Octo Assist: our customer help fund

octo assist banner

Octo Assist is a £30 million customer help fund and a collection of support schemes designed to give extra help to customers most in need.

We started the Octo Assist fund during the energy crisis when prices were at their most unstable. Octo Assist started at £2.5 million of funding, and has now grown to £30 million as the crisis went on.

Different types of support from the Octo Assist fund

Financial support

Direct financial support Grants to help offset some of your high energy bills, added as credit on your Octopus account.
Standing charge waivers Apply to have your standing charges waived over winter – available to 100,000 customers in greatest need
Personalised account help From returning credit to long-term payment plans or payment holidays.

How do I apply?

Get financial help from Octo Assist

If you're an Octopus customer, fill out our quick and simple online tool to get things started. It'll ask you some questions about your financial situation, and based on that we may offer you help from a number of support options including direct bill grants and standing charge holidays based on circumstances and need.

Energy saving support

Free electric blankets An electric blanket can save the average home £300 per year (they cost between 2 - 4p per hour to run). We’re giving them out free to those in greatest need – particularly the elderly, or those with medical or mobility issues.
Loan a thermal camera for free Plug one of our infrared cameras into your smartphone to see where heat is escaping through leaks and draughts around your home. We'll share tips and ideas to help you fill those gaps to avoid wasting energy.

What if I’m not eligible to receive help from Octo Assist?

Our support is designed to target those in the greatest need. The families who struggled to afford the bills even before the energy crisis, and those whose health and safety relies on heat and power. That means Octo Assist sadly won’t be able to give absolutely everyone extra help.

We’re always here to talk to you about your individual circumstances, and suggest different ways we can help.

Here's some extra things we’re doing that aren’t limited to the most vulnerable:

Energy saving challenges

Illustration of energy load shifting
Saving Sessions A smart power-saving challenge, where we pay customers for using less electricity during peak times – with the typical home likely to earn £100 over winter. Good to know: You need a working smart meter to get involved.
Ways to save energy
Energy saving tips Simple ways to save energy that could help you save over £400 over the year. If you do nothing else, turn down your boiler flow setting to save ~£112 and feel no difference in cosiness.

What else can I do?

  • Buy an electric blanket. These cost from £40, but could save you £300 a year, or even more.

Our blankets are from Dreamland or Cosi but you can also find blankets in many other places, such as Amazon, Curry's, Argos or Dunelm.

Please be aware of Fire Brigade guidance around the safe use of blankets, and that to prevent mould, it's recommended to keep homes above 15 degrees celsius.

  • You don't need a thermal camera – test for draughts around your house using the back of your hand and put some of our heat loss-busting tips into practice.

  • Pay by Direct Debit – the rates work out around £80 cheaper than not paying by DD, because it costs us a lot less in admin. It’s easy to set up a Direct Debit online.
  • You can always get in touch for personalised account help – anything from talking to you about different ways to pay, organising payment holidays or long term payment plans, or returning credit.

Why did we start the Octo Assist fund?

From day one, our goal has been to pass the fairest possible prices on to our customers. But where our cost to buy a years’ worth of energy for customers would usually be around £1 billion, it's now more like £9 billion.

We’ve absorbed what we can of that — spending £150 million from our own reserves to keep high energy costs off bills, and more recently, another £40 million to keep standing charges lower. We've also invested in innovative programs like Saving Sessions Octoplus and Power-ups, where we provide customers with the ability to optimise their energy usage during specific times, ensuring they benefit from cheaper rates.

We think the best way we can help is by pumping additional efforts and resources into specific schemes designed to support our very most vulnerable customers – so we created Octo Assist, initially with £2.5 million funding, and now £30 million to support even more customers this winter.

We'll keep doing absolutely everything we can to help our customers. If you need help, please, please talk to us.

Published on 9th October 2022 by:

image of Pete Miller

Pete Miller

Head of Customer Experience

Hey I'm Constantine, welcome to Octopus Energy!