About us

Upside Energy is an ambitious start-up based in the UK at the forefront of the new energy system whose aim is to transform the electricity industry. We aim to reduce greenhouse gases by enabling people to make smart choices about when to use energy.

Upside was created for the Nesta Dynamic Demand Challenge in London, October 2013. As one of five finalists from a field of more than seventy Hackathon entries, we found a way to reduce energy costs and environmental impacts.

At peak times, the electricity grid runs dangerously short of capacity. In order to meet demand, it turns on all its oldest, dirtiest, most expensive power stations. We’ve found a cheaper and greener way, by paying people to not use electricity at peak times. Now we’re busy making it happen.

How it works

Upside has developed a cloud service that aggregates the energy stored in systems people and businesses already own – uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), solar PV systems (solar panels), electric vehicles (EV), domestic heating systems, etc.

This creates a Virtual Energy Store™ that we can sell to the grid to help it balance supply and demand. We share the revenue we generate from these services with device owners and manufacturers.

Our end goal is to create an open platform that people can use to coordinate distributed energy storage and use it to reduce the environmental impact of the grid. Analysis by National Grid shows that we can eliminate 600 tonnes of CO2e for every MW of demand-side capacity we make available.

Our unique IP allows us to scale to 100,000’s of devices. By 2025, we aim to have 515MW of capacity under management in the UK. That would enable us to eliminate 309,000 tonnes of CO2e per annum. We simply use existing assets to time-shift existing electricity demand, so create no additional costs or inefficiencies to offset this benefit

Everyone wins. People pay less for their energy. CO2 emissions are reduced. And the grid runs more reliably and cheaply.

More about us

Our energy system is amazing. Every flick of a switch is supported by a vast complex network delivering the power we need. Regardless of the time of day, season, other demands being made on it, it springs to our command.

It’s also pretty brutal. To deliver that energy, it extracts millions of tonnes of fossil fuels. It emits greenhouse gases and other pollutants. It lays thousands of miles of wire and pylons across the countryside. It meets our demands regardless of the environmental consequences.

Our vision is for a world where people use energy without damaging the environment. We want to build a world that delivers the energy we need, but in a way that respects the environment and wider society. We want a harmonious energy system, not a discordant one. So we’re building a service that orchestrates elements of the energy system so that our demands fit a little more cleanly with what the environment can deliver.

Founded in 2013 by Dr Graham Oakes, Matt Potts, Matt Fisher and Andy Molineux, Upside has grown and we are now a team of 10 people based in Salford and London.


Meet the team and our advisers

Our management team has over 100 years of collective experience in senior roles at blue chip organisations. We worked together at Sapient and a number of start-ups over the last 15 years.

We are joined by a team of 7 software engineers, led by our 3 co-founders who first worked together while completing their MSc’s at Lancaster University.

We have come together at Upside because we believe in its potential.

Photo of Dr Graham Oakes, <p>Founder & CEO

Dr Graham Oakes,

Founder & CEO

CEng FBCS FRSA PhD Imperial. Systems engineer with 30 years experience. Senior roles at Sony, Sapient, Skype, Intel, Vodafone and Greenpeace.

Photo of Devrim Celal, CFO & Chief Commerical Officer

Devrim Celal, CFO & Chief Commerical Officer

Executive with 20 years of management consultancy and finance background. Senior roles at Sapient and A.T. Kearney.

Photo of Lesley Allan, <p>Operations Director

Lesley Allan,

Operations Director

20 years experience in project and programme management in technology and creative sectors. Senior roles at RY, Sapient and the BBC.

Photo of Matt Potts, <p>Co-founder

Matt Potts,


A software engineer with 5 years experience, Matt successfully co-founded Tripod Software Ltd following his MSc at Lancaster University.

Photo of Matt Fisher, <p>Co-founder

Matt Fisher,


With a background in Computer Science and an MSc from Lancaster University, Matt is a software engineer with 5 years experience. Matt also co-founded Tripod Software Ltd.

Photo of Dr Andy Molineux, <p>Co-founder

Dr Andy Molineux,


A software engineer with 5 years experience, background in academia and developing bespoke software systems. Andy also co-founded Tripod Software Ltd.

Photo of Chris Joly, Adviser & Non Executive Director

Chris Joly, Adviser & Non Executive Director

Petroleum Engineer with more than 30 years’ international experience with Shell, Amoco, Petrobras, Burlington Resources and Vitol.

Photo of Ian Marchant, <p> Adviser

Ian Marchant,


Former CEO of SSE, Ian is a leading expert in energy markets having successfully ran SSE for over 10 years and an active investor in cleantech.

Photo of Neil Hughes, <p> Adviser

Neil Hughes,


Former Head of Technology at National Grid, Neil has 20 years experience in strategic technology leadership in energy.

Photo of Prof Goran Strbac, <p> Adviser

Prof Goran Strbac,


Professor of Electrical Energy Systems, Imperial College. Director of the DTI Centre for Distributed Generation and Sustainable Electrical Energy.

Photo of Andy Bartlett, <p> Adviser

Andy Bartlett,


Helios Investment Partners and Former Global Head of Oil & Gas Mergers and Acquisitions at Standard Chartered Bank plc.

Photo of Ivan Berkes, <p> Adviser

Ivan Berkes,


Former Director of Corporate Planning and Business Development at Emerson Electric (Europe).

Talk to us