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Shell goes green as it rebrands UK household power supplier

By Ron Bousso, Susanna Twidale: March 24, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – Just over a year after buying First Utility, Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) has rebranded the British household energy supplier and is switching all its customers to renewable electricity as the oil and gas giant seeks to expand its low-carbon business.

The move by the Anglo-Dutch company poses a challenge for Britain’s long-standing retail power suppliers whose profit margins have come under growing pressure due to intense competition and the regulator’s price cap.

First Utility, which has around 710,000 energy customers, has been rebranded as Shell Energy and joins a handful of energy brands such as Bulb and Octopus Energy that offer all customers 100 percent renewable electricity.

Shell hopes to attract more users by offering Shell Energy customers a 3 percent discount on fuel at its large network of petrol stations. It will also offer discounts for electric vehicle charging.

All of Shell Energy’s electricity will come from renewable sources such as wind, solar and biofuels it said.

Britain’s retail energy market is still dominated by the “big six” suppliers – Centrica’s (CNA.L) British Gas, Iberdrola’s (IBE.MC) Scottish Power, E.ON (EONGn.DE), EDF Energy (EDF.PA), SSE (SSE.L) and Innogy’s (IGY.DE) npower.

None of the big six today offer 100 percent renewable energy as standard to all customers. Shell Energy will continue supplying natural gas to its customers.

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