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Shell Energy to Take on Customers of Pure Planet, Colorado Energy and Daligas

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The energy retail arm of Royal Dutch Shell will take over the more than 250,000 accounts stranded by the collapse of Pure Planet, Colorado Energy and Daligas last week.

Shell Energy was appointed by regulator Ofgem through the competitive supplier of last resort (SoLR) process. It will protect the credit balances of domestic customers transferred to it, while all customers are urged to wait until they are contacted by Shell Energy before attempting to switch away.

 Bath-based Pure Planet supplied 235,000 households with “renewable” energy, while Colorado Energy sold tariffs to renters through letting agencies and had 15,000 customers. Daligas was a gas-only supplier with around 9,000 domestic and business suppliers. They’re among 14 energy suppliers that have crashed out of the market since August amid an unprecedented surge in natural gas prices.

Last month, Shell also agreed to absorb the 255,000 customers abandoned by another of the market’s failures, Green Energy.

Shell’s acquisition of more than half a million customers during the recent crisis boosts its portfolio to just under 1.5 million households and shows the oil and gas major still has an appetite for the British retail energy market, despite mounting losses and surging wholesale prices.

Shell entered the retail energy market in 2018, with the acquisition of challenger supplier First Utility. It rebranded the business as Shell Energy, switched to using “renewable” (REGO-backed) electricity and grew the broadband business it inherited from First Utility by snapping up the Post Office’s broadband operation.

Shell Energy continued to have the support of parent company Royal Dutch Shell, despite posting losses of £32 million in 2019 as rivals slashed prices and customers drifted away.

Fellow oil and gas major BP entered the retail market around the same time when it took a 24% stake in Pure Planet and began supplying its energy. But it opted to pull the plug on the venture last week, forecasting that wholesale gas prices will continue to spiral and losses in the retail energy market grow. Shell Energy will now absorb Pure Planet’s 235,000 customers.

Lauren Smith
Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith has worked as a journalist and copywriter for most of the last decade, covering technology, energy, and consumer rights, in the US and UK.

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