Octopus Energy is set to pay its UK customers to use electricity during the day as a result of an increase in solar and wind energy production, according to the Guardian.
Octopus customers currently on the agile tariff will earn between 0.22p and 3.3p per kWh of electricity consumed on Sunday, between 11 am and 4 pm.
These negative electricity prices – usually implemented at night, when consumption is at its lowest – were introduced due to the coronavirus lockdown and the favourable weather that led to a power surplus.
Customers reacted favourably to the company’s decision. One Twitter user said: “Our grid is so clean today that we will being paid to use electric on Octopus Energy Agile. Free fuel for the EV in our driveway”
— Cleevely Ev (@cleevelyev) April 5, 2020
Another commented: “First time I’ve seen negative prices during the day from Octopus energy. Going to be making bread, doing washing and cycling battery to take advantage!”
First time I’ve seen negative prices during the day from @octopus_energy.
Going to be making bread, doing washing and cycling battery to take advantage! pic.twitter.com/fwCbxMA8up
— Jeff Hardy (@jjeh102) April 5, 2020
As a result of the country-wide lockdown enforced by the UK Government to fight the global Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, demand for electricity in the UK has fallen by up to 13%.
The sunny, breezy weather meant clean energy sources produced more than half of the country’s total energy on Sunday. The Guardian reported that wind power constituted 40% of the energy produced in the UK, while solar power made up 20%. Fossil fuels produced 15% of electricity while coal made up 1.1%.
The country-wide coronavirus lockdown has also had a significant impact on markets, with electricity prices dropping to the lowest in 10 years.