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A History of Scottish Power Gas and Electricity Company

A History of Scottish Power Gas and Electricity Company

In this article, we’ll discuss a brief history of the Scottish Power Gas and Electricity Company and chronicle its growth from humble beginnings to the prolific energy provider it’s become today.


The Beginnings

Scottish Power was first founded in 1990. The company was created in response to the impending privatization of the Scottish energy industry. Previously, power generation and distribution was handled by the Scottish government, but in 1991 it moved the responsibility into the hands of the private commercial industry.

The majority of Scottish power was formed from merging two electricity boards: The South of Scotland Electricity Board and North of Scotland Hydro Board. These two boards merged into the Scottish and Southern Energy Group which was later developed into Scottish Power.

Expansion and Acquisitions

Scottish Power rapidly grew from its initial establishment, and it acquired new companies and expanded its horizons as it started to began to cover increasingly large portions of the market.

In 1995, Scottish Power acquired regional electricity provider MANWEB which focused its efforts on Merseyside and North Wales.

In 1996 the company diversified and moved into water sales with the purchase of Southern Water. Southern Water remained a part of the business until it was later sold again in 2002 as Scottish Power focused more attention on electricity and gas.

Soon after, the British energy industry was opened to new competition, and Scottish Power expanded its efforts into English and Wales, stealing a share of the market from British Gas.

Scottish Power also founded the telecommunications company Thus, which was sold and integrated into Vodafone in 2002.


One of the biggest additions to Scottish Power was the acquisition of PacifiCorp. Acquiring this energy company expanded Scottish Power’s influence into the United States, with new services targeting Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, Utah, and parts of Wyoming.

In 2005, PacifiCorp was sold off to MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, a company controlled by Berkshire Hathaway, for $5.1 billion and $4.3 billion in stock. This new boost of cash allowed Scottish Power to refocus efforts on the United Kingdom.

Buyout by Iberdrola

In 2006, Scottish Power’s board of directors agreed to a buy out by Spanish energy company Iberdrola. This purchase led to the creation of the third largest utility in Europe.


This section will focus on the various energy operations of Scottish Power, and the services the company offers to consumers.

Energy Retail

Scottish Power delivers electricity and gas to over 5.2 million customers in the U.K. via their ScottishPower Energy Retail Ltd division

SP Dataserve, a division of the company that focuses on metering and data management, is also included under the Energy Retail service umbrella. SP Dataserve was also the first division of a utility company to allow customers to text in meter readings.

Energy Networks

This division of Scottish Power focuses on expanding, repairing, and otherwise maintaining the energy networks used throughout the UK. Everything related to the mechanics of distribution is handled by this division.

Energy Wholesale

Scottish Power is also heavily involved in power generation for wholesale. A large portion of the energy generation systems owned by the company is dedicated to creating energy for sale by others.

PPM Energy

Despite the sale of PacifiCorp to Berkshire Hathaway, Scottish Power kept a portion of the energy network operating in the United States. PPM Energy was made a separate business from PacifiCorp in 2002 and is largely focused on renewable energy and gas storage operations in the US.

Moving Forward

Scottish Power has accomplished a lot from its foundation in 1990 to present day. What started as an opportunity to capitalize on the privatization of Scotland’s energy industry has since expanded its operations across the world. Even though Scottish Power currently focuses on electricity in gas, over the course of its history, the company had expanded into all aspects of the utility industry.

For more information on what Scottish Power has to offer, or to talk business, use one of the Scottish Power contact numbers available online.

About Emma Gilbert

Working in the marketing industry since 2002. This blog is one of my hobbies.

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