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By Priyanka Shrestha

An energy supplier has launched a new tariff that it claims will pay customers to use electricity when demand is low and there is too much power on the UK system.

Octopus Energy’s new Agile tariff reflects wholesale costs, which means it will pass “negative prices” to customers if there is excess power supply.

In the UK, as energy consumption falls, there are big drops in prices due to over supply and generators can be paid to stop exporting power to the grid.

That would typically happen on windy, sunny weekends when solar panels and wind turbines are generating a lot of electricity and demand is relatively low.

During those periods, customers will be altered via text message, email or their mobile app so they can use their dishwashers and washing machines or charge their electric vehicles (EVs) following which they will receive a credit on their account.

The energy supplier claims EV owners could save as much as £669 “after four brief periods of negative pricing” compared to a Big Six dual tariff.

CEO and Founder Greg Jackson said: “This tariff is groundbreaking. By reflecting the real cost of energy on the grid every half hour, customers can capitalise on times when prices are especially low. Indeed, if the wholesale price goes below 0p/kWh, Octopus Agile will actually pay you to take the unwanted energy from the grid. As renewable energy production grows, these events are only going to become more frequent.”