SSE Airtricity are Northern Ireland’s biggest energy provider, supplying both natural gas and ‘greener’ electricity to over 300,000 homes and businesses. They’re part of the SSE group and are owned by SSE plc, one of the biggest names in the UK’s electricity and gas production and have an interest in production, distribution, supply and services. Since its launch in 1997, Airtricity (formally Eirtricity) has sought to build out green energy generation and supply within Northern Ireland, and was named the best place to work in Ireland in 2007 by the Great Place to Work Institute. Today, the company are producing vast amounts of renewable energy and helping their customers save money at the same time, something that few other energy companies can comfortably lay claim to.
Since Airtricity entered the domestic electricity market in 2010 they’ve helped to deliver savings of around £17 million to their 185,000 electricity customers via thoughtful, considered consumer advice and their roll out of smart meters, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg in regards to what they do within both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. In N.I the company offer electricity supply for homes and businesses, gas supply through SSE Airtricity Gas Supply Ltd and energy generation. In the ROI Airtricity offer both gas and electricity for homes and businesses as well as public street lighting, making them an integral part of the lives of millions of Irish people.
Since 2008, SSE Airtricity have invested £500 million into making Northern Ireland a hub for sustainable energy infrastructure, and are committed to spending another £500 million over the next five years, in order to reach Northern Ireland’s renewable energy targets. At present, that means that Airtricity are generating 88MW of renewable energy, which is powering 75,000 homes. The company are also planning a further pipeline of 166MW of new wind farms that will see the energy industry in N.I completely revolutionised before we reach 2020.
Indeed, according to Which, their current fuel mix is largely based around renewable sources with 79% of energy coming from renewable, 7% from coal, 11% from natural gas, 1% from nuclear and 2% from other sources. Those numbers are extremely favourable when compared to many of the other energy companies across Ireland, and truly point towards a company which walks the walk it talks. In the coming years, we would expect SSE Airtricity to push that number even higher, helping to lay the groundwork for a clean energy revolution.
Airtricity haven’t been without their critics though, especially when it comes to their customer service chops. The company’s record with customer service is better than many others, but with a 51% Which rating, it’s clear that the company need to revise the contact number for SSE and begin a greater focus on communicating with their customers. It’s an usual situation, because SSE Airtricity have done a largely excellent job communicating with the communities which are located near their wind farms, and have invested over £500,000 into local communities, helping to support over 250 projects to transform schools, communities and sports clubs up and down the country.