Oct 25, 2016

What is Octopus Energy?

2 min
Following the news that Octopus Energy is working alongside London-based

Following the news that Octopus Energy is working alongside London-based Arsenal football club, we take a deeper look at the company, what it does, and who’s in charge.

Octopus Energy was founded by Greg Jackson and is the UK's largest solar energy investor. It has now become Arsenal’s official UK energy partner. This change will mean that the Emirates Stadium (which seats over 60,000 people) will be powered by renewable energy. The energy company will receive branding rights for all of the domestic fixtures played at the Emirates in an attempt to widen the businesses reach.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Octopus Energy, who become our first official energy partner. This partnership with Octopus is a positive step towards improving our contribution to environmental sustainability. We will be working closely with them to develop renewable power supplies, as well as providing special offers for Arsenal fans in the UK. We look forward to supporting Octopus Energy in the growth of their business,” said Vinai Venkatesham, Chief Commercial Officer for Arsenal football club, speaking on the club’s website.

In 2011, Octopus Energy built its first solar generation plant. Since then, it has gone on to build over 150 solar farms throughout the United Kingdom, as well as another 66 projects across France.

The solar farms that Octopus Energy has funded generate more than 40 percent of all of the UK’s large scale solar. This is enough to power over a quarter of a million homes. The company has a solar farm in Tiverton in Devon that generates enough power for over 12,000 customers’ homes.

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May 13, 2021

All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only UK regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil

Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.

Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.

According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.

Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.

“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."

He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."

North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).

The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.

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