HQ: Perth, Scotland
Total customers: 5,800,000
UK ranking: 2
SSE is one of the largest suppliers of electricity and gas in the UK. As one of the big six, the company boasts the second-largest share of the UK’s gas and electricity market.
SSE Energy prides itself on its diverse range of operations and its commitment to innovation – citing itself as the first to simplify plans, stop doorstep selling and create a customer charter which aims to provide transparent service and good value.
This charter also describes SSE’s willingness to go a step further than regulator’s Guaranteed Standards by offering a deduction of £20 from the customer’s next bill in addition to fixing the issue if it fails to meet any of the five commitments outlined in its Customer Service Guarantee.
SSE gas and electric products are highly acclaimed, winning Large Supplier of the Year in uSwitch’s 2019 Energy Awards by earning the highest Overall Customer Satisfaction score while also being the large supplier to win Best Meter Reading Services and Most Likely to be Recommended.
Boasting a workforce of over 20,000 employees in more than 150 locations, SSE energy is well represented across the UK and committed to making a difference in its local communities. Be the Difference, its community volunteering project, allows its employees to spend a working day supporting community projects instead of fulfilling their usual role – meaning charities and organisations are essentially able to borrow from SSE’s workforce for free.
With SSE, gas and electric plans are split between four options: standard, 1 Year Fix, 2 Year Fix, and 2 Year Fix and Control. The standard plan is available as a pay as you go option and provides flexible energy with no early exit fee. The price of energy can fluctuate but this is the best option for anyone with no desire to be tied down to a long-term contract.
The 1 Year and 2 Year Fix plans do as their names suggest and offer fixed SSE plans for 12 and 24 months respectively. Again, there is no threat of an early exit fee but, unlike the standard plan, these options are not available to pay as you go customers.
The 2 Year Fix and Control plan provides 2 years of guaranteed fixed SSE plan prices, an SSE smart meter, a Google Nest Thermostat E valued at £199 and a Google Home Mini valued at £49. This plan comes with an early exit fee of £75 per fuel and is also unavailable to pay as you go customers.
For customers paying by direct debit, SSE also offers bundles which provide better value for money than its standalone products. The 1 Year Fix and Protect v3 Bundle provides free heating breakdown cover for boilers, controls and central heating systems. This includes parts and labour, a 24/7 helpline with emergency callouts, and £250 to go towards a new boiler which, if the faulty one cannot be fixed, SSE will also install. In addition to this, paying for SSE gas and electric products via Direct Debit also means customers will also receive an annual discount of £40 per fuel.
The 18 Month Fix and Fibre bundle is the second option SSE provides, giving its customers 40% off fibre broadband by slashing the regular monthly bill from £23 to £13. This broadband package has an average download speed of 35Mbps, includes line rental and a wireless router with no delivery or connection charges and has no exit fee for the first 60 days. The direct debit discount also applies here and there is no early exit fee for energy.
SSE Green Electricity is a renewable energy solution for businesses which generates 100% of its energy through clean wind and hydro assets. Its gas equivalent, SSE Green Gas, produces its 100% renewable energy via agricultural materials as well as food and water waste. SSE Green Electricity is supported by its REGO (Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin) accreditation while RGGOs (Renewable Gas Guarantees of Origin) provide the accreditations for SSE Green Gas. SSE Green customers are given a special certificate and logo to demonstrate their clean energy credentials, so they are able to signify their efforts in the pursuit of a low carbon world.
Although these renewable energy solutions are targeted at businesses, the SSE smart meter provides a new and exciting way for its customers to measure their energy usage, helping them save time, energy and money in the long run. The SSE smart meter automatically sends accurate and up-to-date readings to SSE, meaning customers won’t need to have their meters read as they have been in the past. By getting these real-time updates on how much they’re spending, SSE gas and electric customers will find it easier to both track and limit their energy usage. SSE smart meters are installed at no extra cost and, if requested, can also come with a Smart Energy Tracker – a device which connects to the SSE smart meter and allows users to set targets and see directly how energy use changes as appliances are switched on and off.
Customers can switch their existing supplier with SSE by taking the following three steps:
First, request a quote, select a plan and sign up online.
Then, you must tell SSE which supplier you are planning on leaving.
Finally, you need to provide SSE with your meter readings.
SSE is part of the Energy Switch Guarantee, which is a scheme that suppliers sign up to where they promise to complete the switch within 21 days - this is to make the process of switching gas and electricity as quick and as hassle-free as possible. SSE will tell the current energy provider that the switch has been requested and promises to handle everything. After signing up, paperwork will be sent by email and SSE will submit a request to a customer’s current supplier so it can begin the switch. SSE provides the customer’s previous supplier with their final meter readings just before the switch, to ensure it can close the customer’s account with the same readings.
Switching to an SSE energy bundle follows a similar process. After the customer chooses their bundle, SSE will contact their existing utility suppliers – although Virgin Media users and customers with third party heating breakdown cover will have to contact their respective suppliers themselves. The 21-day energy switch guarantee also applies with bundles and switching broadband and phone services typically takes between 18 and 20 days to complete.
My SSE is SSE’s online account management portal that allows you to pay your gas/electricity bill, submit meter readings and more. Registration is simple - all you need to do is give your name, email address and contact number and set a password. You’ll then receive a registration email and you’re good to go.
SSE has recently sold its retail energy business to OVO, meaning that it will no longer be directly involved in providing domestic customers with energy. Moving forward, though, it intends to focus more on sustainability. By 2030 it aims to achieve four goals: cutting carbon intensity by 50% in comparison to 2018 levels, trebling its renewable energy output, helping to accommodate 10 million electric vehicles, and championing fair tax and a real living wage. SSE is challenging itself to continue as a leading energy company while aiding the transition into a low-carbon world.
SSE is a large and well-respected energy provider with awards for customer satisfaction, while it’s also been named as the large supplier most likely to be recommended, which is indicative of its quality of service. Being able to stand out as a part of the big six and offering such a wide range of plans, bundles and products suggests SSE is a company that may be worth considering by most businesses and households alike.