Octopus Power-ups - South East & East England

Power up for free on spare green electricity

With renewable energy, we need to make hay while the sun shines.

That’s why we’re calling on homes in areas with lots of green generation to use up that spare solar and wind when it's most plentiful...

In Power-ups, your electricity is free at specific, super-green times.

Power-ups is only open to customers with connected smart meters in certain areas in South East & East England for now, because we're launching this cutting-edge project directly with the local network operator there, UK Power Networks.

Want Power-ups in your area? Let us know. We'd love to bring this across the UK, and are talking to other operators now to make it happen – add your name to our petition to show them how much demand there is for Power-ups.

Power-ups banner 2

How do Power-ups work?

  • Power-ups are usually an hour or two long, at times when wind and solar make up a high percentage of the electricity mix (often in the middle of the day).
  • We’ll email you with as much notice as possible before a Power-up (usually the day before). You need to opt in to each one to let us know you want to join.
  • When it’s time to Power up, use as much electricity as you like and it'll all be free – it’s a perfect time to do the hoovering, run your heat pump or immersion heater, run the dishwasher or washing machine, make dinner, you name it.
  • Power-ups won’t always be at the same time for everyone – the times will be different in each area to help use up renewables on a hyper-local level.
  • We’ll work out how much you used during each Power-up and pay you back the difference as account credit every few weeks, so that any electricity you use in Power-ups will be free.
  • Power-ups will start from the 14th of August, and run for at least the next year.

To join, you need to:

  1. Live in one of these specific areas operated by UK Power Networks (currently these are all in South East and East England).
  2. Be an Octopus Energy customer. Get a quote today.
  3. Have a connected smart electricity meter – to be eligible, we need to have received 80% of your half-hourly readings in the last 20 days.

We've already invited all eligible Octopus customers via email. If you didn't get that, it's likely you don't quite fit the requirements below. If you're sure you do, feel free to add yourself to the list below. We'll add new eligible customers to the project every so often, so so if you're eligible, you'll start getting Power-up email invites within a few weeks.

Want Power-ups in your area? Let us know. We'd love to bring this across the UK, and are talking to other operators now to make it happen – add your name to our petition to show them how much demand there is for Power-ups.


Don’t have a smart meter yet?

Sign up to get one now so you can get free electricity in Power-ups.


Power up in your postcode

Power-ups won’t always be at the same time for everyone. We’re working to help balance supply and demand on a hyper-local level – so your friend a few streets away might be Powering up an hour later than you, or on a different day altogether.

Launching first in super-green areas in South East & East England

A map showing areas of the UK where Power-ups are available

For now, Power-ups are only available in some areas in England, because this is a joint project with the local network operator. Check Power-ups are in your postcode.

We’re working with UK Power Networks on this cutting-edge flexibility service to help balance their local networks. The programme funds free electricity for key areas where there’s regularly extra green electrons going to waste.

Want Power-ups in your area? Let us know. We'd love to bring this across the UK, and are talking to other operators now to make it happen – add your name to our petition to show them how much demand there is for Power-ups.

How Power-ups help make energy cheaper and greener for all

The power grid has to constantly work to balance supply and demand.

When demand is high, the grid has to generate more energy, often paying through the nose to burn extra dirty fossil fuels. Last Winter, we paid customers £5.4 million to use less power at the busiest times instead in Saving Sessions.

An illustration of 8-bit Constantine

On the flip side, if it's super sunny and windy when demand is low, green generators can be forced to switch off. It's a real shame to let those clean electrons go to waste: so we're giving it to people for free instead.

This is just one more way people can benefit from using green energy flexibly, in tune with nature: using more when there’s wind and sun aplenty, and less when it’s scarce to avoid the need for extra fossil fuels.

Frequently asked questions

Why isn't Power-ups open to everyone?


We'd love it to be. There are a few reasons it's not. First of all, we're running the project directly with one local network operator, UKPN, who only manage networks in parts of South East and East England. The rest of the UK all have separate operators. We'd love to work with more operators to bring it to more homes. If you want Power-ups in your neck of the woods, let us know.

The other major reason (and it's a big one) is that Power-ups is designed to balance the network on a hyper-local level by targeting specific areas where there's regularly more renewable supply than demand. In some places, this just doesn't happen, so Power-ups may never be a perfect fit for your area.

There will always be other ways you can get benefits for using energy in the greenest way – like Saving Sessions, where you can be paid for cutting power when it's dirtiest. Or tariffs like Agile, where, when there's plenty of renewables powering the whole system, customers can be paid to use energy.

How do I know if I'm eligible to join in?


