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Scottish Power logo[1]
Glasgow, Scotland[2]

Based in Glasgow, Scotland, ScottishPower Plc is a vertically integrated energy company and was Britain's fifth-largest energy supplier. As part of the utilities industry, it is the distribution network operator for the central and southern Scotland and the Merseyside and North Wales regions. The company also supplies electricity and natural gas to homes and business around the United Kingdom and generates power for supply to the grid. It owns PPM Energy in the United States and is quoted on the London Stock Exchange and has a secondary listing on the New York Stock Exchange, as well.

In 2006 the Spanish energy giant Iberdrola made an £11.6bn takeover bid. The offer was formally approved by shareholders at an EGM on 30 March 2007, effectively creating Europe's third largest utility company.

They are also donors to the Labour Party.


Scottish Power has a number of divisions and subsidiaries:


In 1991 Scottish Power prepared for privatisation from the previously nationalised Scottish electricity industry, having officially formed the year before. Scottish industry was organised on an integrated generation, distribution and supply basis, which survived the privatisation to become a model for the rest of the United Kingdom (previously the UK government had privatised the English and Welsh electricity industry by splitting the market into 12 regional electricity companies and two power generators). Scottish Power was formed from the larger of the two Scottish electricity boards, the South of Scotland Electricity Board, whilst the other, the North of Scotland Hydro Board, eventually became part of the Scottish and Southern Energy Group (the nuclear power stations in Scotland were spun off into a third company, Scottish Nuclear, which was not sold off with Scottish Power and Scottish Hydro Electric, but was sold later as part of British Energy).

Company chronology



  • Charles Miller Smith Joined the Board as Deputy Chairman in August 1999 and was appointed as Chairman in April 2000.
  • Euan Baird Joined the Board in January 2001 bringing executive level experience in the electronics and engineering industry to the ScottishPower Board.
  • Donald Brydon Joined the Board in May 2003 and is the senior independent director.
  • Nick Rose Joined the Board in February 2003 and is Chairman of the Audit Committee, nominated as the Committee’s designated “financial expert”.
  • Nancy Wilgenbusch Joined the Board in June 2004.
  • Peter Hickson Joined the Board on 1st September 2006.

Management team


Previous members

Fat Cat payoffs

Scottish Power's former chief executive Ian Russell and three colleagues received £10.9m for pay and pension compensation. The sums have been branded 'obscene' by the Scottish National Party energy spokesman Richard Lochhead, and come to light just three months after they warned customers about inflation-busting bill hikes.

Russell, who left in January of 2006 after five years as chief executive, received a £2.3m compensation payment as well as benefiting from a resultant pension top-up of £2.7m. The compensation sum is more than three times his salary of £648,000, while his pension windfall nearly doubled his total entitlement to £6.8m. His colleagues Charles Berry and David Nish, who both left the firm in September of 2006, pocketed a total of £2.6m and £2.2m in extra compensation and extra pension sums respectively. And Judi Johansen, the former head of the company's PacifiCorp arm that was sold in 2006 as well, walked off with a total of £1.1m.

The figures are published in Scottish Power's 2005/06 annual report and accounts, and are on top of their normal pay and pension entitlements totalling a further £10.5m. The plc made £675m profit before tax in the financial year to March 2006. Scottish Power raised gas prices by 15% and electricity by 8% in March of 2006, only to warn that bills would rise again due to high wholesale costs. [4][5]

Scottish Power hires private security firm Vericola

Delegating dirty work to private security firms

Different from corporate espionage between two private firms, cases of corporate espionage against the public have been uncovered. Arguably the very industries whose environmental and social impacts are being challenged are delegating their dirty work to private security firms. Responding to The Guardian after Scottish Power, E.ON and SRG were exposed for employing the private security company Vericola, who was allegedly infiltrating campaign groups:

