Last updated: 10th November 2023
The Octopus Energy Agile tariff is a unique and innovative electricity-only tariff designed to help you save money on your energy bills if you can be flexible with your usage.
The tariff is based on near real-time wholesale electricity prices, which means that the cost of your energy can vary every 30 minutes, depending on the demand and supply in the market.
This dynamic pricing system allows you to benefit from lower prices during periods of low demand. It however does have some drawbacks, keep reading below to find out whether it is the right tariff for you.
What are the advantages of the Octopus Agile tariff?
As mentioned above, the main advantage of the tariff is that it could save you money over other tariffs (both from Octopus and other suppliers). There are some other non-financial benefits to the tariff too:
- Renewable energy: The Octopus Energy Agile tariff is a renewable energy tariff, which means that all of the electricity supplied is generated from renewable sources such as wind and solar power. This makes the tariff an environmentally friendly choice if you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint.
- Real-time energy data: The tariff includes access to real-time energy price data, which can be accessed through the Octopus mobile app or an API feed. This allows you to monitor the price you will be paying for energy in the near term in various formats. If you are a techy, you can create your own application and play around with the data. If you are not that way inclined, you can use a variety of tools created by other customers, from smartwatch apps to even being able to plant a tree during high usage.
- Smart technology: Although possibly a drawback for some, the Octopus Energy Agile tariff requires customers to have a smart meter installed. Similar to above, these provide much more accurate, timely and detailed energy data than traditional meters. This can help you to better understand your energy usage and make informed decisions about how and when you consume energy.
What are the disadvantages of the Octopus Agile tariff?
After reading the above, you might be itching to find out how to switch. The Octopus Agile tariff is not perfect, however, here are some of the disadvantages:
- Complexity: The dynamic pricing system of the Octopus Energy Agile tariff can be complex and difficult to understand for some people. This can make it challenging to predict energy bills accurately and plan energy usage effectively.
- Potential for higher bills: While the Octopus Energy Agile tariff can provide significant savings if you are flexible in your energy usage, it can also lead to higher bills if you are unable to adjust your energy usage during peak periods.
- Fluctuating prices: The cost of energy can fluctuate greatly under the Octopus Energy Agile tariff, which means you may need to be flexible in your energy usage to take advantage of the lower prices. This can be difficult if you need a consistent and predictable energy bill.
- Requires a smart meter: The Octopus Energy Agile tariff requires you to have a smart meter installed, which may not be available in all areas or may be something you are against having installed. If you can and would like a smart meter but don’t have one already, there may be a delay while you wait for a smart meter installation before you can switch to this tariff.
- Limited availability: The Octopus Energy Agile tariff is not available in all areas, so you will need to check if it is available in your region before considering switching to this tariff.
Why does the Octopus Agile tariff change every 30 minutes?
The Octopus Agile tariff changes every 30 minutes because it is based on wholesale energy prices, which can fluctuate every half-hour depending on the demand and supply in the market. This dynamic pricing system is designed to reflect the real-time cost of energy and encourage you to be more mindful of your energy usage during periods of high demand when energy prices are likely to be higher.
The Octopus Energy Agile tariff uses a technology called the “half-hourly settlement system” which allows energy suppliers to receive a half-hourly settlement price for the energy they supply to customers. This means that the price of energy can change every 30 minutes, based on factors such as weather conditions, energy demand, and supply.
Is Agile Octopus cheaper than other tariffs?
This is a tough one to answer. The Octopus Energy Agile tariff can be cheaper than existing tariffs that currently follow the energy price cap (likely to be what you are on unless you have an existing fixed deal), but it depends on a variety of factors, including your energy usage habits and the current energy market conditions.
On the tariff, you will benefit from lower prices during periods of low demand, so if you can be flexible with your energy usage then it is likely you could save money.
You will still also have to pay a daily standing unit charge, which is currently: 47.5p.
Latest Agile Prices – (Today’s price)
- Avg Offpeak: 21.0p per kWh
- Avg Peak: 38.0p per kWh
- The average for the day: 23.2p per kWh.
The average for November 2023:
- Avg Offpeak: 18.5p per kWh
- Avg Peak: 37.5p per kWh
- Monthly average: 20.9p per kWh.
(based on the national average)
For comparison, the current unit rate for Octopus Energy’s variable tariff (one of the cheapest currently available) is 26.76 per kWh. So the Agile tariff currently works out cheaper.
How do I switch to Octopus Agile?
If you are not a customer of Octopus Energy, then firstly you need to switch to Octopus on a standard tariff. This can take around 15 days but can be as quick as just a couple of days. You can get £50 credit when switching by using our referral link here.
Once the switch has been completed, Octopus need to be able to receive 30-minute readings from your smart meter. You don’t need to do anything, but wait for them to check this.
If they are able to get these readings, you can visit here to accept the terms and conditions and then you’ll be moved onto the Agile tariff
If you are an existing customer of Octopus and have a smart meter, then it should be as easy as logging in and visiting here.