octopus agile review

Octopus Agile Tariff Review 2024.

The Octopus Agile tariff is a variable electricty rate which changes every 30 minutes. Like following the stock market the Octopus Agile tariff changes every 30 minutes based on wholesale energy prices.

Octopus Agile sounds different, but with a little thought, you can save money on your energy bill and help decarbonise the National Grid. When wholesale energy prices go down so do your bills, you could even get paid to use energy when they drop below zero.  I will explain more in my Octopus Agile tariff review.

Written by Sarah Chambers

The Octopus Agile Tariff helps you save money and the planet.

On a traditional energy tariff, you pay a flat rate for your energy. You may have an off-peak period for a few hours at night but generally, that’s as complicated as it gets.  With Octopus Agile energy use almost becomes a game. If you avoid the peak times (usually between 4 pm and 7 pm) not only will you save money but also contribute to lessening the strain on the National Grid and helping to reduce our reliance on fossil fuel-burning power stations.

By switching to the Octopus Agile tariff you’ll be making decisions on when to use energy based on the availability of energy. If there are lots of green electrons on the grid it will be cheaper, even free. I’ve seen prices fall below zero especially over winter when it’s windy. When it is windy there can be so much energy on the National Grid you’ll get paid to use it!

Octopus Energy offer

How does the Octopus Agile tariff work?

You will either be itching to discover how the Octopus Agile tariff works or it’ll have you running for the hills. Gamifying your energy use to reduce your carbon footprint and save money on your energy bill is a unique concept. It’s the only energy tariff in the UK that allows customers to do this and I will explain how.

  • On Octopus Agile the price you pay per kWh changes every 30 minutes. You’ll know the prices for the next day so you can plan your energy use accordingly. The rates are based on forecasted wholesale energy prices for the next 24 hours. During periods of high demand prices will be higher and lower at less busy times or when energy is abundant on the National Grid.
  • You will need a smart meter. To allow Octopus to record your energy use throughout the day you will need a smart meter that sends Octopus readings every 30 minutes. As a new Octopus customer, you’ll need to switch to a traditional tariff first and once it’s been confirmed half-hourly readings are being received you can switch to the Octopus Agile tariff.

After 4.30 pm each day, Octopus Agile customers can check energy prices for the following day either online or through the Octopus Energy app. This allows customers to find the cheapest windows for their energy use.

There are 3rd party apps that also publish the Octopus Agile prices. If you have Home Assistant (this is a geeky bit of kit to automate your home) there are a variety of ways you can integrate Octopus Agile into your smart home set-up.

The price you pay on the Octopus Agile tariff is based on an independently published wholesale market price. This is the price available to all suppliers.

The benefits of switching to Octopus Agile.

  • Help reduce your overall energy bill.
  • Reduce the cost of using home appliances simply by shifting your energy use.
  • Charge your home battery during the lowest price point of the day.
  • Contribute to reducing strain on the National Grid.
  • Help decrease reliance on fossil fuel-burning power stations.
  • Make your home energy work smarter for you and the planet 🌍

Compare Octopus Flexible Tariff v Octopus Agile Tariff.

Octopus Energy Flexible Tariff.Octopus Agile Tariff
Rates per kWhFixed 1st July to 30th September 2024Rate changes daily.
Electricty22.37p per kWh18.1p per kWh
Daily standing charge61.19p per day61.19p per day.

The Octopus Flexible Tariff is the standard variable rate. The rate may vary depending on where you live in the UK.

Is Octopus Agile cheaper than a traditional Octopus tariff?

The most up-to-date predictions by Cornwall Insight published on 28th March 2024 (the ones used by Martin Lewis) predict that the Energy Price Cap will go down by 8% on the 1st of July 24. This is based on predicted wholesale energy prices over the next 3 months. If you are on Octopus Agile you will see these prices NOW if wholesale prices fall as predicted.

On average, Octopus Agile is cheaper than a traditional Octopus tariff but it’s still a gamble.  However, I think it’s a gamble that will pay off over the next few months if you are prepared to shift your energy use.

If you have battery storage, for example, and can easily change your charging times for the next day you could fill your battery at the lowest Agile rate available and run your home entirely on cheap electricity.  I have a GivEnergy battery and changing my charging times takes just a few seconds from my GivEnergy app or web portal. If you want to try and automate charging I would suggest looking at Wonderwatt. 

Wonder Watt claims you can set and forget your home battery using their platform. It requires no technical knowledge and integrates with Octopus smart tariffs such as Octopus Agile. If you have a much greater understanding and are quite techie you might want to join the increasing number of Octopus customers who have battery storage and incorporate Octopus smart tariffs into their homes using Home Assistant.

Save money using energy when it’s cheaper on the Octopus Agile tariff.

