Scottish Power

Scottish Power in a nutshell

  • Scottish Power relies heavily on coal but invests most in renewable energy.
  • Energy prices are comparatively high for a Big Six supplier but there are no exit fees.
  • Customer complaints are limited but take longer than other suppliers to get resolved.

Scottish Power: Scotland’s original private electricity company

Originally, Scottish Power (1990) was formed in response to the privatisation of the Scottish electricity generation, distribution and supply industry (1991). Although it rejected a takeover bid by E.ON in 2005, it was bought in 2007 by the Spanish energy company Iberdrola.

Corporate facts on Scottish Power

Scottish Power is one of two Big Six companies with generation, distribution and retail components (the other is SSE). With 5.2 million residential and business customers (just over 10% of the UK domestic and small business energy market), Scottish Power employs roughly 7,500 people. Keith Anderson is the company’s CCO. In 2012, Scottish Power made £7.8 billion in revenue.

Scottish Power's vertical integration

Scottish Power is a vertically intergrated energy supplier with interests in:

  • electricity generation, mostly through coal-fired power plants: Scottish Power accounts for over 7% of the UK's electricity generation capacity;
  • electricity transmission: Scottish Power owns the transmission network in the South of Scotland;
  • electricity distribution: Scottish Power owns the distribution networks in the South of Scotland and the North of Wales;
  • gas production and storage: Scottish Power owns the Hatfield Moor natural gas storage facility (1.6% of the UK's storage capacity capable of meet the demand of 450,000 customers);
  • electricity and gas supply (see below).

Scottish Power - a coal-based fuel mix

Given Scottish Power’s important electricity generation capacity from coal (Longannet Power Station), it is not surprising that more than half of its fuel mix is coal-based, as seen in the chart below. Of the Big Six, it is one of two with over 10% of energy generation from renewables (the other supplier being npower).


Current Scottish Power energy prices

The following are Scottish Power electricity and gas prices for standard comparison rate consumption as of May 2014 (3,200 kWh for electricity and 13,500 kWh for gas). Comparing them with those of the other Big Six energy suppliers shows that Scottish Power is one of the more expensive large retailers in electricity and gas. However, Scottish Power contracts have no exit fees.

Tariff

Conditions

Average cost duel fuel

Average cost electricity only

Average cost gas only

Standard Product

- Variable tariffs
- No contract end date or renewal

£ 1,199.12

£ 549.35

£ 660.27

Online Fixed Price Energy

- Fixed prices until 30 June 2016
- Online account management

£ 1,075.87

£ 495.95

£ 590.42

Fixed Price Energy

- Fixed prices until 30 June 2016

£ 1,163.10

£ 531.34

£ 642.27

Help Beat Cancer

- Fixed prices until 30 April 2017
- Contribution to Cancer Research UK

£ 1,229.09

N/A

N/A

Contacting Scottish Power

Contacting Scottish Power by telephone

Scottish Power operating hours are more restrictive than its Big Six competitors, but respectable compared to other suppliers overall, though it has several automated servers that are always on.

Topic

Contact number(s)

Operating hours

Account enquiries

0800 027 0072

Mon-Fri, 8am-7pm; Sat, 9am-1pm

New customers

0800 027 0404

Mon-Fri, 8am-7pm; Sat, 9am-1pm

Meter readings

0800 027 8000

24/7

Card payments

0800 001 5115

24/7

Complaints

0800 040 7005

Mon-Fri, 8am-7pm; Sat, 8:30am-1pm

National Gas Service Emergency Line

0800 111 999

24/7

Contacting Scottish Power by mail

Letters to Scottish Power can be sent to:
Scottish Power
Cathcart Business Park
Spean Street
Glasgow
G44 4BE

Scottish Power customer reviews

Scottish Power complaints performance

The first quarter of 2014 saw Scottish Power receive 70,454 complaints, of which only 35,227, or 50%, were resolved within one working day. Half (50%) of those complaints were about billing. Customer’s main concerns also included payment issues (20%), customer services (17%), establishing new accounts (8%) and metering (3%). Interestingly, although Scottish Power receives fewer complaints than any of the other Big Six suppliers, it is the only electricity and gas supplier not to resolve more than three-quarters within one working day.

What customers say about Scottish Power

Selected positive reviews about Scottish Power

  • Scottish Power direct debits are accurate and service is good

“When I moved, I switched to Scottish Power who reduced the amount my previous supplier was charging me to make it more accurate. So far (two years later), I’m still happy with their service (though admittedly I’ve not had to call them much).

  • Scottish Power’s online services function well

“The Scottish Power online system is user-friendly and seems efficient: the direct debit calculator worked out I was owed money and a cheque was sent automatically - without having to call and nag.”

  • Scottish Power invests in renewable energy

“I switched to Scottish Power when I learned that they’re developing onshore windfarms on a large scale to help improve the share of renewable energy in our national fuel mix.”

Selected negative reviews about Scottish Power

  • Scottish Power customer care is slow

“Every option I have for contacting Scottish Power has been disappointing: live chat takes ages to get a response, customer service agents are inefficient (expect to repeat the issue several times), issues are not resolved quickly.”

  • Scottish Power does not try to get you the best deal

“When my tariff came to an end I expected to be offered something at least as good but instead I was moved onto a more expensive pricing plan and it has been impossible to get an explanation (I’ve had to wait a long time on the phone for a customer service person).”

  • Scottish Power increases direct debits without warning

“I was surprised to find my direct debits increasing rapidly and found that my tariff had changed without my being notified, which is frustrating - all the more since when I emailed Scottish Power about this it took ages to get a reply.”