SSE are in the news again for mis-selling their energy deals. This comes as no surprise to me. With first hand information on their selling techniques, I can let you know what really went on at SSE.
SSE are the second largest energy supplier in the UK. British Gas are still the largest supplier, this is down to the fact that everyone with gas in their home, was a customer of the original gas supplier. It’s only due to the fact that not enough consumers are shopping around for a cheaper energy deal, that British Gas have remained in this position.
SSE hold more than 9 million customer accounts, this is due to aggressive selling. SSE took over 50% of the gas networks along with Canadian companies Borealis Infrastructure 25% Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan 25%. Many of the doorstep sales agents used this information to their advantage, by making out the customer was making a saving by getting their bill direct from the main gas supplier.
The gas networks operate as a separate entity from the energy suppliers. In Scotland, they are known as Scotland Gas Networks. South of England, they are known as Southern Gas Networks. Jointly, they are known as SGN, or Scotia Gas Networks. They provide a service which Transco used to operate in the respective regions, and are responsible for delivering gas within their regions. They charge the energy suppliers for the amount of gas they deliver through their pipes. This does not mean you get extra discounts by signing up to SSE!
When SSE started doorstep sales, their prices were amongst the cheapest. If you joined them before 2009, you were getting a pretty good deal. But once they had reached 8 million customer accounts, their prices started to creep up. Now SSE are amongst the most expensive suppliers. They rely on their customers reluctance to switch energy supplier. This give them the confidence to keep their prices high.
Only 17% of energy consumers switch their supplier on a regular basis. This means that everyone who has stuck with their original supplier, or doesn’t switch their supplier, end up paying around 20% more than the regular energy switchers. If you don’t switch your supplier, they will just keep their prices high. This contradicts the whole idea of privatisation. Switching supplier is the only way to get the suppliers to keep their prices down.
You could ask an energy supplier to put you on a cheap deal. But why would you trust them to do that? You need to take control yourself, use a comparison site to get quotes from all the suppliers, then take the leap to get yourself the cheapest energy deal. It really is down to you to find your best deal!