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OVO’s ‘Future of Energy’ event at the Tate Modern on the South Bank in London was ostensibly about celebrating the company’s 10 year anniversary – in which the company, founded by CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick, has grown to around 1.5 million.
With the announced acquisition of the SSE retail customer base of 3.5 million pending – subject to regulatory approval as Fitzpatrick was at pains to point out – OVO will become the second largest energy supplier in the UK with circa 5 million customers - quite a journey and something to be celebrated for sure. The company has relentlessly focused on customer service and experience, and its success in doing so shines through in its customer growth and the numerous customer service or industry awards it was won over the years.
We often get asked questions like “Do you think Amazon will acquire an energy supplier?”, “What will BMW’s EV charging strategy be?” and “Are the oil majors really interested in new energy? and we have a lot to say about each of them. However, given the pace at which the energy transition is happening – with opportunistic acquisitions, product launches and partnerships springing up in places that would have seemed unthinkable a year or two ago - probably the only answer we can give to these questions with absolute certainty right now is to “expect the unexpected”. We certainly try to.
Having said that, Europe’s oil majors would currently appear to be best placed in the battle to capture the new energy customer. Given that we recently conducted a comprehensive review of the activities of new market entrants in this space – we can say that with confidence. The oil majors have a combination of strategic need and financial strength which is unmatched at this moment in time. As such, we have little doubt that the likes of Shell and Total will continue to be highly active as the new energy market develops, and we fully expect some of their rivals (BP, Eni, etc.) to increase their activity too.
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