A history of outgoingOctopus - how it started

Solar panel SEG.jpeg

On April 1st 2019, we launched outgoingOctopus, the UK’s first smart export tariff, paying people for the green energy they generate at home. This took the place of the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme, which ended on March 31st 2019. In June 2019, the government introduced a Smart Export Guarantee, meaning all major suppliers would have to follow our lead in offering an export tariff from January 2020. 

RECAP: Filling the gap left by the Feed-in Tariff

On March 31st, the government’s Feed-in Tariff (FiT) programme ended for homes with solar panels after nearly a decades’ success in incentivising people around the UK to generate their own green energy. Going forward, the onus would be on individual suppliers to pay customers for any surplus energy generated at home. 

The problem was, suppliers weren’t mandated to pay customers for their own-generated energy (something called an export tariff). A Smart Export Guarantee was introduced in June, meaning all major energy suppliers would have to offer an export tariff from 2020. 

Meet outgoing Octopus

outgoingOctopus was launched months ahead of any other supplier, and is far smarter than what’s required in the government’s Smart Export Guarantee (we break this down in detail later on).

  • It features dynamic pricing, paying you at different rates every half an hour based on the wholesale price of energy at that time of day 
  • If you have a regular consumption tariff with us, we’ll credit you for your ‘exported’ energy on your energy statements, right alongside the energy you’re ‘importing’ – not on a separate statement

Our custom tech platform and dedicated dev team make this kind of innovation possible. We’re committed to customer-centric business and service but we’re a tech company, first and foremost. And we build like a tech company.

This means we like to launch beta products and engage directly with early adopters to polish the experience. This means stuff isn’t always perfect, right off the bat, but we get to evolve the product based on user experience and feedback. 

Which suppliers does SEG apply to?


All energy suppliers with more than 150,000 customers have to pay for their customers’ small-scale generation from January 2020.

What kind of rules are there around solar PV installation?


The Microgeneration Certificate Scheme (MCS)for safe installation is required under SEG:
“suppliers must be satisfied that exporters’ installations are suitably safe, which could in practice mean obtaining from exporters evidence that their installation is certified to the Microgeneration Certification Scheme, or equivalent, standards”

We accept MCS certificates and actively work with industry to ensure installations are done to a high quality.  For older installs, and cases where customers don’t have an MCS certificate, we’ll work with them to see how we can help.

Can someone join an export tariff and still receive FiT payments?


SEG mandates that customers can’t receive both FiT payments AND export rates. We’re happy to talk this through with anyone considering moving from a Feed-in tariff to outgoingOctopus to help you make sure you’re getting the best prices for your homegrown power.

Do I have to have an import tariff with Octopus to set up an export tariff?


Looking to keep your existing supplier and just switch your export to Octopus? No problem – export only customers can earn 4.1p/kWh for every unit they export. Email seg@octopus.energy to find out more.

Published on 11th September 2019 by:

image of Phil Steele

Phil Steele

Future Technologies Evangelist

Hey I'm Constantine, welcome to Octopus Energy!