Thursday, 21 September, 2017

SSE speaks out over Tory price cap plans

SSE said 4.76 million of its 6.76 million UK domestic customer accounts could be affected by a cap on standard variable tariffs SSE said 4.76 million of its 6.76 million UK domestic customer accounts could be affected by a cap on standard variable tariffs
Laurie Berry | 17 May, 2017, 19:42

Its wholesale business reported an operating profit of 498.2 million pounds after a loss of 481.3 million in 2015/16. Gas storage remained loss making due to ongoing market conditions.

Gas and electricity giant SSE has revealed 70% of its household customer accounts would come under the scope of the Conservative's energy price cap pledge as it warned against the "unintended consequences" of the move. Customer numbers have fallen 210,000 in the a year ago. It found that customers with a standard variable tariff were overpaying by a collective £1.4 billion every year, compared to those energy customers with one of the cheapest tariffs on the market. The reduction in reported operating profit from the division also reflected the write off of goodwill associated with the acquisition of the Energy Solutions Group in the Enterprise business.

"Big six" energy company SSE has said that there are "challenges" ahead including the threat of a price cap in the next Parliament.

The firm lost around 190,000 domestic accounts (100,000 electricity, 90,000 gas) and around 20,000 business accounts across United Kingdom and Ireland.

For the year ended March 31, the company made a pretax profit of GBP1.7 billion compared with GBP593.3 million for the previous year, on revenue of GBP29.03 billion and GBP28.7 billion respectively. On an adjusted basis, pretax profit rose to GBP1.51 billion from GBP1.45 billion.

"The board is committed to continuing to meet SSE's first financial objective of annual dividend growth of at least RPI (retail price index) inflation in the years ahead".

Japan restarts another reactor
Last August, Kansai removed the fuel from both Takahama units 3 and 4 and placed it in the units' storage pools. That unit is expected to be restarted early next month, with commercial operation scheduled for early July.

The dividend was the focus on Wednesday.

SSE raised its electricity prices at the end of April by 14.9% for 2.8 million customers.

However, that is because adjusted earnings per share will fall in the new financial year to the end of March 2018.

"As ever, SSE's approach will be to engage actively and constructively with that government as it develops and takes forward its policies.however, SSE would caution against potential unintended consequences of any proposed intervention in what is a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive market", it said.

The comment on sector regulation is prominent at present, with United Kingdom political parties targeting the energy industry among others ahead of the UK's snap general election on June 8.

The Big Six provider said 4.76 million of its 6.76 million United Kingdom domestic customer accounts could be affected by a cap on standard variable tariffs (SVTs).

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