Ovo Energy is to make 2,600 staff redundant by the end of the year.
The company cited customers switching to online self-management and a slump in home engineering visits exacerbated by lockdowns.
However, cuts were on the cards since it paid £500m to acquire SSE’s domestic accounts in January.
Voluntary redundancies are targeted.
On what he called ‘a very difficult day’, the company’s founder and CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick wrote to staff that “what should have been a much longer process to digitise the SSE business and integrate it with Ovo has been accelerated due to the impact of the coronavirus”.
“In our experience”, the CEO added, “once customers start to engage differently they do not go back. As a result, we are expecting a permanent reduction in demand for some roles, whilst other field-based roles are also heavily affected.”
Per reports, at least 200 jobs will go immediately as Ovo speeds up integration of its Home Service division with SSE’s. Offices in Selkirk, Glasgow and Reading will close.
Consolidation in retail supply has further to run. Up to 4,500 jobs are believed to at risk following Eon’s in November takeover of Npower, while British Gas owner Centrica last year said another 2,000 jobs were set to go.
Centrica Business profit up, but challenges ahead
Eon wields the knife at Npower, big cuts ahead
Supplier debt crisis creating “house of cards”
Click here to see if you qualify for a free subscription to the print magazine, or to renew.
Follow us at @EnergystMedia. For regular bulletins, sign up for the free newsletter.