Sunday 18 August 2019 2:37 pm

Octopus eyes Co-op Energy amid shifting landscape for suppliers

Octopus and Co-op Energy are said to be planning to merge, as two of the most prominent challengers to the so-called big six energy firms look to upsize.

Co-op Energy’s 370,000 customers could soon be subsumed by Octopus, which already has 800,000 clients. Such a move would take the new company’s customer numbers above the 1m mark.

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Octopus is one of a cluster of small energy companies trying to lodge a challenge to the monopoly of the big six. It offers customers 100 per cent renewable energy as standard and no exit fees, meaning it has emerged as one of the most attractive small suppliers in the market since it started up in 2016.

The two firms are reportedly planning the tie-up, according to the Sunday Times.

The move would be the latest development in a fast-changing energy market, which has seen several independent providers go under in the last 18 months due to unsustainable pricing.

At the same time, however, the big six suppliers – British Gas, Eon, Npower, SSE, Scottish Power and EDF – have haemorrhaged market share in recent years to those challengers which have survived. They held about 99 per cent of the market in 2011, but now only have 73 per cent.

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Last week, it emerged Ovo Energy, a challenger firm with around 1.5m customers, is in talks to buy SSE’s 5.7m retail customers. The deal would catapult Ovo into second place in terms of customers for any energy firm in the country, big six or otherwise.

Octopus Energy refused to comment. Co-op Energy was not immediately available for comment.

Main image: Getty