Staff at a fast-growing energy supplier have been handed share windfalls worth an average of £72,000 each.

Octopus Energy has given shares to workers since the company was started in 2015.

More than 1,000 employees now own roughly 5% of the business, with a combined stake of around £77million.

They were given the opportunity to cash in some of their holdings as part of a recent round of investment from outside backers.

Staff were able to sell 5% of their shares if they had been with the firm for less than two years, and 10% for those employed for more than that.

Those who took up the offer could have pocketed, for example, either £3,600 or £7,200.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak visited the headquarters of Octopus Energy in October
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak visited the headquarters of Octopus Energy in October

Greg Jackson, founder of Octopus, said: “For me, we’d have a far better society if more companies took this approach.

“It’s not about motivating the staff either - although I hope it does - it’s a moral thing for us.

“They are building value and they should share in it.”

London-based Octopus pitches itself as a green energy supplier and has signed up 1.8 million customers via its own brand, and by running Co-op Energy, M&S Energy and others.

The group has also struck deals that allow rival suppliers, including npower and E.ON, to use its Kraken customer service technology.

New backing from two investors last month saw the firm’s value rocket to more than £1.5billion.

The Mirror recently revealed how around 430 staff at Manchester-based tech firm The Hut Group had shared a near-£1billion bonanza, making 74 of them millionaires

Those gifted free shares ranged from warehouse workers and drivers to secretaries and managers.