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Mild Weather, Price Cap, and Lost Customers Cause Scottish Power's Profits to Tumble


Energy supplier Scottish Power has blamed mild winter weather and the government’s price cap for its recent drop in profits.

The energy supplier, owned by Spanish utility company Iberdrola, reported an 80% drop in profits over the last year, and also reported losing 165,000 customers to rival firms.

Scottish Power reported profits of £37.4m for the first nine months of the year. This is down from £170m for the same time period last year.

Freezing weather in 2018, brought on by the ‘beast from the east’ storm caused a notable increase in the amount of gas and electricity used in homes that year.

The company reported selling 8% less gas and 10% less electricity this year - citing the mild weather and drop in customers key causes. This time last year Scottish Power had 4.78 million customers, but now they only have 4.62 million customers on their books.

An increase in new energy suppliers entering the market and offering cut-price energy has caused the Big Six energy companies to lose their grip on the energy market in recent years.

Despite the fall in profits and loss of customers, Scottish Power reported growth in its renewable energy and energy networks business units - both of which recorded healthy profits as demand continues to increase for clean energy and ‘smart’ energy grids.

Scottish Power Renewables saw a 13% increase in its profits to £302m, and SP Energy Networks reported a profit increase of 6% for the first nine months of the year for a total of £626m.

Chief executive of Scottish Power Renewables, Keith Anderson, said the company had invested £2bn into its renewable energy business - with most of the investment going towards starting up its East Anglia One offshore windfarm in Norfolk.

“As the UK’s only integrated, 100% green energy company, our ongoing investment in smarter grids, digital systems and renewable generation will be critical to the country meeting 2050 net zero targets,” he said.

Early last year, Scottish Power sold its remaining fossil fuel power plants for a total of £700m. The deal with Drax was made in order to focus its attention on windfarm and power grid investments.

A total of €4.7bn was invested by Iberdrola this year with the company’s profits totalling €2.5bn for the first nine months of the year - up 20% from the same time period in the previous year. Most of the €4.7bn investment was put into renewable energy and energy networks.

Ignacio Galán, chairman and chief executive of Iberdrola, said: “These achievements provide us additional room for new investments, creating a virtuous circle of growth and financial strength.”

Harry Pererra
Harry Pererra

Harry turns on his experience in journalism and programming to write about the latest news in the world of tech and the environemtn. When he isn’t writing for usave he is working towards his Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and prefers dogs to cats.

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