Octopus Energy Smart Meter Tariffs Explained

Learn more about the Octopus smart tariffs: Octopus Go, Agile Octopus, Outgoing Octopus, and the newest Intelligent Octopus. Switch to one and save today!

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Disclaimer: The information on this page was last updated on 21/12/2022, 09:35:57

With the installation of smart meters on the rise, many energy providers are offering exclusive tariffs for smart meter customers. Octopus Energy tariffs have gone one step further to become even smarter - and they’re 100% renewable!

What is a smart tariff?

Smart tariffs are some of the newest and most innovative electricity tariffs on the market and are similar to time-of-use tariffs. They work with your smart meter's half-hourly readings to measure exactly how much you're using and when. Because of this, it's easier for your provider to charge different prices at different times of the day.

Unlike with Economy 7 and 10 meters, where the majority of cheap rates are overnight, smart tariffs give you cheaper rates during the off-peak times throughout the day when it’s more convenient to use your appliances.

With smart tariffs, the price of your electricity can vary throughout the day, depending on:

  • The wholesale price of electricity
  • Peak usage times
  • Exports of your own energy
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Octopus Enery smart meter tariffs

Octopus Energy currently has 3 smart tariffs on offer: Octopus Go, Agile Octopus, and Outgoing Octopus. All three work differently and are best suited for different people.

  • Octopus Go is best for those with an electric vehicle or are able to use their electricity overnight.
  • Agile Octopus is best for those who can use their electricity outside of peak times (not necessarily overnight).
  • Outgoing Octopus is best for those with solar panels or other home electricity generation.

Octopus Energy's smart tariffs are still in the beta stages at the moment, however, that doesn’t mean you can’t see incredible savings, just that you might hit a few bumps.

Octopus Energy has promised even more smart tariffs coming soon, including Intelligent Octopus, an app-controlled smart tariff for EV drivers.

Octopus Go

Octopus Go is very similar to an Economy 7 tariff, where any electricity you use between set times overnight is charged at a much lower rate.

According to Octopus Energy, Octopus Go is an average of 50% cheaper than other Economy 7 nighttime rates (as of April 2021) and daytime rates are around 14p/kWh, depending on where you live.

Compare Economy 7 rates

Key features of Octopus Go

Fixed Tariff
25p standing charge
5p/kWh electricity between 12.30am and 4.30am
Approx. 14p/kWh electricity between 4.30am and 12.30am
Works with smart EV chargers
No exit fees
100% renewable
Electricity only

Who would benefit from Octopus Go?

Octopus Go would be the perfect choice for people who:

  • Have an electric vehicle
  • Have a storage heater
  • Use a lot of electricity overnight

Does the off-peak time change with daylight savings?

No, Octopus Energy has confirmed that your cheap times will always be between 12.30am-4.30am.

Some customers have noticed that their Octopus Energy smart meter’s in-home display shows the cheap rate kicking in at 1.30am following a clock change. However, this is displayed wrong and your 5p/kWh period won’t change when the clocks do.

As Octopus Go is still a beta product, we might see this fixed in the near future, however, it’s a very complex issue to sort out.

Will I have to wake/stay up to switch everything on at night?

Luckily, there are many ways you can take advantage of the 5p/kWh rates without having to switch everything on and off manually at the right time.

If you’re using Octopus Go to charge your EV, you can easily set your smart charger to automatically turn on at 12.30am and off again at 4.30am. Octopus has partnerships with a number of different charging port companies to make sure that customers can make the most of this tariff.

If you’re heating a storage heater with Octopus Go, you might be thinking you have no choice but to get up. However, you can get Economy switches which you can use to set on/off times, as well as ‘boost’ times during the day to make sure you always have hot water.

For other appliances, you can buy timers or smart plugs to switch on and off at certain times. Some appliances might even have settings to delay usage for a certain period of time, such as your dishwasher and washing machine.

Agile Octopus

Agile Octopus has half-hourly energy prices, giving you cheaper, greener energy when fewer people are using it. Prices are updated daily and in 2020, unit prices dropped below 2p/kWh 31 times!

