Octopus Energy is one of the best energy suppliers in the UK, with a commitment to green energy, outstanding customer service and transparent pricing. As a bonus, it’s also one of the cheapest, too.
Superb customer service
Fair and transparent pricing
All electricity is 100% green
Uswitch Supplier of the Year 2020
No green gas, although can be carbon offset
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Octopus Energy: review in brief
- Over 1.5 million customers
- Great range of innovative tariffs
- £222 cheaper than the average Big Six variable plan
Octopus Energy was formed in 2016 with the intention of disrupting the market and providing cheap, green energy for its customers. Since then, the award-winning firm has become one of the best energy suppliers in the UK, picking up around 30,000 customers a month on average, and now providing energy to over 1.5 million homes across the UK.
Green electricity: 100%
Green gas: 0%
Carbon offset: 100%
Customer service: 4.8 out of 5 (Trustpilot)
Energy Switch Guarantee: Yes
Exit fees: No
Octopus Energy prides itself on delivering outstanding customer service. You can contact the company over email and social media between 8am‐10pm, seven days a week. If you have an urgent query, you can also call them during office hours.
In terms of price, Octopus claims its customers save £222 on average when compared with the average Big Six variable tariff. Our research found that the company's variable tariff was one of the lowest in the UK for a central London postcode, at 14.61p per kWh for electricity and 2.82p for gas. Also, Octopus Energy also doesn’t charge early exit fees. And if you know someone who's already with Octopus, they can refer you and you'll both get £50 in fuel credit.
Read the rest of our Octopus Energy review to decide whether switching to the supplier is right for you. If you decide it is, head over to our energy comparison page to see the best energy deals from Octopus in your area.
Octopus Energy: tariffs
- Octopus has a fixed, variable and green tariff
- Also offers three innovative smart tariffs
- Some customers have been paid to use electricity
Octopus Energy offers a range of fixed, variable, prepaid and specialist tariffs, making the supplier a market leader in this respect. There are three main Octopus tariffs to be aware of. There's 12-month fixed plan Octopusfixed, which is often the cheapest available.
There's also a variable tracker, flexibleOctopus, where the price you pay changes based on wholesale costs. And there's the supergreenOctopus plan, which is the supplier’s most popular option. It’s the greenest Octopus tariff and offers carbon neutral energy throughout your home. This is because the provider offsets your gas use, too.
Where Octopus becomes really interesting is the supplier also offers several specialist tariffs for people with smart meters. Octopusgo, for example, is designed for anyone with electric vehicles (EVs). It provides customers with four hours of super-cheap (5p/kWh) super off-peak electricity every night from 12:30-04:30am.
Another tariff, outgoingOctopus, is aimed at people with solar panels or battery storage, and will pay customers for the energy they export. You can choose between a fixed rate or dynamic wholesale rates.
Octopus also offers an agileOctopus tariff for flexible customers. This plan gives people access to half-hourly energy prices based on the wholesale market at the time. Prices are updated every day at 4pm. At this point, you receive a different unit rate for every half hour of the next 24 hours. It means that if you’re on this tariff, you can maximise your energy usage when prices are at that day’s cheapest.
You may also be paid to use electricity with the agileOctopus tariff. That’s exactly what happened to thousands of Octopus customers earlier this year, when an increase in solar and wind energy production resulted in excess green energy that needed using.
Octopus Energy: prices
- One of the cheapest energy suppliers
- Exact prices depend on where you live in the UK
Octopus’s fixed tariff is one of the cheapest in the UK, and the supplier is highly competitive in the green energy space too. In August 2020, Octopus's 12-month fixed tariff for a central London postcode offered one kWh of electricity for 14.6p - compared to 15.2p at Shell Energy, 15.9p at EON and 16.9p at British Gas. Bulb was slightly cheaper in central London, however, at 14.1p per kWh.
