Green Star Energy


Green Star Energy Review

Company Description

Green Star Energy is the trading name of Hudson Energy Supply UK Limited.

Green Star Energy is a supplier of gas and renewable electricity to domestic and business customers in the UK. It launched into the UK domestic energy market in October 2013.

The company does not disclose customer numbers but it is believed to have approximately 200,000 domestic energy customers. Approximately 60% of its revenues are generated from domestic customers with the balance coming from business energy customers.

Green Star Energy has approximately 150 employees.

Following a strategic review of the business in early 2019, which resulted from the uncovering of significant, previously undeclared, losses, the ultimate parent company, Just Energy Inc of Canada, decided to sell the business. The company was sold to Shell Energy on 29 November 2019.

This review covers Green Star Energy prior to the acquisition. Going forwards, the company will be absorbed into the Shell Group and likely rebranded as Shell Energy.

More about Green Star Energy

Green Star Energy offers gas only, electricity only and dual fuel tariffs.

This energy supplier is signed up to the Warm Home Discount Scheme.

Green Star Energy is NOT signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee but its new owner Shell Energy is.

The company has been offering electricity from 100% renewable resources since at least 1 April 2015.

Green Star Energy review of products and services

Green Star Energy offers a range of energy tariffs for domestic consumers. These include;

Fix for Less

These are discounted fixed rate online energy plans offering 100% renewable electricity and carbon offsetting through tree planting projects. The product range covers fixed periods of 12 months, 18 months, 24 months and 36 months. Exit penalties apply.

Fix with Rewards

These tariffs offer all the features mentioned above together with the added benefit of participation in a Rewards program.

With these tariffs you earn “Perks”. These are loyalty points which can be redeemed against energy saving and smart energy products as well as gift vouchers.

The value of the rewards earned varies from £25 per fuel per year (£50 for dual fuel) for an 18-month fixed tariff to £40 per fuel per year (£80 for dual fuel) for a 36 month tariff.

Standard Plus

This is the variable rate tariff with no exit penalty which is subject to the Energy Price Cap and so will change every 6 months.

Unlimited Tariff

Basically “all you can eat energy” for a fixed cost. This tariff is now only available to existing Unlimited tariff customers.

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Green Star Energy Fuel Mix

All suppliers, including Green Star Energy, are required to provide information about the mix of fuels they use to generate the electricity they supply to their customers. They also need to disclose the environmental impact of this fuel mix.

This information is known as the Fuel Mix Disclosure and is published annually.

The table below shows the Green Star Energy Fuel Mix for the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018.

Energy SourceGreen Star EnergyUK Average
Source: BEIS, Green Star Energy
Coal0.0%7.64%
Natural gas0.0%41.24%
Nuclear0.0%20.01%
Renewables0.0%29.04%
Other fuels0.0%2.07%
CO2 emissions (g/kWh)0232
High-level radioactive waste (g/kWh)00.007

You can also view Green Star Energy’s Fuel Mix for earlier years.

Green Star Energy has been supplying 100% renewable electricity since at least 1 April 2015. Consequently, its CO2 emissions and high-level radioactive waste production, from electricity generation, are zero. Big well done for that.

In addition, Green Star Energy “Green” tariffs have an environmental element to the gas part, which includes reforestation and Carbon Offsetting. The exact details of the schemes are a little vague. In general terms, for each customer signed up to a green plan, Green Star Energy will plant two trees in the UK and help reforestation in the Amazon with the aim of offsetting 2 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.

Green Star Energy Service Rating

We have awarded Green Star Energy 4 Stars (from 5). This is based on the proportion of switches undertaken on the platform of our energy switching partner TheEnergyShop.com that complete successfully first time. Using our website, 91-95% of customers can expect their energy switch to complete successfully without any glitches.

We are aware that Green Star Energy does not score well across all review sites. On Trustpilot, for example, it receives an average 3-star rating based on over 7,400 reviews. These however are almost evenly split between those customers that love it and those that hate it. It would appear that if things work with your account they work very well. But if they don’t then Green Star Energy may not be the slickest at resolving issues. So, before deciding to switch to Green Star Energy we suggest you satisfy yourself that this energy supplier is right for you.

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Company Structure

The company which supplies energy to domestic and business customers in the UK is called Hudson Energy Supply UK Limited (Green Star Energy is the trading name used).

Hudson Energy Supply UK Limited is in turn owned by Hudson Energy Holdings UK Limited.

The ultimate holding entity was, until 29 November 2019, a company called Just Energy Group Inc which is incorporated in Canada. Following a strategic review of the business in early 2019, that resulted from uncovering significant, previously undeclared, losses, Just Energy decided to sell the business. The sale of the business to Shell Energy was announced on 9 October 2019 and, following regulatory clearance, completed on 29 November 2019.

