SSE

SSE is firmly established as a big six energy supplier, but in 2019 the company sold off its consumer energy business to newcomer OVO Energy, which took control of SSE Energy Services in 2020. Despite the acquisition, SSE Energy Services continues to be run as an independent business, while SSE itself carries on supplying energy to businesses, generating ever larger amounts of renewable energy, and distributing power to UK homes.

An image of the SSE logo

In this guide:

  • SSE company profile

  • What does SSE stand for?

  • SSE's ethical outlook 

  • What are the SSE tariffs?

  • Is SSE electricity renewable?

  • What is an SSE energy smart meter?

  • What is SSE Reward?

  • What is My SSE? 

  • SSE energy reviews and reputation

  • SSE Customer Service Guarantee 

  • How can I switch to SSE? 

  • Is SSE the best energy provider for me?

SSE company profile

  • Founded: 1998

  • Acquired: 2019 by OVO Energy

  • HQ: Perth Scotland

  • Total customers: Around 5 million

  • UK ranking: 2

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) was originally founded in 1998 after the merger of Scottish Hydro-Electric and Southern Electric. Based in Perth, Scotland, the energy provider purchased Welsh energy supplier SWALEC in 2000. In 2019, the company’s retail business – SSE Energy Services, including all its domestic customers and 8,000 employees – was acquired by OVO Energy. SSE retained control of the rest of the business, including SSE Business Energy, its commercial arm.

The purchase was finalised in 2020, but for the time being SSE and its subsidiaries, which include SSE SWALEC in Wales, SSE Atlantic, SSE Scottish Hydro, and SSE Southern Electric, remains a separate operation, with its own products and tariffs. 

SSE's ethical outlook 

SSE is committed to maintaining an ethical, responsible outlook across all its business practices. This is exhibited by its dedication to renewable energy generation, as well as the initiatives it has in place for its employees. 

One such initiative is Be The Difference, SSE’s community volunteering project. This initiative allows SSE employees to spend a working day supporting community projects, instead of fulfilling their usual role at SSE. Furthermore, SSE is lauded as the largest officially accredited Living Wage Employer in the UK. 

SSE is also the first-ever FTSE 100 company to be awarded the Fair Tax Mark for its transparency surrounding tax affairs.

What are the SSE tariffs?

Unlike some energy companies, SSE likes to keep its tariff list small and straightforward, with five basic offerings to choose from. All five can be taken as a dual-fuel or single fuel plan (information correct as November 2020):

Tariff nameTypeExit feesKey features
Standard TariffVariableNone Available to prepayment (PAYG) customers; no smart meter required
SSE 1 Year Fix tariff v2 Fixed for 12 monthsNone Available to PAYG customers with second-generation (SMETS2) smart meter; smart meter installation required
SSE 2 Year Fix v3 tariff Fixed for 24 monthsNone Available to PAYG customers with second-generation (SMETS2) smart meter; smart meter installation required
SSE Fix and Control v2 Fixed for 24 months£75 per fuel 100% renewable energy; free Smart Home Package (Nest Thermostat E, Google Nest); smart meter installation required
SSE Fix and Drive v2 Fixed for 12 monthsNone Exclusively for electric vehicle users; free electricity for up to 8,000 miles when charged during off-peak period; 100% renewable electricity; smart meter installation required

SSE also offers two bundles, which combine its energy tariffs with heating breakdown and fibre broadband. Both offer a 5% discount on your energy when you take out either heating breakdown cover with SSE Fix and Protect (£9.50/month) or fibre/fibre plus broadband with SSE Fix and Fibre (£23/month)

Is SSE electricity renewable?

The main SSE business – that which wasn’t sold to OVO Energy in 2019 – includes SSE Renewables, which currently delivers 4GW of energy to the UK through its portfolio of onshore and offshore wind, plus hydropower. It continues to invest heavily in the development, ownership, and operation of infrastructure for sustainable energy generation, closely aligning its own targets with the UN’s goals for sustainable development.

SSE Renewables has set itself four key objectives to reach by 2030:

  • Climate action

Reduce the company’s carbon intensity by 60% to 120g of CO2/kWh compared to 2018 levels.

  • Treble renewable energy output

Develop and build more renewable energy to contribute a renewable output of 30TWh per year.

  • Accommodate 10 million electric vehicles

Help build a flexible electricity network and infrastructure to accommodate 10 million EVs on Britain’s roads.

