Scottish Power sheds customers as cheaper alternatives become available

7th November 2017 | Residential Energy

Energy giant Scottish Power had haemorrhaged 120,000 customers, its latest results reveal. The loss of customers switching to cheaper deals elsewhere has cost the “Big Six” firm in retail supply earnings, with a fall of more than 60 per cent recorded.

Three quarters of the customers have left the supplier since the end of June alone, taking numbers from 5.34 million last year to 5.22 million at the end of the third quarter. Retail earnings have fallen to £59.4 million from £152.3 million as a result.

Scottish Power

However, Scottish Power boss, Keith Anderson says the Spanish-owned firm is outperforming its rivals, stating, “In Retail, we have more customers on fairer deals than any other Big Six suppliers and we are the only bigger company to have increased its market share since 2011. We believe that putting our existing customers before new customers is the best way to compete in this marketplace. That is why we work hard to rewards our customer’s loyalty by getting them onto better deals.”

Commenting on the results, Anderson also criticised UK Government plans for a price cap on standard variable tariffs (SVTs). An “absolute cap” will be imposed as a temporary measure on poor-value deals, lifting by 2023 at the latest.

ScottishPower has pledged to end standard variable tariffs and move customers on to cheaper fixed deals, as have several of its rivals. Anderson stated, “Our view remains that the proposed price cap will not help to engage those customers who could still find a better deal. It will be bad for consumers, energy companies big and small, as well as investor confidence.

“The key question the government needs to answer is whether they still believe customers benefit most from free market competition. If they do, any intervention must be designed to increase consumer engagement, which is the biggest thing wrong in this sector. Otherwise, we would urge the government to opt for a fully regulated market. We need clarity one way or the other.”

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