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Octopus Energy appoints Ofwat CEO as director of regulation and economics

Rachel Fletcher, director of regulation and economics at Octopus Energy. Image: Octopus Energy.

Rachel Fletcher, director of regulation and economics at Octopus Energy. Image: Octopus Energy.

Octopus Energy has announced the appointment of Ofwat’s Rachel Fletcher as director of regulation and economics.

Fletcher has been CEO of the water regulator since 2018, working to make the company more environmentally sustainable and resilient. Before Ofwat, she worked at Ofgem for 15 years in a number of roles including head of retail, having joined from multinational PwC in 2005, where she worked as an energy consultant.

In her new role, Fletcher will help Octopus campaign for the lower path to a green energy system the company said.

Already, Octopus Energy has launched a number of variable tariffs to allow customers to access lower prices when there is an abundance of renewables on the UK grid for example. This includes its Octopus Agile tariff, and its recently released Fan Club tariff, which it hailed as a "world first" local time of use tariff that drops prices for customers when wind speeds are up.

Greg Jackson, CEO and founder of Octopus Energy, said when he first met Fletcher, he was “impressed by her no-nonsense style and a clear sense of purpose, championing consumers against sectoral interests.

“She brings her drive, intellect and passion to Octopus as we seek to deliver low-cost, tech-driven, decarbonisation of energy in the UK and around the world.”

Octopus has grown exponentially since it was launched in 2016, becoming a unicorn in April 2020 when Australian energy company Origin Energy acquired a 20% stake and tipped the company’s valuation over the £1 billion mark.

Its valuation then doubled by December, when Octopus Energy hit US$2 billion (£1.5 billion), as it announced a partnership with Tokyo Gas that sees it expand into Asia.

In 2020, Octopus Energy also expanded into Germany in November, and the US thanks to the acquisition of Silicon Valley-based startup Evolve Energy in September.

Fletcher said she was “very excited” to be joining the company given the team’s mission to “bring about a fast, efficient and just transition to net zero".

“In the space of a few years they have shown what can be achieved with a clear purpose, leading edge technology and a focus on treating people fairly. I look forward to being part of the Octopus team, working towards these goals that are so vital for people and the planet.”

Octopus Energy now serves over 1.9 million UK customers, as well as its tech platform Kraken being licensed to serve 17 million accounts globally, having been licensed to the likes of E.On/NPower and Good Energy in the UK, Origin in Australia and Tokyo Gas in Japan.

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