SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy) is a Scottish-registered energy company and is the second largest energy supplier in the UK. It all started in 1943 when Scotland Hydro Electric was formed as part of the Hydro Electric Development Act, and it was the first company to deliver electricity to the Scottish Highlands. Scotland Hydro Electric played an important role, working over rugged terrain, the newly built power stations and hydro dams enhanced the lives of many Scots.
Further south, Southern Electric was formed in 1948 to supply electricity to the south of England. In 1998, the merger of Scottish Hydro Electric and Southern Electric created the brand SSE as it is today.
With a focus on renewable energy, in 2008, SSE purchased Airtricity, renaming is SSE Airtricity, a wind farm business based in Ireland. This doubled the renewables capacity SSE had to become the largest operator in the UK.
Brief Overview of SSE Today
Currently trading on the London Stock Exchange, SSE is the largest producer of renewable energy in the UK. With a view on a net-zero world, SSE sold their GB electricity supply business to Ovo Energy in 2020. SSE has also been listed as a major partner for COP26 as part of a worldwide initiative from the UN on climate change. There is a plan from SSE to become the leading energy supplier in a low carbon world. With goals in place, SSE is putting sustainability at the forefront of their company. By 2030, SSE is working on cutting down on carbon intensity by 60%, supplying 10m electric vehicles, increasing their renewable energy output by treble and leading a change in fair tax and living wages. Being the only FTSE100 company achieving accreditation for five years, SSE led the way.
With annual revenue of £6.8 billion in 2020, SSE is classed as one of the ‘Big Six’ in the UK.
Map of Business and SSE In the UK
Currently operating across the UK, with over 2.9 million customers, Central Southern England is the largest area of the two supply networks for SSE. The second largest being Northern Scotland with over 740,000 customers, covering a quarter of the UK landmass. With Scotland being so vast, it produced a unique challenge for the energy supplier, with places such as the Orkney Islands and the Outer Hebrides, over 100 subsea cable links were needed.
Products and Services
SSE plc is one of the UK’s biggest companies in distributing energy. With a new focus on renewable energy and a plan for 2030 carbon free energy, we may see a change in the following sales breakdown:
– electricity and gas distribution (52.4%)
– management of the electricity distribution network (11.5%)
– renewable and thermal energies generation (9.8%)
– electricity transmission (5.6%)
– gas storage (0.1%);
– other, such as the installation of electrical equipment, security systems and thermal insulation (20.6%)
Domestic Electricity and Gas Market Share
As of 2020, SSE sold their domestic division to OVO energy. In Q4 back in 2019, they held a solid 12.10%. This is surprising as SSE holds the best record for complaints resolved in 24 hours. In the wholesale electricity generation market, SSE reported a share of 7%. For domestic gas, SSE held a market share of 9.4% back in Q4 2019.
SSE plc owns ten subsidiaries according to official listings. The table below lists the date and company name, along with deal sizes for four of the subsidiaries.
|Company Name||Date||Deal Size|
|The Energy Solutions Group Topco Ltd||July 31, 2014||£66 m|
|Endesa Ireland Ltd||June 15, 2012|
|Aquamarine Power Ltd||November 24, 2010|
|ESB Contracts Ltd||November 01, 2009|
|Uskmouth Power||August 13, 2009||£27 m|
|Seeboard Trading Ltd||February 29, 2008|
|SSE Airtricity Inc.||January 05, 2008||£1.10 b|
|Atlantic||April 28, 2004||£90.70 m|
|SSE Medway Operations Ltd||October 03, 2003|
|SWALEC||August 07, 2000||£210 m|
SSE Executive Committee
Listed on the SSE website is their executive committee. SSE has a strong vision of becoming a gender-balanced company, with a current 36% female and 64% male split. In 2019 it was announced that at a minimum of 33% female membership to be preserved over a three-year period. Below is a list of the executive committee, each with a unique and diverse background, helping to steer the company in a sustainable and renewable future.
Richard Gillingwater – Chairman
With over 20 years of extensive leadership experience, Richard Gillingwater has expert knowledge of capital markets and financial expertise. With a guide to the long-term future of renewable energy, he has developed incredible knowledge of the energy sector and how SSE visions the energy market.
Martin Pibworth – Energy Director
Joining in 1998, Martin Pibworth started out as an energy trader. Following roles in commercial, in 2014 Martin Pibworth became managing director, leading SSE’s electricity generation. Martin Pibworth has a huge role in the ever-growing renewable energy plan, as in 2017 he became energy director.
