The announcement comes amid the ongoing controversy over energy bill price hikes for consumers and businesses. SSE Energy Supply Limited, one of the so called big six provider has announced it plans to freeze household bills until January 2016.
SSE is a trading name of SSE Energy Supply Limited, voted “”Best for Customer Service” every year since 2006 in the uSwitch Customer Satisfaction Reports.
SSE chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies stated: “We’re setting out a positive agenda for customers, including our price freeze to 2016. We’re making sure our own house is in order for the future by streamlining and simplifying our business and we’re making clear we wish to work with people to find more ways of taking costs out of energy bills.”
In order to afford the price freeze, SSE also announced a swathe of measures to keep its overheads down and reduce capital and investment expenditure, retaining a commitment to keep some planned operational efficiencies.
SSE will reduce costs by £100m in the coming two years, including a staff reduction of 500 and will scale back and exit some other projects to concentrate on its deepwater wind farm, located 12 miles off Scotland’s Moray Firth, north-east of Inverness.
The big energy providers have come under sustained fire over profits, with critics saying that although retail earnings may be modest the firms’ wholesale and distributions margins are too high.
SSE said it expects to report a full-year annual pre-tax profit of around 9% when it releases its results on May 21. However, as householders become more aware of reducing energy consumption, SSE expects to see a retail profit reduction of about 25%.
Chief Executive Alistair Phillips-Davies and Group MD, Retail, Will Morris, explain how SSE listened to customers before freezing energy prices to 2016.
“We understand our customers are concerned about the prospect of energy prices rising over the next two years. So we are taking action to make a difference, protect our customers and give them peace of mind. No other supplier has ever offered a price guarantee on its standard price for this length of time.
“We are pleased that the Government has listened to our call to lower taxes on bills, and as a result we’ve been able to reduce our prices by an average of £38 a year for a typical dual fuel customer* from 24 March 2014. We’re now calling for the cost of the remaining government schemes to be removed from bills altogether.”
The price freeze applies to all customers who are on or who move to the Standard tariff between 26 March 2014 and 1 January 2016.
Sources: www.news.sky.com and www.sse.co.uk