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 to create a new energy system for a better world. 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 30 people based in Manchester and London.


Meet the team and our advisers

Our Management team is experienced, with a combined 80 years+ of experience in software development, business strategy, finance, programme and IT management and electricity trading.

The company includes 3 co-founders and a team of 20 software engineers and data scientist, reflecting the nature of our business. We have come together at Upside because we believe in its potential.

Photo of Dr Graham Oakes, <br/>Founder, Chair, Chief Scientist

Dr Graham Oakes,
Founder, Chair, Chief Scientist

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,  <br/>Chief Executive Officer

Devrim Celal,
Chief Executive Officer

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

Photo of Iain Tobin<br/>Chief Financial Officer

Iain Tobin
Chief Financial Officer

Finance executive with substantial early stage and growth company experience. Senior finance roles with Reevoo, i2O Water, Metricell, Aircom and Arthur D. Little.

Photo of Greg Davis, <br/>Commercial Director

Greg Davis,
Commercial Director

Over 20 years experience in commercial roles in technology and cleantech sectors. Senior roles at Baker Hughes, Geoscart and Ciklum.

Photo of Anthony Waite, Director of Energy Markets

Anthony Waite, Director of Energy Markets

Over 11 years of experience in senior roles with E.On, RWE and EDF.

Photo of Rachel Jones, <br/>Director of Product Research

Rachel Jones,
Director of Product Research

Over 20 years experience in innovation and creative roles in the technology sector. Senior roles at Hitachi, Microsoft, Sapient and Xerox PARC.

Photo of Dr Andy Molineux, <br/>Co-founder, Development Director

Dr Andy Molineux,
Co-founder, Development Director

A software engineer with 7 years experience, background in academia and developing bespoke software systems. Andy also co-founded Tripod Software Ltd.

Talk to us

Meet the Advisory Board

Our advisors work with us to devise and implement our strategy, build relationships and provide access to capital and leading edge thinking in our field.

Photo of Ian Marchant

Ian Marchant

Former CEO of SSE, Ian is a leading expert in energy markets having successfully ran SSE as CEO for over 10 years. He is also an active investor in Cleantech with Dunelm Energy.

Photo of Neil Hughes

Neil Hughes

A former Head of Technology at National Grid, Neil has joined Upside as an adviser and has 20 years experience in strategic technology leadership in defence, telecommunications and energy.

Photo of Ivan Berkes

Ivan Berkes

Former Director - Corporate Planning and Business Development of Emerson Electric (Europe), Ivan is a veteran of the UPS market. He is a serial entrepreneur having successfully invested, grown and existed investments.

Photo of Chris Joly, Non-executive Director

Chris Joly, Non-executive Director

A Petroleum Engineer with more than 30 years’ international experience gained with Shell, Amoco, Petrobras, Burlington Resources and Vitol, which he joined in 2004.

Photo of Professor Goran Strbac

Professor Goran Strbac

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

Photo of Andrew Bartlett

Andrew Bartlett

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