Octopus Energy and Centre for Net Zero Announce Global Research Project to Improve Understandings of the Role of the Consumer in the Future Flexibility of the Energy System

·4 min read

Led by Peter Cramton, researchers from The University of Maryland and The University of Cologne, and Centre for Net Zero will use real-world data from Octopus Energy to compare household responses to dynamic energy prices in the US & the UK

HOUSTON, July 26, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Centre for Net Zero, the research firm focused on clean energy and decarbonization projects and backed by Octopus Energy Group, today announced a global collaboration with leading researchers from The University of Maryland and The University of Cologne, led by eminent economist Peter Cramton.

Drawing upon smart meter and time-of-use tariff data from Octopus Energy customers in Texas and the UK, Centre for Net Zero, Cramton and his research team will examine consumer price responsiveness under different electricity market conditions and compare and contrast insights from Texas and the UK.

The research will deliver an improved understanding of how different households adapt their energy use in response to wholesale price signals - and how Texans can leverage these insights to reform regulation of energy retail and shape energy products that both suit customers and support the decarbonisation of the grid. Public adoption of new technologies, like electric vehicles, heat pumps and smart thermostats, offers a huge opportunity to create new sources of flexibility. The research will seek to highlight the benefits to consumers, networks and energy providers of innovation in retail, such as smart energy tariffs.

The findings of the research will feed into Centre for Net Zero’s ongoing work to develop the world’s most comprehensive, openly accessible agent-based model (ABM) of the energy transition, simulating the behaviour of households within a people-centred energy transition. The research will also provide valuable insights for Octopus Energy as the team expands access to affordable and renewable energy across the state of Texas.

The outputs from the first phase of research are expected to be shared ahead of COP26, the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference, later this year. These will inform the next stages of the research, which will likely involve additional global research partners.

Michael Lee, CEO of Octopus Energy comments: "With weather extremes reaching new heights across the globe, the vulnerability of the current power system is becoming increasingly apparent. In preparation for record-breaking temperatures and high energy usage that come with it, this research project will serve as a way to better understand how we can make modern energy markets work effectively and serve our customers in the most meaningful way."

Lucy Yu, CEO of Centre for Net Zero comments: "We’re delighted to announce this partnership with Peter Cramton and his team of globally leading researchers. This research will advance our mission to realise faster, fairer and more affordable routes to net zero. We know that data and digital innovation combined with low carbon technologies can transform energy markets as we seek to rapidly decarbonise. This research will deepen our understanding of the potential for more flexible energy consumption from different types of households, and what this means for a just transition. We look forward to sharing our findings as we build up to COP26 later this year and the first public code release of our agent-based model (ABM), which focuses on a people-centred simulation of the energy transition’."

Peter Cramton comments: "Our research team welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with Centre for Net Zero. Addressing climate change requires decarbonizing electricity. To decarbonize electricity we must engage consumers in adapting demands in response to energy costs, which vary over time and location. Our research will help us understand how innovation in technology and rate plans can benefit consumers in the transition to renewable energy."

About Centre for Net Zero

Centre for Net Zero is an open research lab powered by Octopus Energy. Founded in 2021, its mission is to realise faster, fairer and more affordable paths to net zero. Its research is based on real world data-driven modelling and simulation of a people-centred energy transition, to provide the critical insights that policy makers need to take bold climate action. In addition to research, the Centre is developing a platform approach to share its models and data, making them openly available for a community of global researchers and policymakers to adapt and localise for other territories - helping the world work towards a brighter, greener future.

About Octopus Energy Group

Octopus Energy Group is a technology-driven, renewable energy retailer, directly supplying over 2 million customers globally with 100% green electricity at a cheaper price and with a focus on incredible customer service. Founded five years ago as a global energy retailer, Octopus Energy entered the U.S. market in 2020, starting in Texas, forming Octopus Energy U.S. and fueling the company’s global expansion. Octopus Energy is valued at over $2 billion and is one of energy-tech’s fastest-growing private companies. To learn more, visit: www.octopusenergy.com

About Peter Cramton

Since 1983, Peter Cramton has conducted research on auctions and market design, with a focus on the design of complex markets to best achieve goals. Applications include electricity markets, financial markets, and auctions for radio spectrum. He has introduced innovative market designs in many industries and is working with regulators and system operators in the UK and the US on electricity market design.

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Contacts

Pakelody Cheam
OctopusEnergy@berlinrosen.com

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