SSE avoids fine over competition concerns

Ofgem has accepted legally binding commitments from SSE after its investigation into competition concerns at the company.

The energy regulator investigated whether the company’s behaviour could have impeded competition for connecting new developments to its electricity distribution network in the South of England. Ofgem identified competition concerns regarding SSE’s behaviour in providing services needed for competitors to connect new developments to its electricity distribution network in the South of England. These included inconsistencies in providing essential services needed to allow competitors to compete effectively, including inconsistency in quotes.

SSE has committed to putting in place new processes and procedures to make sure it provides these essential services to all parties on a consistent basis. These steps include the following:

  • Splitting operations within SSE’s connections business to separate the team that provides essential services to the connections market from the team that competes in the connections market
  • putting in place an improved IT system to prevent inconsistent quotes from being issued for the same site without justification
  • mandatory and regular competition law compliance training
  • frequent, independent, third party auditing of and reporting on SSE’s compliance with the commitments

Ofgem said that these commitments will fully address the competition concerns that have been identified and it will now close its investigation with no decision made on whether or not SSE infringed competition law.

More information: Investigation into whether SSE has infringed the requirements of Chapter II of the Competition Act 1998 and/or Article 102 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union in respect of points of connection (Ofgem.gov.uk)

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