Octopus has announced it will buy Shell’s household energy business in the UK and Germany.
Octopus Energy said that it will take over providing energy for 1.4 million homes as well as broadband services for 500,000 customers.
Shell’s customers are advised to “sit tight for now” as the deal is not expected to be completed until later this year. It is the latest expansion for Octopus which bought Bulb after its collapse.
That deal – which rival energy providers challenged in the UK High Court over state support – gave Octopus an additional 1.5 million customers.
With Shell, its total customer base will grow to nearly 6.5 million customers.
Shell Energy most complained-about broadband provider, claims Ofcom
Says Peter Ames, broadband expert at Broadband Genie:
“While many eyes will be on how the Shell Energy takeover by Octopus will affect its energy customers, around half a million people also get their broadband through the company.
“A question mark remains over the future of Shell Energy Broadband and whether Octopus will use this acquisition to venture into telecoms. For the time being at least, we are being told that customers won’t see a drop in service or an increase to their bills.
“Shell has had a rocky time in the broadband market and consistently ranks highly for customer complaints to Ofcom. Despite its critics, the provider has been able to offer some of the best value broadband deals, which have proven popular, especially as living costs have risen.
“When Ovo took over the energy provider SSE, it had no initial effect on its broadband customers, but a deal was eventually struck to move them over to TalkTalk.
“Shell Energy Broadband currently uses the Openreach network, so any future move would likely be to a provider on the same network.
“Octopus has enjoyed many successes in the energy sector and frequently wins awards for its customer satisfaction scores. Any takeover of the broadband arm of Shell Energy must come with the same commitment to delivering good service.”
Adds Emily Seymour, Which? Energy Editor:
“Shell Energy customers will understandably be anxious to figure out exactly what moving to a new supplier means for them. There is no need to panic – your gas and electricity won’t be cut off and your credit will be protected.
“It usually takes a few weeks for customers to be transferred and your new supplier will get in touch to tell you about your new tariff, how payments will work and how you’ll get any credit back.
“As you wait to hear more, remember to take a meter reading so your account is up to date, make a note of any credit you’ve built up and don’t switch suppliers – this can make it trickier to transfer you and pay back any money you’re owed.”