However, you may choose to take advantage of the Octopus Agile tariff be it through simply switching on devices earlier or later than normal, using a smart plug or something more technical you’ll benefit from a lower standing charge for the next 12 months if you switch to the December v1 of the Octopus Agile tariff which is currently still available.

See how the Octopus Agile Prices have changed over the last 7 days.

I have highlighted the cheapest 4-hour period just in case anyone is considering Agile for charging an EV or battery storage etc. The average price per kWh per day is also included.

Octopus Agile April v 1
Rates change every 30 minutes.
Average rates over the day.
Cheapest rate each day
Thursday 11/07/2418.1p per kWh13.6p per kWh (13.30)
Wednesday 10/07/2416.5p per kWh9.9p per kWh (03.30)
Tuesday 09/07/2418.3p per kWh11.0p per kWh (04.30)
Monday 08/07/2420.0p per kWh4.5p per kWh (15.00)
Sunday 07/07/2415.9p per kWh4.5p per kWh (03.30)
Saturday 06/07/2410.8p per kWh-4p per kWh (14.30)
Friday 05/07/2414.9p per kWh.-2.0p per kWh (00.30)

These prices are all below the Octopus Flexible Tariff, which is the standard variable tariff for Octopus customers.

If you can keep an eye on the cost of your energy you can always switch tariffs eg Octopus Agile in the spring, summer, and Autumn, and then Octopus Fixed tariff or Go in the winter when there is very little solar activity.

It is really easy to switch between tariffs. It just depends on how much time you want to spend being a little more creative with your energy use.

Octopus Agile tariff price on Thursday 11th July 2024

This is the April 2024 v1 of the Agile tariff.

Min: 13.6p per kWh (13.30)

Max: 33.2p per kWh (18.00)

Average: 18.1p per kWh.

Av. Excluding Peak times: 16.3 per kWh

Peak Time 1600 – 1900: 30.1p per kWh.

The prices are based on national average prices per kWh.

There is a cap of £1 per kWh on this version of the Octopus Agile tariff.

For several months you could have made a saving on the Octopus Agile tariff compared to being on the Energy Price Cap rate.  Wholesale energy prices are still falling and you see these reduced rates now on the Octopus Agile tariff. However, unless you have a crystal ball you can’t predict how much you will pay for your electricity in the future on the Octopus Agile tariff.

You know the prices for the next 24-48 hours on the Octopus Agile tariff but beyond that, you are subject to the spot prices of the wholesale energy market.

Octopus agile prices now.
octopus agile pricing and compare

This is an Offical Octopus website which isn’t widely known about. It allows you to look at historical Octopus Agile prices for your area and if you are already an Octopus customer you can compare them to your current tariff. (It can be glitchy) However, my preference is this website which is a 3rd party site but I love the graphics and the simplicity.

Why do the Octopus Agile prices change every 30 minutes?

When there is less demand on the national grid or there is excess energy Octopus Agile prices fall. In reverse when there is extra demand on the grid prices rise. This is why the Octopus Agile tariff is suitable for customers who can decide when and how to use their energy.

For customers who can shift their energy use outside the 4-7 pm peak, there could be even bigger savings.

Is the Octopus Agile tariff a hassle?

If you want an energy deal you review once or twice a year then the Octopus Agile tariff isn’t for you UNLESS you have read this Octopus Agile review and have decided that it is worth the effort to save money and the planet.

Octopus Agile requires customers to make changes to their home energy use to avoid peak demand and when green electrons are in abundance take excess energy from off grid. It may sound a little unusual but as a society, we need to start thinking about how we use precious commodities such as energy and with some little Octo magic it isn’t as much of a hassle as you may think.

That Octo magic comes in the form of the open-source API which allows innovators to create 3rd party apps and clever gadgets that can make using Octopus Agile a little easier. Your In Home Display, in my opinion, becomes useless when switching to Octopus Agile and you may find a third-party app becomes your best friend.

Here’s an example of some helpful 3rd party apps and software you could use with the Octopus Agile tariff;

Quick Tip heating your hot water on Octopus Agile via your immersion instead of using gas.

If you want to heat your hot water on cheap electricty rather than gas it’s well worth replacing your immersion switch with a timer. I have added a cheap timer, it also gives me the option to tap it on for a quick one-hour boost.  You could program the timer to come on during the cheap slots each day or if prices drop below zero even tap it on and get paid for heating your hot water! (The one-hour boost is great just in case you forget to turn the immersion switch off.)

If you like a gadget also look at Switch bot. This also works with your mobile phone or Home Assistant.

I use Octopus Watch app on my phone. Love it. Check it once a day and note cheap times and expensive times then I am armed for the day as to when to do stuff. Simples! – Octopus Agile Customer.

