SSE plc

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SSE plc
Public limited company
Traded asLSESSE
FTSE 100 component
ISINGB0007908733 Edit this on Wikidata
Founded1998; 22 years ago (1998)
HeadquartersPerth, Scotland, United Kingdom
Area served
United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland
Key people
ServicesPower generation and distribution, natural gas production, transportation, and distribution, telecommunications, metering
Revenue£7,331.6 million (2019)[1]
£979.5 million (2019)[1]
£1,455.7 million (2019)[1]
Number of employees
20,570 (2019)[1]
Subsidiaries Edit this at Wikidata

SSE plc (formerly Scottish and Southern Energy plc) is a multinational energy company headquartered in Perth, Scotland.[2][3] It is listed on the London Stock Exchange, and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. SSE operates in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

As a generator of renewable electricity in the UK and Ireland, it develops, owns and operates low-carbon infrastructure to support the zero-carbon transition. This includes onshore and offshore wind, hydro power, electricity transmission and distribution grids, gas and energy from waste, alongside providing energy products and services for businesses. SSE sold electricity and gas to domestic customers until 2020, when those operations were sold to OVO Energy.



The company has its origins in two public sector electricity supply authorities. The former North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board was founded in 1943 to design, construct and manage hydroelectricity projects in the Highlands of Scotland, and took over further generation and distribution responsibilities on the nationalisation of the electricity industry within the United Kingdom in 1948.[4]

The former Southern Electricity Board was created in 1948 to distribute electricity in Southern England.[4] Whilst the Southern Electricity Board was a distribution only authority, with no power generation capacity of its own, the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric board was a broader spectrum organisation, with its own generating capabilities.[5]

Because of its history and location, the Hydro-Electric Board was responsible for most of the hydroelectric generating capacity in the United Kingdom.[6] Both authorities were privatised in 1990/91, initially retaining their pre privatisation geographic and functional bases. The North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board became Scottish Hydro-Electric, whilst the Southern Electricity Board became Southern Electric.[7]

Post privatisation[edit]

Scottish and Southern Energy was formed in September 1998, following a merger between Scottish Hydro-Electric and Southern Electric.[8] In August 2000, Scottish and Southern Energy acquired the SWALEC energy supply business.[8] SWALEC operate exclusively in Wales while SSE operates in Scotland and England.[9]

In July 2004, the company acquired the Ferrybridge and Fiddlers Ferry Power Stations for £250million.[10] In January 2008, it went on to buy Airtricity Holdings, an Irish wind farm business.[11] In August 2009, it agreed to purchase Uskmouth power station from Welsh Power Group Limited.[12] In April 2010, the company purchased the natural gas exploration and production assets of Hess Corporation in three areas of the United Kingdom Continental Shelf – Everest/Lomond, Easington and Bacton.[13]

In January 2010, Scottish and Southern Energy changed the core company branding from Scottish and Southern Energy to SSE.[14]

Separation of retail supply division[edit]

In November 2017, it was announced that SSE was looking to separate from its retail subsidiary which would then merge with the npower division of rival Innogy.[15] It was planned that SSE shareholders will own 65.6% of the demerged entity and Innogy would hold the remainder.[16] The resulting company would have been listed on the London Stock Exchange and included npower's residential and business retail business, and SSE's residential energy supply and home services business, excluding its business in Ireland. Although the merger received preliminary regulatory clearance from the Competition and Markets Authority on 30 August 2018,[17] and full clearance was given on 10 October 2018,[18] it was abandoned on 17 December 2018, with the companies blaming "very challenging market conditions".[19]

In September 2019 SSE announced that it would be selling its retail business to OVO Energy: the transaction was completed in January 2020.[20] Ovo owns SSE Energy Services and is responsible for all its management decisions but still uses the SSE brand under licence.


SSE plc is headquartered in Perth, Scotland and is listed on the London Stock Exchange, and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. SSE operates in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

SSE's focus is economically regulated electricity networks and renewables, complemented by businesses with a key role to play in enabling the "net zero" transition.

Its subsidiaries are organised into the main businesses of renewables, electricity transmission, electricity distribution, thermal, enterprise, energy solutions and Airtricity.


