Bacteria covered in solar panels could produce renewable energy
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Octopus Energy has announced today that it will be adding solar panels to its catalogue of home energy tech — with the potential to “slash” their customers’ electricity bills. The company said that they are looking to make 5,000 installations in 2023, with the service to launch across the Midlands and the South first before going nationwide later this year. The new offering comes via the firm’s engineering arm — Octopus Energy Services — which already installs air-source heat pumps, electric vehicle chargers and smart meters. Octopus Energy have also said that the move into domestic photovoltaics will create nearly 200 new green jobs within their solar division across the country.
Alongside offering solar panel installations, Octopus customers will also be able to choose from a range of complementary solar batteries.
This will allow them to store the green energy that they produce and sell it to the grid as and when it suits them.
Furthermore, the firm says they are offering the UK’s highest-paying tariffs for exporting energy into the power network.
Octopus Energy explained: “Agile Outgoing links a customer’s payments to wholesale energy prices that day. It is the best value export tariff on the market.
Octopus Energy continued: “Between September 2021 and September 2022, customers on this tariff were paid £0.34 pence per kilowatt hour on average, with payments going up to £1.29 per kilowatt hour in the last year.
“Fixed Outgoing pays the best fixed-rate export prices in the country. Customers are paid £0.15 per kilowatt hour exported back to the grid.”
This, they said, is “three times more than any other energy supplier.
“Customers with solar panels and a solar battery who choose the Agile Outgoing tariff could save up to 90 percent on their electricity bills compared to customers on a standard variable tariff.”
This saving, they noted, does not include the initial cost of the solar panels and their installation.
Combining solar panels, solar batteries and heat pumps, Octopus Energy said, will even allow some households to become “Zero Bills” properties.
As the name Zero Bills, they explained, is an Octopus Energy certification that means that customers do not pay a single energy bill.
They explained: “This was trialled with an initial pilot with Ilke Homes in Essex, where 22 eligible homes are sold with the option of being ‘Zero Bills’.”
Octopus is looking to increase the number of Zero Bills homes to 10,000 by the end of the decade.
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Octopus Energy Services CEO John Szymik said that the firm has had success “in scaling and installing huge swatches of smart, green home energy tech”.
Given this, he added, “we are charming at the bit to begin installing the last piece of the puzzle — solar photovoltaic.
“If more homes in the UK produce clean, green solar energy, we will be able to accelerate the energy transition and bring down system prices for everybody by lowering system costs.
“In true Octopus style, we’ll focus on reducing solar installation times down to record levels, hoping to soon make solar panels affordable for everyone.”
More information can be found on the Octopus Energy website.
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