Octopus was founded in 2015, but despite being relatively new to the energy supply market has become one of the most trusted providers in the country. In 2020 it was named Energy Supplier of the Year by Uswitch, with a five star rating on Trustpilot, and three consecutive Recommended Provider awards from Which?. Octopus is favoured for its forward-thinking approach in looking for technological solutions to tackle climate change. It’s also renowned for its fair and transparent pricing, and for its highly acclaimed customer service experience.
In this guide, you'll find answers to questions including:
Who owns Octopus Energy?
What Octopus Energy tariffs are available?
Octopus Energy smart meter tariffs
What is the Octopus EV tariff?
Renewable energy with Octopus electricity tariffs
Octopus and the future of green energy
What is Outgoing Octopus?
Octopus Energy reviews and reputation
How to contact Octopus Energy customer service
Is Octopus Energy the best UK energy supplier for me?
HQ: London, UK
Total customers: 1.5 million
UK ranking: 8
Octopus Energy Ltd has grown rapidly since its initial launch in December 2015. By April 2018 the utility company boasted 198,000 customers, and quickly added 100,000 more when it took over the customer base of Iresa when it ceased trading. It subsequently became the energy supplier for M&S Energy, and has expanded steadily through a mixture of organic growth and the acquisition of rival suppliers, including a deal with the Midcounties Co-operative to take on the accounts of Co-op Energy customers. As a result, in 2020 it had grown to take 4.9% of the market.
In September, the company acquired Silicon Valley startup Evolve Energy and plans to launch into the US market with Octopus Energy US.
Prior to May 2020, The Octopus Group, a London-based holding company founded in 2000, owned 75% of Octopus Energy, while the remaining 25% was owned by its staff, making all full-time Octopus Energy employees shareholders. In May 2020, Australian electricity and gas supplier Origin Energy acquired a 20% stake in the company, with the deal valuing the company at over £1 billion.
Octopus Fixed is the provider’s most popular tariff. This is a dual-fuel tariff with fixed rates – both unit and standing charges – for 12 months. Octopus is keen to point out that all Octopus gas and electric tariffs – including its fixed-rate deals – come with no exit fees if you decide to cancel your energy contract early; you just need to give at least 28 days’ notice before you plan to switch.
Octopus currently offers a variable tariff called Flexible Octopus. This is available as either a dual fuel or electricity-only tariff. You’ll be given at least 30 days’ notice if prices are due to change.
The provider’s most eco-friendly tariff is Supergreen Octopus. While every Octopus tariff promises 100% renewable electricity, Supergreen Octopus also carbon offsets all the gas you use as well. This is also a fixed-rate tariff with a one-year contract.
The company also offers a range of business energy tariffs, with up to three-years fixed pricing available.
Octopus also offers three tariffs exclusively for qualifying customers with smart meters:
|Agile Octopus||Those willing to shift their energy use outside the peak hours of 4-7pm||Half-hour electricity prices; 24-hour notice of future charges to allow you to shift energy usage accordingly to maximise savings; Plunged Pricing: when wholesale prices drop below zero, get paid for consuming energy|
|Octopus Go||Electric car owners only||Four hours (12.30am-4.30am) of super-off peak electricity at 5p/kWh|
|Outgoing Octopus||Those with solar panels or battery storage||Get paid for exporting electricity: fixed rate or dynamic wholesale rates available|
Octopus Go is a tariff exclusively for electric car owners with an Octopus Energy smart meter. It works in a similar way to an Economy 7 tariff by encouraging customers to charge up their cars between the hours of 12.30am and 4.30am for just 5p/kWh.
Octopus Renewables is an investment fund that entered the renewables market in 2010 as part of the wider Octopus Group conglomerate. Specialising in the development of solar and onshore wind sources, Octopus Renewables is the largest investor in solar power across Europe, with renewable energy assets valued at over £3 billion. Octopus Renewables generates enough energy to power an estimated 1.44 million homes.
