The project at a glance

The challenge

Octopus Energy has revolutionised green energy retailing in the UK, and as part of its expansion into Australia with Origin Energy, had to rapidly scale and adapt its platform to the country’s unique and changing energy market and regulatory environment.

The solution

Formation of a market-leading team and development of a technically complex Kraken platform to achieve regulatory compliance and migration of Origin Energy’s 4.2 million retail customers.

What we did

Common Code, an Ackama Group company, helped Octopus Energy scale its Australian team and design and build the market interface and workflow engine that connects its Kraken platform to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

The outcome

The migration of Origin Energy’s 4.2 million retail customers was successfully completed in just 2.5 years in May 2023. This success was a critical proof point for Octopus Energy to continue its rapid international expansion.


What does it take for a digital energy innovator at the heart of the global energy transition to expand into a new country while building a technical team from scratch and meeting new regulatory standards? We spoke to David Tilleyshort (APAC Development Lead) from Octopus Energy, the second largest energy retailer in the UK, about how they overcame these challenges during their successful expansion to Australia.

In 2020, Australia’s Origin Energy struck a $500 million deal to acquire a 20% stake in Octopus Energy. This would also entail the migration of Origin’s 4.2 million retail customers onto the Kraken customer service platform. ‘We inked the deal in March 2020, which was the week after I started. From that point on it was like, okay, now build a capable team and deliver this project!” says David. “I had just arrived from the UK so I didn’t particularly know the Australian market and how to find people.”

Partnering on the Origin Energy migration to Kraken

At this critical juncture, Common Code, an Ackama Group company, partnered with Octopus on the migration of Origin Energy’s 4.2 million retail customers through the recruitment of experienced Django and Python developers.

“The Origin migration turned out to be more of a challenge than we initially anticipated. But to go from a very small team to a growing team that was also capable of delivering the needs of quite a large, complex project very quickly – Common Code played a big part in our ability to stand that up.”


The Common Code team were embedded within Octopus to scale their development teams and adapt the Kraken platform to Australia’s unique energy market and regulatory regime. This included working through the multiple complexities of a systems migration and managing core data.

“A lot of the work involved complex conversations with the client [Origin].” says David. “But also a lot of research and breaking of ground to understand how these markets operate was vital. We’ve had people from Common Code being focused in that energy world and now spread throughout payments, APIs, and billing.”


Common Code were also responsible for managing the more technically complex aspects of the migration. Jon Moss, the lead developer on the project from Common Code, explains how they approached it.

“As one of Australia’s largest retailers, Origin Energy has all of the edge cases. You’ve got the simple use cases – those will go in one big group, and we focus on making sure that the processes and systems that were in place to support them, then get migrated across. You then look at the next group who might have a slightly different set of requirements, or a slightly more refined specification that was needed.”


“Common Code helping with the recruitment and being part of the team was a key part of us delivering on the Origin Energy migration.” David Tilleyshort – APAC Development Lead at Octopus Energy.


Another key role that the Ackama Group company played was the development of Chroma – a service that helped integrate Kraken with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). 

“It was an enabler for them to work with the Australian systems much faster and more efficiently than they would have done if they’d had to build it all themselves. Origin Energy is now on a much more flexible and more reactive platform that helps them better support their own customers.” Jon Moss explains.

Pivotal for Octopus Energy’s international expansion

The success of Origin Energy’s Kraken migration was pivotal in Octopus winning contracts with major energy retailers internationally, with the platform now licensed across 14 countries, managing 30 million accounts and 6 GW of energy assets.


“It was about the first migration outside the UK. We were in deep talks with other international clients. Being able to show and prove that we could do migration outside of the UK was key to us winning some of those contracts with the energy industry.” – David


And as David explains, the success of Octopus Energy domestically wasn’t enough to convince energy retailers overseas – they needed to prove themselves in an international market.

“Each country is quite different – there are commonalities, but there’s a lot of differences too. For a company to be successful in one country doesn’t translate necessarily to others. You have to have a development team and a capability that can deal with the differences across multiple markets. And for us the Origin migration was the proof, and that opened a lot of doors for us.”


This has also meant the team at Ackama Group have gained deep expertise in the critical elements of global energy markets.


“The initial contract was for 3 – 6 months. And it’s now been over three years. We’ve managed to gain experience internationally in a number of different energy markets. For Octopus, this region [APAC] is responsible not only for Australia, but also for countries like New Zealand and Japan.” says Jon.


Ackama Group is proud to have supported Octopus Energy through what has been a commercial and technical success, pivotal to its expansion into Australia and beyond. Ackama continues to deepen experience in critical aspects of global energy markets and are committed to helping clients successfully navigate the Energy Transition.