SSE is based in Scotland where it began in 1947 as the Southern Electricity Board before becoming known as Southern Electric.
It merged with Scottish Hydro 20 years ago and, since then, Swalec, Atlantic and Airtricity have all become part of SSE.
Ovo has the rights to use the SSE brand so, for the moment, the SSE brand and products still exist and customers won’t see any immediate changes.
SSE also sells home phone and broadband contracts, and boiler cover. SSE Reward gives customers access to offers and presale tickets at SSE venues. These still exist now Ovo has bought its customers.
SSE customer score
SSE came joint 24th out of 35 energy companies, rated by 7,355 members of the public, in the annual Which? customer survey.
SSE score breakdown
The graphic below shows the breakdown of SSE’s score from our latest survey. The results date from before Ovo bought its customers. Take a look at to see what might be in store for SSE customers, now they’re part of Ovo.
Besides our customer satisfaction survey, we investigate how long it takes suppliers to pick up the phone in customer services and whether you can get a good energy deal. Scroll down to find out how SSE compares with its rivals.
Which? verdict on SSE
SSE ranks joint-highest of the traditional, big companies – but only just. It shares its position with , while and rank jointly one place lower. is in joint 33rd, with Npower ranked in between at position 30.
SSE still has plenty of room for improvement, though, when compared with smaller suppliers and Ovo Energy, which bought its customers.
SSE's customers were most positive about its customer service and how it deals with complaints, for both of which it achieved four star (‘good’) ratings.
SSE customers are a bit more satisfied with its customer service than other longstanding firms (the original Big Six). It was the only one among them to achieve four stars, as did its new owner Ovo Energy. However the top-scoring firm overall, , managed to achieve the coveted five-star rating.
Complaints handling is SSE’s other strongest score, besides customer service. Although rivals Eon, British Gas and EDF Energy scored the same, one firm achieved just two stars for its poor complaints resolution.
According to official complaints data, SSE received a higher-than-average number of complaints per 1,000 customers in the first half of last year when compared with other firms in our survey.
However, it also managed to resolve 80% of more of them within two days – one of the best records of suppliers we looked at.
SSE was rated average for both the accuracy and ease of understanding its bills. While the best firms achieved five-star accuracy, five firms rated ‘poor’ for the accuracy of their bills.
Overall, customers aren't enthusiastic about SSE's value for money, though no energy firm included was rated ‘excellent' for this.
It offers a range of fixed-term tariffs, including one bundled with smart home products and another designed for electric vehicle drivers (giving up to 8,000 miles of free electricity if you charge your car in ‘off-peak’ hours).
In our 2020 snapshot investigation into energy companies' customer waiting times, SSE's pick-up time of 9 minutes 55 seconds was slower than the average of all the companies we called (5 minutes 57 seconds). That said, 12 firms of the 31 included took longer on average than SSE minutes to answer the phone, including big-name rivals British Gas, Eon and Npower.
On live chat, SSE was the second slowest firm, taking 13 minutes 2 seconds to reply. The average wait time for the 18 companies we contacted in this way was just over 3 minutes.
Pros: Solves most complaints quickly
Cons: SSE was fairly slow to answer the phone to customers in our call-waiting investigation
SSE electricity sources
SSE in the news