Surge in clean energy during coronavirus lockdown
Published: 07 Apr 2020

On Sunday morning, less than 15% of electricity came from coal plants and almost 40% of the UK's electricity came from windfarms. Solar power also made up nearly a fifth of the power system.

This swell in clean energy from wind and solar power will mean thousands of British homes will be paid to use electricity during the day for the first time. Homes have previously only ever been able to make money while using clean energy during the night.

Octopus energy offer an "Agile Octopus energy tariff" which will earn customers 0.22p to 3.3p per kWh to make use of the current plentiful clean energy. Customers on that specific tariff were contacted on Saturday to let them know they would be paid for electricity use during the sunniest hours, 11am until 4pm, of Sunday.

While clean energy levels have risen, demand for energy has thought to have lowered by up to 10% due to the closing down of public places, businesses and factories. This is not the case for energy use in homes which has risen due to many people working from home and in lockdown.

This combination of events has lead to the lowest energy market prices in a decade.

For people on variable energy tariffs, energy bills are likely to become cheaper, with the wholesale price of electricity on the UK power markets around £28 per megawatt hour (MWh) compared to £44/MWh this time last year.