E.ON said it had hired Vericola and another security firm, Global Open, on an "ad hoc" basis as its executives wanted to know when environmentalists were going to demonstrate at or invade its power stations and other premises, as they had done in the past. The E.ON spokesman said it asked Vericola only for publicly available information and if Todd (CEO of Vericola) and her colleagues had obtained private information, they had done so "under their own steam". SRG and Scottish Power did not comment.[6]

Scottish Power's director of security Gordon Irving is a former senior police officer who joined the firm in 2001 after 30 years in Strathclyde Police where he was head of special branch. Leaked documents to The Guardian in 2011 exposed his emails to private spying company Vericola, which was gathering intelligence on the Climate Camp campaigns.[7]

This example of the well-oiled 'revolving door' between the police and large corporations, formal or informal, may raise doubts about the the possibility of an entirely unbiased police force. Questions have been raised regarding the ethics of "former police officers cashing in on their surveillance skills for a host of companies that target protesters".[7]

Direct links with the Scottish Executive & the Scottish Parliament

Scottish Executive

Scottish Executive logo [8]

Scottish Power has had a number of direct links with the Scottish Executive over the years. The following shows some press releases, brochures and posters, and SpinWatch articles regarding the relationships between the two.

Press Releases

  • In May of 2002, Scottish Power "submitted plans to the Scottish Executive for a £70 million windfarm on the site of an abandoned open cast mine at Black Law near the village of Forth in South Lanarkshire. Scottish Power, in partnership with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and landowners, has developed a habitat management plan that integrates nature conservation, windfarm operation, and other land uses on the site which has been derelict since coal mining activities ceased there.” [9]
  • In January of 2003, Scottish Power announced to the Scottish Executive its proposals for the third large scale Scottish windfarm; and "if approved, Harestanes windfarm alone could meet a third of the Scottish Executive’s renewable energy target of 18% by 2010.” [10]
  • In June of 2004, it was announced that "ScottishPower in partnership with the Scottish Energy Office of the Scottish Executive today launched a nationwide campaign to make businesses aware of the introduction of the Government's Climate Change Levy (CCL). The CCL is a tax that will be the major force behind the Government's commitment to reduce the UK's production of greenhouse gases by 12.5 per cent, compared to 1990 levels, by 2010.” [11]
  • More recently in January of 2007, a press release stated that "Former US Vice President Al Gore’s climate change film, An Inconvenient Truth, will be shown in all of Scotland’s Secondary Schools this year thanks to an initiative from Scottish Power and the Scottish Executive. The Scottish Executive, through Learning Teaching Scotland, is developing a package of educational materials to help raise awareness of the challenges we all face from global warming. Stephen Dunn, Scottish Power’s HR and Communications Director, said; “I was greatly impressed by An Inconvenient Truth. Not only does it powerfully explain what is happening to the planet, it also gives hope by simply setting out what we can still do to fight climate change. Scottish Power is already the biggest generator of onshore wind energy in the UK and is developing biomass and wave generation to reduce emissions and combat global warming – but it is essential that we also help promote understanding of this crucial challenge through initiatives such as this.”" [12]
  • In February of 2007, "ScottishPower, working closely with the Scottish Executive, today announced a £10m wave power project designed to push Scotland to the forefront of global marine energy development. ScottishPower's Director of Renewables, Keith Anderson, said: "This is a massive step forward. It will be a test of the actual devices that will be used commercially and, if successful, should help propel Scotland into the forefront of marine energy throughout the world.”" [13]

Brochures & Posters

Brochure [14]

“ScottishPower Windfarm Biodiversity Conservation Strategy”

This was a joint venture in 2006 between the Scottish Executive and ScottishPower Renewables. It also involved the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Sustainable Development, as can be proudly seen at the bottom of the brochure.

Poster [15]

“It’s Our Future schools’ competition”

This is another example of a joint venture in 2006 between ScottishPower Gas and Electricity & the Scottish Executive's Natural Scotland campaign. It involved the WWF (World Wildlife Fund), EcoSchools, as well as Learning & Teaching Scotland, which is funded by the Scottish Executive Education Department (SEED).