Thanks to Plunge Pricing, how much you pay depends on the wholesale cost of energy at that time and sometimes you’re even paid to use the National Grid’s excess energy. However, this does also mean that at peak times, when more electricity is being used than generated, your unit rates could increase massively - up to 35p/kWh.

Key features of Agile Octopus

Variable tariff
21p standing charge
Unit rates are capped at 35p/kWh
Unit rates can fall below 0p/kWh
100% renewable
No exit fees
Electricity only
Automate your home with an open API
Unit rates are updated for the next 24 hours between 4pm-8pm

Who would benefit from Agile Octopus?

The people most likely to benefit from Agile Octopus are:

  • Able to use their electricity outside of peak times
  • Tech-savvy
  • Regularly using smart technology (eg. heating, lights, etc)

Agile Octopus and its open API

With Agile Octopus, you can use Octopus Energy’s open API to fully make the most of the changing rates by automating your home.

With 'If This Then That' (IFTTT), developers can create their own apps that make sure that your devices are running at cheap rates and you’re not spending more money than you need to.

Download IFTTT

Octopus Energy has come up with IF triggers you can use to automate your home such as:

  • If the unit rate changes above/below a set price…
  • If the unit rate changes above/below a set price for over a set period of time…
  • If my total energy usage for the past day/week/month exceeds a set price…

There are also preset “then that”s, such as:

  • ...set my Nest thermostat
  • ...set my Hue lights
  • ...set my hot water

The more tech-savvy developers can come up with their own automations and Applets to make all kinds of things happen according to energy prices and consumption.

See what others have made

Outgoing Octopus

Outgoing Octopus is a smart export tariff. If you have solar panels or generate your own electricity at home, Octopus will pay you for the green energy you pump into the National Grid.

Octopus Energy can then sell your electricity to your neighbours (they have an average of 6 customers per square mile), enabling the first mass peer-to-peer energy trading in the country. You can help Octopus Energy customers benefit from cheaper electricity and transmission costs, and the planet will benefit from greener, more flexible energy.

Key features of Outgoing Octopus

Fixed or variable options
No standing charges
Fixed tariff guarantees 5.5p/kWh of electricity you export
Variable (Agile) tariff works similarly to Octopus Agile where rates change throughout the day
With Outgoing Agile, if wholesale rates drop below zero, you’ll be paid just above for your exports
100% renewable
No exit fees
Independent from your regular consumption tariff
Not available alongside Octopus Go

Who would benefit from Outgoing Octopus?

You’ll benefit from Outgoing Octopus if you:

  • Generate your own renewable energy
  • Generate more energy than you use
  • Want to sell your excess electricity
  • Have a Microgeneration Certificate Scheme (MCS) certification

Will Outgoing Octopus affect my FiT payments?

While the Feed-in Tariff has closed for new customers, you might still be receiving payments for your exported energy.

Unfortunately, you can’t receive payments from Outgoing Octopus if you still get FiT export payments. However, you’ll still be able to receive your generation payments.

If you sign up for Outgoing Octopus, you’ll be asked to opt out of your deemed export payments from your existing FiT supplier. You can still receive your generation payments from your existing supplier - you don’t have to move that over to Octopus Energy when you switch.

Do I need an import tariff to sign up for Outgoing Octopus?

If you’re not up for switching your import tariff to an Octopus Energy tariff, you don’t have to! You can set up Outgoing Octopus as your export tariff and choose another provider for imports, simply email seg@octopus.energy for more information.

Intelligent Octopus

Intelligent Octopus is an improvement on Octopus Go. You’ll get the same 5p/kWh rates at night, however, they’ll be active from 11.30pm-5.30am.

It pairs directly with your EV’s charging system, using a Smart Charge plan to charge your car more sustainably and effectively. Simply use the app to set up what time you need your car by and how much charge you need and Octopus Energy will schedule your charge at the cheapest and greenest time available.

This tariff is currently still in the testing stage and only available to a select few, but is set to be released in late 2021.