Anyone can put their name down, but you'll only be able to join in if you:

  1. Live in one of these specific areas.
  2. Are an Octopus Energy customer. Get a quote today.
  3. Have a connected smart electricity meter – to be eligible, we need to have received 80% of your half-hourly readings in the last 20 days.

If you're eligible, we'll start emailing you when Power-ups start. If you're not, we'll email you and let you know.

Why do I need a smart meter?


We need your smart meter’s half-hourly readings to work out exactly how much power you used during each Power-up in order to give it to you for free. If you don’t have a smart meter yet, join the list here.

When will the Power-ups be?


Power-ups could happen at any time there's a surplus of renewable electricity in your area. This could be in the middle of the day, when solar is high, or could be in the middle of the night when it's super windy.

Areas with lots of solar power are likely to get more Power-ups in Summer months.

Is there a limit on how much electricity I can use?


There are no limits in Power-ups. Any electricity you use is free. But of course, it's your responsibility to use electricity safely and carefully at home – for example, don't use so much on a single extension cable that you overload it, and make sure you don't overload your circuit breaker.

How do I opt in to a Power-up?


Some time after you’ve signed up through this page (or your invitation email), you’ll start getting emails letting you know about upcoming Power-ups.

To opt in to a Power-up, just click the link in your invite email and confirm you’re in before the Power-up begins.

You have to opt in for each Power-up so we know you’re going to get involved and use more. If you don’t, you wont get the electricity free.

When will I get my free electricity?


We’ll use your smart meter readings to work out how much electricity you used during each Power-up. Every few weeks, we’ll credit your account the total amount of free electricity you used in Power-ups.

Your actual charges and bills will be as normal, and your payments all stay the same.

What happens if I don’t opt in to a Power-up?


You have to opt in to each Power-up before it begins to receive the free electricity. If you don’t opt in, you’ll be charged for any electricity you use as normal.

Opting in to each one individually is essential because we use the information to tell the network operator how much extra power we expect customers will use.

Do I need a smart meter screen (or in-home display) to join in?


Nope! As long as your smart meter itself is sending us readings regularly, you can join.

Your smart meter is the unit attached to the wall, usually in a cupboard under the stairs. The in-home display is different to your smart meter – it's the little screen that's usually plugged in and sits on a bench somewhere in the house showing your energy usage info. You don't need to have a screen for Power-ups.

What happens if my smart meter doesn’t send readings during a Power-up?


Very occasionally, external issues like data outages or connection interruptions mean we might not be able to retrieve readings from your smart meter during a Power-up you opted into.

If that happens, we won’t know how much you used. Instead, we'll credit you based on the average electricity used by other customers during that Power-up.

What if my meter stops connecting altogether?


We’ll do all we can to get your meter working again. Though rare, some problems can be very tricky to fix – we're dependent on a whole host of third party government-mandated systems to make smart meters work, so sometimes it's outside of our control. We'll do our best to keep your meter connected but we can't guarantee it.

If we're no longer getting regular meter readings (meaning half-hourly readings every day for the last twenty days) we may contact you to let you know you're not eligible to take part anymore, and you won't be able to get free electricity in Power-ups.

Can I join Power-ups with smart tariffs like Intelligent Octopus?


You can still join in. Your Intelligent Octopus schedule won’t automatically change to include Power-ups, so if you want to charge your car during the Power-up you’ll need to boost and end the charge yourself.

That's important, as you'll be charged at peak rate if you keep boosting after the Power-up ends!

Cars on Intelligent Octopus are already part of grid balancing initiatives. Because you’re already getting the cash benefit of using energy flexibly, some networks won’t cover the cost of your free power Power-ups. We’re happy to include you for now, but at any time, we could decide to change how Intelligent drivers can join in.

Can I get Power-ups if I have an export tariff?


Yes, customers who generate and export electricity (via solar panels, for example) can take part in Power-ups.

We’re only able to make any grid electricity you use free during the Power-up — there’ll be no change to your export price.

Will I be able to track my progress through the app and dashboard?


Power-ups is brand new, and we’re starting it small. There’ll be no specific progress page or app.

We’ll email you to let you know how you’re doing every few weeks. As Power-ups grows, this might change!

How long will Power-ups run for?


We’ll offer it in UKPN areas in South East & East England for at least the next year (ie to August 2024).

We plan to work with other network operators on Power-ups as soon as we can, and the agreements we have with each operator will all be a bit different. Power-ups in your area might stop in a year, just as they start up in another area. We’ll give you plenty of notice if Power-ups are ending for you soon.

