Octopus Energy to take on nearly two million customers in Shell deal | Personal Finance | Finance

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Octopus Energy Group has signed a deal to buy Shell Energy in the UK and Germany, taking on nearly two million new home energy and broadband customers.

The move comes after a competitive process run by Shell and will grow challenger energy supplier Octopus to nearly 6.5 million household customers in the UK and almost 300,000 in Germany.

Greg Jackson, CEO and founder of Octopus Energy Group, commented: “Following a stringent process, we are pleased to be acquiring Shell Energy Retail in the UK and Germany.

“Octopus has proven that it delivers game-changing service whilst innovating and investing relentlessly towards a cheaper cleaner energy system.

“Our commitment to customers is paramount and we will do whatever it takes to deliver the Octopus promise when we welcome these new customers too.”

The deal, which will transfer 1.4 million Shell energy customers and 500,000 broadband customers to Octopus, is expected to conclude in the fourth quarter of 2023 following regulatory approval.

All Shell energy and broadband customers will then be contacted by email about the next steps. According to Octopus, the transition will not disrupt customer energy supply, nor will it bear an impact on customer’s credit balances. The firm said: “Credit balances will be protected, and will automatically get transferred to their new account with Octopus together with their existing direct debits.”

Octopus has a track record in large-scale customer migrations and recently completed the transfer of 1.5 million Bulb customers in just six months.

Natalie Mathie, energy expert at Uswitch.com, commented: “We’ve known that Shell Energy has been planning to exit the UK retail energy market for a while, so it will be good for customers to have more certainty about what might happen next.

“Despite today’s announcement, it could take some time until the deal is approved and completed, although Shell Energy believes it could happen later this year. Until any takeover is done and dusted, the business will operate as normal.

Ms Mathie added: “Shell Energy’s decision to exit the market is disappointing, as it has been a well-backed challenger to the larger energy suppliers.

“It is important that there is strong competition between firms in the longer term, so suppliers cannot rest on their laurels when it comes to service quality and price.”

I’m a Shell customer, what does this mean for me?

Later this year, Shell’s home energy customers will move to Octopus Energy. According to advice published by Octopus on a blog that it pledges to keep “regularly” updated, Shell customers do not need to do anything as the transition will be automatic and there will be no disruption to energy supply.

It said: “Your energy prices won’t change as a result of the announcement. If you have a credit balance with Shell Energy, it is protected.

“You should keep your existing Direct Debit in place as all direct debits will be automatically transferred. You can get help from Shell and manage your account the same way you always have, and you’ll be looked after by the same dedicated team.”

It continued: “We’re expecting the agreement to get regulatory approval in Quarter four of 2023, and we’ll start moving customers to Octopus soon after that. Closer to that time, Shell will contact you with everything you need to know. We’ll work quickly and carefully to transition you over to Octopus and share regular updates.”

It also asks customers not to contact Octopus or Shell for more information and to instead follow this page for updates.

As part of the agreement, Shell and Octopus Energy have also signed a memorandum of understanding to explore a potential international partnership.

The companies are planning to bring the “best possible” experience to their EV charging customers, including Shell Recharge and Octopus Electroverse subscribers. Options will be explored for possible joint promotions, brand activations and other activities across the EV value chain.

Founded in 2015, Octopus is headquartered in the UK and operates in 15 countries, with significant businesses in energy retail, generation, technology and electric vehicles.

It has received over $1billion in investment from global giants, including investment funds, pension funds and large energy companies and has recently topped Citizens Advice’s star ratings.

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