Last updated: 27th February 2024
Octopus Energy have introduced an ingenious initiative called Saving Sessions.
This program isn’t just about saving customers money; it’s a forward-thinking approach to managing our energy consumption, balancing the grid, and contributing to a more sustainable future.
Saving Sessions seem to be part of the answer towards a smarter and greener energy grid.
In this post, I’ll explain more about how the program works, how you can join and what is in it for you.
In summary, Octopus Saving Sessions are worth it. With very little effort, you can save money on your energy bills. Last year’s top participants averaged savings of over £40, and this year it is likely to be higher with more sessions available.
The savings may not be huge but they all add up and you help contribute towards a greener national grid at the same time.
How do Octopus saving sessions work?
Octopus Energy’s Saving Sessions are designed to help balance the UK’s national grid during peak energy usage times. They work by encouraging customers to reduce their energy use during these periods, alleviating the grid’s strain and meaning it becomes less reliant on fossil fuels. This is beneficial both for the grid’s stability and for increasing greener energy use. Basically, Octopus are paying you to use less electricity.
For this reason, although the Savings Sessions can take place at any time of day, they are usually between 5 pm and 7 pm.
There is a set amount of Octopoints you will receive for each kilowatt hour you save. For example, most recently, the amount has been set at between 1800 (£2.25) and 3200 (£4) per kilowatt.
There is no set number of sessions, but Octopus says there will be at least 12 Saving Sessions between November 2022 and March 2023.
How do I sign up and join the Saving Sessions?
For starters, these sessions are only available to Octopus Energy customers. If you are thinking of joining, check out our Octopus Energy review. If you are a customer, then you need a smart meter and to be paying your bills by Direct Debit to be able to take part.
If the above is true for you, then you will need to sign up for the Octoplus programme which can be done on your account dashboard in both the app and the website.
By doing this, you are now eligible to take part in every session that becomes available. The key thing to remember is that you need to opt into every Saving Session separately. You will often get around 1 day’s notice to opt in, but sometimes it can be less notice than this.
The best way to make sure you don’t miss out is to allow notifications on your Octopus app, you can then get a notification each time a session is announced. Octopus also have a WhatsApp group you can get updates through and a Twitter/X account.
Once it has been announced a session is going to happen, you will need to:
- Go into your account dashboard on the app or website
- Go into the Octoplus section of the app
- Press ‘Opt in now’ on the Savings Session banner
How much can I earn through Savings Sessions?
As mentioned before, the amount you can earn varies depending on how much energy you save and how much Octopus decide to reward per kilowatt hour of electricity saved.
For most of the Savings Sessions I have taken part in, I have been rewarded with 2,000-3,000 Octoplus points, which means I earned between £2.50 and £3.75 for each Savings Session. I think that makes it worth it for just slightly changing my routine. Octopus expects to pay £4 on average to each customer, so I actually should be doing even better.
If you are normally a high-energy user and can drastically cut your energy usage during the Saving Sessions then you are likely to see even bigger savings.
Octopus also offer bonuses just for taking part. Most recently they have also offered:
- 8 customers to win 80,000 Octopoints (£100)
- 1 customer to win 1,000,000 Octopoints (£1,250)
All you had to do to win these was have opted into that particular session.
Last winter, £5.3 million in total was awarded to Octopus customers for taking part in Savings Sessions. With 700,000 customers taking part, the average earnings per customer was about £7.50. Although the top 5% averaged more than £40 in savings. With more Savings Sessions this winter likely to be taking place, the average reward is likely to be hire which will make it even more worth it to take part.
How long will it take to get my results and my rewards?
Seeing how much you have saved is not instantaneous and it can often take a few days to see your results.
To calculate your savings, Octopus work out your normal energy usage at the time of the session (based on the past 10 weekdays) and then work out how much you used in that particular Saving Session. As you can imagine, this can take a long time to process for the 100,000s or potentially millions of customers that are taking part.
Once your results are in, you will receive your Octopoints at the same time (see my current total above). You can either leave these in your account or convert them into money that can be credited to your account and used against your next bill.
All your results can be found in the Octoplus section of the app/website and are also often emailed to you.
How to save as much as possible during Savings Sessions?
From my experience, these are a few tips to save as much energy as possible during Savings Sessions:
- Turn off as many items as possible at the socket, even items on standby will use small amounts of power
- If the session is during a time when you would normally cook, delay your dinner slightly. For example, if the session finishes at 6, then wait until this time to start cooking.
- Don’t use the kettle, tumble dryer, washing machine etc at this time. It can be difficult going that long without a cup of tea, but the biggest savers will be delaying using your appliances during the Savings Sessions, especially if you would normally use them at that time
- Turn off all the lights except for the rooms you are in. For maximum savings, all sit in one room together. A good excuse for some distraction-free family time together.
- Leave the house. For maximum savings, turn everything off that you can and leave the house for an hour. Maybe go for a walk, visit a friend or go to the gym.
- Be sensible. There are some appliances like the fridge and freezer etc that you are best not to turn off, despite the savings. The idea is to save as much energy as you realistically can, not to use no energy at all.
The Savings Sessions only account for electricity that you have saved. If you have gas-powered central heating, you do not need to turn off your heating to make big savings during the sessions.
If you would like to find out more, you can do so on the Octopus Energy website.