SSE has decided against upgrading its back-end billing system any time soon.
The supplier, attempting to stem the rate of customer losses in recent years, said in a trading statement that it would instead focus on front-end retail efforts.
That decision will be welcomed by shareholders: billing systems upgrades have a history of causing severe customer service issues. British Gas was last week given a £9.5m penalty following a difficult systems implementation, with Npower and Scottish Power also fined heavily for similar problems in the last year.
Meanwhile, the company said it has prequalified 5,908MW of generation – including all of its thermal plant – into the next capacity auction, which begins today and aims to secure capacity for next winter.
SSE has 5,305MW of gas-fired and oil-fired generation in the UK and Ireland, as well as the 1,995MW of coal-fired generation at Fiddler’s Ferry, which failed to secure a capacity contract in last December’s auction for delivery over 2020/21.
SSE said it remains committed to the smart meter rollout, but reiterated concerns around customer take-up. The supplier said it has now installed over 400,000 smart meters compared to over 180,000 nine months previously, suggesting a run rate of around 1,000 smart meter installs per working day.
See the update here.