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OVO signs first international partnership expanding into the French market

Image: OVO.

Image: OVO.

OVO has signed its first international partnership, with Eni gas e luce set to utilise the company’s ecosystem of software platforms Kaluza.

The partnership will help Eni gas e luce – a retail arm of O&G major Eni SpA, which provides electricity and gas to over 10 million customers across four European countries – to increase digitalisation and create a more flexible and clear system.

Eni gas e luce will use Kalzua to accelerate decarbonisation by creating a better digital experience for customers, creating more sustainable energy and new smart grid technologies the companies said.

Alberto Chiarini, CEO of Eni gas e luce, said the partnership represents an “important step” for the company, helping it to expand its international presence and achieve its goal of having a portfolio of 20 million customers around the world by 2050.

“We want to help our customers to use clean energy products as well as enjoy the best customer experience. We are truly pleased to be working with OVO and Kaluza whose unique real-time platforms enable a more engaging and digitally connected customer experience, and we are confident that the partnership will bring a whole new energy to our international growth strategy.”

Kaluza is already used for OVO Energy’s retail systems in the UK, as well as providing solutions for optimising home energy systems. The platform can be used to manage smart home devices like batteries and rooftop solar, and at scale provide flexibility for stored and renewable energy to support energy grids.

OVO’s partnership with Eni gas e luce will begin in France, where the company is the largest independent retailer.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, CEO and founder of OVO, said: "Transitioning towards a clean energy system is the greatest challenge we face in the 21st Century. €500bn of investment is planned in Europe over the next decade to tackle climate change alone. To succeed, we will need to develop new technology and to redesign the energy system around the customer.

"Kaluza’s … proprietary technology platform will bring energy intelligence and zero carbon technology to millions of customers in Europe. Eni shares our mission to bring clean affordable energy to more customers. We’re delighted to be working with them."

Since it was founded in 2009, OVO has largely gone from strength to strength, and now serves more than 5 million people in the UK.

COVID-19 has hit its operation, leading to 2,600 redundancies as the pandemic put pressure on the integration of SSE Energy Services. OVO acquired SSE's British household energy business in January, but found that as people turned to digital services during the pandemic there was a permanent reduction in the need for certain roles.

In April, the company revealed the creation of a new OVO Energy Board to oversee the company’s retail strategy as SSE was integrated, hiring Stacey Cartwright to chair the board.

Kaluza has also seen a shakeup in management recently, with Sara Wood coming on as CEO last December, and three major new hires in May.

In January, the software branch of OVO hit a significant milestone, as it became the first residential flexibility platform to provide a paid service to a UK distribution network operator.

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