OVO Energy plans to cut 2,600 jobs: The energy supplier says it aims to make the cuts ‘largely through voluntary redundancy’.

The job losses will affect gas engineers, electricians, meter readers, and call centre staff and the company will close its offices in Glasgow’s Waterloo Street, Selkirk and Reading.

The Unite union’s national officer for energy and utilities, Peter McIntosh, said: “This is devastating news for the loyal and dedicated workforce who have continued to provide emergency and essential services to customers throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

The decision comes just four months after Ovo bought SSE’s retail division for £500m, instantly increasing its customer base from 1.5m to 5m homes.

The firm says the coronavirus has accelerated an ongoing shift in consumer behaviours toward online models and further lessened demand for some roles.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, CEO and Founder of OVO, said: “Today is a very difficult day. We have a brilliant team here and this news isn’t a reflection of anyone’s work. What should have been a much longer process to digitise the SSE business and integrate it with OVO has been accelerated due to the impact of the coronavirus.

“We are seeing a rapid increase in customers using digital channels to engage with us, and in our experience, once customers start to engage differently they do not go back.

“As a result, we are expecting a permanent reduction in demand for some roles, whilst other field-based roles are also heavily affected.

“There is never an easy time to announce redundancies and this is a particularly difficult decision to take. But like all businesses, we face a new reality and need to adapt quickly to enable us to better serve our customers and invest in a zero carbon future.”

OVO Energy plans to cut 2,600 jobs amid COVID-19

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