Shell Agrees To Buy First Utility

It’s all go here in the United Kingdom as Christmas rapidly approaches. We’ve mentioned their name recently in the context of electric vehicle charging, and evidently Shell aren’t going to wait for the January sales to make their next purchase. In a press release yesterday they announced that:

The Shell Petroleum Company Limited (Shell) has signed an agreement to buy 100% of First Utility, a leading independent UK household energy and broadband provider. The deal is subject to regulatory and other approvals and is expected to complete in early 2018.

The Shell group’s energy supply, trading and marketing expertise, combined with First Utility’s experience in serving around 825,000 homes in the UK, will enable First Utility to grow and develop more innovative services for customers. Expanding our energy supply business from commercial and industrial customers into the residential sector through First Utility allows us to bring our products and services to more customers every day.

According to Shell’s Executive Vice President of New Energies, Mark Gainsborough:

The supply and demand of residential energy is rapidly changing, driven by new technologies that enable householders to better manage their energy use, and the need for a low-carbon energy system. This combination will enable Shell to enter a new part of the energy market in the UK and to improve choice for customers by delivering innovative services at competitive prices. We believe that the time is right to build upon our strong relationship with First Utility by investing to grow its business.

Shell’s press release also takes the trouble to point out that:

  • First Utility is one of the largest independent UK household energy and broadband suppliers, with a 3% share of the UK residential energy market. First Utility’s 100%-owned subsidiary in Germany, First Utility GmbH, is also included in the deal.
  • Shell sees a new electricity value chain emerging in the UK, in which customers play an increasingly important role – managing their use and selling some power back to the grid.
  • This agreement complements the Shell group’s growing network of forecourt charging points and our recent acquisition of NewMotion, one of Europe’s largest vehicle charging providers, which gives customers the flexibility to charge their electric vehicles at home, work and on the go.

I don’t know about you, but all of that seems to me to imply a fourth bullet point that includes the three letter acronym du jour. V2G.

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