Ovo Energy 'plots takeover' of major rival with 1.4million customers – see if you're affected | The Sun

OVO Energy is reportedly plotting a takeover of the UK arm of a major rival.

The firm is eyeing up Shell Energy UK, which supplies gas and electricity to roughly 1.4million homes across Great Britain, Sky News reports.

It also provides broadband to around 500,000 customers and employs roughly 2,000 people in the UK.

Ovo, which has four million existing customers, could launch a bid for Shell Energy UK as early as today, Sky said.

The broadcaster added that Ovo would want to sell the broadband side of Shell Energy to another company.

Ovo and Shell Energy declined to comment.

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A change in ownership is unlikely to impact Shell Energy customers immediately.

But if the deal goes ahead, you could be moved over to OVO in time.

OVO might also decide to run Shell as a separate business.

If you are transferred across, your supply shouldn't be disrupted and it should only take a few days.

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In January, Shell said it was looking at options for the future of its UK energy supply business.

It came just five years after Shell bought it itself from First Utility.

Shell said at the time: “No decisions have yet been taken on the way forward and our priority remains to ensure our customers in those countries continue to receive a reliable and affordable energy supply, and to provide support for customers who are struggling with the cost of energy and wider cost-of-living pressures.”

It added: “We intend to provide an update on the outcome of the review, which is likely to take a number of months, in due course.”

Dozens of energy providers have gone bust since 2021 following a rapid rise in wholesale energy prices. More have followed since.

Smaller energy suppliers were particularly badly hit.

In December last year, Octopus Energy completed a deal to buy out struggling provider Bulb, taking on its 1.5million customers.

In February this year, Marks and Spencer announced its M&S Energy brand would be wound down for 60,000 customers within weeks.

M&S Energy customers' accounts are now being managed by Octopus Energy directly.

What help can I get with my energy bills?

Energy costs have soared not just for providers, but for consumers too.

The average household's bill stands at £2,500 a year, although this is predicted to drop in July.

But you can get help with your bills if you're struggling.

You might be able to get help through the Household Support Fund (HSF).

It was first set up in late 2021 and the latest funding ends on March 31. But the scheme was recently extended until March 31, 2024.

What you are entitled to via the scheme depends on where you live.

That's because each local council is given their own share of the fund, and can decide who to allot it to.

However, help is usually offered to households on certain benefits or low incomes.

You should approach your local council to see if you are in line for help.

You can use the government's council tool locator on its website to find out what council area you fall under.

A number of energy companies offer customers struggling with their bills grants worth up to £1,500 too.

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British Gas, E.ON, EDF and more have their own individual schemes.

You should contact yours if you are finding it hard to keep up with payments.

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