Bear in mind that energy prices differ across the UK, depending on which of the 14 energy regions you live in. (That’s partially due to the fact that it’s easier to supply some areas than others.) As a result, the amount you’ll pay for your energy depends on where you live and how much energy you use - the only way to find out much your home could save by switching to Octopus is to run an energy comparison.
How green is Octopus Energy?
- 100% green electricity as standard
- No green gas, but green tariff is 100% carbon offset
- Supports global conservation projects
Octopus Energy uses 100% green electricity in all of its tariffs. Its energy comes from renewable sources like sun, wind and water. The supplier’s parent company (Octopus Group) is the largest UK investor in solar farms and the company buys its energy from solar sites.
However, like most UK suppliers, Octopus doesn’t supply green gas: it’s currently impossible to do this at scale. But, if you opt for its supergreenOctopus tariff, the company will offset all the carbon emissions created in both the production and consumption of the natural gas you use in your home. It’ll do this by partnering on projects that are reforesting and conserving vast areas of the Amazon, and working with UK charity Renewable World to bring innovative renewable energy technology to fuel-poor communities worldwide.
Octopus Energy: customer service
- You can contact Octopus via phone, email or social media
- Answered our call in under one minute
- Offered support over multiple channels during lockdown
If you have a query about your account or the process of switching to Octopus, you can contact Octopus Energy online via email, or by its Facebook and Twitter channels. The company says that emailing is the best way of getting through to the customer service team, and Octopus publishes its average reply times on its website. When we reviewed Octopus Energy in August, it took 14 hours on average to reply to emails, but it can be as fast as two hours when the company is less busy.
If your enquiry is urgent, you can also call Octopus during office hours. When we phoned, our call was answered by a friendly and knowledgeable assistant in under one minute. That’s in line with their current averages - Octopus’s data shows that the team usually answers customer calls within two minutes.
Interestingly, Octopus Energy is the only energy supplier where you might get to speak directly to the boss. Company founder Greg Jackson remains hands-on and still sometimes works the phones.
Octopus Energy: reviews from users and experts
- Uswitch Energy Supplier of the year 2020
- 92% of users on TrustPilot rate it 'excellent'
Octopus Energy has been a Which? recommended supplier for three years in a row. This year, it was named Energy Supplier of the Year by Uswitch, and Octopus was also voted the company that’s done the most to advance UK renewables at the 2019 British Renewable Energy Awards.
Octopus Energy scores highly with customers, too. It boasts an outstanding average score of 4.8 out of 5 on independent user review site TrustPilot, from over 32,000 customer reviews (August 2020) - with an impressive 92 per cent of those reviewers rating Octopus ‘excellent’. Many of these customers commented that it was easy to control their account online, and the process of switching was very straightforward.
Simon Rawle lives in Bristol and has been with Octopus Energy for two years. We asked him to rate his experience out of 10.
Ease of switching: 10/10
Quality of customer service: 9/10
Bill/price clarity: 10/10
Would you recommend? 9/10
We sifted through thousands of user reviews, and found that the majority seemed very satisfied with Octopus. Many customers said they have stayed with Octopus for years, thanks to the company’s low prices and commitment to green energy.
Of the two per cent that rated Octopus Energy 'bad', some complained about poor customer service, while others reported delays in reply or inaccurate billing forecasts. We also noted a number of customers stating that they had teething issues shortly after switching to Octopus. Many of these comments appear to have come from customers who were automatically transferred over when their previous supplier was bought out by Octopus.
We also spoke to a current customer for a snapshot Octopus Energy review. They joined Octopus almost two years ago and, by switching, say they saved £188 per year compared with their previous supplier.
As well as getting a cheaper energy deal, they reported that the switching process was “seamless”. They also said that in their experience, Octopus offers minimal and succinct communication - which they appreciate - and that everything about the supplier is lean and simple, right down to the UX of its app.
