An analysis by Dave Taylor

Perth based Scottish and Southern Energy has responded to the consultations by the Scottish and UK Governments on Scotland’s independence referendum.

While they insist that no one “should seek to attribute to SSE a view on whether or not Scotland should remain part of the United Kingdom” and that “SSE does not believe it is appropriate for it to have a view on that question, which can only be answered by voters”, their observations will inevitably be used within the constitutional debate.

The energy market is extensively regulated by governments, and SSE are concerned solely with possible changes to the regulatory environment within which they operate.

SSE are keen “that the interconnection and integration of the electricity and gas systems and markets in Scotland and in England and Wales should continue regardless of the outcome of the referendum on Scotland’s future.  This means that there should continue to be a single energy market for the islands of Great Britain, just as there is a single electricity market for the island of Ireland.  Indeed, SSE supports further harmonisation of energy systems and markets to strengthen security of supply and achieve efficient use of energy resources for the benefit of customers.”

Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing welcomed SSE’s submission and added: "We agree with SSE that post-independence we should maintain a single Great Britain energy market, within an increasingly unified single EU market - that has been the policy position of the Scottish government for some time.

Indeed, increased integration of energy markets across the UK and Ireland was agreed at a meeting of the British-Irish Council last summer."

At the British-Irish Council the 8 governments of the British Islands and Ireland agreed: “the All Islands Approach (AIA) vision of an approach to energy resources across the British Islands and Ireland which enables opportunities for commercial generation and transmission, facilitating the cost-effective exploitation of the renewable energy resources available, increasing integration of their markets and improving security of supply. The Council agreed a set of principles to underpin the vision, and launched a programme of joint work spanning the potential for renewable energy trading, as well as workstreams on interconnection and market integration.”

A similar reassurance from Charles Hendry, UK Minister of State for Energy, to SSE would be valuable at this time.

Since inter-state co-operation in a single energy market across the island of Ireland already exists, only an rUK Government could disrupt the single market in the British Islands, or prevent increased regulatory co-operation across both island groups.

SSE had one further concern. “There does not appear to be a consensus on how Scotland’s position with regard to the European Union, which has a major influence over electricity and gas systems and markets in Member States, would be determined.”

The company is correct in this, just as there is no consensus on how rUK’s position would be determined.  However, SSE stress their expertise in managing risks, and will be able to assess the likely risk that the EU would want to exclude its greatest energy producer and/or one of its larger economies.

Of course, it is entirely possible that there was a political motivation for this response to the consultations, since it provides a basis for the Unionist scares of "business uncertainty" and "Europe -who knows"?.


# handclapping 2012-02-24 23:16
I read this as SSE being scared of a rUK dog-in-a-manger response to Scottish Independence. As well they might be from the verbal aggression of the Unionists. However he who pays the piper calls the tune and Scotland has the energy the rUK lacks so I will continue to hold my shares.
# Edna Caine 2012-02-25 00:00
This is NOT how the SSE response was reported on BBC Reporting Scotland tonight -

(headlines and from 04.38)

I posted this on an earlier off-topic sequence of comments on another article but it is more relevant here -

"Immediately after watching the BBC report, I e-mailed SSE who supply my electricity. Their communication system did not allow me to save a copy of the mail or I'd post it in full.

The gist was that I was beginning to doubt the wisdom of retaining my account with them as the news report had led me to believe that either SSE were making political statements or the management were incapable of dealing with the challenges of cross-border supply. There was also a hint in the report that suggested their bills may rise because of increased risk costs.

I asked for clarification before making a final decision and await their reply which I shall post when received."

I live in Berkshire
# Edna Caine 2012-03-09 00:54
It's taken a while but I said I'd post the reply so here it is, received today -

"Thank you for your recent email regarding the submission we made on 24th February to the Scotland Office, the Scottish Government and the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee of the Scottish Parliament. Please find attached a link to the statement for your information.

I understand that your concerns are regarding the nature of our statement and the way in which it may have been interpreted. I am sorry you feel you have had cause to contact us in these circumstances. The statement was released in response to two referendum consultations by the UK Government and Scottish Government, as well as a request for evidence, from the Scottish Parliament's Economy, Energy and Tourism committee, for an inquiry into the Scottish Government's 2020 renewables targets.

It is worth noting that both the UK Government and the Scottish Government have welcomed our response. To reiterate, SSE does not believe it is appropriate for it to have a view on the outcome of the forthcoming referendum, which is a matter for voters.

