Promising well funded new energy supplier
Octopus Energy is a new energy supplier which began taking on customers from July 2016. Like many of the growing number of new energy suppliers that have entered the market recently, Octopus Energy is still very much an unproven entity. However, so far they have made a promising start and look set to be a sustainable player in this market.
What we like about them is this.
They have a well thought through proposition, a swanky looking website and a clear focus on where they are going.
Most importantly, however, is that they have put together a serious management team and secured significant financial backing from a successful and fast growing investment management company. This should give them the financial clout to not only weather the volatility of the energy market but to be able to fund a rapid growth path.
We like the fact that they do not dip into your bank account before you are on supply. Your first payment will be taken on the actual day you come on supply but, unlike many of the recent unfunded entrants, they do not dip into your bank account early to fund their business model.
We also like that they are fully transparent with their financial accounting, publishing full accounts even when they are not obligated to.
Finally, we learnt an interesting thing or two about Octopuses (or is it Octopi?) in our research. Not only that they are venomous, 8 armed, blue-blooded invertebrates that can squeeze through a hole 2 inches in diameter but also that...they have 3 hearts, 9 brains (one for each arm plus a central CPU) and can grow back an arm if they lose one. That last skill may come in handy for Octopus Energy if one of the Big 6 energy suppliers takes a bite out of them.
Octopus Energy is a new energy supplier which began taking on customers from July 2016.
The company is ultimately backed by Octopus Investments, one of the UK's fastest growing investment management companies with some £5 to £6 billion in assets under management. Octopus Investments specialises in raising capital through Venture Capital Trusts and Investment funds and invests directly in companies and assets, with a particular focus on smaller companies, healthcare, property finance and, of course, energy.
In the energy sector Octopus Investments is the UK's largest investor in solar farms, and has also invested significantly in wind generation, in anaerobic digestion plants, and in "rapid response" gas generation (gas generation plants used to balance the energy supply side when there is no wind and sun). Since 2011, Octopus has built 154 solar farms in the UK with a further 66 projects in France (current as at Jan 2017).
Octopus Energy entered the market with the belief that the energy business they wanted to create would be better for customers (simpler, more transparent and honest), better for the planet and better value.
They are attacking these goals by;
Doing away with lock in contracts
Offering a true green tariff that combines 100% renewable electricity with full carbon offset on the gas side.
Focusing on the use of technology to create a leaner, lower cost and more responsive business. Octopus Energy currently claims an average email response time of just 30 minutes for customer service enquiries.
Octupus Energy is of course not the first energy supplier to come to market with these ambitions. Co-operative Energy made a lot of similar promises about "always offering fair prices" and being "committed to a sustainable world" and look where Co-operative energy ended up.
However, having met the Company and seen their operations, coupled with the management team and financial backing that they have put in place indicates that this is one of the new energy suppliers that could actually make a difference.
The Company operates from offices in Soho, London.
Octupus Energy offers a range of 4 tariffs for customers who want to pay by Monthly Direct Debit and who want to manage their account online.
Octopus Energy offers electricity only tariffs and dual fuel tariffs. It does not offer gas only tariffs.
Octupus Energy does not supply prepayment meter customers at the current time.
Octopus Energy is not signed up to the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
Our service rating is based on the proportion of switches undertaken on the TheEnergyShop.com energy price comparison and switching platform that complete successfully first time around. As we do not deal with Octopus Energy for energy switching we have no direct insights into how good or bad their processes are. As such we have not awarded Octopus Energy a service rating. Please note that this does not mean that they are poor but, if you are switching to them, you are advised to do your own due diligence.
Octopus Energy is signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee.
|Company name||OCTOPUS ENERGY LIMITED|
|Registered Office Address||6th Floor, |
London EC1N 2HT
|Date of incorporation||14 October 2014|
|Directors (6)||James Andrew EDDISON|
|Christopher Robert HULATT|
|Greg Sean JACKSON|
|Stuart Keith JACKSON|
|Simon Andrew ROGERSON|
|Company Secretary||Sharna LUDLOW|
|Supply licence(s) granted||26 November 2015 (Gas supply)|
|Date not published (Electricity supply)|
|Began selling energy to consumers||July 2016|
OCTOPUS ENERGY LIMITED is a wholly owned subsidiary OCTOPUS ENERGY HOLDINGS LIMITED (Company number 09718624 - incorporated on 5 August 2015).
OCTOPUS ENERGY HOLDINGS LIMITED is a private company which is, in turn, majority owned by OCTOPUS ENERGY GROUP LIMITED (Company number 09718990 - Incorporated on 5 August 2015). The residual shares are held by selected directors of OCTOPUS ENERGY LIMITED. Complicated but probably very tax efficient.
All suppliers, including Octopus Energy, are required to provide information about the mix of fuels they use to generate the electricity they supply to their customers. They also need to disclose the environmental impact of this fuel mix.
This information is known as the Fuel Mix Disclosure and is published annually.
Octopus Energy Fuel Mix Disclosure for the period 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016 is reviewed below.
Given that the company was not really trading for much of this period, the figures below are more of academic than practical interest.
|Energy Source||Octopus Energy||UK Average|
|CO2 emissions||13 g/kWh||290 g/kWh|
|High-level radioactive waste||0.00004 g/kWh||0.0017 g/kWh|
In this section we review the published financial results for Octopus Energy Limited.
These accounts represent the period before the company began generating revenue.
|Year ended||31 October 2015|
|Income Statement (£)|
|Profit before tax||(83,437)|
|Balance Sheet (£)|
|Net current assets||(189,375)|
|Capital and Reserves (£)|
|Profit and loss account||(83,347)|
Although Octupus Energy recorded a loss, this is not unusual for pre-revenue companies in the start up phase of operations. The company has also entered into a funding agreement with Octopus Capital to allow it to fund growth over the medium term. The extent of the funding line, and the funding timeline, has not been disclosed but we understand that this is a substantial multi-million sum.
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