Octopus Energy has launched the first tariff that could actually pay you to use energy

Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod

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Published: 23 February 2018

This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod

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Octopus Energy has launched Agile Octopus – the world’s first energy tariff to pay domestic customers to use electricity when wholesale prices plunge.

Across Britain, whenever more electricity is generated than consumed, wholesale prices fall – sometimes to below 0p/kWh – when suppliers are paid to take energy off the grid.

The new Agile Octopus tariff introduces ‘Plunge Pricing’, which passes these negative prices on to customers – effectively paying them to use energy during times of over-supply.

Customers will be alerted to ‘Plunge Pricing’ via text message, email or via their online dashboard, and once a month they will be sent a full breakdown of their half-hourly energy pricing and usage.

Potential savings

Over the last 12 months, the unit price of electricity dropped below 2p/kWh 31 times. There were four ‘Plunge Price’ events when the unit price of electricity dropped below 0p/kWh.

On the Agile Octopus tariff, a typical home with a typical consumption profile would have saved £231 compared with the average Big 6 variable tariff. A home-charging EV owner could have saved £669 compared with the average Big 6 variable tariff.

‘This tariff is groundbreaking. By reflecting the real cost of energy on the grid every half hour, customers can capitalise on times when prices are especially low. Indeed, if the wholesale price goes below 0p/kWh, Octopus Agile will actually pay you to take the unwanted energy from the grid. As renewable energy production grows these events are only going to become more frequent.

GREG JACKSON
Founder and CEO of Octopus Energy

Supporting a greener Britain

Historically, big drops in energy prices have occurred overnight as energy consumption drops. With increasing amounts of renewable energy available from solar and wind generation, such events are becoming more frequent.

The Agile Octopus tariff enables anyone with the ability to shift their energy consumption – whether by setting timers for dishwashers and washing machines, using storage heaters or setting the time for their electric vehicle charging – to get rewarded for helping reduce stress on the grid.

We interviewed Greg Jackson to find out why Octopus Energy is a new breed of energy supplier. Click here to read more

‘As well as having launched the first (and only) daily price tracker, this innovative tariff proves that it is challenger suppliers like Octopus Energy, not the Big Six, who are leading the way in unleashing the power of renewables.

‘The Agile Octopus tariff cements Octopus’s claim to be the most progressive and innovative energy supplier in the UK and we’re excited about what we can do to help our customers move to a more renewable future.’

GREG JACKSON
Founder and CEO of Octopus Energy

A smart tariff for transparency

Octopus Energy can offer ‘Plunge Pricing’ because it offers dynamic pricing, which sees half-hourly energy prices set daily at 4pm for the following 24 hours. Prices are tied to publicly published wholesale costs to ensure full transparency. Charges are then calculated for each customer using the half-hourly consumption data from a smart meter to ensure accuracy.

The tariff features an API (application programming interface), allowing customers to access dynamic pricing and use it to schedule smart devices, electric vehicles and chargers.

As wholesale energy prices can be volatile, the tariff includes ‘Price Cap Protect’ which limits the maximum unit price a customer will be charged in any given half-hourly segment.

Octopus customers without a smart meter can have one installed on request, and customers with other suppliers can switch to Octopus to join a waiting list for a smart meter installation, and to join the tariff.

Click here to find out more about the Agile Octopus tariff.

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