I hope you find this information helpful and I would urge you to consider the statement in full"

And I said -

"Thank you for your response.

Having read the submission in full, I now realise that SSE was misrepresented by BBC Scotland in the reports they published about it. It is difficult to understand why a national broadcaster would want to interpret what is an intelligent and well-constructed document in the way they did.

I am disappointed and a little angry that the BBC have reported the submission in what I can only describe as a "tabloid" or even partisan manner and I apologise for being misled and prematurely attributing the blame to SSE.

My account will remain with your company,"
# oldnat 2012-02-25 00:05
It always makes sense to read the actual information. You can see the SSE response by clicking on "has responded to the consultations" at the top of the article.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-25 00:24
Here is how the SSE story is getting reported in a few of our "favourite" papers.
# Barontorc 2012-02-25 02:00
arby - seems fairly typical dosh. Let's no get too fashed aboot it!
# cirsium 2012-02-25 13:48
# Hamish100 2012-02-25 00:32
Once again the BBC spin on news (as opposed to reporting the news occurs again.) It leads on its website "Scotland's second biggest company has warned the independence referendum will increase the risk it attaches to investment projects."

At lunchtime Brian Taylor in his weekly talk show was broadcasting from that well known bastion of Comprehensive education "Fettes" but kept his mouth shut while it was repeated on several occassions that Independence for Scotland would lead to riots "like Greece".
Couldn't help but think that a suitable response would be along the lines of ".. or even like England." The fact that this was not challenged by him speaks volumes of the BBC.
# J Wil 2012-02-25 07:13
[Unsubstantiate d internet rumour removed - NNS Mod Team]
# oldnat 2012-02-25 00:39
Companies also have to plan for the risks associated with staying in the UK.

The Herald carries a story in its Business section today that the owners of Scottish Power (Iberdrola) announced a £341m writedown on its Longannet power station after they cancelled a carbon capture and storage project for the coal-fired facility.

Strangely, they fail to point out that the cancellation only took place after the UK Treasury suddenly changed the rules.

Like every company, Iberdrola had to factor the risk of government changes into their strategy, and write down losses that were due to the UK once again altering the economic circumstances in which they were operating.

The developers of the marginal oil fields faced a similar loss of profit when Danny Alexander sprung his unexpected tax hike on the oil industry.
# Barontorc 2012-02-25 02:02
oldnat - there is serious undermining going on and at least we know it.
# GerrySNP 2012-02-25 03:18
Of course SSE have to factor in the political uncertainty risk into their investment plans - as they have to factor in the position of the Euro, the possibility of recession or depression across their customer base,the world price of oil and the potential subsidies to "green" energy caused by Govtpoicies and Kyoto etc -etc, etc, etc.What would have beenuseful to know is what numbers theyb attach to each of the risks factored inand the effective meaning of the political/independence one.And this would have allowed the media to know which one to concentrate on and give true analysis of each one's importance. Which of course they would do as professional journalists and analysts - wouldnt they?
# jafurn 2012-02-25 08:43
If SSE were to pull out of Scotland all together as a nuclear option based on whatever fears they may envisage.
What would happen.
The same amount of people who need electricity/power now would still need it and therefore I can only see that as an incredible opportunity for all the other providers too increase their own operations.
Or am I just being incredibly nieve
# tartanfever 2012-02-25 09:15
If SSE wanted to pull out, they would just look to sell off their operation here to the highest bidder. The actual operation/generation and supply of power would continue.
# jafurn 2012-02-25 09:28
Cheers tartan. that's what I thought.
I cant see it happening anyway. The 'highest' bidder would probably do away with some of the jobs but in the main it would be business as usual.
# oldnat 2012-02-25 09:40
SSE have said that they do not intend to move their HQ from Scotland whatever happens.

So speculation about that is pointless.
# jafurn 2012-02-25 09:54
Oldnat I never really thought it was likely. I was only positing the most extreme outcome.
Do you think this is something which should be a concern or are the bbc/media over egging this pudding?

Especially with this development.

"I see their website now pleads with people to read the submition in full"
# oldnat 2012-02-25 10:01
I wouldn't be surprised if there had been some political motivation for putting out this statement, in that they knew that the Unionist politicians and media would spin it.

