Should you fix your Octopus Energy Tariff for 2024?
The new Energy Price Cap figures were released yesterday by Ofgem. The Energy Price Cap will rise by an average of 5% on the 1st of January 2024. So is it time to fix your Octopus Energy tariff or stick with the Octopus Flexible rate on the new Energy Price Cap?
How do you know if you are on the Energy Price Cap?
If you are not on a fixed deal already and not on an Octopus smart tariff, then you’ll be on a flexible rate that rises and falls in line with the Energy Price Cap. If you are an existing Octopus Energy customer you can check your current tariff on the home page of your Octopus Energy dashboard.
1st January 2024 to 31st March 2024 Energy Price Cap.
The Energy Price Cap will rise by an average of 5% for dual fuel customers on the 1st of January 2024.
The chart below shows the current Energy Price Cap and the up-and-coming changes in 2024. Beyond April 2024 it is more a guess based on current world politics and demand. The figures used are from Cornwall Insight, Ofgem and the Octopus Energy website.
TO FIX OR NOT TO FIX?
Based on Energy Price Cap.
Electricity per kWh.
National Average Price
Gas per kWh
National Average Price.
Loyal Octopus 12 months fixed.
Octopus Flexible Tariff. (1st October to 31 December 2023)
Energy Price Cap (1st October to 31st December 2023)
Octopus Flexible Tariff. (January to 31st March 2024)
Octopus Flexible Tariff - best guess (April to 30th June 2024)
Octopus Flexible Tariff - best guess (July to 30th September 2024)
Loyal Octopus 12-month fixed tariff.
Octopus Energy reduced the price per kWh of its Loyal Octopus 12-month fixed tariff on the 23rd of November. This was the same day the Energy Price Cap figures were released by Ofgem for January 2024. The Energy Price Cap is set to rise by an average of 5% on 1st January for dual fuel customers.
On the Loyal Octopus 12 months fixed tariff you will pay;
Electricity – 29.75p per kWh with a standing charge of 52.18p per day
Gas – 7.07p per kWh with a standing charge of 27.47p per day.
This quote is for South Wales and prices will vary slightly throughout the UK.
Now that Octopus has reduced its rates they are very attractive to customers who are looking for pricing security for the next 12 months. In South Wales, as an example, if you took the Loyal Octopus 12-month fixed tariff you would be paying 0.02p (a fraction of 1p) more than the existing Energy Price Cap for your gas. So you will definitely be paying less than the Energy Price Cap for your gas when it increases in January 2024. However, Cornwall Insight has just revised its predictions that gas will remain higher than the current Energy Price Cap throughout 2024. All of a sudden they now predicts that it will fall in price in April. It just shows how these are just predictions and anything can happen to change this!
For electricty, you will be paying slightly more than the Energy Price Cap in January 2024 but there isn’t a lot in it, although you will feel the difference in the spring when prices are predicted to fall further.
Should you fix or stick with the Octopus Flexible tariff?
There are so many variables that no one can tell you what is best for your household BUT you will pay less for your gas if you fix the rate under the Loyal Octopus 12-month fixed rate come January 2024. Cornwall Insight has changed its predictions three times in the last two months. Gas wasn’t set to fall throughout 2024 but now 2 weeks later it is!
Cornwall Insight reports are the figures Martin Lewis uses to provide his energy advice. They are well respected but they are just predictions.
Gas and electricity according to Cornwall Insight will fall in the spring and summer of 2024. If you take the Octopus Loyal 12-month fixed tariff you will not see these reductions in price. Ofgem is also looking at redistributing standing charges into the unit rate. If you took a fixed you’d miss this but who knows when they will action these changes.
You don’t have to fix both energy types you could fix your gas tariff and have your electricity tariff as flexible. You could even choose an Octopus smart tariff for one fuel type and a fixed one for the other.
Here is a comparison between the Loyal Octopus 12 months fixed, the Octopus Flexible Tariff and the Octopus Tracker Tariff.
(Energy Price Cap 1st January 2024 to 31st March 2024)
The National Grid (ESO) relaunched its Demand Flexibility Service this week. Energy suppliers throughout the UK responded to the call for assistance today. Octopus Energy passed this request from the National Grid to its customer through their Octoplus alert. They called for customers to take part in the first Octoplus Saving Session of winter 2023.
How Do the Octoplus Saving Sessions Work?
You are told a specific time slot when the National Grid needs assistance. The notifications usually come from Octoplus 24 hours before a planned Octopus Saving Session but it could be sooner. You can choose to take part by opting. (That’s really important to do.)
If you take part you will earn Octopoints by reducing your demand or exporting your stored energy. The Octopoints can be turned into credits on your Octopus energy bill.
What is Octoplus?
Octoplus was launched on the 19th of October 2023 and is a new reward scheme for Octopus Energy customers who have a smart meter.
You have to opt into Octoplus but by doing so you’ll be rewarded for using energy when it’s abundant or when the National Grid needs a helping hand.
Free Energy Sessions.
Get paid to NOT use energy during Octopoint Saving Sessions. You can also export energy and get paid this year!
Addition credits for spinning the Octo wheel of fortune or referring a friend to Octopus.
More benefits to come….
This year is slightly different as solar and battery storage customers can take part by exporting energy to the grid during the Octopus Saving Sessions. For every kWh you export beyond what you’d normally export for the time of day, you’ll earn Octopoints.
How do you opt into Octoplus?
You should see a link to Octoplus in your online account either on the home screen of the web portal or your Octopus app. Simply click to accept and join and Octopus will take care of the rest.
When I opted in a new icon appeared at the bottom of my home screen of my Octopus app. There is a coin which says Octoplus. If you click on this you’ll land on the Octoplus page and you can check your Octoplus current points and look for any news or additional promotions. It’s a bit like a loyalty card for using your smart meter.
If you don’t have a smart meter my advice would be to try to get one. You’ll see a link to request a smart meter installation in your Octopus Energy account.
How much will you get paid to help the National Grid with the Octoplus Saving Session?
Each Octoplus Saving Session will attract a different rate. Tonight consumers are being paid £2.25 per kWh either to not use energy or to export energy.
Is it fair to pay customers a premium for exporting energy during an Octoplus Saving Session?
This year is the first year that the National Grid are paying customers a premium for exporting more energy than they normally would during a Demand Flexibility Service session.
Last year I took part in the Octopus Saving Sessions and simply reduced my demand but this winter I can do more as I have just had solar panels and battery storage installed. I feel very privileged that I have been able to afford to do that as I know it is out of reach for the vast majority of people.
So should those who can afford this green tech also get paid a premium to export it to help the National Grid, here are my thoughts about this.
This new article highlights how power stations have been playing games and as a result, we have all been paying more for our energy.
Here is a closer look at what I exported to the National Grid during the first Octoplus Saving Sessions.
I hate looking at graphs. Wherever possible I try to avoid boring people to death with them but it is a good visualisation of how much I exported last night and how much power I had in my battery before and after the Octoplus Saving Session.
I am guessing that I made around £10.80 exporting more energy than I would otherwise between 5.30 pm and 6.30 pm tonight. I think I didn’t make a vast amount more than that in the 2022 Saving Sessions before I had the battery installed BUT it is the taking part and the group effort to balance the National Grid that counts!
Just remember I paid thousands for this system and as a result saved £10.80 last night :-0. I couldn’t reduce my demand as I live consistently off the stored energy in my battery. If you don’t have solar and battery you are not alone! Only 4% of the UK has solar panels. Most of the people taking part in the Demand Flexibility will be reducing demand and not exporting.
Everything is explained on the Octopus website. There are lots of different Octopus communities on social media. If you have any questions don’t be afraid to join in. Ask fellow Octopus customers questions about their experience, after all we are all trying to help the same cause. You can find me very easily on Twitter.
On Monday 27th February 2023 OVO Energy launched a new Electric Vehicle (EV) tariff called OVO Charge Anytime. It was the first real competitor to the Octopus Intelligent Go tariff that offers smart home charging for your EV with a very attractive off-peak rate. So I decided to make a comparison of the two tariffs. Fast forward a few months and the competition has heated up further as on the 1st November 2023, Ovo slashed their discounted Electric Vehicle charging rate to just 7p per kWh.
Ovo Charge Anytime reduces its EV charging rate to 7p per kWh but is it the best value on the market?
There have been lots of discussions and headlines about this new offer by Ovo. The Ovo rate of 7p per kWh is now the cheapest EV home charging rate in the UK but do the headlines stack up? If we look under the bonnet is Ovo Charge Anytime really a better deal than the Octopus Intelligent Go tariff? In reality, it really depends on your individual EV charging and home energy needs.
Today (2nd November 2023) I had a chat with Alex Thwates, Director of EV at Ovo Energy. We spoke earlier in the year when the Ovo Charger Anytime tariff was launched and today we just did a quick catchup to make sure I had all the facts about their recent price reduction.
