Powered by Octopus: Hope Chapel is Shifting Shapes for their community

Hope Chapel blog header

When we want to know how customers are getting on, we go straight to the source.

Recently, we released our smart time-of-use tariff - Shape Shifters. It lets flexible small businesses and organisations take control of their energy usage. By shifting consumption away from peak times, they get 21 hours of lower prices every day 🤩

We couldn’t wait to learn more about how customers are enjoying the new tariff. So, we hopped on a train to Bristol’s nobly named Hope Chapel for a chat about their new life as a Shape Shifter.


The heart of Hotwells

Hop up a hill in Hotwells, Bristol, and you'll find a very special building perched on top.

It's Hope Chapel, a striking church that's devoted to supporting its surrounding community.

Since its founding in the late 1700s, Hope Chapel's doors have been firmly open. Its many neighbours are welcome - be they in need of guidance, support or some new dance moves.

Today, you’ll find a collection of cool community capers on offer - like theatre shows, refugee support groups and tango classes (so they really are no strangers to shifting shapes 💃).


Our four dreams are:

  • to be a place of continuous prayer and worship for the city
  • to be a church that children love
  • to be a family for people on the margins of society
  • to be at the heart of the community
Hannah, Hope Chapel's Administrator
Hannah and Constantine outside the chapel

Hannah and Constantine outside the chapel


An 18th century building with 21st century energy

Hope Chapel is an historical building with a modern day core. It has solar panels on the roof, smart battery storage, and a naturally cooling converted underground crypt.

The cosy converted crypt

The cosy converted crypt

The journey to this snazzy energy setup began with a grant for improvements to the chapel. The extra funding enabled them to install solar panels on the south-facing roof and invest in the battery storage system.

These two big changes have had an even bigger impact, making the chapel seriously sustainable. They now draw much less energy from the grid.

When the sun is really shining, the panels put out enough power to run the whole building, charge up the battery to use in the evening, and export excess electricity back out into the world.


Shining bright with Shape Shifters

Hope Chapel are flexible with their energy usage, operate (partly) outside of the 4-7pm peak, and love finding ways to be sustainable. In other words, they’re exactly the type of organisation that we created Shape Shifters for.

It was Hannah, the chapel’s Administrator, that got them involved. When their previous contract ended, she wanted to find the ideal off-peak tariff. Fortunately, we’d just launched Shape Shifters - so it was a perfect match.

We asked Hannah how they were finding the process so far:


It’s going well! We’ve been on the tariff for less than a month, but I’ve been tracking our usage live on my phone. We’ve generally been able to maintain our pre-energy crisis unit rate, which we couldn’t do on a normal fixed tariff.


The data definitely bears this out. In the first month of Shape Shifters, Hope Chapel used a whopping 93.97% of their energy during off-peak periods! That meant much cheaper energy and way less demand on the grid.

In other words: a win for the chapel, a win for the community and a win for the planet.

hope church hall

The future is bright for Hope Chapel’s energy

Hannah and the team have a lot of ideas for their next steps. As their appliances get older, they’ll bring in more energy-efficient replacements. That means LED bulbs, sustainable fridges and plenty of other green gadgets.

And the money they’re saving through Shape Shifters? That goes straight back into helping the community.

They even plan to build a separate dwelling on the chapel’s grounds. Housing isn’t easy to come by in Bristol, so this is another way they can contribute to the community that continues to inspire them after all these years.

Here at Octopus Energy for Business, we're just happy to play a part in helping Hope shine.


We loved talking to Hope Chapel about their super smart Shape Shifters experience

And Shape Shifters could be right for you too:

🤖 Do you have a smart meter? 🤖

🛒 Are you a small business owner? 🛒

⚡️ Could you shift the time of some of your energy use? ⚡️

If so, register your interest in joining in with the Shape Shifting Shenanigans!

Or you can find out more about the tariff here.

Published on 7th November 2023 by:

image of Pete McNally

Pete McNally

Content Writer at Octopus Energy For Business

Hey I'm Constantine, welcome to Octopus Energy!