However, the submission itself doesn't support the nonsense that is being spouted.
# jafurn 2012-02-25 10:06
Sounds about right. Cheers.
I get a feeling this story has a bit to go yet.
# colin8652 2012-02-25 09:09
My final gas and electricity readings may soon well be sent off to SSE, after a lifetime of supporting them and fending off attempts my foriegn companies to have by busines. I know they have business considerations to look at, but this statement is a ham fisted one which they knew would surely upset there thousands of loyal nationalsit customers in the north and east. I see their website now pleads with people to read the submition in full. Their better course would have been to keep silent to start with.
# tartanfever 2012-02-25 09:12
Don't know who your changing to Colin, but a couple of years back I moved to Scottish Hydro and I've found my bills a little cheaper and the customer service improved (at least i get someone round to read the meter now, whereas before they came every couple of years if we were lucky.)
# oldnat 2012-02-25 09:42
Scottish Hydro is the working name of SSE in Scotland.
# tartanfever 2012-02-25 13:55
What, I'm with SSE ! No !

(Curses and falls over in despair )

Thats it, as well as gettin' ma coat, I'm off to get solar panels...
# K Mackay 2012-02-25 19:14
Solar panels is a great response, didn't know that hydro was sse either, been thinking about switching to a greener supplier for ages anyway, I'll see where this goes but it might just give me the nudge.
# jafurn 2012-02-25 09:30
colin8652 "I see their website now pleads with people to read the submition in full"

That's an interesting development?

Surely the BBC never misrepresented what was meant?
# Legerwood 2012-02-25 17:31
I would stay your hand on that idea. SSE is still investing in Scotland see the following:
16th February 2012

""SSE’s renewable energy development division has submitted an application to the Scottish Government to construct a pumped storage hydroelectric scheme to the north-west of Loch Lochy in the Great Glen. SSE Renewables says the project could have a power capacity of 600MW. In the form of a reservoir, the scheme could store up to 30GWh, SSE claims, and could release energy to the grid when needed.
The dam and reservoir, should they be granted permission, are set to cost SSE around £800 million. The scheme would be the largest hydro project to be built in Scotland and the first brand new pumped storage scheme to be developed in Great Britain since the Dinorwig scheme in Wales in 1974.""

Their submission to the consultation process was fairly measured and has elicitedf replies from the FM and other SG ministers which have addresses the SSE concerns re Europe and the continuation of the single market for energy post Independence. The submission and the points that the company raised were legitimate concerns and have served as a useful heads-up for the SG.
# K Mackay 2012-02-25 19:21
Not 100% sure how I feel about new reservoirs, love the idea that we basically use them as giant batteries to balance out supply, going to be extremely useful post oil. But I kind of feel like maybe we should just stick with the ones we've already got because (I could be wrong, I haven't looked into the details of the proposal) I would assume a new reservoir means a flooded glen and loss of habitat, diversity and useful land.

I'm glad we're moving so strongly to renewable power in Scotland but things like turbines and solar panels make very little impact (except visually) and can be easily removed once we get a grip on our runaway use of energy but once you drown a glen I reckon it stays drowned.

Just my thoughts
# Jiggsbro 2012-02-25 19:27
Land used for reservoirs recovers relatively quickly when the reservoir is drained, although the flora that returns may be different to that which were originally on the site. A lot depends on the management of the land post draining.
# DonaldMhor 2012-02-25 09:11
If I were CEO of a company in England that made and sold 1,000 widgets per week in to Scotland, why would I wish to stop that sales just because the political landscape had changed?

Equally if I were a company in England that had a headquarters in Perth and was building a widget factory in Scotland why would the prospect of independence and a government in Edinburgh make me change my plans?

It is the stated intention of the SNP to make Scotland a viable place to do business with less taxation for companies, and a more business friendly environment, why would I wish to alienate that?

The CEO of Aberdeen Asset Management expressed it perfectly in a recent interview. He said that companies like his, that were global and succesful, worked across different political and tax regimes each and every day of their lives, it is how they became global and successful. Are SSE saying they are not smart enough to operate in an independent Scotland? If that is the case there are plenty who will pick up their customers.

It seems that there is now a concentration of energy on finding these little niches of opinion and inflating them so that the like of Willie Bain can go on live national TV as he has done several times now and say "look look I told you so, there are companies not investing in Scotland because of the referendum." What a pity that these invertebrates could not focus that energy on actually finding work for Scottish workers or putting funds in to R&D as it should have been with the CC plants.

Undermining Scotland is becoming a growth industry amongst these pathetic people. They would sooner see us in poverty than the success we will be. And they wonder why we get agitated?

