An offer you can’t reFUSE: Octopus Energy makes switching to heat pumps easier with simultaneous network upgrade
- Octopus Energy and UK Power Networks together created a new process to enable fuse upgrades alongside heat pump installations
- Scheme has already been expanded to EV charger fuse upgrades
- Partners call on other Distribution Network Operators (DNO) to fast follow and make fuse upgrades available by accredited suppliers countrywide
London 23rd February 2023 - Octopus Energy, the UK’s third largest energy supplier, together with the largest distribution network operator UK Power Networks (UKPN) has developed a new process to speed up fuse upgrades for heat pumps.
Octopus Energy customers who have decided to get a heat pump will now be able to have their new heating device installed at the same time as the fuse upgrade is performed in their home.
As part of the pilot scheme, UKPN trained dozens of Octopus Energy engineers to perform fuse upgrades alongside heat pump installations on their network. This marks the first time an accredited energy supplier is allowed to perform fuse upgrades, a task traditionally performed by DNOs, in the UK.
The new process drastically reduces the effort for customers through reduced handoffs and reduces the overall time to get their Low Carbon Technology working, positively affecting millions of customers and helping to speed up the rollout of heat pumps across the UK.
The trial ran from February 2022 to February 2023 and was such a success that it is now being rolled out for electric vehicle charger fuse upgrades too.
Households often need a supply upgrade when switching to heat pumps or electric cars as they require more power being directed to their property. These upgrades have historically been managed by the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) and in certain parts of the country can take up to 30 days to install.
The partners are calling on all other DNOs and suppliers to input similar processes, whereby simple supply upgrades can be delivered by accredited suppliers at the same time as the installation visits, making them quicker, easier and allowing customers to go green faster than ever before.
John Szymik, CEO of Octopus Energy Services, commented: “By carrying out fuse upgrades at the same time as EV chargers and heat pumps, Octopus has not only saved homeowners time, but opened up a whole new world of possibilities for those who are itching to switch to green transport and heat.
“UK Power Networks has shown vision through initiating this project and worked closely with us to prove this can be done in a compliant and safe way. We would like to see more suppliers and DNOs to follow in our footsteps to make sure houses across the country have the means to decarbonise quickly and easily. This is the best way to wean ourselves off gas for good.”
Ian Cameron, Director of Customer Service and Innovation at UK Power Networks said: “We want to make it as easy as possible for people to switch to a heat pump, and training Octopus engineers means they can get it done there and then when the heat is needed, quickly and safely. Collaboration across the industry is key for the UK to achieve its Net Zero ambitions.”
Chris from Bedfordshire, who had one of the first fuse installations from Octopus Energy, commented: "We're delighted to have had our fuse upgraded by Octopus. It was a super fast and easy process and allowed us to make the switch to green heating. We already have solar at our home and an electric car, and so having a heat pump will help complete the set - doing our bit to reach net zero and save some cash on heating costs.”
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About Octopus Energy Group
Octopus Energy Group is a global energy tech pioneer, launched in 2016 to use technology to unlock a customer focused and affordable green energy revolution. It is part of Octopus Group, which is a certified BCorp. With operations in 19 countries, Octopus Energy Group's mission is going global.
Octopus’s domestic energy arm already serves 4.9 million customers with cheaper greener power, through Octopus Energy, Bulb, Affect Energy, Ebico, London Power and Co-op Energy. Octopus Electric Vehicles is helping make clean transport cheaper and easier, and Octopus Energy Services is bringing smart products to thousands of homes. Octopus Energy Generation is one of Europe’s largest investors in renewable energy, managing a nearly £6 billion portfolio of renewable energy assets throughout the continent.
All of these are made possible by Octopus’s tech arm, Kraken Technologies, which offers a proprietary, in-house platform based on advanced data and machine learning capabilities, Kraken automates much of the energy supply chain to allow outstanding service and efficiency as the world transitions to a decentralised, decarbonised energy system. This technology has been licensed to support 30 million customer accounts worldwide, through deals with EDF Energy, Good Energy, E.ON energy and Origin Energy.
In December 2021, Octopus Energy Group was valued at approximately $5 billion following investments from Generation Investment Management and Canada Pensions Plan Investments Board. Both investors back businesses that drive sustainability, promote green energy and tackle climate change. It was the company’s third major investment round since launching to the market.
For more information, check out our website.
About UK Power Networks
UK Power Networks is the country’s biggest electricity distributor, making sure the lights stay on for more than eight million homes and businesses across London, the South East and the East of England.
Network operators aren’t the same as energy suppliers; network operators manage local power lines and substations, while energy suppliers sell the electricity that runs through the power lines.
UK Power Networks continues to be listed in the Top 25 Best Big Companies to Work For, and made industry history by becoming first company to win Utility of the Year two years running.
The company invests more than £600 million in its electricity networks every year, offers extra help to vulnerable customers at times of need, and is undertaking trials to ensure that electricity networks support the transition to a low carbon future. It also moves cables and connects new electricity supplies. If you have a power cut ring 105, see www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk or tweet us @UKPowerNetworks
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