WHAT ARE OCTOPUS ENERGY SMART TARIFFS?
Octopus Energy offers a range of different smart tariffs, such as Octopus Agile. The innovative tariffs help customers really take control of their energy consumption and prices. They are quite revolutionary but you will need a smart meter installed. All Octopus Energy household tariffs can be taken out as dual fuel or electricity only plans, but gas only tariffs are not available.
OCTOPUS ENERGY AGILE TARIFF
Shift your energy use outside the 4-7 pm peak to save money.
The Octopus Energy Agile tariff allows you to use energy when consumption 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 wholesale prices go negative could even pay you to use energy!
This tariff also lets you take advantage of all your smart devices like Amazon Alexa so you can choose to use home appliances such as your washing machine and dishwasher when energy is cheapest. More importantly, you can use energy when there is less demand on the grid or there is an excess of energy making it far greener.
You can always switch tariffs eg Agile in the spring, summer, and Autumn, and then Super Green 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 thinking about it to save money.
Tips for an Octopus Energy EV tariff.
Octopus Energy Agile tariff versus Octopus Go.
If you are an EV driver it is well worth considering Octopus Agile tariff. Even though Octopus does have a specific tariff for EV owners, Octopus Go. If you want to play with negative pricing and price plunges to bring your average unit price down even further it can save you even more money on your energy bill. As an example, you may use your oven during peak times BUT if you can charge your car during energy price plunges it will bring your overall average unit cost down per kWh. Remember you charge your car for much longer than you use your oven! It is the average price per kWh that you need to consider when looking at your overall energy consumption.
Octopus Energy EV customers can get a big discount on the Ohme Car charger which works well with the Octopus smart tariffs. Instead of £400 customers pay currently £199. If you a Tesla owner you just need the Ohme App.
Octopus Energy Agile Review – How do you know how much you will pay per Khw?
Octopus Energy Agile prices.
Agile customers are able to check energy prices for the following day online and through the Octopus app at 4:30 pm every day. This allows you to see when the cheapest windows will be the next day, giving them control over their consumption and a better idea of their daily spending. As a simple rule of thumb, because there is always a large peak between 4 pm and 7 pm, all Agile customers need to do is adjust their consumption away from that time to benefit overall from the tariff. While extreme price spikes are rare and short-lived, typically lasting 30 minutes to an hour, they do happen.
The Octopus Agile tariff includes Price Cap Protect, so customers never pay more than 35p per kWh. At the end of the month, customers receive a statement. The front page looks like a usual 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.
Why is the Octopus Agile tariff so exciting?
This is a great interview with Zoisa Walton from Octopus Energy talking about the Octopus Agile tariff and the future of energy. I have skipped forward not because the start wasn’t interesting but it relates to business use for Agile. Still a great watch from the start if you want to skip back and watch the whole thing. The future looks brighter and Zoisa simply beams with her passion for renewable energy. It’s a delight to watch!
Octopus Agile Tariff versus Octopus Flexible Tariff.
There has been a discussion on Twitter this week (15/1/2021) about Agile pricing being consistently high. Greg Jackson the CEO of Octopus Energy keeps an eye on his Twitter account and posted this interesting data today. Despite the rise in Agile prices over the last month (due to the lack of wind and sunshine) over the course of the year, the average customer would still save £250 on the Agile tariff v Octopus Flexible tariff.
If you are not comfortable with the extremes of the Octopus Energy Agile tariff variations maybe it isn’t the tariff for you BUT the tariff spikes do focus your mind on shifting your energy usage which in turn makes your energy consumption even greener.
Try before you buy on the Octopus Energy Agile tariff.
Should I switch to Octopus Agile?
