Octopus Energy has teamed up with Amazon to become the first energy company to provide voice automation with Alexa to provide real-time energy pricing.
HOW DOES AMAZON ALEXA WORK WITH OCTOPUS ENERGY?
If you’re on the Agile tariff you will be able to use Amazon Alexa to find out when energy is at its cheapest. (The Agile tariff tracks energy prices throughout the day. ) So using the voice automation provided by Amazon you could ask Alexa when prices are cheapest.
Alexa, ask Octopus when is electricty cheapest today?
Based on this information you could turn on, for example, your washing machine or charge your devices when energy is at its cheapest. You can even automate this too!
WILL THE AGILE TARIFF WITH OCTOPUS ENERGY AND AMAZON ALEXA SAVE ME MONEY?
Renewable energy is cheaper when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing and now you will be able to access this information very simply using Amazon Alexa.
The Agile tariff was very attractive before the addition of Alexa but I did refer to it as the techie tariff as you needed to be able to use the app IFTTT to automate your devices (If This Then That). The app is very straight forward but it does take a little thought to set up. (not a lot though) Whereas Alexa simplifies this entire process so it’s extremely accessible with its voice activation. You won’t need to lift a finger but will be able to automate your smart devices at home whipping them into action when energy prices are at their lowest. So yes, this will save you time and money!
IS IT BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT?
Yes! Super cool, right? It means the energy powering your home devices will not only be far cheaper but also likely much greener (because the cheapest offpeak times usually link up to when there’s low demand and abundant green energy on the grid).
WILL I NEED A SMART METER TO GET THE AGILE TARIFF?
Yes, you will need a smart meter to switch to the Agile Tariff. At the moment there is a waiting list for a smart meter installation but they are expected to roll out later this month. I am currently on the waiting list while take advantage of the Super Green Tariff. If you would like to switch from your current provider to Octopus Energy and don’t have a smart meter you could always switch, request a meter and swap to the agile tariff after your installation, that wouldn’t be a problem at all. Switching to Octopus Energy takes less than two minutes.
WHEN I HAVE MY AGILE TARIFF AND SMART METER WHAT NEXT?
You will obviously need Amazon Alexa. Next, search for the Octopus Skill in the Alexa app and enable it. You’ll be prompted to enter your API key, MPAN and Serial number to complete the process.
I am looking forward to switching over to Agile even more now. Well done Octopus I can see this as a real milestone in the energy industry. I only with Alexa could get my kids to put their pants in the wash!
I am really trying to reduce my carbon footprint and of course, save money. So I invested in LED light bulbs but not any old LED’s. I have gone for the Philips Hue bulbs.
I have bought the starter set, which comes with the hub (which you have to have) and 3 colour changing bulbs. They were so simple to set up. You simply download the app, plug the hub into your modem and locate the light bulbs on the app. The hub detects the bulbs and sends a signal to the app. I have my Philips Hue colour changing LED bulbs around my garden and over the front porch. I have them set to come on at sunset and go off at sunrise. They have worked amazingly well! The app even knows when sunset and sunrise are depending on the seasons. Most of the year they are on white and cost very little to have on all night. The quirky thing is at Christmas, Halloween or on any occasion you can change the colour to reflect the mood. So at Christmas, I had mine on in red and green. They were very pretty and saved putting the light Christmas up outside.
I now also have them in various lamps around the house. To save money I have the Philips Hue LED bulbs in tones of white. The bulbs are then cheaper to buy as you can get them on offer if you keep an eye on Amazon.
The good thing is while you’re away from home you can use the hue light bulbs as security lights too. They are really great. If you switching to LED and you want to invest a little extra I can highly recommend them.
Well, I have done it and have applied for an Octopus Energy smart meter. I am currently on the Octopus Energy super green tariff. I am paying 15.62p per kWh on their fixed rate super green tariff. My fixed rate is due to come to an end in July. I am considering either the Octopus Agiletariff or the Octopus Go tariff. Both are a good option but as I don’t own an EV Agile would be better. In order to switch to these smart tariffs, I will need a smart meter. Although I am very happy with Octopus Energy Super Green.
Why would I want an Octopus Energy smart meter?
A Smart Meter can help us to identify situations where we’re using a lot of energy and might want to make changes to this. If you use the information shown on your in-home display to reduce your energy use, you could cut costs and become more energy efficient. – SMART ENERGY GB
I seem to be late to the party getting a smart meter. Although I don’t think I am alone. The UK government wants every home to have a smart meter by 2020. At the moment far less than half have been installed. I think many people, myself included, wonder why? So I have done some research.
Will a smart meter lower my bills?
Yes, is the simple answer. Even if I stick with my current Octopus Energy tariff (which is a fixed rate on super green) I am sure an Octopus Energy smart meter will encourage me to switch off items. At the very least as I will be able to see my usage in real-time. I think the key to being as green as possible with my energy consumption does mean a smart meter is a real consideration.