I will discuss the benefits of both Ovo Charge Anytime and Octopus Intelligent Go but at a glance the key differences are;
Octopus Intelligent Go (7.5p per kWh) – 6 hours off-peak every day 11.30 pm to 5.30 am for EV charging and the whole house’s energy needs. The tariff daytime rate has a premium of around 3p above both the Energy Price Cap and the Ovo Charge Anytime cheapest standard rate.
What are the similarities between Intelligent Octopus Go and Ovo Charge Anytime?
The key feature that makes both Electric Vehicle (EV) tariffs stand out in the market is their ability to manage EV charging intelligently.
Managed or Intelligent EV charging, as it’s called, involves the energy supplier taking control of your EV or your EV charger. As a customer, once you have completed a test charge, you can plug in your EV and use the energy suppliers app to indicate when you would like your EV to be charged and to what percentage. Your chosen supplier, such as Ovo Energy or Octopus Energy, will then carry out the charging process, turning your EV charge off and on remotely.
Both Ovo and Octopus Energy take control of your EV or your EV charger to remotely charge your EV.
Intelligent Octopus Go is 7.5p per kWh off-peak and Ovo Charge Anything is 7p per kWh for EV charging. (This works out at around 2.24p per mile with Ovo and 2.4p per mile with Octopus.)
The standard rate on Ovo Charge Anytime variable tariff is around 3p per kWh cheaper than Octopus Intelligent Go.
Both Ovo and Octopus Energy have their own software that makes this technology possible. At the moment the Octopus software seems to have the edge as it is compatible with both battery storage and solar. If you have either solar PV or battery storage at the moment Ovo can’t offer you this managed tariff. Its software isn’t able to distinguish between energy used from solar PV and energy drawn from the national grid BUT they are working on it!
How do I know this? Well, I was fortunate enough to spend 30 minutes on the telephone with Alex Thwaites – Director of EV in March when the tariff launched and we caught up again today now the price has been dropped to 7p per kWh. I really appreciated Alex keeping me in the loop and answering my questions. He is really passionate about driving down the costs of EV charging and is a real credit to Ovo Energy.
I will discuss what makes the two EV tariffs different in terms of costs a little further down as the price is similar. The lower standard rate combined with the slightly cheaper EV charging rate does make this tariff very attractive.
Why do we need managed or intelligent EV charging, isn’t off-peak good enough?
Off-peak EV charging is similar to the old-fashioned Economy 7 which my mum used to use in the ’70s. It is still going strong today and offers consumers a reduced night rate when there is less demand on the national grid. An off-peak EV tariff works in the same way as Eco 7.
Heading towards 2024, our energy consumption has increased dramatically compared to the 1970s. In order to make the grid greener with the addition of resources such as electric vehicles (EVs), we need to consider how we can use software-driven tariffs to manage our consumption.
Managed or intelligent tariffs take the responsibility out of the hands of the consumer and allow the supplier to decide when it’s greenest to charge your EV. I would suspect in years to come we will see other items in our home working in the same way.
The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) forecasts that yearly energy demand will roughly double as we replace gas central heating with heat pumps and buy new electric vehicles rather than petrol or diesel cars.
The new tariff EV tariff that OVO Energy has launched to compete with Octopus Energy’s Intelligent Go tariff is a positive step forward in helping to future-proof the national grid. We need more competition in the energy market to help push forward the change and innovation we need. The additional drop to 7p per kWh by Ovo can only help drive competitive pricing which is great for consumers too.
Quick overview following my telephone conversation with the Head of Zero Carbon Homes, now Director of EV at Ovo Energy. (Well it’s ten minutes but you can fast forward 🤣)
The rates have changed since this video was made in March but it gives a good idea about the difference between the two tariffs.
Can I charge more than one EV on either Intelligent Octopus Go or Ovo Charge Anytime tariffs?
Yes, you can.
If you have more than one EV then it’s important to remember that on OVO Charge Anytime you can add multiple EVs in the Ovo Charge Anytime App. This forum post might help if you’re struggling with how to achieve this.
If you have more than one EV you can link one of the EVs to the intelligent charging and charge the other EV during the off-peak window from 11.30 pm to 5.30 am. You’ll just need to set a timer on the second EV to set up the charge.
Let’s talk price. What’s the difference between Octopus Intelligent Tariff and Ovo Charge Anytime?
Ovo Charge Anytime.
Ovo Charge Anytime offers EV charging for 7p per kWh and Intelligent Octopus charges 7.5p per kWh. You will notice I don’t say they both charge a particular price per kWh for EV charging. This is where the two tariffs start to differ.
On Ovo Charge Anytime you add the EV charging as a bolt-on to your current Ovo tariff. I suppose it is similar to adding all-you-can-eat data to your mobile telephone in that respect. Your tariff remains the same but you can charge your EV, as the name suggests, for 7p per kWh. However, the 7p per kWh isn’t applied at the time of use. You are charged full price for charging your EV and then the credit is applied the following month to your energy bill.
The benefit of Ovo Charge Anytime being a bolt-on means that you can add the 7p per kWh EV charging rate to any of the Ovo tariffs. If you take the standard variable rate you’ll be paying around 3p per kWh less than the daytime rate on Intelligent Octopus Go, alternatively, you could pay a little more and add it to a fixed energy tariff.
On OVO Charge Anytime you will be charged, as an example, 27p per kWh when you charge your EV but the following month you will be credited the 20p per kWh for EV charging. Alex from OVO explained that their software will allow them to detect when and how much energy you use to charge your EV.
Home Battery Charging Ovo Charge Anytime.
The 7p per kWh with OVO Charge Anytime only applies to EV charging and cannot be used to charge a home battery or for load-shifting energy in the home. As the name suggests, however, you can ask for a schedule anytime time both day and night. So if you work shifts you can still get discounted EV charging.
Octopus Intelligent Go
On the Octopus Intelligent Go tariff, you simply get charged 7.5p per kWh and the whole house gets the rate every night regardless of whether you charge your EV or not. Plus IOG offers 7.5p per kWh to multiple EVs registered to your home address, you simply charge these in the off-peak window.
You can also use Intelligent Octopus Go to fill your home battery and it works with solar PV. Your schedule will appear at around 5 pm or when you plug in after 5 pm and you can’t ask for the EV to be ready before 4 am.
The Octopus Intelligent Go off-peak times are 11.30 pm to 5.30 am every night. The schedule may include these hours or it may charge outside this window. When the EV charges outside this window you also get the off-peak rate in the whole house!! So the minimum off-peak rate for the whole house is 6 hours every night but it could be more. I often get a schedule that starts from 8 pm onwards depending on how much charge I need and the conditions on the grid.
Here are the rates for South Wales.
Octopus Intelligent Go – 30.52p per kWh daytime rate and 7.5p per kWh off-peak. (Minimum 6 hours off-peak)
Ovo Charge Anytime – 27.45p per kWh standard rate and 7p per kWh Electric Vehicle charging rate. (This is using the standard variable rate but the Ovo Charge Anytime can be bolted onto any Ovo tariff.)
Don’t forget to look into Octopus Electroverse too. You need to sign up separately for this but it is free of charge to Octopus customers. You’ll get discounts on a variety of public charging networks and just by tapping your Electroverse card the charging fee will be added to your monthly Octopus Energy bill.
Who would benefit from Ovo Charge Anytime over Intelligent Octopus?
Ovo is very proud that they can offer anyone the opportunity to charge their EV at 7p per kWh. Alex, Director of EV at Ovo was very passionate when I spoke to him about not excluding anyone from this new tariff. If you work nights and can’t take advantage of off-peak EV charging you will love this tariff!
Ovo Charge Anytime isn’t a stand-alone tariff like Octopus Intelligent Go, it bolts onto your current Ovo tariff to allow for cheap EV charging anytime. So you can be on a fixed or variable tariff for your electricty and still get the 7p per kWh rate.
Ovo would argue that their bolt-on approach to this tariff, with no premium for daytime energy usage, is the way forward. They are passionate that there should be no restrictions to offering cheap EV charging.
I understand their sentiment BUT personally, I worry that putting the consumer first may not be the best solution for the grid. Yes, it’s a plug-and-play all-you-can-eat EV charging tariff that is very simplistic. It does offer scheduling to help charge when it is greenest but if the end-user asks for a charge between 4 pm and 8 pm then they will provide a schedule. Ideal for a taxi driver who wants to go electric but I worry about the end user who doesn’t want to consider the needs of the grid over their own.
I do love Ovo’s commitment to EV drivers and their openness to share their vision for the future. Alex, Director of EV at Ovo really does want to make this accessible for everyone and I applaud that.
Who would benefit from Intelligent Octopus over Ovo Charge Anytime?
