An energy company in the United Kingdom is helping out those wanting to be energy-conscious by nearly paying customers to use electricity when the demand is low.
Octopus Energy introduced a new tariff which tracks electricity prices. This gives customers an edge during times of low demand like in the spring and summer or overnight because there's nowhere for the energy to go, as The Energyst noted. Throughout Britain, when more electricity gets generated than consumed, wholesale prices drop drastically and suppliers are paid to remove energy from the grid.
Octopus is a domestic energy supplier to the UK, but the company's CEO Greg Jackson said that the company could possibly include non-domestic customers taking on the tariff.
"If any business would like to sign up too we'd love to hear from them," he said. "This tariff is groundbreaking. By reflecting the real cost of energy on the grid every half-hour, customers can capitalise on times when prices are especially low. Indeed, if the wholesale price goes below 0p/kWh, Octopus Agile will actually pay you to take the unwanted energy from the grid. As renewable energy production grows, these events are only going to become more frequent."
For the Octopus deal, customers will get a text or email alert or a notice through an app for their phones. Octopus will also cap the maximum amount that customers will be charged to 35 p/kWh. However, Jackson said most customers will benefit as wholesale costs are normally below the standard price of energy 80 percent of the time. And how frequently will customers be charged that higher amount when demand surpasses supply? Octopus estimates just 0.1 percent of the time.
And, if someone decides to opt out of the tariff entirely because they want to leave the infrastructure or they don't see it as a long-term solution, Octopus will allow them to leave the tariff without incurring any sort of penalty. All it takes to sign up is a smart meter.