Octopus launches free energy when sun and wind peak  

Octopus Energy and UK Power Networks have introduced an initiative, which sees energy customers benefitting from free energy when the sun shines and the wind blows. 

Octopus Energy and UK Power Networks have introduced 'Power-ups,' offering free energy during sunny and windy periods. 

Launching initially for a select group of Octopus Energy customers in the vibrant South and East regions of England, ‘Power-ups’ offer a unique opportunity to enjoy free energy precisely when the sun shines and the wind blows, tapping into surplus solar and wind generation.  

By participating in this initiative, customers not only stand to gain personally but also contribute significantly to the collective goals of a greener, more affordable, and resilient energy landscape. 

Fuelled by the mission to harness surplus energy

This partnership between Octopus Energy and UK Power Networks is fuelled by the mission to harness surplus renewable energy effectively. Engaging households in this visionary endeavour, participating customers will gain access to complimentary electricity precisely when the local grid is brimming with renewable energy surplus. Relying on the accurate forecasts provided by UK Power Networks, Octopus will send advance notifications to customers, outlining the optimal times to activate their ‘Power-ups’ and enjoy free energy. 

In a world where energy transmission grids face challenges in balancing supply and demand, particularly during heightened renewable energy production periods, the collaboration between Octopus Energy and UK Power Networks stands out for its forward-thinking approach. While many grid operators resort to shutting down renewable energy generators to counterbalance supply-demand disparities, this partnership presents a transformative alternative. 

Octopus Energy’s philosophy is anchored in extracting maximum value from renewable energy. Through ‘Power-ups,’ excess energy is utilised to benefit customers, stabilize the grid, and prevent wastage, reflecting a holistic approach to energy management that also translates into cost savings for customers. 

Significant milestone

The ‘Power-ups’ initiative marks another significant milestone for Octopus Energy, which pioneered the first-ever ‘demand response’ project conducted by National Grid’s Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) last winter. An impressive 700,000 Octopus Energy customers voluntarily reduced their energy consumption during grid stress periods, resulting in diverting a substantial £5.4 million back into UK households instead of conventional gas-powered plants. 

The partnership between Octopus Energy and UK Power Networks is a testament to their history of fostering innovation. In 2019, they introduced ‘Powerloop,’ a trailblazing vehicle-to-grid (V2G) trial that rewarded customers each time they returned energy from their electric vehicles to the grid. 

Alex Schoch, head of flexibility at Octopus Energy Group, said: “Thanks to Octopus’ proprietary technology rewarding ‘demand turn up’, we no longer need to switch off bountiful solar and wind power when consumers can use it up for free instead.  

Demand flexibility

“It’s good for the grid and good for the planet – a win for everybody.  ‘Power-ups’ is yet another arrow in the quiver of ‘demand flexibility’ and it’s great to work with an innovator like UK Power Networks.” 

Sotiris Georgiopoulos, director of distribution system operator at UK Power Networks said: “In response to growing volumes of renewable power, UK Power Networks is the first distribution system operator to call for ‘demand turn up’.  

“We’re delighted to have seen a strong response to the requirements we issued in December, including from innovators like Octopus. Tapping into customer flexibility means we can connect more renewable energy, keeping costs down for our customers.”