Everything you need to know about Octopus Energy
About Octopus Energy
Octopus Energy is an independent British gas and electricity supplier that’s making big waves in the UK energy market. Offering a 100% green electricity tariff and the option to carbon offset your gas, its aim is to create energy that is ‘fit for the future’. While at the same time striving to make the eco-friendly choice ‘the easy choice’. What’s more, Octopus Energy is one of the highest ranking energy suppliers when it comes to customer reviews and satisfaction, and its tariffs come in at very competitive prices too.
History: Who are Octopus Energy?
Octopus Energy is a relatively new energy supplier in the UK energy market. Established in the summer of 2015 and entering the market towards the end of that year, it has made big gains, acquiring around 30,000 new customers a month ever since.
Placing a huge focus on making its prices transparent and fair for all customers, in 2017 it launched the UK’s first price tracker tariff - the Octopus Tracker tariff. This tariff tracks the daily wholesale price of energy on the UK market and adjusts your rate accordingly, so customers know they are always paying a fair price for their gas and electricity.
Octopus Energy has acquired many new customers from small energy suppliers that have ceased trading. In July 2018, Ofgem appointed Octopus the new supplier for Iresa Energy customers when Iresa collapsed. With this deal, it gained 100,000 new customers. This was also the case for Gen4U, whose 500 customers were moved onto an Octopus Energy tariff when Gen4U went bust. Also in 2018, Octopus Energy bought Affect Energy, gaining a further 22,000 customers.
Were you an Iresa Energy or Gen4U customer?If you were an Iresa Energy or Gen4U customer, you will have automatically been transferred onto Octopus Energy’s cheapest tariff. Ofgem promised that you would not have experienced any interruption in your energy supply during the switch process. Want to know more about your new tariff with Octopus? Head to our Octopus Energy contact page to find the best way to get in touch.
M&S energy and Octopus Energy
In 2018, Octopus Energy partnered with Marks and Spencers and became the energy supplier for all M&S energy customers. M&S Energy’s previous partner was SSE, so securing this deal was no mean feat for Octopus Energy, highlighting its fast-growing reputation on the energy scene.
Octopus Energy and Arsenal
No stranger to making great partnerships, way back in 2016 Octopus Energy became the official energy partner of Arsenal Football Club. Together they have been working to make Arsenal more green, including developing a long-term plan to power the Emirates stadium with 100% renewable energy and planting 500 trees at the Arsenal London Colney Training Ground.
In their own words, Octopus Energy is ‘doing energy better’ and it has worked hard to make its tariffs more green and eco-friendly. In 2018 it switched all customers to 100% renewable electricity (for no extra cost!) and today also offers a tariff with full carbon offsetting. Octopus energy works with Renewable World to offset its carbon emissions.
What’s carbon offsetting?Carbon offsetting is the act of balancing carbon emissions: the amount of carbon that is released in one activity is cancelled out by another activity that removes/reduces the same amount of carbon from the atmosphere, e.g. burning fossil fuels releases carbon so a number of trees are planted to absorb the same amount of carbon.
As of March 2019, Octopus Energy has 600,000 customers who, by the sound of it, are very happy with their energy supplier. Based on customer reviews, this year (2019) it was the only energy supplier branded a ‘recommended provider’ by the consumer site Which?.
- August 2015 - Octopus Energy is founded as a subsidiary of Octopus Group
- December 2015 - The company started trading on the energy UK market
- October 2016 - Octopus becomes the official energy partner of Arsenal F.C.
- May 2017 - It launches its Octopus Tracker tariff - first UK tariff to change rates daily
- August 2018 - The provider acquires Iresa’ s 100,000 customers
- September 2018 - Octopus Energy acquires Gen4U’s customers, buys bought Affect energy and also partners with M&S energy
- 2018 and 2019 - Octopus Energy is the only provider to be labelled a recommended provider by Which?
- March 2019 - The company starts to supply renewable energy to its 600,000 customers
Who owns Octopus Energy?
Octopus energy is a private company founded by Greg Jackson in 2015, and he remains the CEO to this day. The energy provider is a subsidiary of the well known British asset management company Octopus Group.
Founded by Simon Rogerson and Chris Hulatt in 2000, Octopus Group operates in two main sectors: financial services and energy supply. As well as Octopus Energy, it has many other subsidiary companies that you may know, including Octopus Investments, Octopus Healthcare, and Octopus Property.