If you are nervous about switching to Octopus Agile tariff but would really like to make the switch you could get a smart meter installed, if you don’t have one already and use one of the Octopus Agile apps as a simulator. The idea being you would act as though you are on the agile tariff even though you aren’t. You could then track your usage and cost per month as if you were on the agile tariff using one of the apps. (Octopus Apps are listed towards the bottom of this page along with set up instructions)
You could even, as an example, use the Octopus Watch app (watch as in to look rather than the device) simply as an alert system for when energy is at its greenest. It makes no difference in the tariff you are not. You would still be helping the national grid become greener by shifting your energy consumption. The most important thing is you are using green energy and are comfortable with your energy bill. Everyone’s circumstances are different but with this technology, we can all do our bit to make the planet greener.
Is there a minimum time you have to stay on Octopus Energy Agile tariff?
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 30 days. This just makes it fair all around. Octopus has no exit fees on any of its tariffs.
Our data boffins have spotted people talking about recent Agile peaks and have prepped this dandy little graph:
— Greg Jackson (@g__j) January 14, 2021
Until now, the only rewarding engagement in energy was switching from one tease and squeeze tariff to another. One person only benefited at the expense of another. but with a dynamic smart system, people seeking better value also make it better for everyone else. Amazing. – Greg Jackson, CEO
What you need to know about Octopus Energy Agile Outgoing Tariff.
In March 2019 for some reason, the government pulled the plug on feed tariff designed for solar panel owners. Octopus Energy has introduced a tariff to export excess energy generated from their solar panels to the national grid.
Greg Jackson, CEO of Octopus Energy said: “Outgoing Octopus is designed to make it easy for households to choose to go green – by paying households to adopt solar, we bring locally generated energy to more people and help the UK adopt a cleaner, cheaper energy system.
“At Octopus, we strongly believe in using smart technology to make energy work for our customers and we’re delighted to be the first movers into a promising new market.”
The Octopus Energy outgoing tariff is perfect for any solar, EV, and house battery set up. You can charge your batteries at the cheapest times and discharge energy back to the grid at the most expensive which helps reduce your energy bill.
I see this as the future for energy consumption. By storing electricity we can help reduce the strain on the national grid. Electricity can go into your home from your solar panels, from the grid, or battery storage. As an example, it can run the other way so energy can come out of the car (think of your EV as a spare battery) into your home or back into the grid. So you can run your car from your house and your house from your car. It goes both ways and so many other ways. That’s quite groundbreaking and already a possibility for some Octopus Energy customers!
I am not at this stage yet but I absolutely love the idea and think it’s something I would like to aspire to. This is why I love Octopus Energy they really make me think out of the box!
Think of energy as you would the internet.
You have two options using your smart meter Octopus Outgoing fixed tariff which guarantees 5.5p per kWh for every unit you export or Octopus Agile Outgoing.
With Octopus Agile Outgoing you can go a stage further and consider mixing things up. This is the part that made my husband stop and listens. On Agile Outgoing an example, you could buy your energy when it’s at its cheapest (I would suggest using one of the apps listed on my Octopus agile post), store it, and then discharge it back to the grid when energy prices peak that day. On a good day, if prices go negative you could even get paid to download energy from the grid and then get paid again to upload. Just think of energy as the internet. You can both download and upload to it.
Octopus Energy vehicle-to-grid project. (South East)
If you live within the pink area in the South East you could apply to take part in the powerloop project. Vehicle-to-grid is a new way of thinking about home energy management with the ability to have a constant energy cycle: allowing energy to flow from the house to the car battery, and from the car battery to the grid.
By using Powerloop you are helping to unlock the potential of stored renewable energy in your car battery and feed it back to the grid during times of peak demand, between 4-7 pm. This is groundbreaking in how we relate to energy at home and make use of excess renewable energy.
I don’t live in this area but I love this idea. I watched an interview and there’s no need to worry about needing to recharge the battery if you suddenly have to use the car for a journey. As I understand it you can set a cap on the amount of energy that is taken from the vehicle for use on the grid.
More information can be found here.
Octopus Energy Agile Review.
How does the future look for Agile customers?
Looking back at my childhood I have memories of my father always switching lights off or removing plugs from the wall. He wasn’t an environmentalist it was all based on cost and didn’t we know it! Fast forward thirty years and I am much the same as my father. Although the conversation I am having with my children is a little different. Kids will be kids and if I don’t keep a close eye on them the house ends up looking like a Christmas tree at times. My reasons for demanding that lights are switched off or the items are not left on standby is also mixed in with the need to use appliances at times that will help our planet become greener.
