Independent electricity suppliers are questioning the impact of the decision by SSE to auction all its electricity rather than continue selling directly to consumers.

SSE announced on 12 September that it would auction all its power on the day-ahead wholesale market from next year.

The other five of the UK’s “big six” utilities are now under pressure to follow suit, but independent suppliers told the Financial Times the move is unlikely to open the market to new entrants.

First Utility, a small supplier with 60,000 customers, told the paper that changes to the day-ahead market would not affect its business, as the company buys almost all its power on the forward market to enable fixed charges over two years.

 “It won’t make any difference to us at all,” Darren Braham, chief financial officer of First Utility, told the newspaper. “We buy hardly anything day-ahead.”

His view was echoed by Nigel Mason, business development manager for Co-operative Energy. “In order for this to be an effective move, contracts need to be of the right duration, not just one day ahead,” he said.

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