I think this is the powerful nuclear lobby at it's disgusting work.

PS I see the MOD has stabbed the UK in the back once more and given a contract for two tankers for the navy to Samsung in S.Korea? Where now the UK dividend and the so called "stronger together argument?" Do you think Tyneside or Clydeside could have done with that work? BAE are heavily involved with S Korea, have they a stake in this?
# oldnat 2012-02-25 10:50
I think the real reason for the orders going to Korea is quite simple. They are the specialists in tanker construction, their yards are designed for them, and consequently they can do it much cheaper.

That wholly undermines the Unionists argument that rUK wouldn't place orders outwith the rUK. Naval orders would carry on being given to the yards that could carry out the work, and that means a BAE yard, if built within the British Isles, since BAE are considering the closure of their Portsmouth yard, that means Scotland.

Of course, rUK could decide to place their warship orders with a yard in another part of the world, but that would damage their own economy as the supply chain for building ships on the Clyde involves many firms in rUK.
# ScotInNotts 2012-02-25 11:27
From a previous thread on the issue "Problem is, independence or not, that ship building in the UK is simply not able to compete with other nations. 'Grey' ships are the only thing keeping the current yards open, and the UK's order book has and will continue to decrease. The yards have not had a sure footing since the 60's and do not look likely ever to have one again. BAE as a multinational defence contractor would likely reduce its personnel and close one or two of its remaining 4 yards, keeping Barrow for sub building and perhaps one of the Clyde yards would be my guess.

Quite frankly, where are the external orders been/coming from; Bahrain and prior to that we only recently offloaded the two ships that the original buyers pulled out from at a knock down price!"

And thanks to Legerwood in response a link to the EC 2009 report into shipbuilding competitiveness in Europe.

As someone whoe has relatives in the Clyde yards I honestly can't see how either way the yards have a long term future at the present time; domesitc orders are and will continue to fall, different types of vessels to those currently being built will be the order of the day, and external orders have not/may not be forthcoming.
# Legerwood 2012-02-25 17:34

And thanks to Legerwood in response a link to the EC 2009 report into shipbuilding competitiveness in Europe.

Aw shucks - I am touched - always nice to know that someone has got something out of the things posted.
# Fungus 2012-02-25 09:58
They have been wittering on for a while that Scottish yards would loose out because the Navy wouldn't give them orders. This is their way of backing up the rhetoric
# clootie 2012-02-25 10:29
International companies would not insult a country in which they intend to invest or work in nor would they imply that their political stability was good or bad. They would asses all factors and invest on a Risk versus Returns basis.

The fact that the Independence process is in progress should require the same respect.

I do not want companies involved with my nation who attempt to undermine, too any degree, my country.

They have a choice - they have either become politically involved OR they are being misquoted. They should therefore butt out or issue a statement to correct the impression being suggested.

If they do not correct the political spin then they support it and are crossing the line as regards to political neutrality.

It is quite obvious that countries across Europe have stable arrangements on travel / power / defence etc etc

Why has it suddenly become a risk between two nations who "shared" such a wonderful partnership for 300 years.
It's only a good relationship as long as we do as we are told?
A relationship based on threats does little to enhance the unionist case.

We are either friends or we are vassals which is it?
# Electric Hermit 2012-02-25 10:51
For all the hysterical headlines in the unionist media, SSE has stressed that it's investment plans are actually unaffected by the referendum.

It said it has "no plans to move its registered office from Perth" and that the referendum "does not mean that SSE will not invest in projects in Scotland while its future is being determined".
# cokynutjoe 2012-02-25 11:13
High time electricity supply in Scotland was taken back into public ownership and end this fiasco of so called competition and charges unintelligibili ty.
# cirsium 2012-02-25 13:59
well said cokynutjoe. The big six energy companies are buying and selling off-market at undisclosed prices. Rather than competition, this looks like a cartel in action.
# The Laird 2012-02-25 11:16
Thatcher's privatisation was supposed to create competition and keep prices low. Didn't work and now we have profits going to private companies instead of back into infrastructure etc. and Government regulation to keep prices in check. Time to re-nationalise I think. We would get the whole lot for a song by simply announcing the future date of the event and watch the share price fall through the basement.
# MAcandroid 2012-02-25 22:01
Quoting The Laird:
Thatcher's privatisation was supposed to create competition and keep prices low.

