Octopus Energy Reading time: 5 mins

Minister celebrates UK’s advance in smart energy innovation

24 May 2018

Octopus Energy HackDay sets the future of energy, now

  • 22 leading tech innovators from brands including Tesla, Toshiba and National Grid joined Octopus Energy on a cross-industry HackDay to develop the next generation of smart energy technology, enabled by the ‘Agile Octopus’ tariff
  • The Agile Octopus smart ‘time of use tariff’ is a world first, and a crucial step on the path to a smart and flexible UK energy system, which could help save the UK £40bn by 2050 by avoiding costly infrastructure upgrades
  • Through the open Agile Octopus Platform third-party systems or devices can be integrated freely, allowing devices from radiators to washing machines, electric vehicles to water heaters, to automatically optimise for when prices are cheapest, with zero hassle for customers
  • Energy Minister, Claire Perry, endorses the day’s innovation and Octopus Energy’s “pioneering” work

Octopus Energy, the ground-breaking supplier behind the world’s first ever smart, green tariff, Agile Octopus, today opened up its Agile Octopus Platform and ushered in a wave of energy innovation.

22 businesses from the most cutting-edge companies in energy, transport and consumer appliances joined Octopus Energy for a special HackDay, using Octopus’s Agile tariff, which publishes all the data third-party systems need to make their products respond in real time to fluctuating energy prices.

This is a world first, putting the UK at the forefront of the global drive to smart grids.

Teams of developers integrated their products with the unique Agile Octopus Platform, which uses dynamic pricing to pass on savings to customers when low demand means there is cheap renewable electricity on the grid.

“Alexa – charge my car when it’s cheapest” is now a reality for UK electric vehicle owners. As is Alexa letting you know what it’ll save to do your washing at 8pm rather than 6pm.

At the Agile Octopus HackDay:

Technically Interesting Winner:

Start-up Ecopush integrated with Amazon Alexa to allow customers to ask “Alexa, turn on my tumble dryer when it’s cheapest” (or greenest, or right now).  By an easy retrofit of a robotic push button that connects remotely through your phone, existing ‘dumb’ appliances can be converted into a smart device at a very low cost.

Biggest Impact Winner:

Government-backed Energy Systems Catapult thought about challenges within social housing and designed a fuel switching technology with hybrid heat pumps using the Agile Octopus API, offering the most affordable way of heating a home.

National Grid Ventures focused on a real-world solution by taking the Agile Octopus API and translating it into an easy programming language called NODE-Red which means that non-coders can easily play around with, and benefit from, this new technology.

British business Myenergi created an app that linked its proprietary technology with the Agile Octopus Platform to charge your electric car or heat your water on a varying load basis so power was pulled from the grid or from microgen, depending on price and usage.

Coding experts Gen Game used gamification to create an interactive visualisation of the Agile Octopus tariff.

The Agile Octopus HackDay was fast-paced and competitive – with two judging categories; Biggest Impact and Technically Interesting. The winners were crowned by a panel of industry judges including James Heappey MP, Kit Bradshaw – Sky News Tech Correspondent, Mark Tapscott – Product Manager at Tesla, Graeme Cooper – Director of Electric Vehicles at National Grid and Jo-Jo Hubbard – CEO of Blockchain pioneers Electron.

Energy Minister Claire Perry commented on the innovation:

“I’m delighted that the Agile Octopus HackDay brought brilliant developer teams together to explore and showcase innovative applications for smarter energy use.

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about the huge potential of smart meters to transform the way we use energy in our homes, saving money and handing control back to families. The ideas brought to life at the HackDay, made possible through Octopus’ innovative time of use tariff, bring to life the extraordinary potential of the smart meter roll-out to connect across electric vehicles, smart appliances and smarter homes products to deliver real savings to customers hand in hand with improved comfort and convenience.

With solutions like these and the pioneering work of retailers like Octopus, the UK can continue to lead the world in the transition to a clean, smart energy future.”

Octopus Energy CEO Greg Jackson said:

“Congratulations go to the winning teams – Energy Systems Catapult for Biggest Impact, and Ecopush for Technically Interesting, but we’ve been blown away by the innovation by teams from Moixa, National Grid, nCube, Tado and the Universities of Birmingham, Imperial and UCL.

As well as being an incredible step forward for the real-time application of smart meter functionality in UK homes, the developers’ work today with our Agile Octopus tariff offers a breakthrough moment for electric vehicles, IOT and indeed any other industry who may be interested in products around pricing fluctuations.

Smart grid technology is critical to reduce global carbon emissions, and Octopus is demonstrably putting the UK at the forefront of this by connecting smart energy with top technology companies.”


 Notes to editors:

 Competing teams

Accenture, Arenko, Baringa Partners, Birmingham University, Ecopush, Energy Systems Catapult, Esendex, Fleetdrive, Gen Game, HomeServe, JaguarLandRover, Low Carbon, Moixa, My Energi, National Grid, Navigant, nCube Home, Passive Systems, Pod Point, Powervault, Rentify, Skyrad, Tado, Telensa, UK Power Networks

 About Agile Octopus

Agile Octopus charges customers a different price for their electricity every half an hour. When demand for electricity is high on the grid, their prices are higher.  When demand is low, their prices are lower.

Agile Octopus publishes the next day’s prices at 4pm daily.  Merely by changing the times power-hungry appliances are used, electricity bills could be reduced by as much as 20%.

This is the world’s first energy service with prices varying with real-time energy costs, and is a crucial step on the path to cleaner energy, and saving billions in “grid reinforcement” by spreading the load to quiet times.

Agile Octopus is available to all Octopus customers with a smart electricity meter installed in their home. Find out more here: https://octopus.energy/agile

About the Agile Octopus API ( Application Programming Interface)

The Octopus Energy API enables developers to read both current and historical energy prices, opening up the world of the smart grid, allowing devices to optimise time of use and to provide deep insight and analysis.

For journalists in their professional capacity only. Issued by Octopus Energy Ltd. Registered office: 33 Holborn, London, EC1N 2HT. Registered in England and Wales No. 09263424. Issued: May 2018.