British retailer Marks & Spencer has partnered with asset owner and clean energy supplier Octopus, outlining a bold ambition to “transform” the energy market.
The partnership, M&S said, has been designed to create a “more progressive, digital and commercial M&S Energy” that will be tasked with delivering growth at a critical time for M&S in general.
The announcement comes just two weeks after M&S confirmed that it had ended its previous supply relationship with Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) after nine years.
M&S Energy and Octopus will now collaborate on the launch of a new pricing model that does away with traditional tariffs that M&S described as “punitive”. It will also use Octopus’ proprietary cloud-based customer platform which it says has “revolutionised customer experience” in the energy sector.
Since launching its supply arm just over two years ago, Octopus has been at the forefront of a number of supply innovations, including the introduction of a ‘wholesale price tariff’ to offer consumers greater transparency before extending its offer with so called ‘Plunge Pricing’ alerts at times of negative pricing.
M&S also pointed towards Octopus’ status as the UK’s largest owner of utility-scale solar assets, noting the opportunity to deliver renewable energy to more UK homes as a “significant prospect” for the partnership.
Jonathan Hazeldine, head of M&S Energy, said that Octopus’ digital-first attitude when it came to customer service mirrored M&S’ own ambitions.
“Together, we can challenge the traditional energy market and bring green energy to millions of households at a competitive and fair price. We believe they are the best partner to help transform and grow M&S Energy into a digital, progressive and commercially competitive arm of M&S.”
Greg Jackson, chief executive at Octopus Energy, said that the partnership was a “great vote of confidence” in the energy firm’s vision for the future supply market.
“M&S will be using the digital technology we’ve built, enabling dramatically better customer experience online, and helping drive the M&S digitisation strategy,” he added.