“We will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles.”
The Switch To Octopus Energy…
It wasn’t that long ago that you received your electric or gas bill by post, seemingly created using some black magic and complicated mathematics that would make Einstein grimace!
Nowadays, the use of smart meters and some tech focused energy companies has started to demystify the billing process and take the dread out of waiting for a bill.
Since moving into our home we used one of the ‘Big 6’ energy companies (the one with the French sounding name) to supply our gas and electricity. The only problem with this was the habit of the direct debit deciding to change its value every few months. Very frustrating!
I hunted around for a new supplier and came across Octopus Energy. A company with serious financial backing, an ethos of fair pricing and excellent customer service. They are also ‘Which?’ recommended. I decided this was enough for me to switch.
The switch process was seamless. Enter in a few details from my current supplier and a few days later everything was taken care of. I even received an e-mail from the founder of the company, Greg Jackson, welcoming me to Octopus, telling me more about the company and promising speedy customer service when needed. A snippet is shown here…
Extract From Welcome Email
A few weeks later I had a couple of account questions, so time to test the fabled service. I decided to send a Facebook message on a Sunday afternoon. Within an hour I had my reply and the issue resolved. No waiting on hold, no having to escalate to a manager. Brilliant!
During the first 12 months with Octopus we had a gas smart meter installed to compliment our electric one. This was all organised seamlessly by the company.
When it was time to look at another deal, Octopus were still cheaper than the ‘big 6’, but not the cheapest on the market. They would also not provide any discount for being an existing customer, citing that the prices for all customers are competitive. I thought this was a refreshing strategy -basically take our prices or don’t.
I noticed that their website advertised a new tariff called agile. The premise being that the price is dynamic, changing every half hour based on wholesale prices and demand. It costs more during peak time and less during off peak including overnight. Again, a quick Facebook message and I was switched over, seamless again.
Example of the Agile Tariff
At the end of each month I receive a breakdown of usage via email. This details the average price paid per day, and hourly breakdown of usage. This allows me to work out our spending so that we can make alterations if needed. For example we could put washing on over night, or change vehicles off peak (if we drove electric vehicles)
Example Agile Report
One of the great points about Octopus is that they are customer focused. Sometimes sending out cuddly Octopus toys or other initiatives.
At the moment they are helping customers understand how energy efficient their home is. They are doing this by loaning out a thermal imaging camera for you to use at home. By scanning your home you can see the cold spots and look for ways to fix the problem. It could be air loss through windows or poor insulation in the brick work. How cool is that?! I’ve signed up for the service and have had an e-mail confirming I’m on the list for the loan.
Octopus Energy Special Offer
I received the camera from Octopus. It arrived well packaged via Royal Mail. In the box was what looked like a brand new camera, case, instructions and charging cable. The camera had also been charged ready to use. A leaflet in the box explained I had the camera for a week and if I wanted it longer I could pay an extra pound per day. Octopus had even enclosed a return label.
The camera provided by Octopus was a FLIR One camera that connected to my Android phone via USB C. (They had contacted me before to check the type required). I installed the FLIR App from the Google play store.
Using the combination of app, phone and camera I was able to take thermal images of the house and anyone else that got in the way :). I have discovered that the windows are losing the most heat and may need something to remedy this, everything else looks good.
The thought that has gone into the loan of the technology and how easy it is to use is really impressive. Such a great idea well executed Octopus.
I noticed that the Agile tariff seemed to have increased in price. I reached out on Twitter to ask if recent acquisition of new investors and investments abroad had caused a price increase. Octopus CEO Greg responded to my tweet ..
Certainly not! Indeed, investors are to allow us to keep prices down. Agile reflects the real price on the grid. It’s usually cheaper than standard tariffs but right now the grid is pricey due to low renewables and other factors
— Greg Jackson (@g__j) January 5, 2021
It was good of Greg to reply personally and Octopus very kindly sent across some fixed rate quotes and they are comparable to the average rate I am seeing with the Agile tariff. I will keep an eye on prices.
Is Octopus Energy Any Good?
Earlier I mentioned that a previous supplier had given us bother with direct debit. No such issue with Octopus. The direct debit has been set and not altered. We are in credit and have been given the option to return funds back to our bank account.
Overall I am really happy with Octopus Energy, they have lived up to Greg’s promises and the Agile tariff has definitely saved us money. In fact I am so happy I have recommended Octopus to friends and family and they in turn have recommended others too. For each introduction Octopus proved £100 credit to be shared between both parties, that’s £50 for each introduction.
The Good Points
- Fair prices
- Good service
- Easy to use website
- Innovative tariffs
The Bad Points
- Taken over some smaller companies since launch so replies to messages are taking a little longer
- No Android app
- No real-time pricing, have to wait for monthly bill to see spends.
How Popular is Octopus Energy?
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