Octopus Energy and SP Energy Networks carry out home flexibility trial

A flexible energy trial completed by Octopus Energy and SP Energy Networks saw households earn up to £73 in energy by adapting usage when renewable energy was abundant.

Over 2,500 Octopus Energy customers across Dumfries and Galloway participated in the six-week trial and were directed to power up their usage when green energy supply was highest – households used 20MWh more energy across the six two-hour trial windows.

Households who increased their usage by more than 10% were credited back all the energy they had used during the two-hour timeframe. Those who used more than 100% extra were credited double the amount they had used. Participating customers were rewarded with an average of £5 of free energy, with some saving up to £73.

Home flexibility methods like this trial will help to balance the grid and bring down costs – in 2021 alone, Scottish energy bill payers paid £107m to onshore wind generators to shut down at times when there was too much power on the grid.

Rebecca Dibb-Simkin, Chief Marketing and Product Officer at Octopus Energy Group, said: “We have this amazing power grid which spans across the entire country, connecting every household and every generator in the UK. By tweaking how we consume power, we can make the most of every green electron generated in the UK and bring down costs for all.

“This trial was just the first step proving that people are happy to make small adjustments to help the grid and save cash. With a much larger campaign we would be able to really move the needle towards the flexible energy system we need for a greener future.”

Scott Mathieson, Network Planning & Regulation Director at SP Energy Networks, said: “This is the first time that a trial to shift electricity demand has been undertaken at this scale anywhere in the UK and it’s great to see it’s been such a success.

“It allowed maximum renewable energy generation to be absorbed locally and meant we could effectively manage the network at a local level to ensure the power of that clean green electricity was used to its full potential. It gave us real insight into how customers can respond and play an important role in helping shape our network management of the future. Our thanks to everyone who took part.”

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