Octopus adds 300,000 customers and launches community energy JV


London-based electricity and gas supplier Octopus Energy has its tentacles everywhere in the U.K. after tying up a deal to acquire more than 300,000 customers from the energy brands of rival Midcounties Co-operative.

Midcounties, the largest independent co-operative in the United Kingdom, has sold its Flow and GB Energy businesses to Octopus as well as customers from its Co-op Energy brand, which Midcounties will retain. The Flow Energy business had only been owned by Midcounties since May last year, when it was acquired from Flowgroup plc.

Octopus claims energy prices will remain the same or fall for the transferred customers, whose accounts will be managed on its Kraken tech platform.

The two energy suppliers have formed a community generated energy joint venture as part of the arrangement. A joint statement issued by the partners said Co-op Energy is the United Kingdom’s largest buyer of community energy and Octopus was the first to offer a smart export guarantee tariff under the government’s new remuneration scheme for excess energy injected into the grid.

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The aim of the JV is to provide investment and practical support to increase the volume of energy bought from community projects and to stimulate the distributed generation sector in the U.K.

“The Midcounties board is extremely proud of what has been achieved by our energy business since we entered a market dominated by just a few energy companies back in 2011,” said Midcounties CEO, Phil Ponsonby. “At that time, 99% of supply came from the ‘Big Six’ [energy companies] and there were fewer than 12 companies in the market. Today there are over 70 and we firmly believe that we disrupted the market and played our part in reducing the dominance of the big players by providing fair prices, supplying 100% green electricity and supporting community energy projects all across the UK.”

Octopus Energy’s customer base has swelled to more than a million following the development. The company provides 100% renewable energy to its customers.

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