SpinWatch articles

“Since the creation of the Scottish Executive, business representatives have had access as secondees to the Executive and civil servants have been seconded outwards to the private sector. Companies involved include the biggest Scottish and Trans-National corporations, Inward: Scottish Power, Scottish and Newcastle, Stagecoach, Ernst and Young, PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Outward: Lloyds TSB Foundation, Scottish Power, McGrigor Donald (law firm and lobbyist), Scottish and Newcastle and business lobby groups Business in the Community and the Scottish Chambers of Commerce.” [16]

Scottish Parliament

Scottish Parliament logo[17]

Scottish Power also has many links with the Scottish Parliament as well. The following shows Parliamentary News Releases regarding the development of the Scottish Parliament Business Exchange, SpinWatch articles, and Scottish Parliament official reports as evidence of relationships between the two.

Parliamentary News Releases

The Scottish Parliament Business Exchange is a scheme where supposedly, MSPs are to be given an opportunity to gain a valuable insight into the diverse Scottish business sector. The Scottish Parliament and Business Exchange ('The Exchange') aims to develop and provide opportunities for promoting mutual understanding between MSPs and business and related communities in Scotland. The Exchange is registered as an educational charity with a board made up of 50 per-cent Parliamentarians and 50 per-cent business representatives. Presiding officer and The Exchange's honorary President, Sir David Steel said "Through being transparent, open, inclusive and flexible in its approach, The Exchange will be able to bring MSPs and the business community together in a non-lobbying and non-partisan way, providing benefits to the whole of Scotland.” The Board of The Exchange was set-up at the first AGM in June of 2001. The Parliament's Chief Executive, Paul Grice, was the convener, and Sir David Steel MSP was the honorary President. The Board members were Elaine Thomson MSP, Brian Adam MSP, David Davidson MSP, Keith Raffan MSP, Lynda Gauld (Pfizer), Alan Wilson (SCDI), Miller McLean (Royal Bank of Scotland), Dominic Fry (Scottish Power), Alastair Smith (BAA Scottish Airports) and Bill Spiers (Scottish TUC). [18]

To see more about the SPBE's claims vs. realities, click Scottish Parliament Business Exchange.

SpinWatch articles

While the SPBE at first glance seems potentially beneficial and rather harmless, a deeper look reveals something different: "The Scottish Parliament Business Exchange was set up to allow MSPs to be educated about the realities of business life. To ensure that education and not lobbying took place the scheme was required to be ‘non-lobbying’. But in practice three quarters of the business representatives taking part were lobbyists.” [19]

Scottish Parliament official reports

The 28 February 2007 Official Report regarding Energy Debt featured many varied comments about Scottish Power's energy practices.

  • Patrick Harvie from Glasgow representing the Green party said: "I was pleased to see that we received briefings from a number of other organisations, including Barnardo's and Capability Scotland, which want Parliament to understand the impact that energy debt has on a range of different people in diverse family situations. Energy suppliers will always have a problem with billing systems for the most vulnerable people, but some of their practices, as Scott Barrie mentioned, hit the poorest households and families hardest. In the case of Scottish Power's practices, they had not even calculated what it would cost Scottish Power to change the policy by writing off such debt. The role of politicians is not just to engage with suppliers on the issue but to look at public policy. Scott Barrie explained the historical situation in terms of the welfare state but, as we move further into the 21st century, the job for politicians is to prepare all citizens and households in Scotland for the period after cheap energy. It falls on all suppliers, including Scottish Power, to adjust their systems to ensure that the most vulnerable people are not placed in further debt."
  • Christine Grahame from the South of Scotland representing the SNP party said: "Energy companies are making a financial killing on the back of the less well-off. Figures that I have obtained show that some companies are charging customers who will not pay by direct debit almost £300 a year more. With regard to the overcharging of non-direct debit customers for gas and electricity combined, the worst offenders—I will name and shame them—were npower, Powergen and Scottish Power. The worst companies for customers who required only electricity and who chose not to pay by direct debit were npower, Powergen and Scottish Power."
  • Jackie Baillie from Dumbarton representing the Labour party said: "Come on, Scottish Power—stop back-charging customers and stop back-charging the people who are potentially the most vulnerable customers. I echo the call for Scottish Power to end immediately its practice of backdating and to acknowledge that prepayment meter tariffs are a mess.” [20]

