LADY Susan Rice, the senior independent director at electricity and gas supplier SSE, has called for energy companies to be more “transparent” about the charges that their customers face.
Rice, who is also managing director of Lloyds Banking Group’s Scottish operations, said that greater transparency would help utility companies to regain the public’s trust.
Tomorrow the House of Commons’ energy and climate change committee will question senior executives from the “Big Six” energy companies over the flurry of recent price rises.
Rice said: “Transparency in all areas of operations – but perhaps most importantly in how companies charge their customers for goods and services – has to be a priority.
“Energy providers have to be able to explain what their customers are paying for, or they can’t hope to earn and retain their trust.”
Rice, who became a non-executive director at Perth-based SSE in 2003 and took over as its senior independent director in 2007, made the comments earlier this month at a private non-executive directors’ event hosted by “Big Four” accountancy firm KPMG.
Her comments, which have only just been made public, come amid a string of price rises from energy suppliers.
SSE kicked off the current round of cost increases on 10 October, followed a week later by Scottish Gas-owner Centrica, with Npower and ScottishPower also ramping up prices last week.
Tomorrow afternoon MPs will question representatives from Centrica, the Co-operative, EDF, Eon, Npower, Ovo, ScottishPower and SSE over energy prices.
Andrew Wright, interim chief executive at industry regulator Ofgem, will also be grilled by politicians.
SSE director Rice in utilities ‘transparency’ call