Meet Jeremy Halstead

Can you tell us about your role and what it involves?

I started in Structured Products nearly six years ago. My role was to be a product specific resource in the sales team and help with projects such as STEP (Strategically Timed Electricity Procurement) and other tailored retail products to support customers’ unique needs. This reflected my consulting background, where I worked on finding the right solutions for larger, more complicated business customers who did not necessarily want a fixed price offer or other standard retail products.

How has the focus of Structured Products at Shell Energy evolved since then?

Over the years, Structured Products has grown to a team of three, with a specific focus on servicing larger, more sophisticated customers who want bespoke and often more complex products. Typically, these involve renewable energy and more purchasing options. Another element of the work we do is product development and making these available to a broader cross section of customers where possible. My team helps with deciding what products and solutions we can offer. It’s a collaborative process and we work closely with Account Managers, and Pricing, Trading, Legal, Settlement and Operations teams.

Can you tell us about your career journey so far?

At university, I studied English and Philosophy. After completing my degree, I didn’t really know what to do with myself, until there was an opening at an energy consultancy company in my hometown. I applied, and for the last 20 years I have been working in the energy industry. That first consulting job was running electricity and gas tenders for large corporate customers, helping them with progressive purchasing, reporting, budgeting, and all sorts of things. My area of specialty was helping large and sophisticated customers. I met my wife while we were both living in the UK, and we decided to move to Australia in 2010. I secured a similar job with a consultant in Australia and then wanted a new challenge, so I joined Shell Energy Australia.

What impact have you made or hope to make in your role?

We’ve helped many large customers find contracting models that suit their needs, often via a partnership approach. We spend considerable time and effort working out what they need and how we can deliver it. Our tailored approach creates long-term productive relationships with our customers where we help them achieve their goals. Recently, we’ve had some contracts where the customer needed a range of bespoke elements, such as highly flexible purchasing and detailed billing solutions. Shell Energy has billing and pricing teams who can tailor contracts and provide direct access to a trading team who can help the customer manage their energy price risk in the way they want to. Our customers appreciate we can offer flexibility and innovation.

What’s a recent career highlight you are proud of?

We have been working on a platform for the past three years which makes it easy for customers to incorporate more renewables into their energy mix which we’ve just launched called RECO or Renewable Energy Contracting Options.

RECO as a product will make renewable energy simpler and offer a scalable solution for a broad range of customers. I’m proud of that. This project has involved a lot of challenging work and a substantial number of people. Anytime we sell RECO to a customer, will be a proud moment for me. We will be helping customers to meet their renewable energy goals.


Can you explain how RECO will help customers?

The overarching goal is to enable customers to effectively purchase renewable energy on a progressive basis and to do that in a way that is simple, efficient, and understandable. Many of the renewable energy products out there can be overly complicated, time consuming and hard to compare.

Our customers will be able to say, “I want X percentage of renewable energy by this date”. Given the way the electricity market operates, it is generally not possible to physically buy electricity direct from renewable sources. The way RECO works is that when a customer makes a RECO purchase, Shell Energy buys renewable certificates to match the purchase volume and then surrenders them on behalf of the customer. The product is currently aimed at Shell Energy retail customers with large sites. They will have the option for up to 100% of their energy consumption to be matched to LGCs from accredited renewable energy generators. They can make those purchases progressively over time.

Customers can have generic certificates, or they can have source specific certificates which come from a specific wind or solar project. This enables our customers to state publicly where the LGCs are coming from, reinforcing their sustainability messaging. We are giving customers access to do this themselves, or with their advisors, via our portal, and we manage all the complexity behind the scenes for them.

Shell Energy’s purpose is helping customers navigate the energy transition. Does that resonate with you and what we’re trying to do with products like RECO?

One hundred percent. RECO enables customers to access renewable energy options in ways they couldn’t before. For me personally, and for lots of other people involved in it, offering renewable energy options is what we want to be doing. Developing and launching RECO demonstrates Shell Energy’s commitment to delivering solutions that support the energy transition.

Were there any key lessons you learnt from RECO?

The two key lessons learnt were the importance of the discovery phase and making sure you thoroughly understand the product that you want to create, and then what the requirements are to make that happen. Discovery is a key step because it covers off so much detail. To make sure you unearth all the factors and information you need to make it work. The other is market testing. Continually showing your work in progress, ideas to internal or external parties to make sure the product we’re working on is fit for purpose and meets our customers’ needs. If you skip this, you may end up delivering something that may not be what the market wants.

Where can people learn more about our products like RECO?

Our RECO website page has a lot of helpful key information for customers.

Finally, any advice for someone starting out their career in energy and thinking of joining Shell Energy?

It really helps if you have an open and enquiring attitude, and that you want to learn. Energy is a vast field and there is so much you can get involved in and work on. If you have an interest, you want to keep learning and get stuck in, then the industry will suit you. Don’t be put off by the sheer level of detail, acronyms, and general complexity, as no one knows everything, and you learn as you go.

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