Indirect links with the Scottish Executive and the Scottish Parliament

Scottish Power has a number of indirect links with the Scottish Executive and the Scottish Parliament as well.

  • The company sponsors community activities such as ScottishPower Learning. This is the company's flagship corporate community programme focused on education/employability. A more detailed look reveals:

a) School-based programmes designed to support the school to work transition

b) Community-based programmes designed to help unemployed young people build their skills in preparation for work (Involved with Prince’s Trust, Community Champions, Project Scotland)

c) Work-based programmes designed to provide young people with work experience and vocational training

  • The company is involved with think tanks as well. Demos, for example, is another 'third way' think tank in the UK. According to its website "Demos is a greenhouse for new ideas which can improve the quality of our lives. As an independent think tank, our aim is to create an open resource of knowledge and learning that operates beyond traditional parties, identities and disciplines." [21] Scottish Power is one of the many partners of Demos.
  • Scottish Power is involved with policy planning agencies, such as the regulatory body SEPA. The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency is a powerful Scottish public body sponsored by the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department. SEPA was established by the Environment Act 1995 and is responsible for the protection of the natural environment in Scotland, including air, land, freshwater and marine environments.
  • The company is also a member of BWEA (formerly the British Wind Energy Association). BWEA is a renewable power industry, however "Critics in the environment movement may be suspicious of a company they believe talks about green issues but invests little. Shell has been a member for some years and other big power producers, such as Centrica, owner of British Gas, and E.ON of Germany have also joined.” [22]

Other activities

Some other activities that Scottish Power is involved in include the following:

PR connections

Scottish Power is also listed as a client of

Lobby connections

According to one CorporateWatch Report, "Despite the pro-business outlook of McConnell and the Scottish executive, corporate lobbyists still find it worthwhile to swarm around the Scottish Parliament in an attempt to secure meetings with MSPs, to influence Scottish public spending in their favour and to keep polluting Scotland without major penalties. The incestuous relationships between the Scottish Parliament and corporations extend beyond external lobbying, however. Take for example the corporate swamping of cross party policy discussion groups that meet within the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish Executive has seen further controversy over its cosy connections with corporations. Since its creation, business representatives have had access as secondees to the Executive and civil servants have been seconded outwards to the private sector. Companies involved include the biggest Scottish and transnational corporations, with inward secondments from Scottish Power.” [25]

Cultural Affiliations/Sponsorships

Political donations

Recorded by the Electoral Commission:

