The role of a Future Technologies Evangelist
My role at Octopus Energy is the nearest we have to a head of R&D combined with a skunk works approach to search out and experiment with some of the latest energy tech.
My team works on things that probably aren’t set for prime-time yet but could be in a year or two. Often that means really interesting exciting start-ups that have prototypes working or very early customer rollout or they may have established technology that’s not attracted the main stream for some reason. For example Tepeo and NexGen.
Where we’ve decided to go big on new tariffs and services we’ll help get things up and working and hand over to rest of the business. For example we kick-started Agile, Go Faster, Outgoing, Tesla, and we still run the Fan Club and Powerloop services whilst they’re still in the research phase. Our IFTTT and Alexa services still sit with us as we expand what they’re connected to. We also run our invite-only user forum for the real enthusiasts to share and explore with us.
A large proportion of our work is with hardware in the home such as how smart thermostats work, controls and data related to our work on heat pumps, devices attached to smart meters, etc. Raspberry Pi’s, HATs and similar devices obviously feature in our world. We also keep an eye on what’s happening with standards such as PAS1878 and whether there’s anything we should research and experiment with there.
Follow me here for my personal view on some of the things we’re doing and my thinking behind future energy tech.
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