That was the spin as we all know. Profits go to shareholders, friends of the Tories mostly, wages are kept low and staff work harder and longer and the public get a poorer service and pay more for it as there is no real competition at all.
Agree that re-nationalisation would be the answer.
# handclapping 2012-02-25 12:44
From what they say, IMO the investment(s) most at risk must be the Scotland-England interconnection s. In which case the Unionists are quite right to be sounding off about the "cost" of the "delay" in holding the referendum in 2014; the cost will be the lights going out all over England and we can't have that or England would have a Labour Government for the next 20 years till the Tories are forgiven.

As for SSE not making a comment, it is Scotlands largest company, give or take a couple of bust banks, and subject to the political winds of everybody from the local council's planning committee to the European Parliament so it has a duty to point out where political decisions make its life more difficult. The Westminster decision on the Longannet carbon capture only cost Iberderola £350 million. Chicken feed to Gideon but a nasty blow to the Basques.
# Training Day 2012-02-25 14:12
I have just phoned SSE to tell them that I was contemplating switching to them and will now not do so thanks to their clumsy intervention. The call centre has clearly been briefed on a backtracking response, which states that they have no position on Scottish independence, although the chap I spoke to said 'we want things to remain the same', which is self-evidently a political statement. The company management should have known better than to offer this ill-thought out interjection which a two year old could have told them would be seized upon and twisted by the BBC, Daily Mail etc.

The fact that the lines to SSE were so busy and that the operators had clearly been briefed tells me I'm maybe not the only one on here who's been speaking to SSE today.. ;)
# Legerwood 2012-02-25 17:36
Have you actually read it?
# Training Day 2012-02-25 18:51
Thanks for asking, but yes, I have - my point is that any company making a public intervention in this atmosphere of 'heightened tensions' (copyright BBC), and in the context of a Unionist-friendly media, should know what it is getting itself into. So at best such an intervention is naive.

But you make that very point below about what the BBC and media have done with the intervention, so we're in agreement.
# Legerwood 2012-02-26 00:49
Sometimes I think it would not matter what a company/individual/organisation said it would still be twisted/spun to suit the prejudice of the news outlet.

In that sort of atmosphere it would be very easy for those who wish to contribute to a debate or consultation not to do so for fear of the misreporting of their position. Like rabbits frozen in headlights.

If that were to happen and we allowed the fear of possible misrepresentati on to take over what would happen to debate and the ability to move the process forward.

The consultations that are taking place at the moment have invited submissions from anyone or any company or organisation that wishes to contribute. And they should be able to do so without fear of their contribution being taken out of context and spun to suit various viewpoints. Unfortunately that would rwequire a more mature and professional approach by the media.

I am sure that SSE was aware of what could happen and so put their submission statement on their web site so that it could be seen in full.

As you say we are in agreement - just took me alot more words to say it than you did :)
# jafurn 2012-02-25 14:24
I apologise to anyone who already knows this site but I have never seen it before and it is a gold mine of Independence articles / facts/ videos
# proudscot 2012-02-25 15:45
As a longtime Scottish Hydro customer, and until now a reasonably satisfied one, I would be reluctant to change my energy supplier to my financial disadvantage, given that I am also a pensioner. However, I have written to Hydro expressing my disapproval of this overtly political intervention (in my opinion) which tends to support the lies and scaremongering of the unionist politicians on this subject of "the independence referendum causing uncertainty" in business inward investment.

I have ended my letter with the comment that unless their reply reassures and satisfies me that they will desist from further negative comments on, or interference in, Scotland's constitutional affairs, I shall not only move my account elsewhere, but I shall also do my best to persuade others of like mind to take a similar stance.
# Legerwood 2012-02-25 18:00
I thought it was a fairly balanced statement and essentially said it, SSE, needed some clarification in certain areas e.g Europe and continued cooperation between the various elements within the British Isles and Ireland this sort of change in energy provision. The FM addresses some of the points raised by the company in his interview which formed part of the BBC Scotland report.

The statement showed a company being prudent and looking ahead but saying at the same time it can cope with change as long as it knows what the changes are going to be. Furthermore it is a company that is still investing in Scotland. It recently announced plans to build a pumped storage Hydro Electric scheme near Loch Lochy in the Great Glen. If it gets the go-ahead it will be one of the biggest schemes of its type since the 1970s.

