The Electrified Economy Presents a Unique Challenge
Low-carbon consumer devices are set to be an essential part of the world’s renewable energy transition. As the globe works to achieve net-zero, it’s predicted that electric vehicles will make up two thirds of new cars on the road by the year 2040, and in the US, China, and Europe, governments are heavily incentivizing the purchase and production of electric vehicles, heat pumps and storage systems.
The electricity for these assets is increasingly powered by renewable energy resources like solar and wind. In fact, electricity from wind and solar PV is expected to more than double in the next five years, providing almost 20% of global power generation in 2027. These changes are welcome progress toward a greener future, but the inevitable surge in electricity demand and growing reliance on renewables presents a major challenge for the world’s electrical grids. Renewable energy is intermittent and variable, meaning renewable energy supply might not always meet the demands of consumers, presenting major operational challenges for utility companies.
Traditional Grids are Unprepared
Existing grids weren’t built to handle millions of individual devices distributed over a network: as demand increases, grids are suffering higher incidents of blackouts, system failures, and other emergencies. To prepare for changes in the industry, we need to build a grid that’s flexible and resilient, capable of dynamically managing millions of energy assets all over the world and in real time. But modifying grids to cope with demand is expensive for utilities, who are searching for affordable ways to keep the grid safe, reliable, and responsive to changing consumer needs.
The Kraken Solution
At Kraken, we’ve combined asset flexibility management with direct customer engagement to build Intelligent Octopus (IO), the world’s first dynamic, dispatchable tariff. IO automatically optimizes the scheduling of customers’ low-carbon devices, using a bespoke tariff to balance supply and demand.
Here’s how it works: A customer plugs in their device (for example, an electric vehicle) and sets their target state of charge (say, 85%) and the time they need their device ready by (e.g., 8 am the next day, so they can drive to the office). Then, with no additional effort from the customer, Kraken considers a series of variables – like grid demand throughout the charge period; the EV’s eligibility for flexible service contracts; and the customer’s charge requirements – to schedule charging.
By optimising scheduling when grid demand is low, IO stabilizes the grid and saves customers money. Moreover, allowing customers to choose when they need their devices charged promotes usage transparency and develops customer trust, creating a more informed and engaged customer base.
Intelligent Octopus allows utilities to fully integrate billing for their customers. Because consumption from low-carbon devices is captured and billed through Kraken’s CRM platform, a single tariff and single bill can cover any combination of controllable and non-controllable household consumption.
Kraken’s intuitive, industry-specific platform provides ease and transparency for customers and utilities. Both the customer and the utility customer service teams have access to historical charging insights on the customer’s energy account. This allows agents to handle queries across multiple tariffs and low-carbon technologies directly on the Kraken platform. The customer can also amend the charging parameters or schedule on the app if they wish.
How Can You Benefit?
The green revolution provides a unique challenge – but also a unique opportunity – for utility companies across the globe. Utilities will need to prepare the grid to respond to increased electricity demand. But they also have the chance to pursue lifelong customers – customers who will go on to invest in more and more low carbon devices as the world’s energy landscape continues to change.
Transparent, customer-focused solutions like Kraken are essential for cultivating customer trust and cooperation when it comes to balancing the grid. Customers are more inclined to allow utilities to manage their devices if they are ensured that they are able to use their devices when they need them. Kraken makes this simple to deploy, and easy to understand. And by making these solutions easy and cost-effective, energy companies can retain these engaged customers across a variety of low-carbon devices
Kraken offers a best-in-class end-to-end platform for energy supply, and is operating in the UK, Japan, US, New Zealand, Australia and most of mainland Europe. Kraken’s proprietary platform is contracted to serve over 40 million energy accounts across the globe through licensees and its partnership with Octopus Energy, where it is responsible for the acquisition and management of 4.9 million retail customers and over 25,000 business customers (the largest of which is Arsenal FC).
Based on advanced data and machine learning capabilities, Kraken automates much of the energy supply chain to allow outstanding service and efficiency as the world transitions to a decentralized, decarbonized energy system.
Kraken is part of energy technology B-corp Octopus Energy Group, and was developed to enable third parties to take advantage of the technologies developed by Octopus Energy. It has already been licensed by major global players including Origin Energy, E.ON, Tokyo Gas and EDF.
After multiple deals with renewable energy organisations, the company remains on track to reach 100 million energy accounts by 2027.