Headquarters Glasgow, Scotland
Scottish Power, like each of the Big Six, was founded as a result of the privatisation in 1990. It was mainly created from the former electricity board ‘The South of Scotland Electricity Board’, which was the larger of the two that existed. The Scottish electricity industry was already segmented based on generation, distribution and supply, so it was not a great change when this new system was implemented following privatisation.
In 1995 the company acquired the regional electricity company MANWEB (Merseyside And North Wales Electricity Board), which, continuing today, made Scottish Power the DNO (Distribution Network Operator) for Scotland, Merseyside and North Wales. In 2005, German energy conglomerate E·ON bid to take over Scottish Power; however, Scottish Power rejected the bid only to accept a takeover from Iberdrola, the Spanish energy company, just a year later for £11.6 billion, thereby creating Europe’s third largest utility company.
Although now part of the Iberdrola S.A Group based in Bilbao, Spain, Scottish Power runs as a vertically integrated energy company, meaning each element of the supply chain is carried out and owned by the company itself, unlike British Gas, who are solely responsible for supply, leaving generation and distribution to their parent company ‘Centrica’. Supplying to over 5 million homes and businesses, Scottish Power generated a revenue of £9,662.7m in 2015 from generation and supply. They are also the UK’s largest generator of wind energy, making enough green energy to sustain Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh combined, also stating that they will invest £1.4 billion in renewable energy for the next 4 years.
In the most recent UK Customer Satisfaction Index, EDF Energy earned the #1 spot.In the online community, there exists a quite comprehensive opinion of the customer service quality of Scottish Power: On Trustpilot, for example, 882 of the 915 reviewers left the lowest possible rating, resulting in a 0.2 out of 10 overall rating. Which?’s customer service review from 8902 customer reviewers saw Scottish Power finish second last, not scoring more than two stars (out of five) in any of the seven criteria. In 2016 Scottish Power were even fined £18 million by regulator ‘Ofgem’ for inadequate call handling, complaint resolution and billing, resulting in over one million complaints between 2013-2015.
Scottish Power have a large range of tariffs available for household dual fuel, including their 'Online Fixed Saver December 2017 v2', 'Online Standard', and their sponsored team up tariff with Cancer Research UK 'Help Beat Cancer Fixed Jan 2019 v2 OL'. Each fixed rate tariff has a frozen unit rate until a certain expiration date. This could be a good idea depending on what happens within that time frame with regards to the wholesale price of energy, and therefore the standard variable unit rate. As searched on 10th November 2016, the unit price for Scottish Power’s ‘variable’ tariff in the Aberystwyth area is 14.762p per kWh of electricity and 3.395p for gas, whereas in Aberdeen is 14.936p for electricity and an equal 3.395p for gas.