Companies do not like sudden change. You only have to think back to the outcry when the Chancellor (ably abetted by Danny Alexander) almost out of the blue imposed a tax increase on North Sea Oil profits. The oil companies had been told that there would not be any changes without prior consultation then they were slapped with a tax increase which resulted in a reduction in investment in North Sea oil fields.

I think the SSE was giving the SG a heads-up as to what issues the SNP needs to address when considering the Energy supply in an Independent Scotland. A not unreasonable thing to do.

If the SG is sensible they will take these comments on board and address them. As should the posters here. Many more companies will raise concerns, which they have a right to do, in the coming weeks and months. These should be addressed in a measured way and not in a knee-jerk , 'I'm going to move my custom' fashion.

What the BBC and the media in general did to the story is something else again.
# gt-cri 2012-02-25 19:34
Quote Legerwood: "If the SG is sensible they will take these comments on board and address them. As should the posters here. Many more companies will raise concerns, which they have a right to do, in the coming weeks and months. These should be addressed in a measured way and not in a knee-jerk , 'I'm going to move my custom' fashion."

Eh? Anyone has the right to change energy provider and most people who have save money in the short term. Companies rely on customer apathy & loyalty, while giving the incentives and savings to new customers only. For the average user, SSE are more expensive by over £200 for gas and electricity then the cheapest provider (at the moment Scottish Gas).

In any case, were the statement "balanced", SSE would have stated any investment in any part of the UK would, where appropriate, require "risk premium", as the constitutional arrangement in all countries shall be affected by the referendum & potentially, it's result.
# Islegard 2012-02-25 22:13
There is a way to address concerns. They could seek clarification from the Scottish Government. This was clearly political and done in a political fashion. I'll be boycotting and asking everyone I know to boycott. As for speaking out on wanting a unified system for all the countries. They wouldn't dare raise this issue with other neighbouring countries. Energy companies are used to working with different countries across different borders. We have the SNP saying we will have a single currency under the Bank of England now they are promising to keep a unified energy system. If there is enough concerns about defence will they then promise to retain a unified defence system? Stop signing away our independence before we have got it to appease everyone. If we vote for independence will it be independence? It's starting to sound like the Scotland Bill.
# Legerwood 2012-02-26 00:54
At the moment there is a single market in energy provision within the UK and co-operation and joint projects which include Ireland as well.

Of course people have the right to move providers if they are going to give a better deal. I did not say otherwise. But a wide spectrum of companies are going to take part in the consultation process as they have a right to do and raise concerns about various issues related to independence. After all they have to plan for post-independence and need to know how it will affect their business and so take steps to mitigate those effects. It soes not mean, and certainly the SSE has not said, that they will cease to operate in Scotland.

But if raising those concerns is automatically taken as criticism of independence and people remove their custom from these companies on that basis then they may find themselves running out of options if they require the services or good provided by those companies.
# gt-cri 2012-02-26 14:48
Quoting Islegard:
There is a way to address concerns. They could seek clarification from the Scottish Government. This was clearly political and done in a political fashion. I'll be boycotting and asking everyone I know to boycott. As for speaking out on wanting a unified system for all the countries. They wouldn't dare raise this issue with other neighbouring countries. Energy companies are used to working with different countries across different borders. We have the SNP saying we will have a single currency under the Bank of England now they are promising to keep a unified energy system. If there is enough concerns about defence will they then promise to retain a unified defence system? Stop signing away our independence before we have got it to appease everyone. If we vote for independence will it be independence? It's starting to sound like the Scotland Bill.

Er, they have a mandate, it's the Scottish Government's right to appease or upset anyone they want until 2016! They could scrap the whole thing tomorrow if they wished!

In saying that, I agree with the rest of your post but seeking clarification in private wouldn't allow SSE to cosy-up to Westminster & ensure their business in England & Wales (which they have more of than in Scotland) is "looked-after", to the benefit of board-mambers & shareholders.
# Jiggsbro 2012-02-26 15:12
Quoting Islegard:
We have the SNP saying we will have a single currency under the Bank of England now they are promising to keep a unified energy system. If there is enough concerns about defence will they then promise to retain a unified defence system? Stop signing away our independence before we have got it to appease everyone. If we vote for independence will it be independence? It's starting to sound like the Scotland Bill.

Independence is not the same as isolation. We'll still share things with our neighbours, but we'll do so on equal terms. Co-operation, particularly on matters like shared energy distribution that allow us to sell our abundant resources to our neighbour who is not so blessed, is a good thing. It's even better when it's the co-operation of two sovereign, independent countries.
# Islegard 2012-02-25 20:34
No matter how anyone trys to make this sound better. It is rank interference by a company into politics. Do Germany and France have a unified system? By the time we are done with the SNP appeasing and keeping dissenters on side independence wont be independence.