Date Name of donor Amount Donated to Subsidiary (parties only)
27/02/2001 Scottish Power (Sponsorship), Corporate and Central Services £1,500.00 Labour Party Scottish Labour Party
06/12/2002 Scottish Power, 1 Atlantic Quay Company £5,000.00 Labour Party Scottish Labour Party
01/06/2003 Scottish Power, 1 Atlantic Quay Company £1,500.00 Labour Party Labour Students
09/10/2003 Scottish Power, 1 Atlantic Quay Company £4,000.00 Labour Party Scottish Labour Party
30/09/2004 Scottish Power, 1 Atlantic Quay £5,000.00 Labour Party Central Party
23/09/2004 Scottish Power, 1 Atlantic Quay Company £6,000.00 Labour Party Scottish Labour Party
28/02/2005 Scottish Power Plc, 1 Atlantic Quay £4,000.00 Labour Party Scottish Labour Party
28/02/2005 Scottish Power Plc, 1 Atlantic Quay £4,000.00 Labour Party Scottish Labour Party
14/09/2005 Scottish Power Plc, 1 Atlantic Quay £7,000.00 Labour Party Scottish Labour Party
16/03/2006 Scottish Power Plc, 1 Atlantic Way £3,000.00 Labour Party Scottish Labour Party
02/11/2006 Scottish Power, 1 Atlantic Way £6,000.00 Labour Party Scottish Labour Party
29/10/2007 Scottish Power Plc - Sponsorship, 1 Atlantic Way £6,000.00 Labour Party Scottish Labour Party
04/08/2008 Scottish Power Plc - Sponsorship, 1 Atlantic Way £7,000.00 Labour Party Scottish Labour Party
10/12/2009 Scottish Power Limited - Sponsorship, CASTLE HOUSE £7,000.00 Labour Party Scottish Labour Party
01/10/2010 Scottish Power - Sponsorship, 1 Atlantic Quay £8,225.00 Labour Party Scottish Labour Party
31/12/2010 Scottish Power UK Plc, 1 Atlantic Quay £14,000.00 Labour Party Central Party
04/02/2011 Scottish Power, 1 Atlantic Quay, Robertson Street £2,937.50 Labour Party Scottish Labour Party
07/10/2011 Scottish Power, 1 Atlantic Quay, Robertson Street £8,400.00 Labour Party Scottish Labour Party
12/10/2012 Scottish Power, 1 Atlantic Quay, Robertson Street £8,400.00 Labour Party Scottish Labour Party
23/08/2013 Scottish Power, 1 Atlantic Quay, Robertson Street £8,400.00 Labour Party Scottish Labour Party
02/08/2013 Scottish Power UK Plc, 1 Atlantic Quay £14,000.00 Labour Party Central Party
31/10/2014 Scottish Power, 1 Atlantic Quay, Robertson Street £8,400.00 Labour Party Scottish Labour Party


External Links

ScottishPower website
ScottishPower Gas and Electricity Customer website
ScottishPower Energy Networks website


Address: 1 Atlantic Quay, Glasgow, G2 8SP
Phone: 0141 248 8200


  1. Scottish Power logo
  2. Glasgow image
  3. Meet the Board
  4. "Sacked power chiefs get 'obscene' pay-off"
  5. Terry Macalister BP joins renewable power campaign group, The Guardian, 27/12/06, accessed 22/02/11
  6. Rob Evans and Paul Lewis Revealed: how energy firms spy on environmental activists The Guardian, 14/02/11, accessed 22/02/11
  7. 7.0 7.1 Paul Lewis and Rob Evans Green groups targeted polluters as corporate agents hid in their ranks The Guardian, 14/02/11, accessed 14/02/11
  8. Partners Scottish Executive
  9. "ScottishPower Plans to Turn Open-cast Mine into Windfarm and Bird Habitat"
  10. “ScottishPower Announces Proposals for Third Large-Scale Scottish Windfarm"]
  11. "ScottishPower Spearheads Drive to Advise Business on the Climate Change Levy"
  12. "ScottishPower Brings Al Gore's 'An Inconvenient Truth' to Schools"
  13. "ScottishPower to Build World’s Biggest Wave Project off Orkney"
  14. Brochure
  15. Poster
  16. "Taking The Risk Out Of Devolution"
  17. Scottish Parliament
  18. Parliamentary News Release, “New Scheme Promotes Mutual Understanding Between MSPs and Scottish Businesses"
  19. "Taking The Risk Out Of Devolution"
  20. Energy Debt "Official Report 28 February 2007"
  21. Demos website
  22. Guardian, "BP joins renewable power campaign group"
  23. Scott Porter Research and Marketing Ltd, Clients
  24. Register 1st September 2014 - 30th November 2014 APPC, accessed 28 January 2015
  25. "SCOTLAND PLC: The Scottish Executive’s corporate links"
  26. Electoral Commission, Donation search, accessed 9 March 2015