Terms & Conditions for Octopus Power-ups

These Terms and Conditions apply to the Octopus Energy Power-ups service (the “Service”). By entering the Service, you agree to be bound by the following Terms and Conditions:

  1. The Service will be run by Octopus Energy Limited, a company registered in England and Wales with registered number 09263424 and registered office UK House, 5th Floor, 164-182 Oxford St, London W1D 1NN (“Octopus Energy”, “we”, “us”).
  2. These terms and conditions, together with any specific rules set out in any communications relating to the Service, are the Service rules (“Rules”) and apply to this Service. By entering this Service, you are agreeing to be bound by these Rules and any other applicable instructions provided to you by us.
  3. Octopus Energy reserves the right to cancel or amend the Service and/or the Rules without prior notice. Any changes will be posted on our website.
  4. In the event of any dispute regarding any aspect of the Service, the decision of Octopus Energy shall be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  5. These Service terms and conditions are separate and in addition to the terms and conditions for the supply of gas and electricity that you will have with Octopus Energy and will not affect your rights and obligations under those terms.

    Service Participation
  6. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this Service. Entrants must be 18 or over. Only residents of Great Britain are eligible to sign up to Octopus Energy and take part in the Service.
  7. To be eligible for the Service, you must:
    1. At all times comply with these Terms & Conditions;
    2. be a current electricity customer of Octopus Energy
    3. be located in an network congestion management zone for which Octopus is energy is contracted for demand turn up services
    4. have a working electricity smart meter which has been sending us meter readings on a half hourly basis at least 80% of the time for the last consecutive 20 days at the date we assess your application
    5. Register into the Service by completing the form on the Service landing page at octopus.energy/power-ups
    6. Consent to Octopus Energy committing you to participate in network congestion management services on your behalf subject to the network operators standard terms and conditions
    7. not be taking part in contracted network congestion management services to a network operator at the same address with another provider
    8. have consented to, and not remove your consent to, giving us half-hourly meter reads
  8. For the purpose of these terms, references to a ‘network operator’ is the organisation licensed by Ofgem with a distribution licence for the purpose of distributing electricity or the electricity system operator for Great Britain (currently National Grid ESO).
  9. The number of Power-ups received will vary by location, there is no guarantee as to number of Power-ups and no upper or lower limit. Customers will be able to decide which events they participate in. Prior to each Power-up, we will send you a notification of the Power-up window, if you ‘opt-in’ to the Power-up you will receive a credit on your bill equal to the cost of any electricity used during the Power-up (the “Incentive”).
  10. To be eligible for the Incentive, you must opt-in to the Power-up before the deadline as we may specify in our notice to you, or if no deadline is specified before the relevant Power-up begins.
  11. You will be paid the Incentive for each half-hour of the Power-up. We will use our reasonable endeavours to credit your account within 14 business days of each Power-up.
  12. In the event that we’re unable to pull your meter readings to calculate your usage from any of the Power-ups, we’ll work it out using our reasonable estimate based on an average across all Service participants. If at any point throughout the Service you are no longer eligible under Clause 2. (c), we reserve the right to remove you from the Service.
  13. If your smart meter becomes disconnected or you move house, we reserve the right to remove you from the Service.
  14. If you are one of our Smart Tariff customers or are part of any of our Smart Meter trials, we reserve the right to remove you from the Service at any point.
  15. By entering the Service, you warrant that all information submitted by you is true, current and complete. If any information you submit is found to be fraudulent or incorrectly completed or if Octopus Energy has reasonable grounds to believe that you have breached any of the Rules, Octopus Energy reserves the right to disqualify you from the Service. We may also disqualify you from participating in this Service if you have not paid your energy supply charges when due.
  16. Octopus Energy will not be liable to reimburse any expenses incurred with entering the Service.
  17. If at any point you wish to opt-out of the Service, please email hello@octopus.energy and we will remove you, please allow a minimum of 14 business days from sending your opt-out email for our records to be updated.

    Data Protection and Publicity
  18. Octopus Energy’s privacy policy shall apply to any data collected in connection with this Service and can be found on our website at http://octopus.energy/privacy.
  19. Octopus Energy will share customers’ Meter Point Administration Numbers with network operators to register customers in the service and allocate payment to individual customers. Octopus Energy will provide the network operator with half hourly electricity consumption and baseline data. In rare cases, the network operator may request detailed half hourly data around the events to audit performance and payment, which may include consumption data on an individual customer basis. By entering the Service you agree to your information being shared with the network operator for this purpose.
  20. Octopus Energy in its sole discretion reserves the right to withdraw or vary the Rules and/or any offer made in connection with them in order to comply with the decision of any relevant judicial or regulatory body and shall not be held liable to any entrant for doing so. Such changes shall be published on our website at octopus.energy/power-ups

Hey I'm Constantine, welcome to Octopus Energy!