My twins have really embraced the need to use larger items like the dishwasher or the washing machine during off-peak times. (Once I have persuaded them to clean their room) They can imagine the carbon-based energy sources coming online to meet demand and they don’t really like it. They still have to be reminded to turn lights off or removed phones from chargers but the move to shifting some of their energy use has been far easier. Looking forward to the future smart tariffs like Octopus Energy Agile tariff is going to be the way forward. I think my children like myself and their grandfather will, of course, worry about home energy costs but I think their generation will have a different approach to consuming and storing energy thanks to pioneers like Octopus Energy who are leading the way in smart tariffs like Agile.
You don’t have to be on a smart tariff like the Octopus Energy Agile tariff to shift your energy consumption. It is a good way to try and save money though.
OCTOPUS ENERGY AGILE APP REVIEW
There have been a few apps created by developers who are not linked directly with Octopus Energy. They all seem to be customers who have created user-friendly ways of using Octopus Energy Agile daily data.
All the Octopus apps require you to have, at the very minimum, your Octopus Energy API key and your account numbers. Although Octopus Watch enables you to check the energy rates in your area using just your postcode. You can access your API even if you haven’t yet switched to the Octopus Energy Agile tariff.
How do you access your unique Octopus Energy API key?
- Log into your Octopus Energy Account.
- Click on Account Settings.
- Scroll down to Developer settings.
- Click on API access.
I would suggest you cut and paste the information needed into the app of your choice. The example below shows the information needed for the Octopus Watch App. All this information is on your API access page.
The Octopus Energy App that I use.
Octopus Watch — (£1.99)
I would say this is one of the most useful apps to consider if you are switching to the Octopus Energy Agile tariff. This app allows you to download up to 3 months of historical data. You can use it to set Agile pricing alerts and interact with Siri. It’s a good app but the fun really starts in the subscription version.
One of the features I particularly like is on the rates page. You can see the current rate per kWh hour and the rates right through to 11 pm the next day. The table is easy on the eye and using traffic light colours. to indicate, low, medium, and high rates. You can also use a slider to find the cheapest time to use an appliance. As an example, push the slider across to 2 hours, and the app will display the cheapest time to run an appliance for this length of time. Which makes it great for working out when to turn the washing machine on.
Octopus Watch with Subscription.
(£1.99 + £7.99 per year/£0.99 per month)
This is really if you want to help shift your usage to make energy greener. You can set alerts so you know when the lowest carbon period is. It really depends on how much you want to play around with your energy usage and shift. The predictive reports are great too. If you want to plan and work out which day would be best to charge your car or do your weekly wash then the predictive option helps a lot. Of course, these energy prices are just predicted. However, they have shown to be 90% accurate, which is good enough for me. Here is their website.
Free Octopus Agile Apps.
The app allows you to compare Octopus Energy tariffs to find out which tariff is best for you based on your own energy consumption. (find this in the app store here)
“What a great app. Many Octopus Energy customers want to compare energy tariffs, most commonly Agile against Go. This nails it, easy to set up and use. Clear outputs and summaries.”
If This Then That (IFTTT) – Octopus Energy
Connect your Agile Octopus to hundreds of other services. Save money on your energy bill by making things work when energy prices are low.
Simply sign up to IFTTT and link your Octopus Energy agile account to your IFTTT dashboard. You only have to do this once and your login details are saved on the app. Now do the same for other smart items in your house eg Hue light bulbs and smart plugs. Once you have logged into all your smart devices on the app you can start to have a play around.
Eg. If Octopus Energy Agile prices drop below X turn on X.
If you are looking for some smart plugs you can either simply plug a smart plug into your wall socked and add the device or you can change your wall socket to a smart plug. I really like the British-made BG Smart plug.
