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Octopus Energy’s Power-ups Scheme Successful

Octopus Energy logo on a rendered badge against a pink backdrop
Author: Samuel Beckingham
Updated: Sep 13, 2023
4 minutes read

Do you want to get paid for using electricity? Thanks to Octopus Power-ups, you can! At times of peak energy generation when demand is low, any unused electricity can go to waste. It costs more to do this and it increases the use in other forms of energy generation that are quick to react to shifts in demand, like fossil fuels. By signing up to Octopus Power-ups, you get paid for the electricity you use.

What Has Octopus Energy Done?

In the middle of August, some of Octopus Energy’s customers were paid more than £17, while others received at least £4.80. Of the 25,000 people that signed up to the event, 16,000 were able to take part. One of the main drawbacks is that this scheme is only available in a limited number of postcodes. When excess renewable electricity is available, anyone signed up to the scheme will be notified when they can receive money for using electricity.

Usually told a day in advance, customers are informed of a two hour window in which they can use as much electricity as possible. Simply shifting any heavy electricity demand to this time period meant that consumers were then paid for making use of the energy that would otherwise be wasted. Octopus Energy customers are then given a refund on the typical cost of the energy that they used.

How Does the Power-ups Scheme Work?

Thanks to a partnership with UK Power Networks, Octopus Energy is able to provide this service at specific times in specific areas. This means that homes in the South East and the East of England are currently the only postcodes able to sign up. However, you are able to register your interest with the energy supplier to showcase how much local demand there is in the scheme.

Octopus Energy is talking to other power distribution networks to try and implement a nationwide Power-ups scheme. If demand is high in other areas of the UK, it could be sooner that you can receive a similar scheme in your area. As it stands, they are looking to run the current scheme for the next year and wish to keep it going in future.

The energy supplier is a pioneer in energy saving measures and renewable technology, having led the National Grid’s Demand Flexibility Service last year. This had the effect of diverting £5.4 million to 700,000 UK households rather than to gas plants. As it was so successful, other energy suppliers ran their own schemes, rewarding customers to lower electricity consumption at peak times.

How Do I Sign Up to the Power-ups Scheme?

There are three things you need to qualify for the Power-ups scheme:

  • Live in a qualifying postcode in the South East or East of England

  • Be an Octopus Energy customer

  • Have a smart electricity meter

Octopus Energy invited all of its eligible customers via email, but you can sign up on their website. Alternatively, you can register your interest for a different part of the UK. When an update is available and another network operator is available, you will be notified.

If you don’t currently have a smart meter, your energy supplier can install this for you for free. This helps you monitor how much energy you’re using and allows your supplier to give you accurate bills. Without one, Octopus won’t be able to refund you how much energy you’ve used in their Power-ups scheme.

How Can I Get Free Energy?

You may not live in an eligible postcode, but even if you do there are ways in which you can make use of free electricity without using the Power-ups scheme. By installing solar panels and a solar battery, you can make use of any surplus energy you generate at home.

Find out how a solar battery can help you.