Octopus Energy doubles down on climate change fight with new research facility

Octopus Energy, the UK fast-growth disruptor which recently hit a $2bn valuation, launches the world’s first ‘entech’-led research organisation which will create models and policy recommendations for potential paths to a green energy future. 

The Octopus Centre for Net Zero (OCNZ), as the new London-based research facility will be known, will combine energy tech data, economic analysis and behavioural insights to develop the tools that policy makers and businesses around the world need to accelerate the uptake of clean technologies and green energy. Aiming to boost knowledge transfer between countries and industry leaders, OCNZ will make its technology publicly available to grow a global community of collaborators.

The research centre will bring together an unrivalled, interdisciplinary team of experts from data science, econometrics, behavioural science and climate policy to find answers to the most pressing issues in energy. Although funded by Octopus Energy, the OCNZ will be independent of Octopus Energy and have full autonomy over its work. Its initial research will focus on two of the UK’s most carbon heavy sectors, residential heating and transport, which together accounted for 53% of overall carbon emissions in 2019.

The OCNZ will be headed up by Lucy Yu, an accomplished business leader with 15 years of experience in building groundbreaking tech teams and advising governments and international organisations on policy issues. She was voted one of Financial Times Top 100 Most Influential BAME Leaders in Tech in 2019, and is an associate fellow at the Tony Blair Institute, where she researches public policy for cleantech and decarbonisation.

The OCNZ is the latest in a long line of initiatives of Octopus Energy to take climate and energy issues directly to government level, aiming to create real change within the industry and promote carbon neutrality. 

Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “The UK is leading the world in the green industrial revolution, from being the first major economy to commit to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 to setting ambitious targets in the Prime Minister’s Ten-Point-Plan and our Energy White Paper.  

“As we build back greener, private sector and business investment is going to be vital in helping us hit our targets and I look forward to seeing how the tools developed by the Octopus Centre for Net Zero support our efforts to tackle climate change.”

Lucy Yu, CEO of the Octopus Centre for Net Zero, comments: “The climate emergency is the biggest challenge of our lifetime, but good policies and investments can help decarbonise our planet without compromising quality of life. But no country can solve this crisis on their own. 

By sharing best practices, tools and models, we have a chance to speed up the much needed change and get us on the fast-track to net zero. I can’t wait to get started and bring together a team of experts that will drive the knowledge transfer between the energy industry and policy makers.”

Greg Jackson, CEO and founder of Octopus Energy, said: “Octopus is leading the tech-enabled green energy transition globally, and we have set up this centre of excellence to share what we’ve learned on our journey so far. We hope to be a trailblazer in this area and inspire other energy companies to follow suit.”

For more information on the Octopus Centre for Net Zero, please visit octopuszero.org.