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Zopa Enters £23 Billion Renewable Energy Market With Octopus Energy Deal

Zopa Bank has entered the UK’s £23 billion renewable energy market (1), making its suite of fully regulated BNPL and retail finance products available to Octopus Energy customers across the UK.

The deal will see Zopa finance the purchase and installation of Octopus solar panels for the energy giant’s millions of UK customers, spread out in up to 84 installments over 7 years. Octopus is the UK’s largest electricity supplier.

Climate change and high energy bills have increasingly encouraged households to turn to solar energy as a cheap, renewable source of electricity, resulting in rapid sector growth. Today, some 1.3 million homes in the UK have solar panels, according to the UK Department for Energy Security and Net Zero – a 4,000%+ increase since 2010 (2).

Despite the consumer demand, ahead of elections, the UK’s major political parties have scaled back their green energy commitments. This has created a void that the private sector can fill by stepping in to support major infrastructure changes.

The partnership also enables the financing of app-controlled EV chargers, installed by Octopus engineers to fast-charge the electric vehicles of customers. In January 2024 there were more than 53,600 public charge points available across the UK, a 45% increase since the start of 2023. The government aims to deliver 300,000 charge points by 2030 to match rising demand (3).

Dave Farbrother, CEO of Zopa’s BNPL and retail finance division said: “The energy security and prosperity of future generations are dependent on greening our economy and that requires large scale investments. We are proud to be partnering with Octopus Energy to make the switch to energy sustainability more accessible for millions of UK consumers. Not only can Brits cut their electricity costs by up to 90% by switching to solar, with Zopa they can now also spread their upfront costs over 24 to 84 months. Together we are extending the reach of green energy with financial solutions that put customers first and are fully regulated, offering piece of mind.”

Jessica Wilkinson, Commercial Director at Octopus Energy, added: “The biggest power plant we’ve got is the sun – so making use of it by creating mini power generators on our roofs is an absolute no-brainer. We’ve already installed 3000 solar panels on UK homes, and we’re pleased to enable even more people to benefit from this cheap, clean energy source through this new financing solution with Zopa Bank.”

Zopa launched its regulated BNPL and retail finance products in August 2023 to bring to life BNPL 2.0, an evolution of the traditional BNPL model that puts customer protection first, is responsible, and sustainable.

Zopa’s BNPL and retail finance products combine the seamless customer journeys and best-in-class digital UX offered by traditional BNPL players alongside the ability to underwrite longer, larger loans in a way that exceeds today’s regulatory requirements.

This includes running credit checks and affordability tests for all customers and sharing data with credit checking agencies (CRAs) to avoid the accumulation of unmanageable debt and cycles of “piling borrowing on top of borrowing.”

As a result, in less than one year, as of April 2024, Zopa had scaled BNPL lending to nearly £100 million offering its products to over 500 merchants and 70,000 customers.

Founded in 2020, today Zopa Bank has 1.2 million customers. Octopus Energy has 6.8 million UK customers and was launched eight years ago. Both companies reported their first full-year profit in FY 2023.

The UK Association for Regional Energy and Clean Technology estimates that the value of the renewable and clean technology sector could reach £46bn by 2035 (4).

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