Scottish energy supplier SSE today threw down the gauntlet to other suppliers by freezing its energy prices until “at least” January 2016.
The company which supplies 9 million customers is also splitting its retail and wholesale businesses so they will be “legally separated to enhance transparency” by 2015. It seems the supplier is trying to get in ahead of regulators competition review which is expected to come out tomorrow.
SSE will not have increased its prices since November 2013, nearly 26 months which potentially pips the Labour Party to the post in its own price freeze pledge.
The company claimed the move is intended to “shield SSE’s customers” from rising energy costs.
To keep prices the same, SSE expects its profit margin from supplying customers with electricity and gas will be “lower than it has been previously”.
It doesn’t come without a knock-on effect for the company’s spending in other areas – including scaling down wind energy projects.
SSE wants to cut its business by around £100m, partly by shedding around 500 jobs with a “voluntary early release programme”.
Alistair Phillips-Davies, Chief Executive of SSE said: “With today’s announcements we’re recognising that delivering the lowest possible energy prices for our customers has to be central to everything we do…
“To help us achieve that, we’re making sure our own house is in order by streamlining and simplifying our business.”
He added the company want “to make sure the cost of energy taxes is paid for fairly in a way that is proportionate to people’s income and protects the vulnerable.”