The group managing director of SSE's retail business, which owns Swalec, has defended the level of the company's dividend payments to shareholders, while raising prices for consumers.
It comes as the energy giant announces a £115.4m loss in its retail supply business during the six months to 30 September, compared with a £48.3 million operating profit a year earlier.
Will Morris, group managing director of SSE's retail business, said: "Some politicians and media commentators have claimed recently that we value our shareholders more than our customers.
"Or to put it another way, we're focussed on paying them a dividend on their shares, regardless of what that means for our customers.
"Nothing could be further from the truth."
He added: "Without the investment made by shareholders, we couldn't afford to build the infrastructure or buy the equipment needed to deliver what customers need."