“You know exactly how much energy you use, how much you pay and when you pay it, how much credit or debit you're in and little else,” they said. “Some energy suppliers I've had in the past have over-complicated what should be a simple service. This is where Octopus has the balance just right in my opinion.”
Octopus Energy: smart meter
- You don't need one unless you choose a smart tariff
- Octopus can install a smart meter if you wish
You don’t need to have a smart meter for the three main Octopus tariffs - but you will need one for the supplier’s more innovative plans, such as agileOctopus and Octopusgo.
Octopus can link to any Secure SMETS1 or SMETS2 smart meter. If you don’t already have one, Octopus offers a smart meter installation service. If you do, just tell Octopus when you switch which meter you have.
Octopus Energy: referral
- Refer a friend and you'll both get £50 credit
Octopus Energy runs a referral scheme. If a friend refers you and you sign up, you’ll both get £50 credited to your account after you pay your first bill. In the same way, if you’re already an Octopus Energy customer and you refer someone, you’ll both get £50 in credit.
However, bear in mind that to qualify for the Octopus Energy referral scheme, you’ll need to switch directly with Octopus, rather than going through a comparison service.
Octopus Energy: Warm Home Discount
- Applications currently closed
Since winter 2019, Octopus Energy has offered the Warm Home Discount to eligible households. However, applications for this year are currently closed.
When applications open again, you’ll be eligible for the Warm Home Discount if you get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit - known as the ‘core group’; or you’re on a low income and meet Octopus Energy’s criteria for the scheme - known as the ‘broader group’
More details about the Octopus Energy Warm Home Discount will be placed on the supplier’s website when the scheme re-opens.
Switching to Octopus Energy: how easy is it?
- Energy Switch Guarantee means it should be fast and easy
- You can switch directly on the Octopus website
- Or you can use a price comparison service to switch
Switching to Octopus Energy is easy. The supplier was one of the first energy providers to sign up to Ofgem’s Energy Switch Guarantee, which promises a fast, safe switch that will be completed in no longer than 21 days.
One way to switch to Octopus is to get a quote directly from the Octopus website. All you need to do is provide your postcode and answer three simple questions about your energy use. You’ll be shown a monthly estimate for each of Octopus’s fixed rate, variable and super green tariffs. You’ll also see more information about the company’s specialist tariffs as well.
Alternatively, you can use an independent energy price comparison service such as ours to switch - we've teamed up with GoCompare to find the best tariffs across the UK. As well as showing you how much each Octopus tariff would cost you, and how much you would save by switching, a comparison service will enable you to compare Octopus with plans from other suppliers to make sure you’re choosing the best possible tariff.
You can also filter your comparison results, so that you see only the tariffs and suppliers you’re interested in. For example, you might want to only see green energy deals, or plans from suppliers that don’t charge early exit fees.
No matter which method of switching you choose, you’ll see the same tariff pricing because the cost of energy doesn’t change. Both methods are equally hassle-free, too. Both Octopus and the energy comparison service will handle the switch for you, for free, if you choose. Just bear in mind that if you want to switch to one of Octopus’ smart tariffs specifically, you’ll need to do that with Octopus directly.
Verdict: should you switch to Octopus Energy?
Absolutely. We think Octopus Energy is the best supplier in the UK right now - and the company’s impressive stack of industry awards and thousands of positive customer reviews only backs this up. If you’re looking for green energy at a competitive price, and want superb customer service too, you should switch to Octopus Energy.
However, if you’ve decided that Octopus Energy isn’t right for you, we would recommend Bulb. The challenger supplier offers just one, similarly priced tariff - it’s variable though, not fixed - and you’ll get 10 per cent green gas. The rest is offset. Alternatively, if you’re looking for the very cheapest deal possible, try Shell Energy or Pure Planet.
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Tom is a freelance copywriter and content marketer with over seven years' experience. Originally from an agency background, he is proud to have worked on campaigns for a number of energy providers, comparison sites and consumer brands.