Kraken is Octopus Energy’s software that makes Octopus Agile possible. It is proprietary technology, a globally scalable platform designed to drive the smart grid and greatly improve the efficiency and customer service of energy suppliers. Octopus Energy both innovates and supports innovation with its groundbreaking software and for that I applauded them. We need more forward thinkers in the energy market for the sake of our planet.

Should I switch to Octopus Agile?

I love grabbing cheap fairs with off-peak rail tickets. Sometimes it’s not as convenient just having an open day return but to save money I will happily change my travel times to save cash.  Agile works in the same way to reward customers for using services off-peak and save money.  The tariff could prove popular with customers who own an electric vehicle and have solar panels or storage heaters. As well as for those who want to simply use energy when there is less demand on the national grid.

When are peak energy times? Similar to my train ticket example between 4 pm and 7 pm, you’ll always get charged for using energy. Between 4 pm and 7 pm, customers are finishing work or their kids are home from school so appliances get switched on and there is a peak in demand.  This is when the National Grid is usually brown and not green! The price rises, like the train tickets, if you want to save cash the incentive is to wait for the peak in demand to be over.

On the upside when there is less demand on the national grid or there is an excess of green energy the price will plummet and even go negative. You will then get paid to use energy!! Octopus Agile rewards you for shifting your energy use. 💚👏🌍⏰

Is now a good time to switch to the Octopus Agile Tariff?

In my opinion, it is a very good time to switch to the Octopus Agile tariff IF you can monitor your usage each day.  Even though wholesale prices have dropped the Energy Price Cap is based on historical wholesale prices which are significantly higher than wholesale energy prices now. Octopus Agile follows the current wholesale energy prices so you will get those reductions in the price you pay per kWh today!

The Energy Price Cap now dictates how much most people pay for their energy on standard tariffs. By switching to the Octopus Agile tariff you won’t have to wait for the standard variable tariff to play catch up on the fall in wholesale energy prices.

Octopus Agile can also allow you to use energy when demand on the national grid is low bringing down prices to a minimum, sometimes even free. Shift your energy use outside the 4-7 pm peak to save money and use cleaner, greener energy when there is less demand on the grid. Plus “plunge” pricing when there is an excess of green energy and wholesale prices go negative could even pay you to use energy!

As wholesale prices start to stabilise I believe the Octopus Agile tariff has started to feel much less of a risk and more of an opportunity for customers who are prepared to use smart devices to lower their energy bills.

There has been a recent blog post by Martin Lewis on the Money Saving Expert website which also agrees that Octopus Agile is a good way to make big savings on your energy bill.

Octopus Tracker Tariff v Octopus Agile.

The Octopus Agile tariff was launched in February 2018,  just 9 months after the Octopus Tracker tariff.  Both tariffs are based on current wholesale energy prices.

Here is a quick summary of the differences between the two tariffs.

  • The Octopus Tracker tariff offers customers electricity and gas prices that change every day, it’s based on the current wholesale price of energy.
  • Octopus Agile offers customers electricity prices that change every half an hour, based on the current wholesale price of energy.
  • The Octopus Tracker tariff rate changes every 24 hours and is based on current wholesale energy prices but you do not need to shift your energy use throughout the day as it does not fluctuate.
  • You need to be able to shift your energy use on the Octopus Tracker tariff.  You ideally need to use energy when there’s less demand or excess electricity on the national grid.

If you are already an Octopus customer you can compare prices on this website OR anyone can look at historical prices for the Octopus Agile tariff just by selecting your region.

Octopus Agile Energy Bill.

At the end of the month, Agile customers receive a statement. The front page looks like your typical energy bill, but for those who like more detail, there is also a full line-by-line breakdown of customers’ daily consumption by each half-hour, summarised for each day with a graph and their average price per kWh

It’s important to remember that your standard in-house smart meter display will show your energy consumption but will not show the correct unit price for your electricity when you are on Octopus Agile. There are lots of apps that can help.

How do you switch to Octopus Agile as a new customer?

All traditional and smart tariffs are available to new customers. Yes, you can switch to Octopus Energy using the link below. For any smart / Agile tariffs, you will have to sign up for the Octopus Flexible tariff first and then when the switch is complete ask to be moved to the smart or agile tariff.

  1. Switch to Octopus Energy. (This usually takes around 5 days, times have come down dramatically for switching suppliers.)
  2. Octopus must be satisfied that they are receiving half-hourly readings from your smart meter. (This usually happens within 14 days but could take longer)
  3. Your dashboard will show you can switch to Octopus Agile.

If you haven’t got a smart meter it’s a case of switching, requesting a smart meter, and waiting for an installation date to become available in your area. You’ll need a Secure SMETS1 (secure is the brand name) or a SMETS2 smart meter to switch to any of the Octopus smart tariffs.

