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Octopus Energy acquires Upside Energy as it moves to open Manchester tech hub

Image: Octopus Energy.

Image: Octopus Energy.

Octopus Energy has acquired energy software company Upside Energy, establishing a new tech hub in Manchester in a move to make the UK the ‘Silicon Valley of Energy’.

Upside Energy uses a cloud-based platform to connect clean energy technologies such as electric vehicles (EVs), heat pumps and batteries, allowing them to be managed to match real-time energy demand and supply.

This helps to balance the grid and enables customers to benefit from cheaper and greener electricity. In September for example, the Manchester-based company became the first to integrate battery assets into operational metering for the Balancing Mechanism, easing the path for smaller battery asset operators.

A spokesperson for Octopus Energy said the supplier was already a “leader in the world of dynamic energy pricing”.

“Combining this power with Upside Energy's industry-leading data science and AI expertise, we are now able to offer customers unique energy solutions which can significantly reduce energy bills without compromising on comfort. Our new technology optimises the energy use of devices such as EVs or heat pumps automatically to times when energy is cheaper or greener, so it has literally never been easier to save money on your energy bills."

According to Octopus Energy, Upside has established an impressive customer base with both utilities and asset owners across the energy industry, which it plans to build on whilst rapidly expanding its capabilities internationally.

Greg Jackson, CEO and founder of Octopus Energy Group, added that he was “hugely impressed by Upside’s team and efforts in building a deep-tech platform that does fantastic things with real-time energy, connected home devices, and renewables".

“Forward-thinking businesses like Upside are one of the reasons why I’m convinced that we can make the UK the ‘Silicon Valley of Energy’. We’re delighted to welcome these brilliant minds into our team to drive the green EnTech revolution here in the UK and abroad.”

The technology innovation centre was first announced during a visit by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak to Octopus’s London office at the beginning of October. During this visit, the company announced its intention to create 1,000 jobs across four sites in the UK.

The centre will help develop smart grid technologies that will allow the UK to transition to a green energy system, with electrified transport and heat.

"Octopus already has regional centres of excellence in Brighton, Warwick and Leicester,” added the spokesperson. “Each of them have grown significantly over the past few years. We plan to do the same with our team in Manchester, building it into a world-leading centre of excellence for energy technology."

The acquisition of Upside follows Octopus Energy acquiring Silicon Valley-based startup Evolve Energy in September for $5 million (£3.9 million), a move that allowed the company to move into the US market.

Upside Energy CEO Devrim Celal said he was really excited to become part of the Octopus Energy Group, and the opportunities the move will bring.

“We are joining forces with a like-minded team who share our ambitions to play a major role in achieving the transition to a net zero world. Together, we have the opportunity to drive global growth and continue to develop our brilliant team to solve the complex challenges ahead.”

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