Scottish and Southern Energy

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Scottish and Southern Energy plc operates as an energy company in the United Kingdom. It engages in the generation, transmission, distribution, and supply of electricity; storage, distribution, and supply of gas; electrical and utility contracting; and domestic appliance retailing. The company also operates telecoms network, as well as provides services to other telecoms providers, companies, and public sector organizations. [1] It is the second largest energy supplier in the UK with consolidated revenues of £15.3 billion for the year ending 31 March 2008. [2]


The Company was formed in 1998 following a merger between Scottish Hydro-Electric plc and Southern Electric plc. [3]

In 2004 the Company acquired the Ferrybridge power station and Fiddlers Ferry Power Station for £250million.[4] In 2008 it went on to buy Airtricity Holdings, an Irish wind farm business. [5] Along with the acquisition of CHP Supply Limited it marked SSE’s move into the Irish supply market. The announcement of plans to invest in the world's largest offshore wind farm at Greater Gabbard, combined with existing wind and hydro supply, give SSE one of the most renewable reputations in the electricity sector.

Revolving Door with Edinburgh City Council

In 2013, former Edinburgh City Council Chief, Sue Bruce joined forces with the energy company. Just weeks before the firm went into talks with the council over the renewal of energy supply contracts to council tenants (worth at least £11 million), Bruce took up a directory role worth £50,000 per annum. This has naturally raised serious questions about access and undue influence on her part. [6]


  • Lord Smith of KelvinChairman. Joined the Board as a non- Executive Director in June 2003, was appointed Deputy Chairman in November 2003 and became Chairman in January 2005. He is Chairman of The Weir Group plc and a non-Executive Director of 3i Group plc, Standard Bank Group Limited, and Aegon UK plc. Lord Smith was formerly Chief Executive of Morgan Grenfell Asset Management Limited, a member of the Financial Services Authority and the Financial Reporting Council, a Governor of the BBC, a Board Trustee of the British Council, Chairman of Stakis plc and a Past President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. He is Chairman of the Nomination Committee and a member of the Remuneration Committee.
  • Ian Marchant Chief Executive. Appointed Chief Executive in October 2002 having been Finance Director since 1998. He joined Southern Electric in 1992 and joined the Board on becoming Finance Director in 1996. Previously he worked for Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC), including a two-year secondment to the Department of Energy working on electricity privatisation. Ian is Chairman of the United Kingdom Business Council for Sustainable Energy and of the Climate Change Business Delivery Group, a member of Ofgem’s Environmental Advisory Group, the Coal Forum and of the Energy Research Partnership. Ian is a non-Executive Director of Maggie’s Cancer Centres and was appointed as a non-Executive Director of John Wood Group PLC on 18 May 2006. He is a member of the Nomination Committee and is lead Director for the Environment and Corporate Responsibility.
  • Gregor Alexander Finance Director. Joined the Board of Scottish and Southern Energy as Finance Director in October 2002. He was appointed Group Treasurer and Tax Manager in 1998 having held a number of senior positions within the Finance team. He worked with Arthur Andersen for five years before joining Scottish Hydro Electric in 1990, six months before privatisation. Gregor is a Director of Scotia Gas Networks plc and Chairman of the Group of Scottish Finance Directors. He is a member of the Risk Committee.
  • Colin Hood Chief Operating Officer. Joined the Board of Scottish and Southern Energy as Power Systems Director in January 2001, becoming Chief Operating Officer in October 2002. Previously he was Director of Distribution for Southern Electric, having joined the industry with the North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board in 1977. He is Chairman of Scotia Gas Networks plc and a member of the Forum for Renewable Energy Developments in Scotland. Colin is the lead Director for Health and Safety matters and has Board level responsibility for Generation, Power Systems, Customer Service, People, IT and Contracting.
  • René Médori Audit Committee Chairman. Joined the Board as a non-Executive Director in June 2003. He is Finance Director of Anglo American plc and is a non- Executive Director of AngloGold Ashanti and DB (De Beers) Investments. He is a former Finance Director of the BOC Group plc, and previously worked for Accenture and Schlumberger Limited. He is Chairman of the Audit Committee and a member of the Nomination Committee.
  • Alistair Phillips-Davies Energy Supply Director. Joined the Board in January 2002, having previously held various positions in the finance and commercial operations areas of the company. He joined Southern Electric in February 1997 having previously worked for HSBC and the National Westminster Bank in corporate finance and business development roles. He is a Chartered Accountant and a Director of the Energy Retail Association. Alistair is Chairman of the Risk Committee and has Board level responsibility for Energy Trading, Electricity and Gas Supply, Sales, Marketing and Energy Services.
  • Susan Rice CBE Non-Executive Director. Joined the Board as a non-Executive Director in July 2003. She is Chief Executive of Lloyds TSB Scotland plc, having previously been Managing Director, Personal Banking, for the Bank of Scotland. Susan is a non-Executive Director to the Court of the Bank of England and chairs the Board of the Edinburgh International Book Festival with several other organisations. Susan chairs the Remuneration Committee and is a member of the Nomination Committee.
  • Nick Baldwin Non-Executive Director. Joined the Board of Scottish and Southern Energy as a non-Executive Director in September 2006. Previously he worked in electricity, gas and water utilities, culminating in being the Chief Executive of Powergen plc. He is a non-Executive Director of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and a non-Executive Director of the Forensic Science Service and Chair of the Public Weather Service Customer Group. He also serves on the Advisory Board of Climate Change Capital Limited and is Chairman of Worcester Community Housing Limited. He is a member of the Audit Committee.
  • Richard Gillingwater Non-Executive Director. joined the Board as a non-Executive Director in May 2007. He is Dean of Cass Business School and is a non-Executive Director of Debenhams plc and Tomkins plc. He has held senior appointments in the City, including at Kleinwort Benson, BZW and Credit Suisse. He has advised HM Government and most recently was Chief Executive then Chairman of the government’s Shareholder Executive. He is a member of the Audit and Remuneration Committees.


