29th August 2019
About our partnership with Co-op Energy, including Flow Energy and GB Energy
Pete Miller, Head of Customer Experience
We've announced a new partnership with The Midcounties Co-operative, the UK’s largest independent co-operative society.
This partnership will see Co-op Energy, Flow Energy and GB Energy customers benefit from Octopus Energy's technology platform and best-in-class customer service, and will also support the community driven renewable energy the Co-op brand is famous for.
If you're a customer of Co-op, Flow or GB Energy, you've come to the right place. We'll update this post with the latest information on the transition.
For more information, read our full joint statement with Co-op announcing this partnership.
I’m a customer, what do I need to know?
I've never heard of you. Who are you?
Octopus Energy an award-winning green energy supplier (find out more about us here). We've recently acquired Flow Energy and GB Energy, and we're currently moving all accounts over to us to become Octopus Energy customers. There will be no impact to your energy supply, we will maintain any fixed pricing you are on, and move you onto our always fairly priced flexible tariff if you aren't on a fixed rate. Your DD will also be moved over to us automatically, and any credit balance you have will be protected and moved as well. If you don't want to be with us, you'll be able to switch to another supplier once the migration is complete – we don't believe in exit fees so we don't charge them (but we hope you'll give us a try). Flow Energy, GB Energy and Octopus Energy have already emailed all customers about the timings of this a couple of times, so you might want to check your junk folder if you've missed it.
Will my prices go up?
No. 98% of customers will see their prices stay the same or drop. If you are on a Fixed Tariff, we will maintain your prices. If your tariff isn’t fixed your prices will be the same or lower. Customers will also benefit from Octopus Energy’s award-winning customer service and know that they continue to do their bit to save the planet from dirty fossil fuels with 100% green electricity as standard.
Will I still be a Flow/GB Energy customer?
As a GB Energy/Flow Energy customer you will become an Octopus Energy customer with Octopus Energy service (we are the only energy supplier recommended by consumer champion Which? for the second year in a row). When your GB/Flow tariff comes to an end we will move you onto great value Octopus Energy prices.
Will I still be a Co-op Energy customer?
Yes. You will still be a Co-op Energy customer. You will still receive 100% renewable electricity and your prices will stay the same. If you’re a member, you’ll still earn membership points. The good news is you’ll also get the benefit of Octopus’ best-in-class online services and Which? recommended customer support. Co-op Energy will continue to grow the customer base and deliver the Co-op difference that you value.
What do I need to do now?
You don’t need to do anything. It will take us a few months to move all customers onto Octopus systems as quickly and seamlessly as possible. There will be no impact to your energy supply. Please continue to contact your normal customer services line. Don’t contact Octopus yet, we will be in touch nearer the time with any information you need.
Will my supply be affected?
No, you won’t notice any change. We will ensure supply is constant. You will transfer to Octopus Energy’s systems and will receive their award-winning customer service.
What about my account credit?
The debit or credit on your account will be transferred to your Octopus account. This balance will be confirmed with you when you move to Octopus systems.
How will Octopus Energy cope with taking on this huge number of customers?
This is the fourth significant expansion for Octopus Energy in the last year, with others including Affect Energy, Iresa Energy and becoming the supplier behind M&S Energy.
All existing and new customers will continue to receive award winning customer service despite this fast growth, thanks to Octopus Energy’s proven scalability and efficient technology platform.
Will my direct debit stay the same?
Energy companies review direct debits from time to time in order to make sure that customers are paying the right amount to cover their energy use. We will continue to do that when you are on the Octopus systems. However, the move itself shouldn’t change your direct debit amount.
Will I still be able to receive the Warm Home Discount?
Yes, if you're eligible under our criteria. Head over to our Warm Home Discount blog for more information.
Will there be any benefits for affected customers that will come with the move?
All customers will see their prices stay the same or drop. Customers currently on Fixed Tariffs will have the same prices maintained. Others will see prices the same or lower. Customers will also benefit from Octopus Energy’s award-winning customer service and know that they are doing their bit to save the planet from dirty fossil fuels.
I'm already in the process of switching somewhere else. Can I stay with them?
That's fine, you'll continue to switch to your new supplier from GB/Flow. Due to the timing of your switch and the move from to Octopus, your new supplier may have a bit of trouble taking you over at first. If there are any problems, please ask them to restart the switch.
Will my account details stay the same?
You will get a new account number when you move onto the Octopus system. We’ll let you know when that happens. However, we'll keep your old one on record in case you need to use it.