Simply those who can charge their EV off-peak and load shift their energy use to the off-peak window or households which have both an EV and Solar PV or battery storage. (If you have solar PV and battery storage also look at Octopus Flux which is a great idea for the summer months.)
By load shifting on Intelligent Octopus Go, you can really bring down the price you per on average per kWh. You’ll save on EV charging and running your household appliances on the Octopus Intelligent Go tariff but you need to be prepared to do this usually at night or when there is an abundance of green energy on the grid.
I have 3 kids who are home all day as we home-educate and I manage to get my energy use to a staggering cheap average per kWh each month BUT to do this I run appliances at night.
I much prefer the ethos behind the intelligent Octopus Go tariff. Apart from Economy 7 or Economy 10 tariffs up until the launch of EV tariffs customers didn’t really think of load-shifting their energy. Yes, both these tariffs offer managed to charge BUT the end user can in effect override this by putting in a narrow window asking for a charge during peak times or anytime on the OVO anytime tariff.
How much energy do you need to load shift to bring your average daytime rate below the Energy Price Cap On the Octopus Intelligent Go Tariff?
Octopus Intelligent Go charges more than the Energy Price Cap for the standard energy rate. On Octopus Intelligent Go about a 3p premium is added to the day rate per kWh.
Putting EV charging aside and just looking at your home energy use, how much electricty will you have to use to bring the day rate down to the same as the day rate on the Energy Price Cap? If you load shift just 30% of your home energy use to the off-peak window on Intelligent Octopus Go you’ll bring your average down to roughly the same as the Energy Price Cap. This is before adding in EV charging.
Here are examples of appliances you could load shift to a cheaper overnight rate.
The table below is based on Which? energy consumption estimates. Lots of appliances have timers or you can add a smart plug to easily time them to come on during an off-peak window. You just need to make sure your appliance is in good working order and you service it regularly. It’s about personal choice and how comfortable you are using appliances at night.
kWh per year.
This is based on typical use.
You may use more or less.
You cannot load shift on Ovo Charge Anytime but you can bolt the Charge Anytime rate onto their standard variable tariff which is already the same as the Energy Price Cap. Ovo Charge Anytime just covers EV charging. This becomes a bigger issue if you have home battery storage and need a cheap off-peak rate to fill it during the winter months.
I calculated this by taking the typical yearly electricity consumption, 2,900 kWh and dividing it by 12.
The monthly typical electricity use is 242 kWh without EV charging. You may use more or less in your home.
70% x 30.5p per kWh = 169 kWh x 30.52p = £59.49
30% x 7.5p per kWh = 73 kWh x 7.5p = £5.48
£51.55 peak rate + £5.48 off-peak rate = £64.97
£64.97 % 242kWh (typical monthly electricity use) = 27p per kWh (which is the same as the Energy Price Cap.)
On your Octopus Energy bill, you’ll get the breakdown each month of your peak electricity use, your off-peak electricity use and your average price per kWh. So it’s really easy to understand if you are load-shifting enough to beat the Energy Price Cap rate of 27p per kWh.
Here is my electricity bill for March 2023 on the Octopus Intelligent tariff. My average was 20.31p per kWh BUT this was based on a day rate of 40p per kWh so now it would be even lower!!
Considering your own electricity needs and the percentage you can load-shift to off-peak.
You just have to remember these are average energy use figures. If you have a newer appliance it may use less or if you have an older appliance it may use more. If you want to get really geeky a power monitor plug will be able to tell you exactly how much energy each appliance uses per cycle.
Another tariff also worth considering at the moment is the Octopus Tracker Tariff. It may work out even cheaper than either Ovo Charge Anytime or Octopus Intelligent Octopus Go. It’s not an EV tariff but if you have low mileage and don’t use a lot of electricty the current day rate on the Octopus Tracker Tariff may be less than your average price per kWh after EV charging rates have been applied.
Charging your Home Battery off-peak with Octopus Intelligent Go.
In October 2023 I had solar panels and battery storage installed. I have a 13.5 kWh home battery which I can also charge during the Intelligent Octopus Go off-peak window. The plan will be over the winter months to charge my EV and my home battery on Intelligent Octopus Go. I can then run the house from the home battery when there is limited solar.
Sadly OVO Charge Anytime I don’t think integrates with solar PV or battery storage, but I would watch this space! Ovo is very competitive and maybe they will take the lead and allow customers to do this in the future. (If you have an Indra Pro Smart Charger and solar then the Anytime tariff will work for you, that’s the only exception at the moment.)
Low carbon technology
It’s a debate that making EV charging cheaper for everyone is a good idea but it is open to laziness and abuse, just asking for a charge that suits your preference. On the flip side, it encourages more people to consider an EV, if they had thought they would be excluded from cheap EV charging as they work shifts.
You may find this Octopus blog post interesting on demand v intelligent energy use. The full title is demand side response (DSR) to intelligent demand. It sounded less scary my way 🙂
The Intelligent Octopus tariff is for customers with low-carbon technology at home, including electric vehicle home charging, heat pumps or home batteries. Any electricity used by low-carbon technology as well as any other electricity used in your home during off-peak hours will be charged at the night rate.
Can I skip the scheduling and just charge my EV on Ovo Charge Anytime and Intelligent Octopus?
Both tariffs offer a boost function where you can charge instantly.
Yes, if you just want to skip waiting for a schedule or you don’t want to use the intelligent scheduling you can do your own thing between 11.30 pm and 5.30 am on the Octopus intelligent Go tariff. Toggle smart charging off and use the timer on your EV charger or EV. You just need to ask for at least one intelligent charge a month to comply with the tariff terms.
If you charge outside the off-peak window on Intelligent Octopus Go you’ll pay the peak daytime rate. You just click “bump charge” in the Octopus app or toggle off smart charging.
If you don’t want to schedule on the Ovo Anytime tariff you can also simply charge at your standard rate, however, I have talked with Ovo and there’s little point doing this as you can ask for a charge schedule any time of day or night and the end user sets the parameters. If you opt for a schedule NOW with an end time and percentage charge that would require an immediate charge you would get it at 7p per kWh.
The software that makes Intelligent Octopus and Ovo Charge Anytime possible.
Both Ovo and Octopus pushing boundaries with these tariffs. It’s all thanks to Kraken software with Octopus and Kaluza with Ovo Energy.
When comparing these managed tariffs, I would say one seems more advanced than the other. The Kraken software looks like it covers more bases BUT Alex from Ovo pointed out that they brought the Charge Anytime tariff to market early because they wanted to announce it the same day as the Energy Price Rise increase was set to come in on 1st April 2023 just after the Ovo Anytime tariff was launched.
I asked Alex, (Director of EV) if Ovo Energy had any intention of making the API open source, and he told me that it’s still in the discussion phase at Ovo Energy. The compatibility will solar is also a work in progress and he hopes to have some updates within the next month. (I will update the blog post if any new features develop).
Thinking of the environment these particular parts of the terms stand out when comparing Ovo Charge Anytime to Octopus Intelligent.
Ovo Energy terms state;
Our smart tech aims to charge your car when the grid has more renewable energy in it, within the time you’ve set. Meaning it’s less likely your EV will be charged by energy from fossil fuels.
Octopus Energy terms state;
You can specify the ready-by time between 4:00 and 11:00 am. We work out how long it will take to reach that level and then schedule the exact hours when the vehicle will charge across all of the hours you’re plugged in. This enables us to help you make the most of low prices on the grid or times of high renewables output, or help stabilise local or national energy grids when they’re under pressure.
To be fair to both companies they both offer something different to EV drivers. We all have different lives and needs which makes a new EV tariff a very positive step forward for consumers. In some instances, you may also have the luxury of having different priorities as you have access to lots of low-carbon tech or you may be away from home at night and have struggled to find cheap EV charging. Between these two tariffs, they cover most EV drivers’ home charging needs.
A quick personal tip about load shifting
Before I switched to my first-time-of-use tariff I attempted to shift my energy consumption around for a couple of weeks first. It was surprising how quickly both myself and the kids got into the habit of programming the washing machine and dishwasher to come on at night. Now I am slightly obsessed and try to use my immersion rather than gas to heat my hot water too.
I save a lot of money by doing this and it is better for the planet! You’ll have electricity you can’t shift like cooking lunch and tea, plus your fridge and fridge freezer but just making an effort can make a massive difference!
If you opt for the Octopus Intelligent Go tariff on your monthly bill it will show you very clearly your daytime and off-peak use PLUS the average price you pay per kWh. It’s the price I glance at each month and cheer!
Since I’ve been on the intelligent tariff it’s my average rate has usually been more towards 20p per kWh depending on if we have had friends or family staying. Even with 4 kids and 3 adults all coming home with wet towels from swimming in the summer and cooking large meals at peak times we surprisingly never went anywhere near the 30p per kWh daytime rate!!
