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SSE Business Energy at a glance
SSE Energy Solutions is a business electricity and gas supplier to more than 500,000 businesses across Great Britain.
SSE offers both fixed-price and flexible energy plans for businesses of different sizes, and all fixed business plans come with 100% renewable electricity as standard. SSE claims to be the largest renewable energy generator in the UK and Ireland.
Learn more about how we bring you our review.
SSE Business Energy pros & cons
- It offers a choice of different tariffs to suit your business needs, including tariffs for larger organisations.
- There is a range of payment options, including direct debit, bank transfer and over the counter.
- Renewable electricity supplied through assets owned by SSE Renewables, while corporate customers can select specific wind farms to supply their energy
- There is no 24/7 customer service.
These pros and cons are based on a survey of UK business owners on what they found important when selecting a range of business products, conducted by NerdWallet in December 2022.
SSE business energy key features
- Wide range of tariffs, including SSE Protect and SSE Choice for small to medium businesses, and SSE Shaping and SSE Cash Out for larger organisations
- 100% renewable electricity from UK-generated wind and hydro assets included with fixed tariffs as standard
- SSE Energy Solutions is upgrading every business customer with a smart meter
SSE business energy full review
SSE Energy Solutions was formed from the merger of the Southern Electricity Board and the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board in 1998, and now supplies over 500,000 businesses of different sizes in Great Britain. The SSE Group also supplies energy to Northern Ireland under the SSE Airtricity brand.
SSE Energy Solutions offers a range of plans to suit businesses of all types and sizes, from sole traders to larger corporations.
Its fixed-price energy plans, SSE Protect and SSE Choice, come with 100% renewable electricity as standard – sourced from wind and hydro – as well as the option of renewable gas.
You can find out more about SSE business in our handy table below.
|Electricity contract length||Six months up to five years*|
|Gas contract length||Six months up to five years*|
|Fuel mix disclosure||Coal: 0%|
Natural Gas: 54%
(April 2021-March 2022)
|Customer service number||0345 725 2526|
|Complaints number||0345 070 7373|
|Payments number||0333 313 9179|
|General email address||Use the online form|
|Complaints email address||Make complaints through the on-site form|
|Trustpilot rating||1.2 stars (16 January 2023)|
|Smart meter installation||Yes|
|App||Yes (iOS and Android)|
|Payment options||Direct debit|
Debit or credit card
Over the counter
Note: Fuel mix figures for SSE Airtricity differ from those in the rest of the UK.
*This is for fixed tariffs for small and medium-sized businesses.
**Business customers on its green tariffs will receive a higher level of renewable energy.
SSE business energy features
Below, you’ll find more information on the features and tariffs available with SSE Energy Solutions.
SSE Energy Solutions doesn’t offer 24/7 customer service which is unfortunate, as NerdWallet’s survey of business owners revealed that it is the single most important factor they consider when searching for an energy supplier.
The supplier has relatively limited contact options compared to some providers. As a new or existing customer, you can contact SSE using one of their phone numbers. New customers can call 0800 389 4466, while existing customers can use the customer service number at 0345 725 2526. Both numbers are available from Monday to Friday, between 8:30am and 5pm.
SSE also has an online form that you can use for a number of things, from making a complaint to querying a bill.
This means SSE Energy Solutions does not provide an email address or live chat option for customers looking to get in contact. The supplier also does not list its social media profiles as a way to get in touch on its ‘Contact Us’ page. However, SSE does respond to queries on Twitter, using the profile @SSEB2B.
Business energy tariffs
Different businesses have different energy needs – it’s why a supplier having tariffs to match those varying needs is in the top three most important factors for business owners when choosing a provider.
With this in mind, SSE currently offers two fixed tariff options for small and medium-sized businesses and two flexible tariffs aimed at larger businesses.
SSE Protect may be a good choice for owners of smaller businesses who prefer consistent pricing that can help them stick to a budget.
It offers fully fixed energy prices, including unit prices and non-commodity costs, meaning any compulsory third party charges for the transmission and distribution of energy are not passed on to you. It also includes 100% renewable electricity as standard, and the option for renewable gas.
The fixed terms for SSE Protect are between six months and four years depending on your needs.
The SSE Choice plan offers fixed wholesale energy prices with terms of up to five years.
Unit prices are fixed, though non-commodity prices may vary, meaning third party cost increases will be passed on to you.
As with SSE Protect, SSE Choice comes with 100% renewable electricity as standard, and the option for renewable gas.
The SSE Shaping tariff is one of two plans aimed at larger organisations. With SSE Shaping, your energy usage profile is fixed for the length of your contract period.
It allows businesses to buy wholesale baseload power in monthly, quarterly or seasonal increments, with access to live market prices via SSE Foresight. This can help to optimise consumption and reduce costs, and improves price transparency.
SSE Cash out
Like SSE Shaping, SSE Cash Out has been designed for larger organisations whicho have the time and resources to dedicate to take control of their energy purchasing.
The tariff allows businesses to buy the amount of power they will need in monthly, quarterly or seasonal increments. Businesses can also forecast their energy consumption by monitoring their real-time energy usage alongside half-hour energy prices.
With this tariff you also have access to the SSE Virtual Power Plant, through which you can earn additional revenue by selling energy back to the grid.