It was named as the most environmental and ethical company on the London Stock Exchange in The Observer Good Companies Guide; [7] an accolade that many FTSE companies would covet.

All is not rosy in the garden however. A project that the company see as vital for the future of renewable energy is bogged down in a long running Public Inquiry. A wide grouping of environmental campaigners see the attempt to upgrade the transmission line from Beauly to Denny as a disaster for the areas it will pass through: "'The Applicants' (Scottish and Southern Energy), who are the transmission company applying to build the line, accept that landscape and visual adverse effects will occur extensively. For this proposal to be justified, there would have to be no other, less destructive alternative and the line would need to be of national importance. Our evidence, brought forward to the Inquiry, shows that neither of these is the case."[8]

In this dispute SSE has the advantage of being a political insider: the Chief Executive attended the Scottish Executive's Forum for Renewable Energy Development in Scotland meeting in 2005, a week after the application for the line was submitted to the Executive. At this meeting the importance or this project was emphasised. [9]


Head Office

Scottish and Southern Energy, Inveralmond House, 200 Dunkeld Road, Perth PH1 3AQ UK


  1. 'Scottish & Southern Energy plc' Business Week, accessed Nov 2008
  2. 'Moody's cuts Scottish and Southern Energy' Reuters, 5 June 2008, accessed Nov 2008
  3. Scottish and Southern Energy Website: Group History accessed Nov 2008
  4. Scottish & Southern buys Fiddlers Ferry The Independent, 31 July 2004, accessed Nov 2008
  5. Scottish & Southern to buy Irish Windfarm firm Reuters, Jan 4 2008, accessed Nov 2008
  6. Holyrood Exposed: A Guide to Lobbying in, 12 October 2015, accessed 12 October 2015
  7. Zoe Wood, 'Energy giant tops guide to ethical firms', Guardian, November 16 2008, accessed Nov 2008
  8. The John Muir Trust, The proposed Beauly Denny 400kV transmission line:An update about the Public Local Inquiry
  9. Scottish Executive Forum for Renewable Energy Development in Scotland Minutes of the 7th meeting, 3 October 2005