Royal Dutch Shell is rebranding retail power supplier First Utility as Shell Energy, as it switches its residential customers to 100% renewable electricity.
The oil and gas giant acquired First Utility, the seventh largest domestic energy supplier in the UK, with a 2% market share, last year. The acquisition is Shell’s first step into the fiercely competitive UK supply market and an attempt to go toe to toe with the Big Six.
As part of the rebranding, Shell will be switching First Utility’s 700,00 domestic energy customers to electricity generated exclusively from renewable resources.
Shell Energy chief executive Colin Crooks said: “We are building on the disruptive nature of First Utility to give customers something better. We know that renewable electricity is important to them and we are delivering that, while ensuring good value and rewarding loyalty.”
Shell cited a recent survey of household electricity bill-payers that found nearly 60% would prefer to power their homes with electricity generated by renewable resources.
Shell is aiming to become the world’s largest electricity supplier by the 2030, anticipating a shift in technology, including the rollout of electric vehicles, that will see the world phase out oil and gas. Shell forecasts that by that decade, 50% of our energy needs will be met by electricity, compared to just 20% today.
Shell is also aiming to deliver that electricity with minimal impact on the environment. It has recently snatched up several clean energy companies, including German battery storage manufacturer sonnen. The delivery of renewable electricity to the UK domestic market via the new Shell Energy is part of this commitment to decarbonisation, Shell said.
Mark Gainsborough, executive vice president for Shell New Energies, said: “This is a good example of our approach to building a significant electricity business, in line with customer needs. Shell recognises the world needs more energy with lower emissions and this will give customers more flexibility, greater control and cleaner energy.”
First Utility energy customers won’t notice any difference in their supply. Energy and broadband customers with the firm will now qualify for a 3% discount at Shell petrol stations. Shell said it would be advertising its energy and broadband services—and the petrol discount that comes with them—to the five million customers which pass through its fuel forecourts each week.
Shell Energy customers will also qualify for discounts on home technology, including smart thermostats and electric vehicle chargers.
All customers who sign up for a three-year, fixed-rated energy contract will receive a Nest E smart thermostat and installation free of charge. They can also earn a 15% discount on A NewMotion Home Fast EV charge point.
“The rapidly-evolving retail energy market is a natural place for Shell to expand its business, building on the trusted relationships we’ve built with our millions of forecourt customers. We aim to grow our customer base by offering an attractive range of products and a real alternative to other companies in the sector,” Crooks said at the time of Shell’s acquisition of First Utility last March.