Octopus Energy plans to create 1,000 new technology jobs across sites in London, Brighton, Warwick and Leicester, and a new tech hub in Manchester, as part of its vision to make the UK the “Silicon Valley of energy”.
The supplier will employ graduates at the new sites to help develop the proprietary green energy technology platform which has helped to make Octopus one of the fastest-growing companies in the UK.
The prime minister, Boris Johnson, said the new jobs will “provide exciting opportunities across the country for those who want to be at the cutting edge of the global green revolution”.
“It’s UK tech companies like Octopus who will ensure we continue to build back greener and remain a world leader in pioneering renewable energy, leading the path to net zero whilst creating thousands of skilled jobs,” Johnson said.
Octopus became the UK’s latest “tech unicorn” (a startup company valued at more than $1bn) in May this year after the Australian energy company Origin paid £300m for a 20% stake. It has since announced a £100m push into the US market, as part of its goal to reach 100 million energy customers around the world by 2027.
The company’s newest recruits will help to develop smart grid technologies that can help Britain’s transport and heating systems harness cheap renewable energy, helping them to reduce their emissions in line with the UK’s pledge to be carbon neutral by 2050.
The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, said the growth of green jobs was not only good news for British jobseekers, but also “a vote of confidence in the UK economy as it recovers” and a pivotal part of “our collective efforts to build a greener, cleaner planet”.
Octopus has already used its cutting-edge energy technology platform, known as Kraken, to help its customers earn money by using more electricity when renewable energy generation is high, and avoid paying higher costs when renewable energy is low.
It has also widened its reach to other UK energy companies including E.On UK, Good Energy and Co-Op Energy, which also use the Kraken platform under technology licence deals.
Greg Jackson, the chief executive of Octopus, said the technology could help “make Britain the best place to invest in creating new clean electricity generation”.
He said: “When Apple created the App Store, nobody knew that it would change the way we order food or transport forever.”
“We’re revolutionising the energy industry in the same way, creating jobs not just through increased demand for affordable renewables, but by facilitating the development of new and emerging industries like electric vehicles, electric heating and vertical farming.”