Octopus Energy said it will hire 1,000 new staff across four UK sites
Clean energy technology firm touts plans to double its workforce by the end of 2021 and make the UK the ‘Silicon Valley of energy’
Octopus Energy has announced it intends to create 1,000 new jobs across the UK and set up a new technology hub in Manchester as part of plans to make the UK the ‘Silicon Valley of energy’.
The green energy technology company confirmed this morning that it is set to double its workforce by the end of 2021 by opening up hundreds of new positions, primarily for graduates with STEM backgrounds, at sites in London, Brighton, Warwick, and Leicester.
The firm also announced it will open a new technology, data science, and artificial intelligence (AI) centre in Manchester dedicated to developing smart grid technologies that can help the UK’s carbon intensive transport and heating industries cut costs as they transition from fossil fuels to clean electricity.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomed Octopus’ hiring drive, which he said would help the UK’s economy to recover from coronavirus crisis sustainably while establishing the nation as a clean technology leader.
“These 1,000 jobs will provide exciting opportunities across the country for those who want to be at the cutting edge of the global green revolution,” Johnson said. “And 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.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the new green jobs represented a “vote of confidence in the UK economy” that would be pivotal to “collective efforts to build a greener, cleaner planet”.
Octopus’ smart grid energy technology platform, dubbed Kraken, helps customers make savings on energy by allowing them to pay less when clean energy generation is high and avoid paying high costs when generation is low.
Octopus Energy chief executive Greg Jackson said the company’s technology had helped establish the UK as “the Silicon Valley of energy” and would help make the nation the “best place to invest in creating new clean electricity generation”.
“When Apple created the App Store, nobody knew that it would change the way we order food or transport forever,” he said. “Through Kraken, our cloud-based energy platform, 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.”
The announcement comes less than a week after Octopus announced it had acquired US energy tech start up Evolve Energy for $5m, as part of a broader $100m US expansion plan. The rapidly-growing company became a tech unicorn – a start-up valued at more than $1bn – earlier this year after Australian energy company Origin Energy acquired a 20 per cent stake for £300m.
Octopus is aiming to have 100 million energy accounts on its Kraken platform by 2027, up from 17 million today. In the UK, the firm licenses out the software to a number of energy companies, including E.ON UK and Good Energy.