  • Champion Fair Tax and a real living wage

Become a leader in both cases across the UK and Ireland.

SSE Business Energy includes plans for businesses who are looking for a green energy solution. SSE Green Electricity provides renewable energy to businesses, 100% of which is sourced sustainably from wind and hydro farms, accredited by REGO (Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin). Meanwhile, SSE Green Gas produces 100% renewable energy through food, farm, and water waste, accredited by RGGOs (Renewable Gas Guarantees of Origin). 

SSE’s customer arm has only recently has started to offer renewable electricity on selected tariffs, but its new parent has much stronger green credentials: OVO Energy has recently started offering 100% renewable electricity as standard on all its own tariffs and makes much of its efforts to try and tackle the climate crisis. Expect more of these green initiatives to trickle down to SSE Energy Services.

What is an SSE energy smart meter?

SSE is committed to the government-backed initiative of upgrading every eligible UK household to a smart meter system by the end of June 2021.

With a smart meter, your readings will be sent to SSE automatically. This allows SSE to bill you far more accurately, and there will never be estimations involved, so you’ll never have to pay any more than you should be paying. 

You can also use an SSE smart meter to track your usage in real-time. This can help you identify areas where you may be able to conserve more energy, and in turn, save money on your energy bills. 

Most SSE tariffs now come with a requirement to have a smart meter installed as part of the plan if you’ve not already got one, subject to your household being suitable. Smart meters are fitted for free and you’ll also be offered a handheld In-Home Display (IHD). This connects to your smart meter to allow you to track your energy usage in detail – down to individual appliances in some cases. It can also be used to set targets to help you budget your energy consumption. However, whether you take a IHD or not, you can also track your usage through your SSE online account. 

What are SSE Rewards?

Benefitting from SSE’s sponsorship of some of the leading music venues in the UK, SSE customers are able to receive exclusive early access and discounts on tickets for events at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, SSE Arena (Odyssey Arena) in Belfast, and SSE Arena (Wembley Arena) in London. 

What is My SSE? 

You can manage your SSE account online using My SSE. This online management portal allows you to pay your bills, submit your meter readings and, if you’re a smart meter customer, track your usage without looking at your IHD. You can register easily with just your name, email address and phone number. 

SSE energy reviews and reputation

SSE was rated three out of five stars in the Uswitch Energy Awards 2020, scoring 70% overall for customer satisfaction. However, it was awarded Best Large Supplier in the following categories:

  • Best Customer Service

  • Best Online Experience 

  • Best Smart Meter Experience 

  • Best Metre Reading Services

  • Best Billing Services 

The provider had previously won Best Large Supplier in the 2019 Uswitch Awards. 

SSE Customer Service Guarantee 

The SSE Customer Service Guarantee outlines the provider’s commitment to serving the needs of its customers. The Guarantee lists five key commitments that SSE promise to adhere to: 

  • SSE will call you back at the time it states it will

  • SSE will never transfer you more than once in a call, unless you agree to it 

  • You will always be given the opportunity to speak to a manager when requested

  • SSE will always offer to find you ways to save money when you call 

  • SSE will always offer support if you need help with your energy bills

SSE promises to knock £20 off your next bill for each commitment that it fails to meet. The company also currently enjoys a healthy 4.4 rating on TrustPilot.

How can I switch to SSE? 

Making the switch to SSE is an incredibly easy process, because SSE participates in the Energy Switch Guarantee. This means that should you decide to switch, SSE will handle everything. You won’t need to contact your current provider, SSE will do that for you, and there won’t be any complicated paperwork or admin. The switch will take place within 21 days, and you will have a 14-day cooling-off period after deciding to switch where you will be able to change your mind without incurring any fees.  

All you need to do to switch to SSE is the following: 

  • Request a quote and select your desired plan. Using our comparison tool will help you identify the best value plan for your specific circumstances. 

  • Sign up online and inform SSE of your current provider in the process.

  • You will need to provide SSE with a meter reading so that your first bill is as accurate as possible.  

You will receive all paperwork online via email, and SSE will commence the transition process. 

Is SSE the best energy provider for me?

Domestic customers will be attracted by SSE’s award-winning customer service, as evidenced by the Uswitch Awards. The emergence of renewable electricity options within its tariffs may also tempt users into switching along with some attractive bundle deals. Commercial users will be pleased to see the main SSE business continue to champion corporate responsibility while expanding its generation of renewable energy.

Last updated: 27 November 2020