Octopus Energy is the world's first energy company to pass onto consumers the benefits of negative tariffs when more energy is being produced than consumed. The aim is to increase consumption during off-peak periods to help balance energy grids, and stabilise the supply of renewables. It is part of the move towards a smarter grid.
In Octopus Energy's model, the tariffs are changed each half-hour, and so consumers will be notified by SMS of 'price plunges', and so encouraged to consume during these periods - providing the service of taking surplus energy off the grid, and reaping the rewards of negative tariffs.
This is a model that sees households become more active participants in balancing the grid, rather than merely passive consumers. It is a crucial step towards a smart grid that self-regulates, enabling renewables to overcome some of the barriers of storage and intermittency.