Will early exit fees applied to my tariff remain?
There will be no exit fees for the move from Co-op Energy/Flow or GB Energy systems to Octopus Energy systems.
Will the Co-op community power tariff still be available?
Yes, it will. Co-op Energy will continue to purchase 100% renewable energy from the 80 community energy projects it supports across the country. The tariff will continue, and community generated energy will be attributed to it. If you are a community power customer you can be assured that it remains an authentic, deeply green tariff. Co-op Energy continues to be the biggest supporter of community energy in the UK, and this partnership with Octopus will help us go further and faster in helping even more people come together to develop new sources of sustainable power.
Will I still get membership points?
If you are a member of Midcounties Co-operative, then you will continue to enjoy all the benefits of membership. You will still earn points through your energy account. And you will still get the member exclusive offers and your share of profits.
Will my smart meter still send you meter readings?
Co-op Energy have only been installing the types of smart meter that work whatever supplier you are with. That means that they will continue to work with Octopus systems. If your smart meter was installed by another supplier, then we may not be able to connect with it. We will send you a monthly reminder to send us your readings online.
If you are a Flow/GB customer, we may not be able to connect to your smart meter. If that’s the case, then we will send you a monthly reminder to send us your readings online.
If I don’t want to stay with Octopus Energy how and when can I switch?
You’ll be free to switch - but during your transition from one system to another there may be a short period when switching may not work. We will inform you in advance of any period when switching may fail so that you can plan accordingly.
I have recently made a complaint with GB/Flow/Co-op. Who do I contact?
You should continue to contact GB/Flow/Co-op. When your account moves to Octopus Energy, we will provide you will all the contact details you need.
Want more info? Read our full statement with Co-op announcing our new partnership.
The Midcounties Co-operative and Octopus Energy announce major new partnership
The Midcounties Co-operative, the UK’s largest independent co-operative society, and challenger supplier Octopus Energy have agreed a deal to create a new strategic energy partnership.
As part of the deal, the Co-op Energy brand will be retained and Octopus will take on ownership and responsibility for the management and supply of energy to the 300,000 plus customers currently supplied by Co-op Energy, Flow and GB Energy. The Midcounties Co-operative will retain responsibility for acquiring new customers under the Co-op Energy brand as part of its wider utilities strategy, which now includes telecoms in addition to electricity and gas supply. Customers of GB Energy and Flow will now become Octopus Energy customers.
The deal, completed for an undisclosed sum, counts as the fourth significant transaction for Octopus in the last year, which - following this new deal - has seen its customer base triple from 300,000 to well over a million during that time. All existing and new customers will be managed under Octopus’ proprietary tech platform Kraken and will experience the same or lower prices as a result of the transaction. All will receive the same award-winning service as Octopus’s existing customers despite this fast growth, thanks to Octopus’ proven scalability.
The partnership will also see the creation of a joint venture between the two organisations to develop the community-generated energy market in the UK. Co-op Energy is already the UK’s largest buyer of community-generated energy and Octopus was the first supplier to launch a smart export guarantee tariff under the Government’s new approach to renewable energy.
The joint venture will invest in projects, provide practical support to community groups and increase the volume of energy purchased from community schemes; encouraging more small-scale generation across the UK.
Commenting on the deal, Midcounties Co-operative Chief Executive Officer, Phil Ponsonby, said:
“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. At that time 99% of supply came from the Big Six 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.
“The market is now more competitive than ever, and it is clear to us that having the best technology is absolutely critical to delivering the best service to customers while maintaining a sustainable business for the longer term. Octopus have developed what we consider to be the most innovative and customer focussed technology anywhere in the industry today. But it isn’t just about technology, one of our strategic objectives is to make our members lives easier and our Board was insistent that in looking for a partner, we found an organisation that shared our values, put customers, colleagues and the environment at the heart of what they do. Octopus firmly meet these requirements and we are delighted to be partnering with them.”
Greg Jackson, CEO of Octopus Energy, said:
“This acquisition and our ongoing partnership with Midcounties is another step on the road to improving the domestic energy market for good. Our renewable energy supply and outstanding technology is now delivering award winning service to over a million homes in the UK with 100% green electricity as standard. Co-op is one of the most well-respected British brands and we’re delighted to be working with them alongside our other cherished partners.
“I am also very excited about our joint venture for Community energy. We have been hugely impressed by Co-op Energy’s achievement in this area and we believe that together we can help even more people from across the UK to come together in developing new sources of sustainable power.”
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