From onshore and offshore wind to hydro electric power, SSE Renewables develops, operates and owns the low carbon infrastructure.


SSEN Transmission operates SSE's transmission network.


Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks is a distribution network operator, supplying electricity to 4 million homes and businesses in the north of Scotland and central southern England.

Business Energy[edit]

Supplies customer solutions for homes and businesses, from small start-ups to large national corporates and public sector clients, across the UK.


SSE Thermal comprises the business' flexible generation, energy-from-waste and energy storage activities, with over 600 employees across the UK and Ireland.


Its Enterprise business provides innovative solutions to build, own, operate and maintain energy and communications infrastructure in the UK and Ireland.


Through the SSE Airtricity brand, SSE supplies green electricity, natural gas and energy-related services to homes and businesses in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Multifuel Energy[edit]

Jointly owned with American waste management company Wheelabrator Technologies, Multifuel Energy Ltd operates multi-fuel power stations at Ferrybridge, West Yorkshire.[21]


Living wage[edit]

SSE became the largest officially accredited Living Wage Employer in the United Kingdom in 2013. All its employees across the United Kingdom are guaranteed to receive the then-Living Wage rate of at least £7.85 an hour in 2013.[22]

Fair Tax Mark[edit]

In October 2014, SSE became the first company on the FTSE 100 to be awarded the Fair Tax Mark which is an independent accreditation process for identifying companies making an effort to be transparent about their tax affairs.[23]

Regulator action[edit]

In September 2020, industry regulator Ofgem fined SSE £2.06 million for failing to publish information about the future availability of its generation capacity in a timely manner. SSE co-operated fully with Ofgem's investigation.[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Annual Report 2019" (PDF). SSE. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  2. ^ "Registered in Scotland No. 117119". Perth: Scottish and Southern Energy plc. Archived from the original on 25 September 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  3. ^ Brodie, Sophie (5 January 2008). "The Scottish utility". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  4. ^ a b Katzarov, Konstantin (6 December 2012). Theory of Nationalization. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9789401510554.
  5. ^ "In pictures: 70 years of Scottish hydro power". BBC. 8 May 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  6. ^ Clegg, H. A.; Chester, T. E. (September 1953). "The North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board". Public Administration. 31 (3): 213–234. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9299.1953.tb01689.x.
  7. ^ Osborne, Alistair (8 April 2013). "Margaret Thatcher: one policy that led to more than 50 companies being sold or privatised". The Telegraph. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  8. ^ a b "SSE plc – The UK's broadest-based energy company". Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  9. ^ "Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) Contact Number". Utility Talk. 11 July 2014. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  10. ^ "Scottish & Southern buys Fiddlers Ferry – Business News – Business". The Independent. 30 July 2004. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  11. ^ Scottish & Southern to buy Irish Windfarm firm
  12. ^ "SSE plc – The UK's broadest-based energy company". Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  13. ^ Kennedy, Simon (1 April 2010). "Scottish & Southern buys Hess assets for $423 mln". MarketWatch. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
  14. ^ First press release with new branding Archived 7 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Vaughan, Adam (7 November 2017). "SSE and npower in talks to create giant UK energy supplier". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  16. ^ Thomas, Nathalie (8 November 2017). "SSE and Npower agree to combine household supply businesses". Financial Times. The Nikkei. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  17. ^ Vaughan, Adam (30 August 2018). "Npower-SSE merger wins go-ahead from competition watchdog". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  18. ^ "Competition watchdog clears SSE-Npower merger". BBC News. 10 October 2018. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  19. ^ "Energy giants abandon merger plan". BBC News. 17 December 2018.
  20. ^ "SSE sale of retail business to Ovo creates new UK energy giant". BBC News. 13 September 2019. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  21. ^ "Multifuel Energy Limited: Annual Report" (PDF). Companies House. 31 March 2019. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  22. ^ "Energy firm SSE signs up as living wage employer". BBC. 27 September 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  23. ^ "SSE leads way in campaign for fairer taxation". The Herald. 19 October 2014. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  24. ^ "Ofgem fines SSE £2.06 million for failing to publish inside information about the wholesale energy market". Ofgem. 3 September 2020. Retrieved 4 November 2020.

External links[edit]