Tip: If you have been with another supplier and you’re not sure if your SMETS1 smart meter will work Octopus look for the word “Secure”. It may be written on the front of your smart meter.  Secure is a tradename.  Secure also supplied meters to Utilita, Shell, OVO, E.ON, and Bristol Energy.  Any other brand of SMETS1 smart meter will not retain its smart functionality if you switch to Octopus.

How can I tell if I have a SMETS2 smart meter already?

Look out for ‘GUID’ or a Device ID which looks like this: AA-BB-CC-DD-EE-FF-00-GG-ZZ on the front of the meter.  If you can see a number like this it is a good indication you have a SMETS2 meter.  

Switching and Contact Octopus Energy.

If you are super keen once you have signed up as a new customer email hello@octopus.energy or DM Octopus on Twitter quoting your account number.  You can also phone them on 0808 164 1088.

My preferred method is to contact Octopus via Twitter they are really quick to reply but if you choose to call Octopus after signing up you can even select your on-hold music from your Octopus dashboard. They think of everything! Just ask if once your switch is complete they can automatically transfer you onto the tracker tariff. I’ve switched tariffs lots of times via Twitter.

If you use my referral link to switch we will both receive £50 credit on our energy bill. So a big thank you if you use mine!

After answering a few short questions you will be given a quote for the Octopus Flexible tariff. I had circled the price per kWh. You will notice that the price per kWh is currently cheaper Octopus Tracker tariff.

You’ll be an Octopus Energy customer in no time. Switch and claim your £50 new customer credit by using my referral link. There’s no exit fee or long-term lock with Octopus Energy. The switch is usually completed within 17 days. It’s a great way to get cashback when you join Octopus Energy as a new customer. (no code required just use the linked pages.)

Switching to Octopus and changing tariffs as soon as your switch is complete does not affect your £50 credit.

You’ll be given  £50 credit after your first direct debit is taken and you’ll get your own personal referral code to share with friends and family as soon as you have signed up.

Tip: The £50 credit is added to your balance after your first payment is made. If you opt to make a one-off payment eg £5 (the link is on your Octopus dashboard) this should trigger the £50 credit being added a day or two later. So you should get it earlier.

Is there an Octopus Agile Gas Tariff?

No. Octopus Agile is simply for your electricity but you can pick a standard Octopus gas tariff to sit alongside your Agile electricity tariff, for example, Octopus flexible tariff or Octopus tracker tariff. (There’s a waiting list at the moment for the tracker tariff but it is well worth it!)

Is there a minimum time you have to stay on Octopus Agile?

No, you can opt out of the Octopus Agile tariff at any time. The switch to another tariff is usually made within a day (even within a few hours sometimes) BUT you can’t switch back to Agile for 3o days. This just makes it fair all around. Octopus has no exit fees on any of its tariffs.

Will I get paid for exporting my solar energy with Octopus Agile? 

Yes, Octopus Energy Agile Outgoing tariff currently pays customers to export electricity to the grid.  You don’t have to be on Octopus Agile import to take advantage of Agile export. You just can’t be on Octopus Go.

  • Octopus Outgoing matches your half-hourly prices with your day-ahead wholesale rates.
  • If you have battery storage and solar you can maximise the amount you get paid for excess solar with Octopus Agile.
  • Octopus Go Outgoing pays 4.1p per kWh.

For customers who regularly have excess solar energy to feedback to the grid. Just look at these fantastic Outgoing prices! (This is the price you sell your excess energy for)

Octopus Agile Outgoing Tariff
DateMinimum Price:Maximum Price:Average Price
Thursday 11/07/246.8p per kWh (13.30)15.4p per kWh (18.00)8.7p per kWh
Wednesday 10/07/245.2p per kWh (03.30)14.4p per kWh (18.00)8.0p per kWh
Tuesday 09/07/245.7p per kWh (04.30)15.4p per kWh (17.30)8.8p per kWh
Sunday 07/07/242.9p per kWh (03.30)14.3p per kWh (18.00)
7.8p per kWh
Monday 08/07/247.1p per kWh (04.30)16.5p per kWh (18.00) 9.5p per kWh
Saturday 06/07/240p per kWh (14.00)9.8p per kWh (18.30)5.7p per kWh
Friday 05/07/240.2p per kWh (00.30)16.4p per kWh (17.30)7.4p per kWh

Read a full review on Octopus Outgoing tariffs.

NOTE: You do not have to be on Octopus Agile to take advantage of the Octopus Agile Outgoing tariff! (for those customers who generate their own energy and can export it back to the national grid)

You will need your MCS Certificate and DNO response which you should find in your installers pack. Email seg@octopus.energy to find out more.

Apps and smart devices can help with creative energy use to make the grid greener.

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