Company NameHUDSON ENERGY SUPPLY UK LIMITED
Source: Companies House
Company Number07489042
Registered Office Address3/F Elder House, 586-592 Elder Gate, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom, MK9 1LR
Date of incorporation11 January 2011
Directors (2)MASON, Claudia
HELLINGS, Paul Robert

Green Star Energy Financials and Funding

In this section we briefly review the published financial results for Hudson Energy Holdings UK Limited.

Please note that with effect from 29 November 2019, Green Star Energy is now part of Shell Energy. This is a material change, so historical statements may not be indicative of the future, particularly in relation to the balance sheet.

The table below shows summary financials for the last 3 years.

Year ended 31 March20172018 (restated)
2019
Source: Companies House
Customer accountsNot disclosedNot disclosedNot disclosed
Income statement (£m)
Revenue285.7434.8437.6
Gross profit29.345.654.4
Gross margin (%)10.3%10.5%12.4%
Operating profit (loss)16.79.1(74.9)
Operating profit (%)5.8%2.1%-17.1%
Profit before tax16.79.1(75.1)
Balance Sheet (£m)
Fixed assets0.51.53.1
Current assets84.6 164.6162.3
Current liabilities(74.8)(154.3)(224.0)
Net current assets9.8
10.3(61.7)
Non current liabilities -
(1.3)(4.9)
Net assets 10.3
10.5(63.5)
Capital and Reserves (£m)
Share capital5.200
Profit and loss account 5.210.4(63.6)
Shareholders Funds 10.4 10.4(63.6)

Initial Funding and Trading History

The company raised £5.2 million in equity capital in the year ended Mar 2013. This financed its entry into the UK domestic energy market in October 2013. It rapidly moved into net profitability in the financial year to end 31 March 2015. Over the same period, it also managed to virtually cover its start-up losses of around £3.5m. This, superficially at least, was an excellent result given it was only 18 months after commercial launch into a very, very competitive and low margin business.

After losses in the year ended 31 March 2016 (£3.3m before tax), Green Star Energy embarked on a period of rapid growth and sustainable profitability. A shining example of how to grow and manage a low margin business in a tough and volatile market. So well in fact that shareholders received a dividend amounting to 150% of their invested capital after only 5 years.

Well that’s how it looked at the time.

When things are going so well in a market where other suppliers are struggling you always have to ask, what is different? And this was spectacularly revealed in the company accounts for the year ended 31 March 2019.

Turns out that things were not as rosy as had been previously painted. The accounts revealed that the value of forward energy contracts had been overstated and had to be written down by £38.6m. In addition, it was identified that there were billing and money collection issues which had somehow not been picked up in earlier audits. As such the company had to write off £35m off of their accounts receivable bill (money owed to them by non-paying customers). The net result was a thumping operating loss of £74.9m (10 times the amount paid out in dividends the previous year).

Green Star Energy bought by Shell Energy

Following these disastrous financials results, which promptly led to the departure of Managing Director, Joanne Thornton1, the parent company figured its UK business was not quite what it originally seemed to be. Consequently, it undertook a strategic review. The result of that review was a decision to sell the business.

Long story short, Just Energy announced the sale of Green Star Energy to Shell Energy Retail Limited for an undisclosed sum on 9 October 2019. The deal completed on 29 November 2019.

Had the deal not completed, there was a material risk that the company would fold. The company’s auditors made a “Material uncertainty related to going concern” qualification in the 2019 accounts. It was noted that ”the applicability of the going concern assumption is dependent upon the sale of the entire business to a third party purchaser”. In plain English, that means if the sale to Shell didn’t go through, Green Star Energy was, quite likely, history.

Still, as the saying goes, all’s well that ends well. Green Star Energy is now part of a massive energy group with vast financial resources and so is now financially secure.

Reasons to like Green Star Energy

  • Financially secure energy supplier (following acquisition by Shell Energy).
  • 100% renewable electricity as standard
  • Reliable switching completion rates through our service.

Thinking of switching to Green Star Energy?

OK, so this is not the best energy supplier review. However, as a customer you now have financial security coupled with 100% renewable electricity and some reasonably competitive tariffs. Got to be worth checking out.

Here are 2 quick and simple ways in which you can compare Green Star Energy tariffs. Just pick the option that suits you best.

Option 1. See how it compares before applying. Click here...

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Option 2. Call us to get a comparison over the phone on…

0800 083 2819

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 – Green Star Energy Fuel Mix