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octopus agile review

Octopus Energy Agile Tariff Review.

The Octopus Energy Agile tariff is a forward-thinking green energy tariff designed for the 21st century. It is based on up-to-date wholesale energy prices which change every 30 minutes. The Agile tariff aims to reward customers for using energy during off-peak times. If customers want to help decarbonise the national grid by shifting their energy use it can help them save money and the planet. What’s not to love about this? Bravo Octopus!!

The Octopus Agile Tariff could help you beat the April 2023 price increases.

The Octopus Energy Agile tariff is based on wholesale energy prices NOW. Unlike the Energy Price Cap, Octopus Agile will allow you to reap the benefits of wholesale energy prices almost immediately when prices drop. You will also feel the pain more quickly when wholesale energy prices rise but at the moment you could beat the Energy Price Guarantee on Octopus Agile.

The Energy Price Cap, (with the Energy Price Guarantee discount) which most customers are on, will see prices rise and fall with wholesale prices BUT there is a lag. The Energy Price Cap is reviewed every 3 months. This slows down price rises and also price reductions. With the Agile tariff, you see these price fluctuations reflected in the price you pay for your electricity almost instantly.

If you are considering moving to the Octopus Agile tariff you need to make sure you keep a very close eye on the price you pay per kWh for energy.

Octopus Energy is taking on new customers. You can now get an online quote and switch just by answering a few questions online.

How does the Octopus Agile tariff work?

Every day, Octopus Energy updates the price you pay per kWh for your electricity. Unlike other tariffs, the price you pay per kWh changes every 30 minutes and Octopus publishes a list of prices the day before.  You can view the rates on your Octopus dashboard and decide if and when to use electricity the next day.

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 is always a surge in domestic energy use between 4 pm and 7 pm, so Agile energy prices rise.  As a customer, all you need to do is adjust your consumption so you avoid these peak times to reduce your energy bill. While extreme price spikes are rare and short-lived, they typically last 30 minutes to an hour.

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.

Why does the Octopus Agile tariff 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.

How much you will pay per kWh on the Octopus Agile tariff?

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 can know the prices for the next 24-48 hours but beyond that, you are subject to the spot prices of the wholesale energy market.

Octopus Agile tariff price on Friday 31st March 2023

This is the November version 1 of the Agile tariff.

Min: 19.2p per kWh (22.30)

Max: 34.0p per kWh (16.30)

Average: 26.3p per kWh.

Av. Excluding Peak times: 25.2p per kWh

Peak Time 1600 – 1900: 34.0p per kWh.

The prices are based on national average prices per kWh.

Thanks to @energystatsuk for the daily figures.

There is a cap of £1 per kWh on this version of the Agile tariff and you receive the Energy Price Guarantee discount.

How is the Energy Price Guarantee discount applied to the Octopus Agile Tariff?

Octopus has stated that the Energy Price Guarantee discount will apply to the Octopus Agile Tariff.

The EPG discount will apply whenever Agile unit rates go above the base EPG level (34p / kWh on average, but this does vary regionally).

For example, a unit rate of 80p / kWh would be reduced to 62p / kWh.

The EPG is also applied after the maximum unit rate cap. This offers an additional saving for Agile customers against high wholesale unit rates.

For example, a unit rate of 120p / kWh is capped at 100p / kWh, then the EPG discount reduces this to 82p / kWh.

Just remember you can switch to the Octopus flexible tariff at any time if prices become too high.

You can read an explanation as to how the energy price guarantee affects the Octopus Agile tariff in this Octopus blog post

Looking a little deeper at how the Octopus Agile works. 

Octopus’ smart technology makes the Agile tariffs possible.  Kraken, a platform created by Octopus enables energy providers to deliver groundbreaking half-hourly time-of-use tariffs to customers.

Kraken is Octopus Energy’s proprietary technology, a globally scalable platform designed to drive the smart grid and greatly improve the efficiency and customer service of energy suppliers.”

Not only have Octopus created the technology that allows end-users to make use of half-hourly pricing but they also licence it too. Several UK energy providers pay Octopus to use their platform. There are currently over 17 million energy accounts worldwide and they are targeting 100 million accounts by 2027!

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 say way to reward customers for using services off-peak and save money.  The tariff could prove popular with customers who own an electric vehicle, 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 National Grid is usually brown and not green! The price rise, 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. 💚👏🌍⏰

The benefits of switching to Octopus Agile.

  • Help reduce your overall energy bill.
  • Reduce the cost of using home appliances simply by shifting your time of use.
  • Decrease your environmental impact.
  • Help rebalance the national grid.
  • Make your home energy work smarter for you and the planet 🌍

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 Guarantee 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!