In the news
Most of the time that Octopus Energy hits the headlines, it’s for the right reasons. For example, the energy provider got quite the media attention around Christmas day 2018, when it gave all customers on the Octopus Agile tariff a great christmas present: free energy for four hours (11am-3pm)!
So far in 2019, it’s made the news with stories about price cuts and new job opportunities. When Ofgem announced the energy price cap would rise in April, Octopus Energy released a statement stating its prices would not rise in conjunction (unlike many of its competitors). Later, it was announced that Octopus would cut prices on its popular flexible tariff by around £30 a year for the average household.
Also in April 2019, plans were revealed to double the Octopus workforce in Leicester. Over the next year the aim is to add 80 new staff members to the Leicester base.
Are you interested in working for Octopus Energy? Visit the Octopus Energy jobs page to see if there is a role that suits you.
Fuel mix: Is Octopus Energy 100% renewable?
Octopus Energy has worked really hard to become eco-friendly and we are very pleased to say that it now uses 100% renewable energy - congratulations Octopus Energy!
Its parent company, Octopus Group, is the UK’s largest investor in solar power and solar farms, generating a huge 40% of our total solar power. So far it claims to have invested £2 billion in solar generation and also invests in other forms of renewable energy, such as wind power and anaerobic digesters.
100% renewable energy just can’t be beaten so we award Octopus 5/5 for its fuel mix.
Octopus Energy: Selectra's verdict
Services: Octopus Energy smart meters and more
These days, energy suppliers offer much more than just energy tariffs. From smart meters and the Warm Home Discount to new energy-efficient technology, what can you get from Octopus Energy?
Octopus energy and smart meters
As part of the government's smart meter rollout scheme, Octopus Energy is trying to install the latest generation of smart meters - SMETS2 - in as many customer homes as possible.
Unlike a lot of providers, Octopus Energy has developed its own system that maximises the efficiency of the smart grid. This allows it to have special innovative tariffs that adjust to daily energy rates and let customers take advantage of cheap energy when the national grid is quiet. To make the most of one of these innovative tariffs, you need to have a smart meter. If you don’t already have one, you can ask Octopus Energy to prioritise you for installation via your online account.
What if I already have a smart meter?
Octopus energy installs smart meters made by the company Secure. If you do not have a Secure smart meter, it won’t be compatible with Octopus Energy’s system. This doesn’t mean your meter won’t work, it will simply become ‘dumb’, meaning it will lose its smart features but continue to work as a normal meter.
Energy suppliers Utilita, First Utility, OVO, E.on and Bristol Energy also use Secure smart meters so if one of these providers installed your smart meter, you are in luck - your smart meter will work with Octopus Energy.
Octopus Energy does not support smart prepayment meters.
What if I don’t have the latest generation of smart meter?
If you have a Secure smart meter but it is a first generation model - SMETS1 instead of SMETS2 - you shouldn’t have any problems switching over to Octopus Energy and your meter will not necessarily need to be upgraded to SMETS2.
One of the main differences between the two generations of smart meter is that a SMETS2 will automatically update to your new supplier when you switch, whereas an engineer needs to manually update a SMETS1. This is not a problem but does mean an engineer visit is required to ensure your meter keeps its smart abilities when you switch. Some good news - SMETS1 meters are due to gain the automatic update feature this year (2019) so watch this space, switching to Octopus Energy could become even easier!
Does Octopus Energy do warm home discount?
In winter 2019, Octopus Energy will be offering the Warm Home Discount for the very first time. This is all we know so far. The supplier has said it will release more information towards the end of the summer. Find out more about the Warm Home Discount scheme and how to apply.
Octopus Electric Vehicles
Octopus Energy wants to make getting an electric car as easy as possible for all customers. Its Octopus Electric Vehicles initiative is designed to help you lease an electric vehicle (EV) and charge it for as little money as possible. How does it work?
- Choose your car: the expert team has handpicked a wide selection of the best electric cars out there and negotiated with the manufacturers to make them affordable with monthly payment plans. The team will also help you make the most of discounts and government grants so you get the best deal, as well as advice on the best car insurance.
- Get your own EV charger: Octopus energy will install a smart EV charger from MyEnergi in your home so your car will never be low on battery.