Out-of-contract or variable rates
There are a number of situations where you may be placed on an out-of-contract or variable rate with SSE:
- if you have moved into a new business premises supplied by SSE, and are yet to agree a new contract with SSE or another supplier
- if your fixed term contract has ended and you are yet to agree to a new contract
Out-of-contract rates are typically more expensive than a contract you have actively agreed to, and your electricity won’t be 100% renewable, so you should consider switching to a new contract as soon as possible.
Additional fees and charges
It is important to remember that on top of your kWh usage, charged at your unit rate, you will pay:
- your fixed standing charge, which contributes towards maintaining the electricity network
- VAT, either at 20% or the reduced rate of 5% (if your business uses less than 33kWh of electricity or 145kWh of gas a day)
- the Climate Change Levy (CCL), though there are exceptions to this tax.
You will also be charged for third -party, non-energy costs that may vary from month to month. These can include:
- energy infrastructure costs
- low carbon generation costs
- National Grid or Northern Ireland Electricity energy-related costs
- security of supply costs
Payment flexibility is important to businesses. The ability to pay by direct debit is so important that it came second when business owners were asked to rank the factors that determine the supplier they choose, while the ability to pay by card or bank transfer is at number four.
SSE allows for this flexibility, allowing businesses to pay by:
- direct debit
- bank transfer
- over the phone using a credit or debit card
- over the counter – at any Post Office, NatWest Bank, your own bank, or PayPoint terminal. You must take the bill and giro slip in order to make the payment
- via an online form, as a guest
Among the top five most important criteria when searching for a business energy supplier, according to NerdWallet’s survey, is the option for smart meter installation.
Having a smart meter installed means you don’t need to submit meter readings. On top of this, your bills should be more accurate, with more opportunities to improve energy efficiency.
SSE is upgrading all its business customers to a smart meter. You simply need to complete an online form to book a call. And if you have up to nine sites, you can register with SSE to have its next-gen SMETS2 smart meters installed in your business at no additional cost.
Renewable energy options
SSE Protect and Choice renewable electricity comes from UK hydro plants and wind farms, owned or partly owned by sister company SSE Renewables.
With SSE Shaping and Cash Out, meanwhile, you have the option to choose 100% renewable electricity from UK wind farms and hydro plants or specific generators in your local community.
There is also the SSE Corporate Power Purchase Agreement, where you can buy electricity directly from an SSE-owned wind farm, giving your energy full traceability.
It adds that each megawatt hour (MWh) of the renewable source electricity it supplies with Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGO) certificates. REGOs are a requirement of the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), as part of the fuel mix disclosure regulations.
As for gas, SSE offers three green options:
- SSE Green Gas: This is 25% certified renewable gas, i.e. biomethane, from sources such as agricultural materials, food waste and wastewater, and 75% carbon-neutral gas.
- SSE Green Gas Plus: This is 100% certified renewable gas, i.e. biomethan, from sources such as agricultural materials, food waste and wastewater
- SSE UK Offset Gas: This is in association with sustainability expert Zellar that offsets all of the carbon emissions associated with your gas usage against ‘innovative ecological projects’ based in the UK.
SSE’s use of biomethane is backed by Renewable Gas Guarantees of Origin (RGGO) certificates or Biomethane Certificates (BMCs). For each kWh of gas, a RGGO contains information about where, when and how it was produced including the technology used. BMCs, meanwhile, are issued for every megawatt hour (MWh) of biomethane injected into the grid.
While REGOs, RGGOs and BMCs aim to give transparency to consumers about the amount of renewable energy that a company has used, sourcing directly from renewable generators is a stronger sign of a commitment to renewable energy.
SSE Energy Solutions has a ‘Bad’ rating of 1.2 out of 5 on Trustpilot based on 123 reviews, as of 26 January 2023. Bear in mind that this rating is based on the SSE brand as a whole, rather than being based on any specific business product.
How can I switch to SSE business energy?
- Choose the energy plan that most suits your business needs, whether that is SSE Protect or Choice if you are a small or medium-sized business, or SSE Shapring or Cash Out if you are a larger organisation.
- Call 0800 389 4466 and confirm your choice of plan. SSE will then contact your current supplier and let it know about the switch.
- If you have a smart meter, you simply need to wait for your switch date. If you don’t have a smart meter, you need to submit a meter reading the day before your switch date.
How to choose a SSE Energy Solutions tariff
There are a number of questions you should ask yourself before choosing a tariff with SSE Energy Solutions, including:
- Do you want to be able to budget using fixed energy prices for the length of your contract?
- Do you want to take advantage of falling wholesale prices or non-commodity costs, even if it means the risk that they could go up?
- Do you have the time and resources to manage your energy consumption at a granular level?
- What level of renewable energy do you want?
Moving business premises with SSE business energy
If you’re moving into or out of a premises supplied by SSE, you need to provide them with some key information to ensure you’re charged correctly for your energy usage.
You will need to take a meter reading and complete the moving in form or moving out form, depending on your circumstances.
However, if you have moved into premises and the meters have been disconnected, ignore the form and call 0345 026 4565.
If SSE needs anything else, it will contact you.
At NerdWallet Ltd UK we base our reviews on the results of surveys we conduct to understand what key product features are important to those who use them, and align them to the product we review.
Product details reflect the information that was available at that time but may have changed since. We strive to give you a review on as many products as possible but it is likely there are others available that we have not reviewed. The review is our opinion, but it does not constitute advice, recommendation or suitability of your financial circumstances.
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