The rally has led to a strong recovery in earnings for Australia’s big LNG exporters but is causing upheaval in Europe and Britain, which depends on gas for 40 per cent of its electricity needs. Generation from wind turbines, ordinarily accounting for about 20 per cent of British power, has also slumped during one of Europe’s least-windy summers for decades.
Octopus Energy, a retailer backed by Australia’s Origin Energy, this week firmed its position as one of Britain’s top-five energy suppliers after being appointed to take over customers left stranded by the collapse of retailer Avro Energy.
Octopus’s move to pick up Avro’s customers, under the UK energy regulator’s “supplier of last resort process”, means Octopus will now be supplying almost 5.3 customer accounts.
Origin last year invested $500 million to acquire a 20 per cent stake in Octopus and is preparing to transfer Australian customers onto the Kraken platform.
Origin chief executive Frank Calabria said he was pleased to see Octopus Energy provide continuity of supply for Avro’s customers and boost its UK retail energy share. “Octopus’ prudent risk management strategy has enabled it to take this opportunity and provide ongoing supply for its customers through this period of significant volatility,” Mr Calabria said.