One of my many TikTok videos on load shifting on the Octopus Intelligent Go Tariff.
This TikTok shows how you can get carried away when you get extra slots on the intelligent tariff. 🤣 Six hours is the minimum off-peak window. You can get more depending on when Octopus schedule your EV to charge. If the EV is charging the whole house get’s it too. So if Octopus think it’s greener outside the off-peak window or your EV needs more than 6 hours of charging you will get the extra time slots.
You find more of my videos where I load shifts and review my Octopus energy bill over on TikTok.
How balanced is my review of Intelligent v Ovo Charge Anytime?
As my website name suggests if you choose to switch to the Octopus Intelligent Go tariff we both share £100 and from my bio, you can tell I am an Octopus Fan girl so how balanced can my review be? Well, I simply love the idea of protecting the planet for my kids more than anything else. I really try to make blog posts to help people save money and make sense of tariffs. There is no point in me recommending one tariff or firm over the other if the costs may turn someone off going green and driving electric. We all benefit from less CO2 and pollution. That’s why I was really excited to talk to Alex from Ovo Energy.
Thanks to Alex at Ovo Energy.
Many thanks to Alex at Ovo Energy for spending time explaining the tariff again. I think it’s a tariff that stands out from many other competitors. It uses software to try and help the grid and it is evolving with our growing needs. We need more competition in this field and Ovo have stepped up. Many thanks, Alex it was a pleasure talking to you.
Take the hassle out of exporting excess energy from your home battery with the Intelligent Octopus Flux tariff. Launched on the 19th of July 2023 this brand new Octopus tariff takes solar and battery storage to the next level. Intelligent Flux is a next-generation tariff that uses Octopus’ Kraken software to optimise your home battery and solar panels. With a little Octo magic, your virtual home power station will help the stability of the National Grid, whilst also providing smarter, cheaper greener energy for your home. 🌍
With energy costs rising we are all looking at ways to reduce our energy bills. During the sunnier months when solar panels really come into their own, you can maximise your return if you have excess energy.
Intelligent Octopus Flux avoids the need for customers to configure their own hardware to get the best deal. This is great if you don’t have the time or if you are less tech-savvy. Octopus will choose the discharge time that is right for the grid potentially avoiding short-term use of fossil fuels to fill the gaps.
We’ll export the energy you have stored when you’ll make the best return. So you’ll always get the best deal on the sunshine you have stored ☀️ – Octopus Energy.
Am I eligible to move to Intelligent Octopus Flux?
To switch to Intelligent Octopus Flux you will need to be an Octopus Energy customer with both solar PV and a home battery. Your solar and battery don’t need to be installed by Octopus Energy but if you want a quote you can use this online form.
You’ll need to have:
A smart meter which provides Octopus with half-hourly readings.
A copy of the MCS document for your solar system.
Confirmation your local energy network was notified of your installation. *
* This will be a letter or email you got from your energy network after they were notified by your solar installer.
If you receive Feed-in-Tariff payments from Octopus or another supplier, they’ll also need a copy of your (Microgeneration Certificate Scheme) MCS certificate.
How much will I pay for importing and exporting electricity on the Intelligent Octopus Flux tariff?
Intelligent Octopus Flux covers both import and export. Unlike its sister tariff Octopus Flux, the intelligent versions of the Octopus Flux tariff not only decide when to sell your energy but also allow you to import electricity at a cheaper rate. So you work less for more with the Intelligent Octopus Flux tariff, which sounds like a very cunning plan indeed.
The Octopus Flexible Tariff is the Octopus default tariff that is in line with the Energy Price Cap. For 21 hours of the day, Intelligent Octopus Flux is 10% below this for both import and export. I think that’s a very impressive export rate even before the boost between 4 pm and 7 pm!
On the Octopus Flux Tariff, you can have any home battery set up.
On the Octopus Flux Tariff, you control import and export times via your home battery.
On the Intelligent Octopus Flux Tariff, you will need a GivEnergy battery. (More batteries will be added to the list soon.)
On the Intelligent Octopus Flux Tariff Octopus optimises your import and export times using their Kraken software. You just watch the magic happen on the Octopus App.
I am taking a wild guess that Octopus may export your electricty at other times if the grid needs it and I am guessing you would get the peak rate for that too. This means that your peak export rate window could be longer than 3 hours, which would be amazing! (This is a hunch as to what might happen. I am going to chat with Alex Schoch, Head of Flexibility at Octopus next week so I will be able to find out if I am correct.)
“Octopus Energy continues to unlock a grid system that is green, cheap and easy for customers. Next generation smart tariffs like Intelligent Octopus Flux optimise energy tech in people’s homes – passing on savings to customers while stopping the need for dirty fossil fuel plants at peak times.” – Alex Schoch, Octopus Energy.
Why do I need an MCS certificate to switch to Intelligent Octopus Flux?
The Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) is a standards organisation. If you are looking for a comparison it’s similar to Corgi registered (for gas) but the MCS is for low-carbon technologies. Unlike Corgi where gas fitters have to be registered MCS is not a legal requirement. It is more a mark of quality for heat pumps, solar, biomass, wind and battery storage installation and Octopus has decided to make it a requirement in the terms and conditions.
If you are not sure if your system has an MCS certificate or you just can’t find it you can contact MCS at 0333 103 8130, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are looking for an installer you can also check if they are listed as MCS certified.
When Octopus receives your MCS certificate they will apply to the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) for an export Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN ) for your smart meter. Once the MPAN is registered by the DNO Octopus can then start paying you for your exported electricity.
Can I get paid for my solar export without an MCS Certificate?
Octopus Energy is launching a trial where no MCS Certificate is required for solar export but this is separate from this tariff where an MCS Certificate is still required.
I doubled checked with Octopus on Twitter and here is their response from 5th August 2023.
Hi, we don’t currently accept export customers without an MCS certificate, but we’re in the very early stages of trialling a solution for non-MCS customers. If you or anyone you know would like to hear if this becomes available, pop your name down here: https://t.co/Rg5R5p4vJy 🐙
How do I switch to the Intelligent Octopus Flux tariff?
At the moment the Intelligent Octopus Flux tariff is so new there is a waiting list.
You will obviously have to be an Octopus Energy customer so you could always consider switching to Octopus and going on the Octopus Flux tariff until the Intelligent Octopus Flux tariff becomes available to you.
By using the linked page below to sign up you’ll get £50 credit after your first direct debit payment. (I’ll also get £50 too so a big thank you if you use my link) As a new customer, you will need to switch to the Octopus Flexible tariff first before moving to any other Octopus tariff.
How does the Octopus Intelligent Flux tariff compare to other solar export rates?
Octopus is very different from any other energy supplier in the UK. They offer such a wide range of tariffs both traditional and smart that you do need to consider your own energy use to find the best combination of import and export tariffs for your own circumstances. It can seem a little complicated to work out what’s right for you but hopefully, my blog will help.
You don’t need to have your home energy supplied by Octopus to be on an Octopus export tariff but the Intelligent Octopus Flux tariff combines both import and export. You can read about other combinations of SEG and Outgoing tariffs on my other solar export review page.
If you want to ask any questions there is a great community on Twitter and you can always tag me @sarah_go_green.
Here is a list of some of the traditional expert tariffs and prices just to give you an idea. The minimum rate you would get for export is 27.1p per kWh on Intelligent Flux rising to 36.1p per kWh between 4 pm and 7 pm. (This may vary slightly based on your geographical location.)
Octopus Energy Outgoing tariff – 15p per kWh
Scottish Power – 12p per kWh
British Gas – 6.4p per kWh
OVO Energy – 4p per kWh
Shell Energy – 3.5p per kWh
E.ON Next – 3p per kWh
EDF Energy – 3p per kWh
Utility Warehouse – 2p per kWh
Is Intelligent Octopus Flux a good all-year-round tariff?
The Intelligent Octopus Flux import and export rates have just been announced. The big bonus is the import rates on Intelligent Octopus Flux will be 10% lower than the Octopus Flexible Tariff, with a very impressive export rate between 4 pm and 7 pm.
That being said you should consider having two tariffs, one for winter and one for the summer. It obviously depends on your home set-up and energy needs but I have written a recent blog about seasonal Octopus tariffs that you may find of interest.
In the winter for example when there are fewer hours of sunshine you may want to top up your battery overnight at a low off-peak rate and then discharge energy from the battery. Intelligent Octopus Flux offers an off-peak rate of 10% below the Flexible tariff but Economy 7 is much cheaper at night so switching tariffs later in the year may help to reduce your energy bills for the winter period.
Having a home battery can help balance the grid making it cleaner and greener.
The chart below shows a day’s energy use for a home with battery storage and solar panels. The battery is charged at night and discharged throughout the day. The battery works alongside the home’s solar panels to act like a virtual power station.