Octopus Energy customers can rest assured that all electricity supplied by the provider is 100% renewable, from solar, wind and hydro sources. Octopus claims that the average UK home generates a carbon footprint of 645kg of CO2 per year from electricity usage alone. Switching to 100% renewable electricity will bring this carbon footprint down to zero, a reduction that would be equivalent to planting 322 trees a year.
Renewable energy is added to the National Grid as it’s generated, where it’s mixed with energy from other sources before being piped into UK households and businesses. So, when you’re paying for renewable energy, you’re not necessarily getting renewable energy directly into your home, but you’re paying for that energy to be generated and added to the grid, helping shift it towards completely green sources. Octopus matches every kWh of electricity used by its customers by buying the same amount of energy from the market in conjunction with the purchase of REGO certificates to help support more renewable generation.
Octopus has partnered up with Renewable World to offset the carbon emissions of natural gas usage for Supergreen Octopus customers. It achieves this by participating in several carbon-cutting projects across the globe. This way, Supergreen customers can say their carbon footprint from their entire energy consumption, not just their electricity usage, is zero.
Octopus invests heavily in developing and implementing innovative technology to help create a more sustainable grid. This tech-led approach to a Net Zero economy encourages a shift in the behaviour of the consumer through innovations like Vehicle2Grid charging, dynamic energy pricing, and other smart home technology and appliances.
In 2019, the Renewable Energy Association named Octopus as “the company that’s done the most in the past year to advance UK renewables”.
Outgoing Octopus is the UK’s first smart export tariff. This is a plan available to anyone whose home uses solar panels, battery storage, or any other means of getting energy back into the grid. Outgoing Octopus customers will be paid by the provider for releasing more renewable energy into the grid.
There are two different Outgoing Octopus plans: Fixed and Agile. For Fixed customers, who will currently receive 5.5p for every kWh you export to the grid. For Agile customers, your half-hour prices will be matched with day-ahead wholesale rates, so you can sell your energy when it is most valuable.
Octopus speculates that these plans can lead to the first ever mass peer-to-peer energy trading in the UK; as more and more consumers switch to Octopus, Outgoing Octopus customers may be producing renewable energy directly to their neighbours.
Octopus scored five out of five stars in Uswitch’s 2020 Energy Awards, with an overall Customer Satisfaction score of 92%. Because of this, Uswitch named Octopus the 2020 Energy Supplier of the Year. It was also awarded the prize for the Best Customer Service, Best Online Experience, and the Easiest To Switch To provider.
The supplier scores five stars on Trustpilot, based on over 21,000 customer reviews, and was the only energy provider to be named a Recommended Provider for energy by Which? for three consecutive years in 2018, 2019 and 2020,
Customer reviews note the customer-focused, transparent approach of Octopus Energy, along with its fair tariff pricing, renewable efforts, and excellent customer service team. Octopus is also praised for its user-friendly online account system and app.
The average wait time for a customer service call with Octopus is less than five minutes and can often be less than a minute. The company boasts a team of UK-based energy specialists and does not use call centres. When you contact Octopus customer service you’ll quickly be connected to an industry expert who – Octopus promises – will not follow a script nor endlessly transfer you from one department to another. Its customer support is informally known as ‘Hello Octopus Energy’.
Octopus suggests online contact as the best and fastest means of getting in touch with the team, and this can be done via your online account (just visit the Octopus Energy login portal), over email, or even through Facebook Messenger.
No other energy provider has reviews as unanimously positive as Octopus currently boasts, making it one of the UK’s best energy suppliers. Perhaps this may change as the company continues to grow, but for now, Octopus is spoken of highly by customers. When it comes to switching energy supplier, Octopus seems to tick every box, whether you’re looking for an efficient, sustainable supplier offering fully green energy, desperate for quality customer service, or just want to save money on an existing expensive variable rate tariff.