Shell gave its British retail energy arm roughly £1.2 billion ($1.5 billion) of financial backing this year to survive wild swings in natural gas and power prices.
UK energy retailers have been under extreme stress for more than a year as a supply crunch drove wholesale prices to record highs. Dozens failed in 2021 as costs soared and regulations prevented them from raising tariffs. Those that survived incurred hefty expenses taking on the customers of collapsed rivals.
A filing published this week shows Shell Energy Retail received capital in installments of £20 million, £177 million and £288 million to help it operate through the end of 2023. It also has access to a working capital facility totaling £680 million.
Assistance from the firm’s supermajor parent came after Shell Energy lost more than £100 million last year, the filing shows.
“The unprecedented rise in energy prices in the latter part of 2021 adversely impacted financial performance,” it said.
Shell took on roughly 500,000 new customers through the UK’s Supplier of Last Resort program, which ensures consumers receive energy when their provider fails. To help shoulder the costs of the additional accounts, the firm received a government grant of more than £197 million.