OVO Energy has announced plans to cut 2,600 jobs amid the coronavirus crisis.
The energy supplier says it aims to make the cuts ‘largely through voluntary redundancy’.
OVO has been planning to merge the two businesses since the acquisition of SSE Energy Services at the beginning of the year, a development that was already likely to lead to changes in staffing.
The firm says the coronavirus has accelerated an ongoing shift in consumer behaviours toward online models and further lessened demand for some roles.
The company reports a 69% drop in home service engineering work and a 92% reduction in smart meter installations since the start of the lockdown.
Stephen Fitzpatrick, CEO and Founder of OVO, said: “Today is a very difficult day. We have a brilliant team here and this news isn’t a reflection of anyone’s work. What should have been a much longer process to digitise the SSE business and integrate it with OVO has been accelerated due to the impact of the coronavirus.
“We are seeing a rapid increase in customers using digital channels to engage with us, and in our experience, once customers start to engage differently they do not go back.
“As a result, we are expecting a permanent reduction in demand for some roles, whilst other field-based roles are also heavily affected.
“There is never an easy time to announce redundancies and this is a particularly difficult decision to take. But like all businesses, we face a new reality and need to adapt quickly to enable us to better serve our customers and invest in a zero carbon future.”