Perth-based firm SSE is to axe 444 jobs, according to trade union Unite.
Unite says the losses will be in the firm’s retail sector covering smart meter installation after a poor take-up by consumers.
SSE have not confirm the level of job losses or the potential impact on its employment numbers in Perth, where it employs around 2,000 staff.
Tony Keeling, chief operating officer and co-head of retail at SSE Energy Services, said affected staff would be offered voluntary redundancies.
He said: “Like a number of suppliers, we are facing challenges due to competition increasing, the introduction of the energy price cap and higher operating costs.
“To run a sustainable business, we need to become more efficient and ensure we have the right number of employees in the right locations to best serve our customers.
“We are committed to engaging and consulting openly and transparently with colleagues, our trade union partners and appropriate employee representatives and have today announced voluntary enhanced redundancy opportunities for some of our customer service and metering teams.”
Unite national officer for energy and utilities Peter McIntosh said: “Today’s announcement by SSE Retail is disappointing, but not unexpected. Unite will oppose any attempts by the company to introduce compulsory redundancies.
“Demand for smart meters to be fitted in households has not reached the levels expected by the company – hence the job losses announced by the SSE retail sector.
“This situation is as a result of yet another failed government policy. The smart metering programme should not have been left to the energy companies, as the 2020 deadline looms for every home in Britain to be offered a smart meter.
“It is clear that the government message on smart metering is not cutting through to the public and we call on Claire Perry as minister for energy and clean growth to refresh the campaign highlighting the energy saving benefits of having a smart meter.
“I think this is given added impetus by the recent Extinction Rebellion protests.
“We will continue to work constructively with the SSE management to ensure we retain as many of the skilled workers as possible and we have been working with the company to avoid this situation over the last six months. Unfortunately, the situation has not improved over that time.”
Unite called on Claire Perry, minister for energy and clean growth, to ratchet up the public education campaign of the benefits of smart meters.