Energy Company Wakes You up When Electricity is Cheap

By Gary Cutlack on at

A new energy provider is promising to pass on the minute-by-minute fluctuations of the wholesale electricity market to the likes of us, meaning we'll be able to put the washing machine on and toast the week's toast at the most efficient time -- and perhaps even receive a rebate for doing so.

That's the promise being made by Octopus Energy at least, which says its Agile plan's system passes on the savings from cheap power created by excess generation capacity to subscribers, by alerting them to the best/cheapest time to plug everything in and charge/heat everything up. The near-live capacity alerts mean users might even get paid to burn up excess energy, perhaps at night or on sunny and windy days when the renewables are firing at full pelt and the electricity grid pays companies to take power out of the system.

They call this Plunge Pricing, and Octopus's boss Greg Jackson thinks it's well exciting. He said: "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 ever, it's only electricity that's covered. Gas is gas and you will still feel sad and slightly poorer every time you switch the heating on. [Octopus via Guardian]