One of the main benefits of a home battery is being able to import electricty when there is less demand on the National Grid. Even in this example, without any pricing information, you can see that by topping up your battery at night this home has become self-sufficient during the day. This reduces peak demand at times when coal power stations might be forced to come online. For lots of people who are concerned about the environment, this will be a very attractive idea.
It really is a win, win if you’re not very techie and want to save money and make a difference. Intelligent Octopus Flux will do all the hard work for you if you have solar panels and battery storage.
There are other Octopus Energy tariffs that could help reduce your energy bills if you have battery storage and solar panels. It is important that you have a look at these tariffs too before making a decision that is right for you.
The review is a work in progress so watch this space.
Should we allow an energy company to control household tech, such as home batteries?
I have added this question as I was contacted by someone who follows my blog today. They are having solar panels and battery storage installed soon but they don’t like the concept of allowing an energy firm to control household gadgets. They worry this will be a slippery slope where energy firms will dictate how and when we use energy. I on the contrary see this as an amazing step forward.
I get emails from lots of people who are buying green tech but worry that they aren’t making the most of them. They don’t fully understand if they have chosen the right tariff or indeed are making the most of the opportunities that Octopus smart tariffs provide. I let Octopus control EV charging at the moment. It’s a similar tariff to Intelligent Octopus Flux but they control my EV rather than a home battery. It is so easy and I know I am using my energy when it is the cheapest and greenest.
I think we need companies like Octopus to shake things up. They need to wake up the industry showing them what is possible whilst also guiding us on the journey. I think the Intelligent Octopus tariff will do that hand-holding very nicely as we all make our own personal attempts to help reduce our carbon footprint and save some money on the way.
Battery storage is an excellent option to help reduce your energy bill. Plus if the lights go off this winter, in the form of a blackout, you will have your own power source. Battery storage can also help reduce your carbon footprint if you are able to charge when the grid is greener at night. So what’s the best Octopus Energy tariff for your home battery storage?
I have had many questions about battery storage over the last few weeks. If you are contemplating the best options for reducing your energy bills battery storage could save you serious money. However, it does take a little thought as it all depends on your situation and the off-peak tariffs available to you.
The good news is Octopus Energy launched a new tariff Intelligent Octopus Flux on the 19th of July 2023. This smart solar and battery tariff is the sister tariff to Octopus Flux, Yes, you will need solar for both Octopus Flux tariffs BUT the intelligent version is a brand-new tariff that takes into account the growing interest in battery storage.
This diagram should help you better understand the concept of the Octopus Flux Tariff. This is my interpretation of the Octopus Flux and not an official image from the Octopus Energy website. The intelligent version is all managed by Octopus, you just put your feet up and leave them to export at the greenest time which as a bonus is also better for your pocket.
In the summer, the yellow solar line will extend further, providing you with a greater chance to export energy at the peak rate while keeping your battery charged with green electrons.
What is Battery Storage and Why is it Important?
With the rising cost of energy and increasing concerns about the environment, people are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Battery storage at home is one of the most popular solutions for this problem. It allows homeowners to store excess energy generated from renewable sources such as solar panels so that they can be used when needed. This not only reduces electricity costs but also helps reduce emissions and pollution associated with traditional power plants. Battery storage also provides a backup in case of an emergency or natural disaster. With more efficient batteries becoming available, battery storage at home is becoming a viable option for many households looking to become more energy-efficient and environmentally conscious.
With the increasing demand for renewable energy sources, battery storage for home use is becoming more and more popular. Battery storage can help households save money on their electricity bills by storing energy when it is cheaper and using it when the prices are higher. It also helps reduce carbon emissions by allowing households to switch off their appliances during peak times and use stored energy instead.
Octopus Off-peak tariffs for charging battery storage.
When you invest in battery storage for your home it is quite a sizeable investment and the obvious question is when can you aim to recoup your cash. In the last few months interest in battery storage solutions for domestic use has increased dramatically. In many cases, battery storage is being sought as a solution before solar PV.
A quick rundown of the Octopus time-of-use tariffs.
If you own an electric vehicle and have a smart meter then you have a variety of options to charge your new battery. If you are already on an EV tariff such as Octopus Go or the Intelligent tariff you can simply charge your home battery during your off-peak times. At 7.5p/9.0p per kWh off-peak the more battery storage you have the better as you can use that cheap energy during the day when prices are high.
If you don’t have an electric vehicle then sadly you can’t take advantage of these Octopus tariffs. If you have solar panels, however, battery storage would be great for storing excess solar either to use at peak times when no solar is available or for selling back to the grid. Octopus Agile is very popular with friends who have solar panels, especially in the summer months. However, this might change now that Octopus has just increased the minimum outgoing tariff that can be combined with the Intelligent tariff to 15p per kWh.
If you don’t have an EV or solar panels then Octopus Agile is an option to look at as well as Economy 7. You can read more about this on my Octopus Agile review page.
Cosy Octopus Tariff.
Octopus Energy launched a new smart tariff, the Cosy Octopus tariff, which has a double discounted period. You have to own an air source heat pump or have booked to have one installed in order to qualify for this tariff. It has 6 hours of off-peak electricity which is around 17p per kWh during this period. Maybe, this would be a good option if you have an ASHP and battery storage.
Is battery storage worth the investment?
Yes, yes and yes! I have had battery storage now for around 6 weeks and the difference it has made to my energy bill, even in November is quite staggering but I do have access to an EV tariff. This means I get a cheap overnight rate to top up the battery ready for the next day.
Even without an EV just being able to store excess solar and fill up at the lowest rate possible makes battery storage a great option to lower the average price you pay per kWh.
Battery storage has to be the way forward for energy security in the UK.
Today, 7th July 2023 Tesla has amended its very popular Tesla UK Referral Scheme, it is no longer called Tesla Loot Box but Tesla Referral Awards. If you are lucky enough to be an existing Tesla owner in the UK you can share your Tesla referral link or your Tesla referral code and earn Tesla credits. The person you are referring will get a discount on their brand-new Tesla! Yes, a cash discount instead of loot points. (Which is worth so much more!)
Charge into Rewards with a Tesla discount code.
When you’re passionate about something, the word travels fast. That’s why Tesla doesn’t pay for advertising. Instead, they incentive customers to share their experience and Tesla referral code.
Buying a new Tesla Model Y or Model 3 in the UK.
If you buy a new Tesla Model Y or Model 3 using a Tesla referral you will get a £250 discount.
If you buy a new Tesla Model S or Model X using a Tesla referral you will get a £250 discount.
If you refer someone who buys a Tesla Model Y or Model 3 you will get 7,500 Tesla credits. (5,000 credits will get you 3,000 free Supercharging Miles)
If you refer someone who buys a Tesla Model SA or Model X you will get 7,5000 Tesla credits. (5,000 credits will get you 3,000 free Supercharging Miles)
I am not sure if the Tesla credits you get when you refer someone to buy a new Tesla are still called Tesla Loot credits. The amount of credits you get, however, has gone up in this recent referral offer update.
(Thank you, if you use my link. 💚)
If you are buying any Tesla vehicle or solar PV outside of the UK.
If you are outside of the UK you can also use my Tesla Referral Code to purchase your new Tesla or purchase a Solar Roof in a country where Tesla accepts orders. The Tesla referral rewards of loot box credits may vary from country to country. You just need to change your location on the Tesla website when you click through as you will land on the UK version of the Tesla website using my Tesla Referral Link. 🇬🇧
How to use my Tesla Referral Link?
When you buy a new Tesla Model 3, Model Y, Model S or Model X using my referral link, we will get a discount of your new Tesla and I will earn Tesla Referral credits. 💚
If you buy a new Tesla you will receive received A £250 discount. If you refer someone and they buy a new Tesla credits (previously known as loot point credits) will be allocated to your Tesla app after they take delivery. Once you have your own account you can start referring people too so you can build up your credit.
If you are outside the UK you can simply switch to an alternative country on the Tesla website and still claim a discount on a new Tesla or you can just use my Tesla referral code Sarah583995 anywhere in the world.
How do I get a Tesla Referral Link?
If you own a Tesla to find your Tesla referral link just go into your Tesla app.
Click on the icon that looks like a cube next to your profile picture in the top right-hand corner. The Tesla Referral Rewards will then appear on the screen.
Tap the blue button at the bottom of the screen to share your Tesla Referral link. You can share your Tesla Referral link directly in a text message or email from this screen.
The Tesla Referral Rewards section of the Tesla app will also show you the number of will credits you have and allow you to exchange your look credits for Tesla goodies.
How do I redeem Tesla Referral Credits?
When someone has bought a new Tesla using your Tesla discount code you can access and redeem the credits in your Tesla app.
In the top right-hand corner click on the Tesla cube icon in the top right of the screen.