Key features of Intelligent Octopus

Fixed Tariff
25p standing charge
5p/kWh electricity between 11.30pm and 5.30am
Approx. 14p/kWh electricity between 5.30am and 11.30pm
Works with Tesla and Wallbox EV chargers
No exit fees
100% renewable
Electricity only
Not yet available to the public

Who would benefit from Intelligent Octopus?

As this is in its early beta stage, Intelligent Octopus is currently only compatible with Tesla and Wallbox chargers, however, more compatible chargers will be added and an Android app will be on its way.

To sign up for Intelligent Octopus, you’ll need:

  • A Tesla or Wallbox OCPP-enabled charger
  • A smart meter
  • An iOS device to use the Intelligent Octopus app
  • An invitation to be a tester

Is Intelligent Octopus better than Octopus Go?

According to Octopus Energy, customers on Intelligent Octopus can save up to £100 compared to those on an Octopus Go tariff. This was calculated by:

“Assuming 15,000 miles driven per year with 100% of charging in the Intelligent Octopus window vs 80% of charging in the Octopus Go window and a day rate of 15.49p/kWh. This also includes savings in underlying household consumption for a longer night window vs Go.”

However, Intelligent Octopus is currently only available to a small group of people: those with a Tesla or Wallbox, a smart meter and an iOS device. More compatible chargers, vehicles, and devices are set to be added in the future but, for now, Octopus Go might be your best choice of Octopus Energy tariffs to charge your EV.

Which of Octopus Energy's smart meter tariffs is best for you?

The reason there are so many different tariffs across different providers is that they're not one-size-fits-all. Some tariffs are better suited for certain people and some aren't. This is especially true of these smart tariffs.

If you have an electric vehicle...

You'll probably benefit most from Octopus Go or Intelligent Octopus. Both give super cheap rates at night for you to charge your EV fully for less. As Intelligent Octopus is only available to those with an invitation at the moment, your best bet is Octopus Go until Intelligent Octopus goes live.

If you have solar panels...

Outgoing Octopus should be your first choice. Octopus Energy will buy your unused energy if you decide to feed it into the National Grid to increase the percentage of renewable energy.

You can also pair this with Octopus Agile to get paid different rates at different times of the day. If rates drop below zero (which it does sometimes) you'll still be paid for your energy, however, it will be just above zero so you'll have to weigh up whether some of the higher rates make up for it.

If you can control when you use your electricity...

Agile Octopus might be best for you. Whether that's because you're at home and using your electricity at different times to others or you can control your home with smart devices, you could see multiple savings.

If you have a storage heater...

You might benefit from Octopus Go more than an Economy 7 meter. If you can't move the rest of your electricity usage to specific times overnight, you can still take advantage of the cheaper overnight rates.

With an Economy 7 meter, you often see much higher daytime rates, however, Octopus Go rates between 4.30am and 12.30am are still around the average for a normal fixed tariff rate.

How to sign up for smart Octopus Energy tariffs

It’s really easy to sign up for an Octopus Energy smart meter tariff, but first, you have to be an Octopus Energy customer.

Step one: Switch to Octopus Energy

It only takes a few steps to switch to Octopus Energy. Simply enter your postcode and answer a few questions about your home and energy usage for a quote.

If you want to opt for a smart tariff, you’ll first have to sign up for a standard tariff for a while (up to 2 weeks). This is because Octopus Energy needs to make sure they can take half-hourly meter readings to charge you the right amount for your energy.

Switch to Octopus Energy

Step two: Upgrade to an Octopus smart meter

These smart tariffs also require a smart meter. If you have a SMETS2 meter or a “Secure” branded SMETS1 meter, you shouldn’t have to worry about this step as Octopus can easily connect to your current smart meter and upgrade your tariff.

If you don’t have a smart meter yet, or you have a SMETS1 meter that’s not “Secure” branded, you’ll need to upgrade to an Octopus Energy smart meter. They’re currently being installed area-by-area, however, you can register your interest using the link below and Octopus will get in touch.

Request a smart meter

Step three: Sign up for a smart tariff

Once you’ve completed all of these steps, you can sign up for your smart tariff through your online account or call 0808 164 1088.

This could take up to 2 weeks while Octopus Energy connects to your smart meter.

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