Bulb finds new home with Octopus
- Octopus Energy appointed to take on Bulb, the first energy supplier to be put under ‘special administration’ by the government
- Good value for taxpayers as Octopus pays above market value for Bulb customers and provides profit share to government
- Offers certainty for Bulb customers and staff at lowest possible cost to the taxpayer
- Bulb customers should sit tight – their credit balances and direct debits will automatically get transferred to their new account with Octopus
London, Saturday 29th October 2022 - Octopus Energy Group today announces it is taking on Bulb Energy’s 1.5 million customers, bringing an end to taxpayer losses and uncertainty for Bulb customers and employees.
Octopus is paying the government to take on Bulb's customer base – it is believed that this will represent a higher amount per customer than suppliers typically paid to take on any of the 29 suppliers who have failed since September 2021.
Taxpayers will also benefit from a profit share agreement for a period of up to four years.
The move comes after an almost year-long process run by Bulb’s administrators to find the best solution for the company, its employees and taxpayers.
Bulb customers should sit tight – their credit balances will automatically get transferred to their new account with Octopus together with their existing direct debits. Octopus will be in touch with them before they are transferred over to its systems. Until then, they’ll be looked after by the same dedicated Bulb teams as today. As ever, if Bulb customers do wish to switch away, they are able to do so.
Octopus customers should notice no difference – whilst Octopus’ teams are busy providing support to people through the crisis, the company does not expect any meaningful impact on Octopus customers.
Octopus has a strong track record in large scale customer migrations. Earlier this year, Octopus successfully completed the migration of over 580,000 customers of Avro Energy to its systems – the largest customer migration ever conducted under the supplier of last resort (SOLR) process.
Octopus is headquartered in the UK and operates in 14 countries, with significant businesses in energy retail, generation, technology and electric vehicles. It has received well over $1bn in investment from global giants, including investment funds and large energy companies.
Octopus continues to top TrustPilot for energy companies and is the only energy provider to have been recommended by consumer advice group Which? for five years running.
Bulb, still the 7th largest energy supplier in the UK, is also one of the newcomers in energy retail. Launched in 2015, its aim was to provide fair and transparent pricing and use tech to help its customers manage and reduce their energy usage. The company grew to over 1.5 million customers thanks to the team’s focus on growth and smart, green products.
Business and Energy Secretary Grant Shapps said: “This Government’s overriding priority is to protect consumers and today’s sale will bring vital reassurance and energy security to consumers across the country at a time when they need it most.”
“This is a fresh start and means Bulb’s 1.5 million customers can rest easy, knowing they have a new energy home in Octopus.
“Moving forward, I intend to do everything in my power to ensure our energy system provides secure and affordable energy for all.”
Greg Jackson, CEO and founder of Octopus Energy Group, comments: “We take our responsibilities very seriously. We will work unbelievably hard to deliver value for taxpayers and to look after Bulb’s staff and customers.
“We started off as rivals but shared the same mission – driving a greener, cheaper energy system with people at the heart. We know how important this is to Bulb’s loyal customers and dedicated staff, and are determined that Octopus can provide them with a stable home for the future.”
Octopus has also put together this information page for Bulb customers which will get updated regularly: octopus.energy/bulb
Notes to editors:
*The sale will be implemented using the Energy Transfer Scheme (“ETS”), which will transfer the relevant assets of Bulb into a new separate entity. This entity will subsequently be sold to Octopus and will remain ringfenced from its core business for a defined period.
The transfer is conditional upon approval of the BEIS Secretary and will take effect at a time ordered by the courts, likely 11 November 2022, for the transfer to become effective likely on 23:59 15th November 2022.
Since Bulb is currently unhedged, the Government will provide financial support to the new entity to purchase energy for Bulb customers over the course of winter 2022. This financial support will be repaid by the new entity in accordance with an agreed repayment plan schedule.
A profit-share agreement will be put in place for the ringfenced business until agreed funding is repaid by Octopus. Under this structure payments to shareholders or the wider Octopus Energy Group from the ringfenced entity would be restricted until the repayable funding to Government is repaid.
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About Octopus Energy Group
Octopus Energy Group is a global energy tech pioneer, launched in 2016 to use technology to unlock a customer focused and affordable green energy revolution. It is part of Octopus Group, which is a certified BCorp. With operations in 14 countries, Octopus Energy Group's mission is going global.
Octopus’s domestic energy arm already serves 3.4 million customers with cheaper greener power, through Octopus Energy, M&S Energy, Affect Energy, Ebico, London Power and Co-op Energy. Octopus Electric Vehicles is helping make clean transport cheaper and easier, and Octopus Energy Services is bringing smart products to thousands of homes. Octopus Energy Generation is one of Europe’s largest investors in renewable energy, managing a £4 billion portfolio of renewable energy assets throughout the continent.
All of these are made possible by Octopus’s tech arm, Kraken Technologies, which offers a proprietary, in-house platform based on advanced data and machine learning capabilities, Kraken automates much of the energy supply chain to allow outstanding service and efficiency as the world transitions to a decentralised, decarbonised energy system. This technology has been licensed to support over 20 million customer accounts worldwide, through deals with EDF Energy, Good Energy, E.ON energy and Origin Energy.
In December 2021, Octopus Energy Group was valued at approximately $5 billion following investments from Generation Investment Management and Canada Pensions Plan Investments Board. Both investors back businesses that drive sustainability, promote green energy and tackle climate change. It was the company’s third major investment round since launching to the market.
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