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Octopus energy tariff sees customer’s electricity bill ‘average £0’ | Personal Finance | Finance

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Octopus energy tariff sees customer’s electricity bill ‘average £0’ (Image: Octopus Energy)

Some customers are seeing their bills “average zero” by combining solar panel energy with the supplier’s Agile tariff.

Agile Octopus is a tariff that’s directly impacted by wholesale market volatility. While the half-hourly prices can “spike up at any time”, rates can typically average lower.

Octopus said the tariff is “best suited” to customers who can shift large amounts of their energy usage to avoid expensive peaks, often using smart home technologies like solar and batteries.

Craig Wilkinson, 54, who lives with his partner and children in a five-bedroom detached house in Cheshire, moved onto Octopus Energy’s Agile tariff in February.

He purchased solar panels and a battery backup and chose the Agile tariff to take advantage of the half-hourly rates.

Craig Wilkinson

Mr Wilkinson said he is “very happy” about the savings he’s made so far (Image: Craig Wilkinson)

In doing so, Mr Wilkinson has seen his drop significantly with the cheaper – and sometimes even “negative” rates.

Mr Wilkinson told Express.co.uk: “I was moved to Octopus from GB Energy Supply when they ceased trading and after about a year with them, they launched the Agile tariff.

“I didn’t join immediately, but I kept looking at it as I use a lot of electricity and work from home, so I use a lot of ‘off-peak’ electricity too. After doing some calculations, I worked out that I’d potentially save quite a lot by moving over, especially after seeing some of the low and negative pricing that went on.”

Until the recent events that caused energy prices to rise again, Mr Wilkinson said: “I was sometimes paying under £1 per day for , which on my old tariff would have been easily £2.50 or more.”

While Mr Wilkinson’s solar panels and battery backup “help significantly” with costs, he said: “My average electricity bill now is £0.

Close up of woman holding smart energy meter

With Agile’s low rates, the energy supplier does caution that rates can rise at any time. (Image: Getty)

“The Agile tariff plays a big part in this though. When there is cheap or negative pricing, I take advantage by charging my battery regardless of how sunny it is. I’m paid a reasonable rate for my exports too. Some months I’m getting paid £75 by Octopus, which easily offsets the winter months.”

Mr Wilkinson said he is “very happy” about the savings he’s made so far, adding: “Especially once I got solar panels and a battery installed as I’m able to take advantage of the variable pricing and could even charge my battery when it’s cheap and sell it back when it’s expensive if I chose to.”

However, he noted: “Even without the solar and battery though, my circumstances always meant I was saving money almost every day on Agile against a traditional type contract with a set price 24/7.”

With Agile’s low rates, the energy supplier does caution that rates can rise at any time.

When more electricity is being used than generated, wholesale prices rise. Octopus said price spikes are “short-lived” and typically last 30 minutes to an hour.

To quantify the rate rises, the supplier said Agile prices can spike up to 100 p/kWh any time – although a “typical household” in Winter 2022/23 paid around 35 p/kWh on average.

To lessen the impact this can have on his bills, Mr Wilkinson said: “I always tried to minimise use during peak hours, typically 4pm to 7pm to reduce the overall costs, and I shamefully admit that this would include delaying cooking food for 30 minutes just to save 50p, but hey, it all adds up!

“With the battery I have now, I always ensure there is enough battery power to cover the peak periods now so I am a little less reluctant to turn the oven on at peak times.”

Adam Morgan from Kent, who lives in a three-bedroom semi-detached house, was inspired to install solar panels on his property after seeing the a friend had made doing the same thing.

After signing up for the Agile tariff, Mr Morgan said he’s seen a “significant difference” in his energy costs and bases his consumption on wholesale rates to reduce his bills.

He told Express.co.uk: “ Like all data sets, there are variations. There are some high days and some low days, and managing your usage helps to ride out the high days.”

He continued: “Tonight, I noticed the Agile rates have fallen below 10p per KwH, so I have set the timer to charge my car.”

He added: “It is all about managing when you use electricity.”

Certain energy tariffs can suit some people’s circumstances better than others. With news of a fluctuating energy forecast for the remainder of the year, people may want to consider upcoming estimations before opting into a new deal.



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