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SSE/OVO Deal: Customer service standards must be maintained

Citizens Advice Scotland has called for a focus on customer service standards and specialist support for customers with two or three rate meters following news that SSE’s retail energy business has been acquired by OVO Energy.

The deal, announced today, will transform the UK retail energy landscape which has long been dominated by the Big 6 suppliers. OVO Energy will acquire SSE’s 3.5 million customers, including many hundreds of thousands of customers in Scotland, where the company operates under the Scottish Hydro brand.

Dr Jamie Stewart, energy spokesperson at Citizens Advice Scotland, said: 

“The Citizens Advice Network in Scotland helps hundreds of thousands of people each year and many thousands of those have concerns relating to their energy supply. 

"This deal brings to an end a period of uncertainty for SSE customers, but this is only the start of a complex transition process. Our network of advisers see first-hand the difficulties that consumers can face when billing and IT services are migrated; it is vital that the strong customer service standards currently offered by both companies are maintained throughout this process. 

“Our message to affected customers is that you will be contacted by both companies in due course and the transition should not affect your bills, but please seek our advice if you have any concerns.

"A significant number of SSE customers in Scotland have two or three rate electricity meters; this can cause compatibility issues when transferring between energy suppliers. We would call for support services for these consumers to be prioritised to ensure that functionality is maintained and that overall the deal can bring better outcomes for these customers. 

“As ever, we are committed to making sure consumers’ interests are protected, so we intend to meet with OVO in the near future to make these points to them.”