More than 200 jobs are facing the axe at one of Scotland’s big energy suppliers, four months after it came under new ownership.
SSE’s retail division is now run by Ovo Energy, and it is understood the new owner is planning to reduce the workforce.
The posts under threat include 215 electricians and plumbers who work in “field services operations”.
They provide emergency support when heating systems need to be repaired.
Until these contracts are ended, some of these redundancies may be delayed.
- Ovo Energy to pay £8.9m for overcharging customers
- New UK energy giant created in SSE-Ovo deal
A spokeswoman for Bristol-based Ovo Energy declined to comment, while a GMB trade union source said a commitment to retain jobs after the £500 million transfer from Perth-based SSE appears to have been broken.
The SSE brand continues to be used by Ovo, under the terms of the sale.
Ovo Energy was set up in 2009. With the purchase of SSE’s retail division, it now has Britain’s second biggest energy customer base, after Centrica, which operates under the Scottish Gas and British Gas brands.
Ovo Energy, which is privately owned with a minority stake held by Mitsubishi, emphasises the use of technology to automate services that have previously been done by staff in the big energy firms. Smart metering, for instance, feeds information directly to the company without any need for meter readers.
SSE sold the retail business because it was proving a drag on its financial performance, and because it wanted to focus investment on the generation and transmission of electricity. Having grown out of the government-owned Hydro-Electric Board, it continues to own and run the high voltage transmission lines north of the Central Belt.