Octopus Energy makes switching to heat pumps easier

Octopus Energy and UK Power Networks (UKPN) have developed a new process to speed up fuse upgrades for heat pumps.

Octopus Energy customers who have decided to get a heat pump will now be able to have their new heating device installed at the same time as the fuse upgrade is performed in their home.

As part of the pilot scheme, UKPN trained dozens of Octopus Energy engineers to perform fuse upgrades alongside heat pump installations on its network. This marks the first time an accredited energy supplier is allowed to perform fuse upgrades, a task traditionally performed by DNOs.

The new process reduces the effort for customers through reduced handoffs and reduces the overall time to get their low carbon technology working, positively affecting millions of customers and helping to speed up the rollout of heat pumps across the UK.

The trial ran from February 2022 to February 2023, and was such a success that it is now being rolled out for electric vehicle charger fuse upgrades too.

Households often need a supply upgrade when switching to heat pumps or electric cars as they require more power being directed to their property. These upgrades have historically been managed by the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) and, in certain parts of the country, can take up to 30 days to install.

The partners are calling on all other DNOs and suppliers to input similar processes, whereby simple supply upgrades can be delivered by accredited suppliers at the same time as the installation visits, making them quicker, easier and allowing customers to go green faster than ever before.

John Szymik, CEO of Octopus Energy Services, comments, “By carrying out fuse upgrades at the same time as EV chargers and heat pumps, Octopus has not only saved homeowners time, but opened up a whole new world of possibilities for those who are itching to switch to green transport and heat.

“UK Power Networks has shown vision through initiating this project and worked closely with us to prove this can be done in a compliant and safe way. We would like to see more suppliers and DNOs to follow in our footsteps to make sure houses across the country have the means to decarbonise quickly and easily. This is the best way to wean ourselves off of gas for good.”

Ian Cameron, Director of Customer Service and Innovation at UK Power Networks says, “We want to make it as easy as possible for people to switch to a heat pump, and training Octopus engineers means they can get it done there and then when the heat is needed, quickly and safely. Collaboration across the industry is key for the UK to achieve its net zero ambitions.”

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