Ofgem has ended an investigation into energy company SSE after the utility committed to improving the services needed for competitors to connect customers to its distribution network.
The gas and electricity regulator had identified "competition concerns" and "inconsistencies" in SSE's processes to connect new developments to its electricity distribution network in the South of England, Ofgem said in a statement today.
Perth-based SSE has agreed to legally binding commitments such as putting in place an improved IT system, regular competition law compliance training and splitting operations within its connections business to separate the team that provides essential services to the connections market from the team that competes in the same market.
Ofgem is encouraging electricity distributors to open up to competition in the electricity connections market, which it says is worth more than £500m a year in the UK, where companies and regional distribution network operators compete.
SSE's profits dipped 19.3 per cent last year to £593.3m, while its energy customer accounts in Great Britain and Ireland fell from 8.58m to 8.21m.
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The group said that energy supply in Great Britain particularly is "intensely competitive, with political, regulatory and market factors all contributing to the rapid growth of new market entrants, of which 11 have come to market in the past year alone".
Shares in SSE rose almost one per cent this morning to 1,585p.