Free whizz: Octopus launches Power-ups, free energy when the sun shines and the wind blows

  • Octopus Energy and UK Power Networks unlock free energy when solar and wind generation is bountiful
  • Offer initially available for selected Octopus Energy customers in the South and East of England
  • Customers help the grid become greener, cheaper and more resilient
Power-ups banner_Landing page

10th August 2023, London, UK - Energy and technology company Octopus Energy has teamed up with UK Power Networks, the country's largest electricity distribution network operator, to offer households free energy to help the grid exploit excess renewable power.

Participating customers will get free electricity when there is excess electricity on the local grid from abundant renewables. Based on UK Power Networks’ forecasts, Octopus will send customers a notification of the times they can ‘Power-ups’ their homes for free a day in advance.

In recent years, the transmission grid has begun to face challenges of imbalance when energy supply exceeds demand (such as sunny or windy weather leading to excess renewably generated power). Innovative grid operators like UK Power Networks are currently looking into alternative means of balancing the grid, to avoid turning off these renewable generators during surplus.

Octopus has long championed a far better solution - unlock this energy to benefit customers, reduce consumption at other times, avoid wastage, stabilise the grid and most importantly put money back into customer’s pockets.

Last winter, Octopus spearheaded the first ‘demand response’ project ever run by National Grid’s Demand Flexibility Service (DFS). 700,000 Octopus Energy customers signed up to use less at times of stress on the grid - and diverted £5.4 million to UK householders rather than gas power plants.

Octopus and UK Power Networks also have a history in innovation. In 2019 the pair launched ‘Powerloop’, the first ever vehicle-to-grid (V2G) trial where participating customers were paid each time they discharged energy from their electric car back 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. 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.”

Customers interested in joining ‘Power-ups’ can check their eligibility and sign up here: Sign up opens on 9th August 2023 and dates/times of ‘Power-ups’ will vary.

Octopus Energy wants to work with networks across the UK on Power-ups, and customers can let us know if they want Power-ups in their local area here.


Notes to Editors:

Media contacts

Octopus Energy Press office

+44 2045308369

UK Power Networks press office

+44 3301 591712

About Octopus Energy Group

Octopus Energy is a global energy and technology group, driving the affordable, green energy system of the future. Its operations span 14 countries and the entire energy value chain. The group invests in, builds and flexibly manages renewable energy, operating a £6 billion portfolio of projects – one of Europe’s largest.

Octopus serves 5.4 million customers through its retail arm, and has licensed its advanced data and machine learning platform, Kraken, to support 30 million customer accounts worldwide through licensing deals with energy companies, including EDF, E.ON and Origin Energy.

Kraken enables Octopus to drive the electrification of heat and transport through smart tariffs and innovative cleantech. Backed by pension funds, investors and energy giants, Octopus Energy Group businesses deliver cheaper, greener energy and cutting-edge tech to countries and customers worldwide.

For more information, check out our website.

About UK Power Networks

UK Power Networks owns and runs the cables and substations which deliver electricity from the national grid to 8.5 million homes and businesses across London, the South East and East of England, serving approximately 20 million people.

As the country’s biggest electricity distributor, it has invested more than £6.4 billion in its electricity networks since 2011, focusing on safety, network reliability, sustainability and affordability by caring for vulnerable customers and keeping costs low.

It is a founder member of the Levelling up Coalition, sixth on the UK Inclusive Companies list as well as one of only 6% of companies worldwide to achieve Platinum Investor in People status.

If you have an issue with your power, there are many ways to get in touch including freephone 105 and @UKPowerNetworks

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