Ofgem has fined SSE £2.06m for failing to publish inside information about the wholesale energy market.
According to Ofgem, SSE breached legal requirements on the publication of inside information because it made the wrong decision about whether it was in possession of inside information.
A statement from the regulator explained that this was likely to have had a significant effect on forward wholesale electricity prices.
In February 2016, SSE said that three of the four generating units at Fiddler’s Ferry power station were going to close. On March 22 2016, SSE signed a non-binding agreement with National Grid that meant the site would likely stay open. Fiddler’s Ferry has the capacity to provide three percent of Britain’s peak electricity needs.
According to Ofgem, SSE did not publish this information in a “timely manner”. The regulator said that SSE waited until March 30 2016 to make the announcement.
Ofgem added: “SSE’s delay in making a public announcement resulted in four days trading without the market knowing that more generation was likely to be available than previously thought. It is likely this led to some market participants paying more for wholesale electricity than they should have.”
SSE’s energy director, Martin Pibworth, said: “SSE takes its market disclosures extremely seriously and acted in good faith, publishing details of the contract for Fiddlers Ferry power station once signed, in line with our interpretation of the regulations at the time.
“We subsequently understood that Ofgem’s interpretation required disclosure to the market at an earlier stage. We admit that our approach was not in line with this requirement.
“SSE did not benefit from disclosing only once the contract was signed and remains committed to clear and transparent rules for all market participants. We will be pressing regulatory authorities for additional guidance for market participants going forward.”