I use IFTTT to automate my smart devices at home. You can link your Octopus Account to lots of devices. I LOVE THIS APP. I am a geek and link it to my hue lights and ring security system too. There are so many options. I have lights flashing when I come home and all sorts. The kids love it and there is so much you can do with it. Plus it’s FREE!
Find more information here.
Other Octopus Energy Agile Apps
Octopus Energy Watchdog App (£0.99)
This app has easy-to-read graphs. It shows current and past prices along with historical data on your energy consumption. It also shows up-and-coming Agile rates. This app also shows your gas usage and cost. (find this in the app store here
Octopus Energy — Agile Watcher App (£0.79)
This is a simple no-nonsense table format. There are no charts. It displays Agile pricing for 7 days and historical data for up to 30 days. I like the simplicity of it. (find this in the app store here)
Octopus Energy Agile for EV drivers – Also take a look at these apps.
This app isn’t stand-alone. It works with a piece of hardware. You preset the app to charge your electric vehicle when the price drops below a set amount. You set the maximum you want to pay for electricity per kHw and the Ohme device will turn the charging off and on. So you simply plug your car in and walk away. Ohme will only start charging your car when the rate is below the minimum price you preset in the app. Charging will stop and start as prices rise and fall every half hour. It will carry on doing this until your charge is complete. This removes the need to monitor Agile prices so closely as Ohme does all the work for you.
Octopus Energy EV customers can get a big discount on the Ohme Car charger which works well with the Octopus smart tariffs. Instead of £400 customers pay currently £199.
Ohme App for Tesla Owners
UPDATE: Ohme launched a new app on 20/1/2020. Tesla owners no longer need the Ohme cable. Tesla drivers just need the updated app!! All you need is a standard charging cable and the app. This is possible because the Tesla API, which lets your phone communicate with your car, can stop and start the charging. The app simply automates the charging when energy is the cheapest/greenest. How cool is that!
EV.Energy App – This is an app for Tesla Driver.
As I understand it this app works in a similar way to Ohme.
The Zappi charger is very popular with EV owners. I would also suggest looking at these guys.
How can I get a free cuddly Octopus from Octopus Energy?
Once you have signed up to Octopus Energy if you want to get your hands on a free cuddly Octopus they will send you one in the post, although it can take a few weeks depending on stock. Her name is Constantine. (I am not joking)
Borrow a free thermal imaging camera from Octopus Energy.
If you would like to borrow a thermal imaging camera to find out where the heat is escaping from your home or workplace you can request one here.
Spin to win.
Also, don’t forget you get a chance to win a cash prize when you enter your meter reading with “spin to win.”
The Green Friday prize draw to win a funky green electric VW Beatle has now ended but keep an eye on their social media for more competitions. (The big competitions usually appear in your Octopus Energy dashboard)
Octopus Energy Refer a friend.
Once you have chosen to switch to Octopus Energy as a new customer using a referral link, you’ll be given £50 credit on your first bill. You will also be given your own personal referral code to share with friends and families. For every person that switches with your code, you both get £50 credited towards your next bill. It takes just two minutes to switch and your code is effective immediately. (I would be delighted if you use mine to get you started, thank you!)
Octopus Energy Podcast.
Octopus entered the market with a desire to disrupt the status quo. They wanted to provide energy that’s good for the planet, good for your wallet, and, honestly, good for your soul. Listen to their journey, vision, and tech discussions on this free podcast series. (I have enjoyed them – but I am a bit of a geek) They really are the Silicon Valley of the energy market.
Do you live in South Wales or East Yorkshire?
Is your postcode either YO43 (Yorkshire) CF81 or NP24 ?(South Wales) If you are in either of these areas you can apply to join the “Octopus Fan Club“. Aptly named as customers living near wind turbines in Caerphilly and Market Weighton can apply to benefit from their windy location. Any electricity you use while your local turbine is spinning automatically gives you a 20% discount. Even better, when the wind picks up and the green electrons really start flowing, you’ll get 50% off every unit you use.
You can find more information here. The project was launched today and is the first of its kind in the UK. (18/1/2021)