From here you can view your Tesla referral credits and exchange them for a variety of items such as supercharging miles or accessories.
The Tesla Referral credits will show as pending until the new Tesla is delivered.
On collection/delivery day the referring Tesla owner will have an update in their Tesla app and the credits will show are available to redeem.
Tesla loot box credits are valid for 12 months. (Once redeemed Tesla Supercharging miles are valid for 6 months.)
What can I exchange my Tesla Referral Reward Credits for?
Tesla Supercharging miles are the obvious way to spend your Tesla referral credits. There’s something quite exciting about fueling your Tesla for free!
You can also exchange your Tesla Loot Box credits for a variety of lifestyle products and Tesla accessories.
1000 Tesla Credits would be enough for 2 free Tesla T-shirts and 5,000 Tesla Credits would be enough for 3,000 Supercharging Miles.
Can I use a Tesla referral code at a Tesla showroom?
Yes, you can use a Tesla Referral discount code at a Tesla showroom. If you buy a new Tesla in store just give the Sales advisor my Tesla discount code, Sarah583995.
This is what Tesla UK have to say about their new Loot Box.
Our goal is to help Tesla owners share their passion for Tesla’s products and our mission — to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. As an owner, every time you bring a new friend or family member into the Tesla community, you and your friend both earn credits — you earn Referral Credits and your friend gets a discount on a new Tesla.
Is the Tesla Referral Scheme still active in the UK?
Yes, the Tesla Referral Scheme was relaunched on the 27th of March 2023 and then was amended on the 7th of July 2023. It had previously closed on the 18th of September 2021. The Tesla Referral Scheme now offers a discount on a new Tesla which is fantastic.
Can you add a Tesla referral code after placing an order?
I bought my Tesla Model Y online and both the ordering and collection were amazing. It was so straightforward and required almost no human contact. I can highly recommend a Tesla it just keeps getting better with over-the-air updates.
Finding your Tesla VIN number early.
At the moment this isn’t so much of an issue as there is stock available but if you order a new Tesla and want to find out when it is on its way from the factory you can check for a VIN number. Once this is allocated to your Tesla account it means it’s on the ship heading to the UK.
I highly recommend this Tesla VIN Code Extention which can be used on a Chrome browser. It searches your Tesla account and finds the VIN in the source code even before its openly displayed.
Ready, Set, Tesla – Collection Day.
There was a storm the day I picked up my Tesla Model Y and I was extremely nervous. I used this app to run through everything I needed to check but due to the rain, I skimmed through the list. It is important to remember you do have 72 hours to report any issues to Tesla and even return the vehicle if you feel it is necessary.
Handover of your new Tesla involves minimal human contact (which I like) so it is helpful if you do a little bit of prep if you have never driven an EV or test driven a Tesla.
I found watching walk-through videos on the Tesla website before collection really helpful and after I attended a free Zoom online orientation which is still being offered by volunteers at Tesla Owners UK.
Tesla Owners UK don’t put any pressure on you to sign up and you don’t need to be a member to attend the online event. I had my camera off and just listened and asked a few questions in the chat box. The session was very useful so I have added current dates for 2023 below!
There are no current dates for new owner orientation but if you keep checking on their website new dates will pop up. I will update this page as soon as I see any sessions.
If you would like any further hints or tips just take a look at my TikTok Channel. You can also message me via DM on Twitter or TokTok plus you’ll find me at SarahGoGreen.com.
The first 3 things to do as soon as you have collected your new Tesla.
I have been playing TikTok mainly to annoy my daughters. What could mummy possibly have to say? Well, here are my tips on what to do as soon as you get your new Tesla. (I am sure that will make them cringe 🤣)
Is there a Tesla Discount Code for buying a new Tesla?
Yes, you can now get £250 DISCOUNT on a new Tesla. Tesla incentivises existing Tesla owners to spread the word about Tesla and in turn, you can get a discount on a new Tesla. box scheme which is available in lots of countries around the globe.
My Tesla discount code is Sarah583995.
Get charged up and Refer a friend to Tesla.
Get the ultimate reward for driving a Tesla! Share the Tesla love and invite your friends to join the family. With the Tesla Discount code, you’ll get exclusive Tesla credits when you refer someone and they buy their very own Tesla. Plus they will now get a discount on a Tesla, which they will be very happy with!
Start saving up your credits now, and cash out for merchandise or supercharging miles – free Tesla Supercharging miles and rewards for driving the best car around.
Tesla doesn’t pay to advertise instead they prefer word of mouth. A recommendation to buy a Tesla from a current owner is far more powerful in their view.
The Tesla Referral Awards scheme provides current Tesla owners with a unique referral code which they can pass on when recommending a new Tesla. Both the current and new Tesla owner benefits by sharing and receiving a Tesla referral code or link. I love that they have now changed the scheme to offer a discount on a Tesla rather than allocating referral credits to new owners. The Tesla credits are great but when you are spending money on a large item you really want a monetary discount.
There’s no better time to join the #teslaclub than now! Use my Tesla referral code for a discount on a Tesla and be part of the innovation and luxury that comes with owning a Tesla. Get ahead of the curb and join today. #tesla #referralcode #JoinNow
I highly recommend buying a Tesla Model Y.
I have owned my Tesla Model Y for just over a year. The charging is a doodle thanks to the Tesla Supercharging network and it really is a joy to drive. Any questions just send me a message and I will be happy to help. 💚
Just for a bit of fun here I am trying to talk to my Tesla with a Welsh accent. Tesla has introduced British English as an option in the menu settings and I was trying to see if it would understand me now..the jury is still out. 😀
This is what I love about Tesla it is forever changing and updating. Unlike any vehicle I have driven before it just gets better and better with time!
Have you considered switching Octopus tariffs with the seasons? If you have solar panels or a heat pump it may be time to give this question some thought.
These are some questions that come up time and time again when people are considering Octopus Energy smart tariffs. The main focus seems to be finding the right tariff to suit the green tech rather than energy usage and time of year;
Which Octopus Tariff is best if I have solar panels?
I have a heat pump which Octopus tariff is best?
I have just had solar panels and battery storage which tariff is right for me?
My home is a power station. I have solar panels, battery storage, a heat pump and an Electric Vehicle which tariff should I consider?
If you are electrifying your home and are looking for the best Octopus Tariff you will there is no one simple answer. It doesn’t really matter what equipment you have be it solar panels, Air Source Heat Pump or an EV. What matters and can help you pick the right Octopus tariff is considering how much electricity you import and export from your home and deciding if your energy needs change throughout the year.
How do you use electricity in your home?
There isn’t always a straightforward best option when considering an Octopus Energy smart tariff BUT there are options that can help you save money if you are prepared to think a little bit outside the box.
Firstly you have to consider how and when you use electricity and most importantly are you prepared to change your usage pattern to save money and become a little greener. You also have to consider the time of year. Lots of very geeky Octopus customers have two tariffs, one for the spring and summer and another for the autumn and winter. They just switch between the two by sending Octopus a message when they are ready to move from one tariff to another.
I am going to give you a very broad overview of the Octopus tariffs you could consider and why you would consider them at a particular time of year.
Spring and Summer through to early autumn Octopus Energy tariffs. ☀️🏚️
The day rate almost becomes irrelevant to many households that may live almost off-grid in the summer months thanks to their solar panels. What you need to do in the spring and summer is maximise your export rates and get as much as you can to get the payback on your solar panels.
Octopus Flux Tariff – If you export more than you consume then this might be the tariff for you. It is a simple tariff that has high rewards for exporting excess solar energy to the grid. I think this is a really great tariff to maximise your export rates and earn sunny money. Plus there is now Intelligent Octopus Flux which automates it all for you!
Octopus Agile – If you have more time on your hands and you are going to pay close attention to your energy use then you could consider Octopus Agile. If you have an EV and it is home all day you could charge off your excess solar and still play around with plunge pricing if it happens. (Plunge pricing is when you get paid to use excess electricity on the grid) You can combine Octopus Agile with any Octopus export tariff so the minimum you can get is 15p per kWh for your excess solar.
Octopus Air Source Heat Pump Tariff in the Summer.
If you own an Air Source Heat Pump then really the summertime isn’t really a worry for electricity use as your heating will be off. More attention will be needed in the winter when you are using electricity rather than gas to heat your home. You can just pick any tariff that gives you the best import rates to meet the rest of your energy needs. The Octopus Tracker Tariff is very attractive at the moment. Today, 2nd July the rate for electricity is around 9p per kWh, which is very low. There is excess solar and wind on the grid so prices have really dropped customers on Octopus Agile are getting paid to use energy!
Octopus EV Charging in the summer.