- Get a great energy tariff: the Octopus Energy Go tariff is specifically designed for electric car owners. In conjunction with the MyEnergi Zappi EV charger, it lets you charge your car during the four hours when electricity costs less (12:30am to 4:30am) so charging your electric car is as cheap as it can be.
- Help and support: you can contact the free support helpline with any queries or problems at any point during your contract.
The powerloop bundle is designed to promote vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging. V2G charging is one of the biggest developments for the future of electric cars: it allows you to power your home using the battery from your electric car and even sell this energy back onto the national grid.
As part of Octopus Energy’s powerloop bundle, you must plug your car into your V2G charger between 6pm and 5am three times a week so you can use this energy to power your home during peak hours (4pm-7pm). The energy created from your car battery can also be put back into the national grid to help reduce pressure during these peak hours.
What do you get with the powerloop bundle?
- Lease agreement for a new Nissan Leaf electric car
- Free V2G charger
- Smart meter installed in your home
- An app to control charging (you can set a minimum limit so this amount of charge is always left in the car in case of emergencies)
- You’ll be signed up to a 100% renewable energy Octopus Energy tariff (if you’re not already a customer)
- Up to £30 off your electric car lease every month
Alexa, ask Octopus….
Arsenal, Marks &Spencers and now Amazon: there seems to be no end to the partnerships Octopus Energy has! Its recent integration with Amazon Alexa means you can ask Alexa what time of day electricity is cheapest, what the price is right now or what it will be in two hours, and how much you used yesterday, this week or even this month. All of this can help you manage your energy usage and find the cheapest time to use electricity.
Do you have an Amazon Alexa enabled device? Search for Octopus skill in the Amazon Alexa app, and get on top of your electricity with the simple phrase ‘Alexa, ask Octopus…’.
While the tool can be used regardless of the Octopus Energy tariff you are on, it is most useful for people on the Octopus Energy Agile Tariff.
Sticking with the theme of effectively managing your energy usage, Octopus Energy’s Agile Tariff can also work in conjunction with If This Then That (IFTTT) apps and integrate with various devices in your home so you can really take advantage of cheap energy.
For example, you can optimise charging your phone or laptop with a smart plug. Through IFTTT, you can set the plug to automatically charge the devices when energy is at its cheapest and to stop charging as soon your phone or laptop is fully charged, saving you money and making sure you only use the energy you need.
Planting trees across the UK
In an effort to offset the carbon emissions its customers are responsible for releasing, Octopus Energy is on a mission to plant 10,000 trees across the UK. By teaming up with schools, charities, and communities throughout the country, Octopus aims to prevent 20,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere every year.
Octopus Energy referral scheme
Refer a friend and get credit with Octopus Energy’s referral scheme. If you get a friend or family member to switch to Octopus Energy using your unique referral link, you can both get £50 of credit in your energy accounts.
You can use your link as many times as you want. Just think, if you get two friends to sign up, you will get £100 of credit. If you get 10 friends to sign up, that’s £500 of credit! Find your unique referral link on your Octopus Energy online account.
Octopus Energy cashback scheme
Octopus Energy will give you cash back on your energy if you have a Santander 123 account. You will need to contact Octopus Energy for more details.
Octopus Energy UK: Tariffs and prices
Octopus Energy offers a range of different fixed and variable tariffs, all of which include 100% renewable energy and have no exit fees so you can leave whenever you want without facing extra charges.
|Octopus Energy Tariff||Fixed or variable||Price fixed for||Payment method||Features|
|Flexible Octopus||Variable||N/A||Direct debit||
|Super Green Octopus||Fixed||12 months||Direct debit||
|Octopus 12M fixed||Fixed||12 months||Direct debit||
Octopus Energy also has a number of so-called innovative tariffs that are designed to make the most of eco-friendly technology, such as solar panels, battery storage points and electric cars, while making sure you get the cheapest energy possible.
|Octopus Energy Tariff||Fixed or variable||Price fixed for||Payment method||Features|
|Octopus Go||Fixed||12 months||Direct debit||
|Agile Octopus||Variable||N/A||Direct debit||
|Octopus Tracker||Variable||N/A||Direct debit||
As well as domestic tariffs, Octopus Energy also offers various business electricity and gas tariffs. For a more detailed look at all of their tariffs and prices, visit our Octopus Energy tariff guide.