At the moment it is my opinion this is a great tariff if you have a smart meter and have the time to hustle and try to save money on your energy bill.

There was been a recent blog post by Martin Lewis on the Money Saving Expert website which also agrees.

Why are wholesale energy prices falling but everyone is bracing themselves for a 20% price increase?

For customers on a traditional energy tariff prices are set to increase by 20% in April 2023.

 

Compare Octopus Flexible Tariff to 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.

Even though the principle of the Octopus Agile tariff is that you need to shift your energy use away from peak times it is important to remember that at the moment even at peak times the rate is lower than the current Energy Price Cap with the Energy Price Guarantee discount.

Today’s Octopus Flexible Tariff v Octopus Agile Tariff.

Energy Price 31/03/23
Octopus Energy Price Guarantee 1st April 2023 to 30th June 2023Octopus Agile Tariff ⏰ - August v1
33.28p per kWh26.3p per kWh (Average Price)
52.18p per day - standing charge.47.52p per day - standing charge.

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?

At the moment sometimes Octopus agile is cheaper than a traditional Octopus tariff but it’s not for the faint-hearted. You have to keep a close eye on the energy market as this could change quite quickly.

If you have solar panels and can export to the national grid, the Agile tariff is without a doubt currently very attractive. Octopus Agile outgoing has some staggering export rates!  See the table towards the bottom of this page for today’s prices.

Octopus Agile Prices 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 Tariff.Cheapest 4 hours.Average price kWhCheapest price 30 minutes.
National Average Price of Energy. Energy PriceEnergy Price.Energy Price.
Average price per kWh over 7 days.
Friday 31/03/23........26.3p per kWh.19.2p per kWh.(22.30)
Thursday 30/03/2319.9p per kWh.24.8p per kWh18.0p per kWh.(05.00)
Wednesday 29/03/2319.9p per kWh.25.2p per kWh.17.9p per kWh (22.30)
Tuesday 28/03/2321.1p per kWh.26.5p per kWh18.6p per kWh.(03.30)
Monday 27/03/2321.4p per kWh.26.9p per kWh.20.4p per kWh (15.00)
Sunday 26/03/2316.2p per kWh.24.9p per kWh13.7p per kWh (07.00)
Saturday 25/03/23 0.9p per kWh.18.6p per kWh.-0.4pp per kWh.(05.00)

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 Bills

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 kWhThis should also include any discount applied as part of the Energy Price Guarantee.

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 17 days)
  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 [email protected] 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.

quote octopus energy

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 Super Green Gas and Octopus Agile Electricity.

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 30 days. This just makes it fair all around. Octopus has no exit fees on any of its tariffs.

Octopus Energy Agile customers in the news.

Gill was featured in recently Sunday Times. She makes big savings by charging her EV using Octopus Agile and an Ohme EV charger. In the article, Gill reported she drove 12,000 miles for £120 in her Kia e-Niro. 💃 She also makes use of price drops to save money using a variety of household appliances.

Octopus Energy 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 are a Tesla owner you just need the Ohme App.

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)

Energy Price - Octopus Agile Outgoing Tariff
National Average per day.Minimum:Maximum:Daily Average
Friday 31/03/239.2p per kWh (22.30)18.7p per kWh (18.00)12.5p per kWh
Thursday 30/03/238.6p per kWh (05.00)18.5p per kWh (18.00) 11.8p per kWh
Wednesday 29/03/238.6p per kWh (22.30)19.2p per kWh (17.30)12.1p per kWh
Tuesday 28/03/238.9p per kWh (03.30)20.2p per kWh (18.30)12.7p per kWh
Monday 27/03/239.6p per kWh (15.00)21.9p per kWh (18.30)13.0p per kWh
Sunday 26/03/236.8per kWh (07.00)20.2p per kWh (18.30)11.9p per kWh
Saturday 25/03/230.8p per kWh (05.30)21.6p per kWh (18.30)9.3p 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 [email protected] to find out more.

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

The eco plug works with the Octopus Agile tariff it turns appliances on when Agile prices drop/energy is greener. ✅

The National Grid has recently launched ‘The green light signal”. It’s a smart bulb that interacts with the National Grid. When the electricity in your local area starts to be supplied mainly from clean or green energy sources, such as wind or solar, the magic happens and the bulb will glow green. You could also try using the Green Signal on IFTTT. There’s an applet If CO2 Level is low. I am going to try this with my Hue Lightbulb. ✅