A shining past and a bright future for SSE Airtricity Utility Solutions

Less than six years since we entered the market, SSE Airtricity Utility Solutions has become Ireland’s largest street lighting contractor. From the expansion of our workforce to the diversification of our services, the growth has been remarkable. In January, we celebrated our fifth year in business with the opening of a new headquarters and main area depot at Red Cow Business Park in Dublin.

The new headquarters not only gives us increased office and depot space, which is necessary considering the scale of the contracts we maintain in the Greater Dublin area, but it also provides us with the base and resources we need to continue our sustainable growth into the future. Around 30 of our 115 staff are now based there.

The new facility is one of many key milestones we’ve reached as a business in these short few years. Some others immediately spring to mind, like moving into sports lighting and winning the South East contract, which combines six county councils and covers 50,000 street lights in the region.

However, there’s one milestone that stands out above the rest, and that’s our safety record. Since our formation in 2009, we’ve had no reportable safety incidents or accidents, which is an outstanding achievement for any service business. This record was recognised externally last year, when we received the prestigious OHSAS 18001:2007 accreditation. At SSE, safety is at the heart of everything we do, so I’m extremely proud of the high standards we’ve maintained.

SSE Airtricity Utility Solutions is now part of the wider SSE Enterprise group, which recently marked its first anniversary. SSE Enterprise has brought together SSE’s contracting, lighting, utilities and telecoms businesses, giving us a wider birth of knowledge, resources and experience. Working as part of a wider group gives us greater opportunities to grow our customer base and expand our services throughout the country.

Over the last half-decade, we’ve brought positive change to street lighting maintenance in Ireland. We have consistently made sure we are offering our customers the best technology available, working with local authorities to understand their needs and implementing viable energy saving schemes. We were the first contractor to introduce an online fault reporting website, allowing members of the public to report faults to us 24 hours a day and keep track of the repair status. We were also one of the first to install dimming systems and LED technology in public lighting.

As part of the SSE Enterprise group, we now look forward to continued growth in Ireland. We plan to expand into a number of new business areas, and in line with this, we’re anticipating a 20% growth in our workforce here over the next five years. Our aim is to become a utility service provider that offers a suite of services to our customers in both the private and public sectors. Large-scale LED upgrading is now on our horizon and we’re determined to deliver the benefits of this technology to our customers. Of course, safety will remain our number one value, and as we grow and diversify, we will monitor our safety performance rigorously to maintain our exemplary record.

The last few years have brought back-to-back success stories, and as we feed into the wider objectives of SSE Enterprise, I’m pleased to say the future is looking even brighter.

About the author

Gerry Burke SSE Airtricity Utility Solutions Managing Director

For the last 3 years, Gerry Burke has overseen the growth of SSE’s street lighting business in Ireland as Managing Director of SSE Airtricity Utility Solutions (AUS). With a vast knowledge of the Irish energy sector, Gerry Burke has worked within the SSE group for more than 7 years, in various roles, including Commercial Director of AUS and previously, worked on the integration of the renewable’s operations of Airtricity & SSE post purchase.

Read more articles by Gerry Burke