I am in the process of changing from SSE for my Gas and Electricity and plan to boycot any of their services and products. I would urge anyone with them to do the same.
# Islegard 2012-02-25 21:00
SSE Renewable contracts. I take it SSE aren't looking for investing or profiting from renewables in Scotland. I can't see that they would be a good company to award contracts to with their no can do business attitude. I hope the government keep their interference in mind for future contracts.
# peter,aberdeenshire 2012-02-26 10:43
It does not mean that anyone should seek to attribute to SSE a view on whether or not Scotland should remain part of the United Kingdom: SSE does not believe it is appropriate for it to have a view on that question, which can only be answered by voters.

SSE is involved in electricity generation, transmission, distribution and supply and in gas production, distribution and supply in Scotland. It employs 5,300 people and has operational sites throughout Scotland. Its total capital expenditure in Scotland for the year to 31 March 2012 is forecast to be almost £900m.

SSE has no wish to become involved in a constitutional or political debate. This submission should be considered in its entirety, and SSE will not be adding to it with on- or off-the-record comment to the media.
# Astonished 2012-02-26 14:36
New provider for me too !

How very dare they !
# gt-cri 2012-02-26 14:40
OK folks, I'm somewhat of an anorak when it comes to utility supplies but it always strikes me as strange how most people & some posting on here clearly have no clue how the utility companies were privatised & their remits & responsibilitie s, which are inherent in the owner's obligations as holders of the franchise.

SSE were formed when Scottish Hydro Electric PLC (the owner of the distribution network & energy supplier in the north & north east of Scotland) merged with another privately owned company, Southern Electric in 1998.

From the blurb at the time:

The combination of Southern Electric and Scottish Hydro-Electric will create:
one of the largest energy supply businesses in the UK;
an electricity supplier with net generation output of approximately 13.2TWh in Scotland and 23.2TWh in England and Wales by 1999/2000;
electricity distribution networks which together serve some 3.3 million customers.
The merger will create value for Scottish Hydro-Electric and Southern Electric shareholders by enabling the merged company to:
compete more strongly in supply, generation and energy trading businesses;
further improve efficiency and effectiveness in customer service, information technology and procurement and;
further expand in the energy market.

1. The Scottish Hydro-Electric story since privatisation has been a decade of major achievement:

the utility consistently highest rated by its customers
prices down 18% in real terms
investment in infrastructure up a third in real terms. Almost £50 million last year on refurbishment
improved reliability of supply
90% reduction in accidents at work. RoSPA award as best in Scotland 1988
market share has trebled
profit per staff member has doubled
overal profit has trebled.

Yet people somehow think they need to retain some loyalty to a "Scottish" brand? Like the banks, this company has no links or loyalty to anyone other than their share-holders and investors. Customers count for nothing. Their rates are market and corporate strategy driven.

PS, Legerwood. Once a customer has removed their business from one energy supplier to another, they are quite free to move to any of the hundreds of suppliers or back again at any time. They will never run out of options and if SSE wish to sell their assets in Scotland, the buyer would take on their responsibilitie s to ensure continuity of supply, which is regulated by OFGEM, under the Electricity (Scotland) Act 1989 & Utilities Act 2000.

Please folks, do not think you are supporting jobs, investment or infrastructure of electricity supply, generation or transmission in Scotland by buying your power from SSE; they're all the same, only the introductory prices are different!
# Leswil 2012-02-26 19:03
The energy resources of rUK are going to change in a big way with the shale gas findings off Blackpool. Experts say there is enough gas to supply the whole of the UK for 70 years if expectations are met.
There is even more in the borders some on the English side but also on the Scots side. There is coal methane gas expected to be pumped out from coal seams in Stirlingshire and Clackmananshire . Then the report goes on, what is contained deeper in the North Sea may dwarf them all.
So all this may indeed need SEE to change some direction in how they proceed with their business anyway. So we will have to wait for when actual figures for all this gas comes in and how SEE and of course the respective rUK and Scottish governments will deal with it. It should lead to wholesale dropping of energy prices across the board, with many more energy jobs both North and South.
So if the energy explorers meet enviromental needs, then prospects for rUK and Scotland will both improve.

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