(Bloomberg) -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s power retail business in the U.K. will take on another quarter of a million customers after three smaller suppliers went out of business.
Soaring wholesale energy prices have caused 13 U.K. electricity providers to collapse in the past two months, with the government saying more are likely to follow. In less than a month, the customer base of Shell Energy Retail Ltd. -- which says it’s “here to stay” -- has grown by almost 60%.
The latest expansion came on Monday, when U.K. regulator Ofgem announced that Shell Energy would supply the customers of Pure Planet, Daligas and Colorado Energy. In September, the regulator appointed Shell Energy to take on about 255,000 customers belonging to Green Supplier Ltd.
That means Shell Energy has added more than half a million customers since August, the second-biggest increase after Octopus Energy’s gain of 580,000, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“As a stable, well-backed supplier with long-term ambitions to help British households lower their carbon emissions, we’re pleased to be able to support the customers,” Shell Energy Retail Chief Executive Ed Kamm said in a statement.
While the backing of global oil and gas giant Shell provides the U.K. retail business with more financial security, the venture has come at a cost. The business’s losses ballooned to 138 million pounds ($189 million) in 2020, up from 31.5 million pounds a year earlier, due to “adverse market conditions.”
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