How does Octopus Energy compare to the UK energy price cap?
Octopus Energy offers competitive prices, especially when compared to those offered by the Big Six providers. To give you an idea, we compared the average price of its popular Flexible Octopus tariff to Ofgem’s energy price cap. On average, this tariff costs £1,020.70 a year, which is a very pleasing £233.30* under the price cap.
Ofgem’s energy price capAs of April 2019, Ofgem - the regulator of all UK energy suppliers - announced that energy providers cannot charge more than £1,254 a year for gas and electricity combined.
Considering some energy companies are still charging companies more than the price cap (the standard British Gas tariff, for example, comes in at around £60 over the yearly price cap), Octopus Energy’s prices are very reasonable and competitive, but it does prove that they are not the cheapest on offer. Tonik Energy’s Standard: Go Green (1 year) v10 tariff, for example, is just £939.89 a year (on average), which is around £314 under Ofgenm’s price cap.
*all figures are based on a 2-3 bed flat with 3 occupants in central London. Figures will vary depending on the region, house size and number of occupants, as well as the actual tariff.
Contacting Octopus Energy
Want to sign up to Octopus Energy? Are you a customer and have a burning question about your account? Let’s take a quick look at how you can contact the energy supplier.
Not a customer but want to be?
If you want to switch to Octopus Energy you don’t actually need to contact them, you can switch online in just a few minutes. As the company is part of the Energy Switch Guarantee, switching energy suppliers should be simple, smooth and speedy.
Simply head to the Octopus Energy homepage, enter your postcode to get a free quote, choose your tariff and follow the instructions to sign up. There will be no disruption to your energy supply during the switch process and you don’t even need to worry about giving your old supplier the dreaded break up call: Octopus Energy will get in touch with them for you.
Contacting Octopus Energy as a customer
First things first, if you have an energy tariff with Octopus Energy and have any queries or problems, you should start by logging into your online account or the Octopus Energy app. If you can’t find the answer here, you can send an email, reach out on facebook or give Octopus a call. You can find all of the contact details in our Octopus Energy contact page.
Octopus Energy contact
Logging into your online account
If you have an online account, logging in is really easy. All you need is the email address and password associated with your account. If you are having problems logging in, follow our step by step guide on how to log in to your Octopus Energy account.
Telling Octopus Energy you’re moving house
Just because you are moving house, it doesn’t mean you have to leave Octopus Energy. As soon as you know you are moving, find out who the current supplier of your new address is. When you know, get in touch to let the current supplier know the date you are moving in and tell them you are switching to Octopus Energy. Can’t find out who the current provider is? Send Octopus Energy an email with the meter details or give customer services a call and an agent will try to trace the supplier for you.
When moving out of your old house, make sure you give Octopus Energy your final meter readings up to three days after you move out and update the address details in your online account.
Octopus Energy meter readings
If you have a Secure smart meter, your meter readings will be submitted automatically. If you need to manually submit meter readings with Octopus Energy, you can do so through your online account, on the smartphone app or over the phone. Find out how to read your gas and electricity meter so you can submit your Octopus Energy meter readings.
Customer reviews and Selectra’s verdict
Reviews and overall customer satisfaction are where Octopus Energy really shines. In fact, it has been the only company to receive the Which? ‘Recommended Provider’ status in both 2018 and 2019.
On Google, Which? and Trustpilot, customers comment on how easy it is to submit meter readings, how clear and quick all communication is, how easy it is to switch and, in general, how happy they are with the customer service experience. Many praise how simple everything is and claim they have had no problems whatsoever with their account or tariff (hooray!). Customers also love that they are using green energy and while they admit Octopus Energy might not be the cheapest, they still feel like they are saving money.
Nearly everyone who has switched seems more than happy that they did so. Why don’t you join them? For a more detailed review of Octopus Energy, check out our Octopus Energy reviews page.
Selectra’s verdict on Octopus Energy
So, what do the energy experts at Selectra think of Octopus Energy? Customers seem very happy with the service and we really like its unique and innovative tariffs as they encourage and help customers to be more energy efficient.
We also love that Octopus stuck to its promise to become fully green and that this year it will start issuing the Warm Home Discount. It could be cheaper, but you can’t have everything! Overall we give Octopus Energy a well-deserved 4/5.
Octopus Energy: Selectra's verdict