This article first appeared in our winter ’19 issue of MyGreenPod Magazine, The Love Revolution, distributed with the Guardian on 22 February 2018. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox
Octopus Energy is a new breed of energy supplier – an energy tech company that, thanks to its incredibly agile offering, has brought a new and refreshing perspective to a tired industry. Its new digital customer service platforms mean that, despite its name, Octopus has an undeniably human presence.
The beauty of what Octopus does stems directly from its agility; Octopus Energy Business Solutions can build tariffs to tie in with a particular UK location or business type, making it possible for all sizes of business to take the leap to 100% renewable electricity. For Octopus, it’s all about building a story that inspires the next generation, and making the planet part of that story.
The story of growth
Octopus Energy supplies energy across the whole of the UK, and its expansion plans have always extended beyond London. Its first few years saw impressive growth: by May 2017 Octopus Energy’s Soho office was bursting at the seams; with around 100,000 customers being served by 30 energy specialists, it was time to open a second site.
Leicester – for its big population of new graduates, influx of successful startups and easy commute from St Pancras – was selected as a great place to base a second office.
Tentacles IN Leicester
Through a collaboration with local business, Octopus Energy has added impetus to Leicester’s relaunch – bringing new business and innovation, creating a hyper-local sustainability initiative and boosting the local economy by establishing a 250-person office in the city centre.
Today, Leicester is Octopus Energy’s second home, and the operational hub of its business. The relationship cultivated with local enterprise was so special that Octopus decided to develop a bespoke green energy tariff for SMEs in Leicestershire. Dubbed ‘Leicester Business Power’, the tariff brings 100% renewable electricity to local businesses. It’s generated from Seaton Road – a solar farm just a few miles from the city centre.
Octopus Energy has helped offset emissions with local tree planting; 2,000 trees were planted in communities around the UK in 2018. In Leicester in the past year alone, Octopus Energy has helped to offset 3.418 million kg of carbon across domestic and business activities.
KING RICHARD III
It seems fitting that the first client to sign over its annual electricity bill to Octopus Energy Business Solutions Leicester Business Power tariff is the award-winning King Richard III Visitor Centre.
The incredible 2012 discovery of Richard III’s grave under a Leicester Council car park (of all places) and subsequent international release of the documentary Richard III: The King in the Car Park – has seen tourists flock to the city.
Today, the legacy of this fascinating royal story is powered by 100% renewable electricity, from the centre’s 3D video shows to its educational workshops – simultaneously celebrating Leicester’s history and helping to set the vision for a greener future.
As a business, the centre is always looking for new ways to reduce its impact on the environment; with the energy now coming from renewable sources, this new partnership helps move closer to that goal. As an added bonus, the Leicester Business Power tariff has also reduced the King Richard III Visitor Centre’s costs by £1,000 per year.
Powered by local sunshine
Leicester Business Power champions affordable sustainability, maximising local solar generation and delivering its customer-first commitment to offer a second-to-none utilities experience at rates comparable with the leading ‘brown’ energy tariffs on the market – all with energy that’s kind to the planet.
What’s so special about Leicester Business Power is that it makes the effects of energy-conscious business decisions tangible. Businesses that go green with Octopus Energy receive tailored information about the amount of carbon that has been offset as a direct result of their switch.
Octopus Energy’s sustainability efforts in Leicester go beyond powering local businesses. As a key member of Leicester BID (Business Improvement District), it has a direct hand in local sustainability projects to reinforce the local impetus to go green and act sustainably.
Deeper community ties are also being forged through tree planting. In 2017, Octopus Energy pledged to plant 1,000 trees in schools around the UK, supporting the United Nations Environment Programme’s BreatheLife campaign. The initiative was kicked off at Leicester’s Spinney Hill Primary School, where the heavily concreted city-centre grounds were greened with a number of native broadleaf trees.