Will my Octopus Energy smart meter remain smart if I switch suppliers?
The simple answer is that’s the plan. The government’s idea is to get everyone connected to a platform called the DCC. The energy companies don’t own the platform the government does. They contracted this out to an independent third party called the Data Communications Company. (DCC) They are regulated by Ofgem and paid for by consumers through the energy industry. The new smart meters SMETS2 will link to the DCC and will supply information to your supplier through this platform. The idea being if you decide to switch your new energy provider can access your information too. The DCC enables this as all suppliers have access.
If you are offered an Octopus Energy SMETS1 smart meter don’t panic as the government has now agreed that these can link up to the DCC too.
Which Octopus Energy tariffs will make the most of a smart meter and save me money?
The Octopus Energy Agile tariff tracks energy prices in real-time, updating prices every half hour. If I switch to the Agile tariff I will save money by using appliances when the price of electricity drops. In order to do this I will link it to an app called IFTTT (If This Then That) which I have used for a number of years already or I could use Amazon Alexa to ask when energy is at its cheapest. If you could simply go onto the tariff and track prices online but to be honest with 3 small children I need automation!
It’s a very easy platform to get to grips with and can be used on your desktop or as an app. The idea is you set commands by telling IFTTT for example IF energy prices drop below a specific level THEN turn my dishwasher on. All you would need is the Octopus Energy smart meter, the app, and a smart plug. (I like the idea of automating tasks. This will save me money and let me use energy when there is less demand on the grid making it greener).
Here is an update about smart meter installations. (5th May 2019)_It only really affects you if you have an electric vehicle and you need a smart meter to take advantage of Octopus Go or Agile tariffs. For the rest of us who haven’t yet gone down the EV route, we can sit and wait on the super green tariff as no smart meter is needed. (you can request one and go on a general waiting list.)
Is an Octopus Energy smart meter worth it?
I would say if you want to take advantage of the tariffs such as Octopus GO or Octopus Agile it is a must as neither can work without a smart meter. If you want to stay on the super green or standard tariffs they are also great for keeping a close eye on your energy usage. It all sounds really promising but I know some people are strongly avert to a smart meter. My advice would be to take your time if you are not ready for a smart meter. The first step is to make sure you are using green energy by switching to Octopus Energy. They are a great firm and there are no exit fees so they are worth a go. We all need to do our bit for the planet and this is one of the biggest ways you can impact your carbon footprint.
If you are an electric vehicle owner you need a smart meter now! Make sure you get your name down and keep on top of Octopus Energy via social media too. CEO Greg Jackson is on Twitter and is very responsive.
I have been placed on a waiting list for a smart meter, which is fine as I am happy with Octopus Super Green at the moment. Super green gives me 100% renewable energy and saves me money. It has been far cheaper than my previous deals with British Gas.
I never thought I would be so into my energy prices but needs must with 3 young children eating me out of house and home. I also think that it is about time we all stop and think about how we use energy. We need to consume greener energy and if possible less energy. I believe embracing tech is the answer to a more sustainable world so I am going to give it a go. Smart meter here I come!
All the best going green!! It is the right move!!!
If you would like further information you can read my full review of all Octopus Energy tariffs including up to date prices on my comparisons page. It is updated daily and keeps an eye on the wholesale energy market. Knowing if and when to switch and fix your energy tariff in the current climate is really important, I hope it helps!
How can I get a free cuddly Octopus from Octopus Energy?
Once you have signed up to Octopus Energy if you want to get your hands on a free cuddly Octopus they will send you one in the post, although it can take a few weeks depending on stock. Her name is Constantine. (I am not joking)
Borrow a free thermal imaging camera from Octopus Energy.
If you would like to borrow a thermal imaging camera to find out where the heat is escaping from your home or workplace you can request one here.
Spin to win.
Also, don’t forget you get a chance to win a cash prize when you enter your meter reading with “spin to win.”
The Green Friday prize draw to win a funky green electric VW Beatle has now ended but keep an eye on their social media for more competitions. (The big competitions usually appear in your Octopus Energy dashboard)
Octopus Energy Refer a friend.
Once you have chosen to switch to Octopus Energy as a new customer using a referral link, you’ll be given £50 credit on your first bill and your own personal referral code to share with friends and families. For every person that switches with your code, you both get £50 credited towards your next bill. It takes just two minutes to switch and your code is effective immediately. (I would be delighted if you use mine to get you started, thank you!)
Octopus Energy Podcast.
Octopus entered the market with a desire to disrupt the status quo with energy that’s good for the planet, good for your wallet, and, honestly, good for your soul. Listen to their journey, vision, and tech discussions on this free podcast series. (I have enjoyed them – but I am a bit of a geek) They really are the Silicon Valley of the energy market.
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