Sally Fairbairn – Company Secretary and Director of Investor Relations
Sally Fairbairn joined the SSE team back in 1997 as an accountant. After forming a sound knowledge of the long-term SSE financial model, in 2007 Sally Fairbairn was appointed Director of Investor Relations and Analysis. Improving on investor views, in 2014 she was made Company Secretary and Director of Investor Relations
Alistair Phillips-Davies – Chief Executive
Since 1997, Alistair Phillips-Davies has been with SSE, creating an understanding and knowledge of the company. With numerous senior roles, he was appointed Chief Executive in 2013. Alistair Phillips-Davies boasts knowledge of the markets in Europe, after previously holding the role of Vice President at Eurelectric.
Gregor Alexander – Finance Director
Another longstanding member of SSE, Gregor Alexander joined the energy firm in 1990. He was announced as Finance Director in 2002 and has been a huge part of SSE’s long-term value and introducing the latest commitment to living wage and fair tax as part of the COP26 scheme.
Social Media and Website
SSE has a dedicated presence online to help provide their customers with numerous ways to stay up to date with the latest news and for contacting the company. Their online media team are available 24 hours a day to assist and guide customers with information. On Twitter, you can find tweets from the company, as well as responses to customers’ requests. You can follow SSE at @SSE for major company updates, or for more of a customer service approach, follow @yoursse. Facebook is another great way to keep up to date with SSE along with Facebook Messenger to ask questions for yourself. You can also message SSE via WhatsApp, very useful for mobile users who may not have social media accounts. Alternatively, you can contact SSE on 0345 026 2658.
SSE news and updates
|Capital Research & Management Co. (Global Investors) AS OF 15 SEP 2020||49.88m||4.79%|
|Mondrian Investment Partners Ltd. AS OF 02 JAN 2021||44.34m||4.26%|
|The Caisse de dpt et placement du Qubec AS OF 04 JAN 2021||41.49m||3.98%|
|UBS Asset Management (UK) Ltd. AS OF 31 MAR 2020||40.22m||3.86%|
|Invesco Advisers, Inc. AS OF 31 MAR 2020||32.23m||3.09%|
|Norges Bank Investment Management AS OF 02 JAN 2021||29.63m||2.84%|
|BlackRock Fund Advisors AS OF 02 JAN 2021||28.97m||2.78%|
|The Vanguard Group, Inc. AS OF 02 JAN 2021||27.29m||2.62%|
|Royal London Asset Management Ltd. AS OF 02 JAN 2021||20.72m||1.99%|
|Pictet Asset Management SA AS OF 02 JAN 2021||18.80m||1.80%|
In 2020, SSE was fined £2.06m not abiding to laws of publishing inside information about the wholesale energy market. This was a message sent to the energy sector and other wholesale companies about following the rules and regulations set by REMIT. The failure of publishing these records in time would have led to significant effects on future wholesale electricity prices.
In more recent news, SSE announced it had reached an agreement to sell of all their interests in gas exploration to Viaro Energy for £120m. This comes as SSE are solely focused on renewable energy and their 2030 target of net-zero emissions. The gas exploration portfolio hosts non-operational equity shares in three regions in the North Sea. A strong move from SSE to show key interests in the future of the planet and their commitment to the COP26 scheme. SSE plan to invest over £7.5bn in a new low-carbon energy scheme before 2030.
Key Financial Data
Based on the findings of the 2019/20 report, SSE made over £7bn in revenue with a gross profit of £1.5bn. The revenue is a huge difference from the previous year of over £27bn. With net sales at £6bn, compared to over £29bn the previous year, you can see there has been a massive difference. Predictions expect a slow rise over the next few years, rising to just over £7bn in 2022. There was also a net margin of –0.87% in 2020 from 4.7% in 2019. With SSE preparing to become one of the largest players in renewable energy, we could see more customers opting for cleaner energy after a recent sale of their gas interests.
SSE could be an energy provider to keep an eye on in the near future. Currently sat as the second largest provider in the UK and with aims of becoming carbon free by 2030, you may see more customers joining the race for zero emissions. If other companies don’t follow suit, SSE could be getting an early leg up on the competition. With intentions being clearly made by selling their gas interests, SSE has put a bold claim for their future ambitions and goals.