Dodo float may give wings to energy arm

The cut-rate telco wing of Dodo Australia may be floated on the share market to bankroll the company's budding energy arm, according to managing director Larry Kestelman.

The cut-rate telco wing of Dodo Australia may be floated on the share market to bankroll the company's budding energy arm, according to managing director Larry Kestelman.

The float is being mulled as a source of capital to help its newly fledged discount energy provider Dodo Power and Gas to expand nationally. It launched in Victoria about three months ago and will be deployed in all states over the next six months.

It would also help boost its customer base, which Kestelman expects will rise from a few thousand at present to hundreds of thousands within 18 months.

"The energy space is nowhere near as aggressive as telecommunications," Kestelman said. "A float could help us reach a million customers if the financial backing was correct."

The energy business has taken marketing lessons from the internet arm and will drive to undercut established players in the sector, Kestelman said.

Dodo, which also offers home alarm services, is aiming to be a single provider for a suite of home services, allowing customers to pay for energy, telephony and internet services with one bill.

It also plans to supply pay TV and "services on demand", Kestelman said.

"About 25 per cent of people move house each year, and we want to be a single phone call away for all services."

Dodo's launch state Victoria is far ahead on one electricity front — the roll-out of smart meters. Kestelman said while Dodo is keen to build smart meter applications to provide customers with detailed energy consumption reports, the essential raw data is not currently available.

"Getting the live information is one of the biggest delays. Even in Victoria not all systems are live. It's not a big exercise to build the applications."

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