Agile Octopus: A consumer-led shift to a low carbon future
26th October 2018
In February 2018, we launched Agile Octopus, the world's first time of use energy tariff. Agile Octopus represents the future, a crucial step towards redesigning energy infrastructure to support a low-carbon society. Its results are being watched closely, and now, we've got some. Read it here, along with a foreword from our founder Greg. A massive thank you to Justin and Alex, who've given us great insight into their experiences as Agile customers over the past few months.
Agile Octopus is the first smart time of use tariff of its kind, and the only one to be tested in-market.There has been a long-held belief that it is very difficult to change consumer behaviour in energy. After all, most customers don’t switch suppliers even when they could save hundreds of pounds.
Octopus likes to challenge long-held beliefs. We know people don’t act as hyper-rational economic bargaining units, but respond to a wide variety of factors like whether a decision is easy, makes sense, has immediate impact or makes them feel good.
This report contains the first set of real world findings from a half-hourly time of use tariff, and the results are exciting. Agile has shown that by helping people make decisions that feel natural to them, energy consumers do change their behaviour.
People totally understand that price varies with supply and demand - whether it be peak and off peak pricing in transport and hotels, or seasonal pricing in supermarkets. It’s therefore bonkers that suppliers do not give consumers any reason to charge a car when there is ample cheap electricity on the system, or to do their washing when the sun is shining.
We built Agile to help consumers take advantage of this and, in doing so, provide huge benefits to the energy system as a whole.
Empowering citizens to shift their electricity use away from peak times will be critical to avoiding a £40bn bill for upgrading energy infrastructure. As we decarbonise, shifting consumption times will also enable more rapid uptake of electric vehicles and renewable generation.
Now we’ve demonstrated that the technology works, we welcome the opportunity for more consumer and market-led approaches to get the most out of our grid, rather than traditional command-and control mechanisms.
Well done to policy makers and regulators for making the smart grid possible, and enabling companies like ours to deliver innovation like this. Grasping the opportunities of disruptive business models and breakthrough technology will enable energy consumers to reap the rewards of progress they have benefited from in so many other consumer markets.
Octopus Energy CEO
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