LONDON—The UK's second-largest energy supplier is to bring in PR agency support as it readies a new strategy to build consumer trust amid continued scrutiny of the industry. 

The Holmes Report understands that SSE has awarded the four-month project to Porter Novelli, following a competitive review that took place earlier this month.

The budget for the assignment, which accompanies the launch of an updated SSE parent brand, is thought to be as much as £200k.

The new brief follows continued criticism of Britain's 'Big Six' power companies for high prices. Earlier this year, SSE announced a freeze on energy tariffs until January 2016. 

SSE is believed to be rolling out a new brand identity that better identifies the group as the parent company of regional suppliers such as SSE Southern Elecrtic, SSE Swalec and SSE Scottish Hydro.

The new positioning is also expected to involve a major marketing push across the country, in a bid to boost consumer trust. Porter Novelli will oversee consumer PR activity.

SSE does not currently work with a consumer PR agency, but has used firms on a project basis in the past. 

Porter Novelli representatives were unavailable for comment as this story went live. An SSE spokesperson declined to comment, citing commercial sensitivity.