If you can’t charge your EV off excess solar as it’s not parked at home in the day and you drive a high number of miles or your solar doesn’t last until you get home, assuming you don’t have battery storage then Octopus Intelligent or Octopus Go might be a better option as you’ll be able to get an overnight rate of 7.5p / 9.0p per kWh. You will however be restricted to Octopus Outgoing Lite with an export rate of 8p per kWh on Octopus Go. So you may want to check if your EV or EV charger is compatible with the Intelligent Octopus tariff as you’ll get a better export if you sign up for this tariff rather than Octopus Go.
Octopus Battery storage tariff in the summer.
If you have both battery storage and solar panels again it depends on how much you consume. Ideally, you’ll be off the grid for the summer and what you consumer you’ll be storing and using to meet your home energy needs. If you have excess solar and you are exporting then Octopus Flux is the obvious answer for the summer. If however, you need to top up your battery then you just need to do the maths based on how much you export and how much you’ll import. Although I suspect if you have solar PV you won’t need to be considering topping the battery up at all.
Autumn and Winter through to early spring Octopus Energy tariffs.
Now, this is the time of year when you really do need to hustle. However you have chosen to have electricity your home you’ll have more appliances on and you’ll be generating less energy (if you have solar) to power your home.
Again you need to consider how and when you use electricity and most importantly are you prepared to change your usage pattern to save money and help the planet.
Octopus Flux – Now would be a good time to jump ship as your solar generation will not in the majority of cases be meeting your home energy. In the winter you now have to consider your choice of import tariff to save money as in the majority of cases you won’t be exporting to the grid. Instead, you’ll consume what you generate and will be looking to draw more from the grid. This is the time of year when your seasonal switch will really make a difference. (Also look at Intelligent Octopus Flux which is about to launch)
Octopus Agile – If you have time on your hands then you can consider Octopus Agile. You can load shift your energy use to cheaper times of the day and try to reduce the average amount you pay each month for your electricity.
Octopus Air Source Heat Pump Tariff in the Winter.
Now is the time for your heat pump to do its thing and heat your home in the cold winter months. Your import tariff has to be carefully considered. You will need to consider this alongside any other items that will need to draw large amounts of energy from the grid such as battery storage or an Electric Vehicle. This is where it becomes very obvious that there isn’t just one tariff that covers everyone’s energy needs with a heat pump it depends on so many factors. The Octopus Cosy tariff, however, is a good place to start.
If you have an EV and battery storage look at Octopus Go or even better the Intelligent Octopus tariff if you have a compatible EV or EV charger. If you can fill your battery and EV at 9.0p or 7.5p per kWh that is going to make a big difference to your overall monthly average price per kWh. It depends again on your energy use and your battery size.
Octopus EV Charging in the winter.
This could be a very short answer as Intelligent Octopus is the clear winner for me. I suspect you won’t be getting a full charge from your solar even if you are parked at home all day and so you have to find the cheapest way to fill that battery. Intelligent Octopus is the cheapest Octopus EV tariff but you do have to have a compatible EV or EV charger. Octopus are constantly adding to the list so hopefully by the winter of 2023 lots more vehicles and EV chargers will be added. I know the Zappi looks like it is close to being added to the list which will please lots of EV owners.
Intelligent Octopus can have its downside if it causes your EV to draw from your home battery instead of from the grid you could feel like screaming in the midst of winter. I know some customers have had an issue with this and have opted for Octopus Go to avoid it but there can be ways around it. It really is worth considering as you’ll get more for your export and your off-peak rate will cost you less.
Octopus Battery storage tariff in the winter.
This all depends on if you have both an EV and battery storage. It is a no-brainer if you have both, you would just pick one of the Octopus EV tariffs and fill both your EV and home battery at the off-peak rate.
If you don’t have an EV then you just have to work out which is the cheapest import tariff. Economy 7 would be a good option, it is currently around 16p per kWh off-peak. You could also look at Octopus Agile if your battery works with the Octopus smart tariff or if you have time on your hands and can import electricity during the cheapest period of the day.
Seasonal Octopus Tariffs.
The overall message here is that a 12-month fixed isn’t the answer to save or earn money if you are an Octopus customer. You have to consider your home usage and how it changes throughout the year and maximise both the benefits of exporting solar energy and using green energy when it’s abundant on the grid. Switching Octopus tariffs at least twice a year has its benefits and is easy to do.
Octopus Energy tariff exit fees and additional information.
Loyal 12 months fixed tariff – £75 per fuel type.
Tracker tariff – No exit fee but you may have to wait 2 weeks to switch to another tariff. You also can’t go back onto this tariff for 9 months. (To stop people gaming the system)
Agile tariff – No exit fee, you can swap straight away but you can’t go back onto the tariff for 30 days. (To stop people gaming the system)
All other tariffs – No exit fee and you can move swap tariffs straight away.
If you have any questions drop me a message or tag me on Twitter.
Does Octopus Energy Install solar panels and battery storage?
Octopus Energy will be installing solar panels and battery storage in my home this summer. You can get a quote for Octopus home solar on their website.
At the moment you can get an Octopus solar installation if you live in the Midlands or the South of England. Octopus Energy aims to expand to the rest of the UK by the end of 2023 and their vision is to complete 5,000 Octopus solar installations in their first year. You can still request a quote if you live in other areas of the country and they will contact you when the service is available.
We’ll handle your installation every step of the way, from your initial quote right the way through to paying for your exported energy, so your experience is smooth as sunlight. – Octopus Energy
Octopus Energy Solar and battery storage quote.
The quote process with Octopus Energy is very easy. There is no need to talk to anyone and it can all be done online. I requested a quote from a local installer as well as Octopus Energy. The local installer wasn’t able to quote online so I had to arrange a time for them to visit. I was able to get a quote for solar from Octopus without the need for a visit, I just sent them all the relevant information including photographs of my roof.
Do you own or rent your property? (Where the solar panels would be installed.)
What type of property do you live in?
Does the roof(s) you want panels on face north? (You can say unsure)
Does your roof have any of the special features below? (Click on any photos that apply eg velux window.)
How many storeys (floors) does your home have?
When are you looking to get your system installed?
Name, address, phone number and email.
Then photographs of your roof where you want the solar panels to go.
If your area isn’t covered Octopus will tell you and keep your details from when they launch in your area.
Octopus will email you the solar / battery storage quote.
Tom from Octopus emailed me when I started the installation process. I sent him lots of photos and we had a quick chat the next day. I had very specific requirements as I wanted a new battery, GivEnergy All In One, that hadn’t even been approved for installation yet. (It is now)
The whole quotation process for solar / battery storage is very easy with Octopus Energy. The quote will come through via email. There’s a hyperlink you click on and you’ll see all the information you could ever need to know, it’s a big document!
If you want to go ahead and you’re happy with the Octopus solar quotation you pay a £500 fee and Octopus will book you in for a home survey. The £500 then comes off the balance of the Octopus solar installation at the end.
Octopus home visit – Solar installation survey.
The home visit was very thorough. Octopus Energy came out to my home and checked everything. Even though we aren’t installing the battery in the loft they went up to take more accurate measurements of the roof. The home visit was very helpful as it also gave me the opportunity to ask lots of questions.
After we had agreed on equipment for the solar and battery installation Octopus Energy then applied to the Distribution Network Operators (DNO) for permission to go ahead with the work. You will always need permission unless your system is completely off grid, it is a legal requirement as adding any capacity to the grid can be a safety issue for those working on it.
How long does it take to get DNO approval?
DNO approval is when Octopus submits all the paperwork to the National Grid and they grant your application for your solar and battery installation. This is either a G98 or G99 application. You need this approval as you are creating a mini power station in your home by adding equipment and so you have to let your DNO know what you intend to do. For safety reasons, they have to review all the plans you have submitted through Octopus before any work can take place,
I have just had G99 approval. The application was submitted a few days ago by Octopus and although it can take up to 8 weeks to be approved the G99 offer has come through today. Octopus just has to query one thing on it and then I can get an installation date.
Here’s the equipment we have decided to have installed.
6.075 kW of solar panels on 2 south-facing roofs. (15 all-black panels in total.)
All In One 13.5 kW battery with the gateway (This gives it islanding whole house capability).
SolarEdge inverter & optimisers.
The total cost is just shy of £17,000. That is for everything, scaffolding, bird protection, and all the certificates and registration. I have paid £500 so far and the balance is due as soon as the work is complete.
I don’t need the SolarEdge inverter and optimisers, I just want them. There is no shading on my roof (a small amount possibly on the side elevation depending on the time of year) but I want to be able to monitor each panel and the optisomers do this really well. It is the same with the GivEnergy Gateway, it is more a want than a need but we do have occasional blackouts so this is something that was high on my wish list.
The £17,000 could be reduced by removing some of the items and/or having a smaller battery.
Considering where I should house my new Givenergy All In One Battery. What are the options?
