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SSE (2022) review: Lots of room for improvement

Our Rating :

Poor customer service and value for money, unlike its parent company Ovo Energy, but quick at answering the phone


  • Option to choose 100% renewable electricity


  • High numbers of customer complaints

SSE, which stands for Scottish and Southern Energy, was formed in 1998 and was previously one of the “Big Six” energy firms that supplied the majority of Great Britain’s energy. In January 2020 its home energy business was taken over by Ovo Energy, and they now supply almost five million households combined.

SSE’s energy customers are gradually being moved to Ovo but customers who also have broadband or boiler and central heating cover, which it also supplies, will be kept under the SSE brand.

The parts of SSE that weren’t taken over by Ovo include SSE Renewables, which generates renewable electricity, and SSE Airtricity, which supplies energy in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Like Ovo Energy, SSE offers an add-on that gives you greener energy. For £3 extra a month you can get 100% renewable electricity and five trees planted on your behalf each year.

SSE didn’t perform well in most categories of our Expert Reviews Energy Awards 2022, although it was one of the quickest at answering calls from its customers. In our survey conducted in conjunction with YouGov, it had the second-lowest proportion of customers who said they would recommend it to a friend at 32%. Only Shell Energy was worse with 23%. In contrast, the top supplier Octopus Energy had 72% of its customers saying they would recommend it.

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SSE (2022) review: Customer satisfaction and complaints

Customer service

SSE received the worst score for customer satisfaction in our survey of energy customers. Only 26% said they were very or fairly satisfied with it. This compares to 69% for the winner in this category, Octopus. SSE also had the highest proportion of customers, along with Scottish Power, who said they were very or fairly dissatisfied at 22%.

Value for money

The supplier also did badly for value for money, coming bottom in this category too. A dismal 16% of customers said they were very or fairly satisfied compared to 53% for Octopus. It didn’t have the biggest share of customers saying they were dissatisfied, though, as Shell Energy had 48% of customers dissatisfied while SSE (along with E.ON) had 42%.

Clarity of bills

SSE’s customers were more impressed with the clarity of its bills than its customer service and value for money. A decent 72% of customers said their last bill was very or fairly easy to understand. This was well below Octopus’s 86% but well above the 59% achieved by the worst supplier Utility Warehouse.

Customer contact

The speed at which it answered calls from its customers is one area where SSE excelled so it was highly commended in this category. It managed to answer 33% in five minutes or less, which was second only to Octopus’s 53%, and it answered more calls in less than one minute than any other supplier we were able to rate in this category at 15%.


SSE shares its customer complaints data with its parent company OVO Energy so, like Ovo, it had the second highest number of complaints per 100,000 customer accounts of all the suppliers in our survey, according to the energy regulator Ofgem’s latest figures for the second quarter of 2022. British Gas received more with 1,894.

It wasn’t among the worst at resolving them, though. It resolved 64% by the end of the next working day, compared to 82% for the best, Utility Warehouse, and 51% for the worst, EDF Energy. Some 91% were resolved within eight weeks, compared to 100% for Utility Warehouse and 82% for Scottish Power.

Ofgem complaints data

Complaints per 100,000 customer accountsIndustry average complaints per 100,000 customer accountsComplaints resolved by end of next working dayComplaints resolved within eight weeks

Notes: Data is for the second quarter of 2022.

Along with customer satisfaction and complaints, we normally evaluate energy suppliers’ tariffs but as you can’t currently save money by switching from your supplier’s standard variable tariff, which in most cases will be set at the level of the Energy Price Guarantee from 1 October, comparing suppliers on price is no longer possible.

SSE (2022) review: Verdict

SSE’s service and value for money are not keeping its customers happy and it gets lots of complaints but its bills are relatively easy to understand and it doesn’t leave its customers on hold for too long. In many areas, it’s not currently performing as well as its parent company, Ovo Energy, which was highly commended in three of our award categories, but all SSE energy customers will eventually move to Ovo.

Find out more about SSE