.

SSE has stated that the increase in profits is a result of the strong performance of its electricity transmission activities. Its retail business, on the other hand, has seen profits dip by 28.6% to £292m.

The energy supplier raised its gas and electricity prices by 8.2% in October 2013.

Customers flock to cheaper tariffs

The company has lost about 370,000 customers over the course of the year. SSE has blamed this decline on an increase in consumers switching energy supplier to find a cheaper deal and greater competition in the energy sector. A statement similar to one put out by British Gas not long ago.

Independent supplier First Utility is currently offering the cheapest gas and electricity plan, costing the average household £992 per year. The top five cheapest energy deals on offer at the moment are all from independent energy providers.

SSE hopes price freeze will stem loss of customers

In March this year, SSE pledged to freeze its energy prices until January 2016.

Speaking on the pledge, Alistair Phillips-Davies, chief executive at SSE, said: “We introduced our price freeze right at the end of the last financial year and it has been hugely popular.

“It remains the only such commitment available to all customers and will mean we take a hit on retail profits over the next couple of years.”

Labour: ‘Freeze energy prices until 2017’

Jonathan Reynolds, Labour’s shadow energy and climate change minister, blasted SSE for raising energy prices and raking in the benefits, at the detriment of hard-pressed households.

“SSE has already said it will freeze prices until 2016. Today’s profits show it can afford to freeze them until 2017 – and if SSE can do it, so can the other energy companies,” he said, echoing Labour leader Ed Miliband’s pledge to freeze prices should he win the next general election.

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  • Charlie Farnesbarns

    Big suppliers may be more expensive (which I firmly believe the regulators should do something about) but large numbers switching to new market entrants is causing serious problems for businesses whose infrastructure is struggling to cope.
    We switched to First Utility mid 2013 but after 9 months of constant mistakes with bills and direct debits not collected – to name just 2 examples of their incompetence – we gave up spending hours on the phone and recently moved back to one of the majors.
    Frankly, until these smaller suppliers build the service capability to cope with large customer inflows, the hassle isn’t worth saving a few pounds a month.

    • Absolutely hit it on the head there Charlie! I was with FU for over 4 years since they launched and it all went swimmingly – they could not cope and went into meltdown last autumn when they changed software or updated or something – dint get a bill for three months then got horrendous large bill – then got a large credit – completely to pot they went – have now switched to ovo but I suspect same thing could happen – they just cant cope with the implications of providing CS if something goes wrong…

    • Jeremy Taylor

      I switched to OVO Energy from nPower four years ago and have never had a problem. Their website is brilliant and you can adjust your Direct Debit on it. I build up large credit in the summer by paying the same amount each month and get 3% interest from OVO. They have just installed smart gas & electricity meters so that I don’t have to give them readings.

  • F Craddock

    Not surprised that SSE is losing customers galore. they never answer any phone lines, do not keep to agreements. My partner currently struggling to to challenge a £900 odd bill that SSE AGREED is not owed ! Despite that they have sent in debt collectors- who also don’t answer the phone. this is an appalling organisation.