A home battery is quite versatile, it can be installed in the;
Outside (If you can provide some sort of shelter over the top)
A battery will allow you to store any electricity you don’t use, so that instead of exporting the energy back to the grid, you can use it later when the sun isn’t shining. The initial cost for a battery is higher than solar panels alone, but it’s a great idea if you wish to be self-sufficient and avoid spending money on pricey electricity from the grid in the long-run. You can also guarantee that the majority of the electricity you’re using is 100% clean, green and home-generated.
The All In One battery by Givenergy is quite a weight, more so than the smaller battery. So installing it in the loft isn’t a sensible idea.
If you are looking at a smaller battery I know lots of people who have opted to have this installed in their loft and have been delighted with their Octopus install. My only concern with opting for installing the battery in the loft is the heat. We have quite a shallow roof space and it gets very hot up there. If we added a battery to the space I would be concerned it would be too hot to be considered a safe option.
My husband wanted to put the battery outside but my concern was about cold weather. I have read that if temperatures fall below zero then the battery sometimes doesn’t work. I know the Tesla Powerwall works fine outside at all temperatures but I would rather not risk it when we have a garage the battery could go in. If you do install the battery outside it just needs a canopy of some sort.
After consideration, we decided to have it installed in the garage. My husband has been tasked with clearing it out ready for the big day, I am rather relieved to have an excuse to get him to reduce the amount of treasures he has in there.
Octopus Energy home solar installation day.
All the hardware required to install my home solar and battery storage will come from the Octopus warehouse in Slough. I was lucky enough to visit the site and it is super efficient. All the Octopus staff I met were very enthusiastic and committed to offering the very best service to help customers. You can smell their determination to get the green revolution rolling out across the country. I am so excited!!
I spotted a map in their staff room that highlights all the Octopus engineers who have completed their training. It’s a great visual reminder that there’s still a of the country to cover but I enjoyed looking at all the engineer photos on the wall. To have such pride and commitment to rolling this out across the UK is quite inspiring. We need more firms like Octopus Energy!
All the Octopus engineers are training in the Octopus facility in Slough, you can feel the enthusiasm and sense and purpose as you walk around the site. They have two warehouses one for all your lovely new green tech, such as solar panels and heat pumps and another for training, research and development. The dispatch warehouse has now been automated to help dispatch the equipment to customers are quickly as possible. It is very impressive and I salute their commitment to rolling this out as quickly as possible with their own staff. Thanks for letting me visit guys!
(The CEO of GivEnergy has also invited me to visit GivEnergy HQ in Stoke-on-Trent so watch this space. I will be the most-travelled middle-aged woman in a cardigan, being geeky all of a sudden is mainstream.🤣)
Here are some questions I have tried to answer for my own home solar and battery storage journey.
Can battery storage work in a power cut?
This is a question that I have been trying to get to the bottom of and has caused a lot of discussion on my Twitter account. (Thank you to everyone who has replied.)
The answer is yes home battery can work in a power cut but either it has to be set up so that the Emergency Power Supply (EPS) is linked to your home consumer board with a changeover switch or like me you opt for a battery like the GivEnergy All In One with the gateway unit that allows you to “island” your home.
It is the islanding part that allows the home to continue working if you should get a power cut. This happens automatically with the All In One battery if you also have it fitted with the gateway. At the moment this and the Victron battery are the only real rival to the Tesla Powerwall in the UK. The Powerwall battery can also island your home and allows the house to continue to run off the battery in the event of a power cut.
The CEO of GivEnergy explains how the new All In One Battery works in this video.
Octopus Energy can install a GivEnergy home battery with your solar panels. If you install both it is more expensive but you won’t pay any VAT. Solar panels are exempt from VAT and home battery storage is also exempt if it is installed at the same time as solar panels.
Do you really need an Emergency Power Supply?
When weighing up if you should pay for an EPS option you should consider;
Do you live in a rural location prone to power cuts?
How long are your powercuts?
Do you work from home or need a guaranteed supply of energy in case of an emergency?
Are you a prepper, like me and want to be ready for every eventuality?
Can you spend less but also have an Emergency Power Supply from your home battery in case of a power cut?
If you want to keep costs down you can ask your installers to add a changeover switch rather than trying to cover the whole house with a battery like the GivEnergy All In One with the gateway. The changeover switch can link the consumer board in your home. There will be an extra cost for the work so you have to decide if it’s worth it.
You can link a couple of fuses to the changeover switch. Some systems will even switch over automatically but others will require you to switch over manually from the grid to your battery in the event of a power cut. However, your battery will still only be able to power a small number of items. For whole-house capability, you’d need a Tesla Powewall, GivEnergy All-In-One battery with the gateway or a Victron battery. These are the only three batteries I know that can do that but they cost more!
If you feel you do need an EPS I would discuss it with your installer and find out the cost. There are a variety of options you just need to be selective about which items are going to be powered during a blackout, for example, lights, your fridge and wifi are obvious ones if you do for a changeover switch.
Your installer can also do a slightly cheaper option and add a 3-pin plug where the battery is located, this will be powered by the battery. You could then run an extension cable into the house for emergency use.
Here are two examples of changeover switches linked to an EPS.
Thanks to@madtomgarrett on Twitter for the photograph.
Thanks to @speak2thegeek on Twitter for the photo. He has his garage switches, downstairs lights and upstairs lights linked to his changeover switch.
Will solar panels work in a power cut?
As suggested in this video solar panels also don’t work in a power cut. This is something not everyone considers and for most people will never be an issue. Everything shuts down because you are connected to the National Grid. For safety, if the external electricity supply goes off so does your home battery. I believe this is a legal requirement to safeguard anyone working on the grid.
If someone is then working on the National Grid isolating your home will protect them. This is where islanding is essential. If you want your solar panels to continue to feed your battery they will need to be installed with a hybrid inverter. I think that’s right anyway. (I can explain this but don’t want to complicate it too much)
Dont get too worried if all this sounds a little too complicated. You just have to consider if you need the ability to power your home for long periods in a power cut. If you regularly get power cuts just ask Octopus what the options are. Octopus installs GivEnergy hybrid investors and this new All In One Battery so there are lots of options but it comes down to if you want to pay the extra for that facility.
I want to heat my hot water tank with my solar panels is a simple timer connected to my immersion heater good enough?
I have a very large hot water tank. When we first moved in I heated it with gas. Since having an EV I have started to think more creatively about my energy use and have had a basic digital timer fitted to my immersion switch. I time my immersion to come on during my Octopus off-peak period. I get 6 hours of off-peak electricity a night as I am on the Octopus intelligent tariff.
Now I am having solar panels my plan is to use the timer to come on during the day when there is lots of solar but is that adequate? Do I need to spend more than £30 on a digital timer from Amazon? I posed this question on Twitter and had some amazing insight from solar enthusiasts.
So i’m running through all the prep i’m going to do for the @OctopusEnergy solar and battery install.
Octopus will do everything in terms of install but I obviously have to think how I use my homes new solar energy.
The responses were split. Some loved the MyEnergi Eddi solar diverter for the hot water and others said I’d never recoup the cost of the Eddi and a simple timer will do the trick. So I think it depends on your budget and if you are happy with just a timer. I think for now the timer will do.
A good point is that you could still heat your hot water at night off-peak whilst exporting your excess solar for more than you would pay for your off-peak rate during the day. That is a fair point and shows how amazing the Octopus export tariffs are. It depends if you want to self-consume your own solar or make a profit exporting it. Octopus Flux is very popular as a summer tariff and you could do this easily on that particular tariff.
The GivEnergy hardware works with all of the Octopus smart tariffs. You can read my blog post where I discuss seasonal Octopus tariffs.
Octopus Energy Solar and Battery Storage South Wales.
At the moment Octopus Energy hasn’t officially launched its solar installation in South yet. I nagged them so much to come to the region they have asked if I would like to be the first installation in the area. I am obviously over the moon and after having a second quote have decided to go with them for the installation. ☀️
Octopus Energy Solar installation milestone.
Survey Completed by Octopus Energy
National Grid approved the installation.
The scaffolding went up on 28th September and the installation started on 6th October and ended on 9th October 2023.
I am now generating my own solar power and have been running my house from both solar and battery for the last two weeks. I am thrilled to bits!!
It took two hours and thirty minutes for the scaffolding to be erected in two areas of the house. The guys arrived at 9.30 a.m. and left at midday. Octopus subcontracts the scaffolding out and we had a company from Bristol who came and did the installation this morning.
The installation went to plan and took 4 days. The longest part was the cabling for the GiveEnergy gateway.
I will do a full review in the next week. I am very happy with the installation!!
How do I contact Octopus Energy Solar Panels?
You can contact Octopus at email@example.com. You can also request an Octopus solar quote online. Octopus has quite an extensive list of solar FAQs which you might find useful too.
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