Shape Shifters: how to shift your usage away from peak times

shape shifter-08

In July, we released our new time-of-use business tariff: Shape Shifters.

It’s our way of rewarding businesses for shifting electricity usage away from the 4-7pm peak. The incentive is a very nifty 21 hours of lower electricity prices every day 😲.

We decided the next step for us is to help businesses make the most of it. So, we’ve put together this trove of time-of-use tariff tips.

You can use these to shift even more usage away from peak times - and make even higher savings.

We’re going to keep this page up to date with more ideas as we go. Got any trips and tricks you can share? Head to the form at the end of the page to let us know.


Let your smart meter data make you a smarty pants

Let’s kick off with an obvious one - and probably the most important

Monitoring your energy usage isn’t just fun 🤓. It’s also an amazing tool for improving your energy habits.

You see, your smart meter can do wonderful things. It delivers data right to the door of your online dashboard.

Here, you get handy breakdowns of your energy usage down to the hour, day, week and more.


That means you can spot any sneaky spikes in usage - and understand how to rein them in.

If you see a lot of consumption at peak times, you know what to do! Shift that usage like the Shape Shifter you are.

You don’t just have to take our word for it. Fiona from Saltburn Vintage Rooms told us all about how using this info helped her transform her energy usage.


Run your bigger machines when prices are lean

Your big machines are thirsty for electricity. And we often run them between 4 and 7pm on weekdays, when energy is most expensive.

It’s like taking them out to a fancy bar - only to realise the same drinks were half the price an hour ago.

For you, the culprits may be the office dishwasher during the end-of-day clean-up. Or the industrial printer producing piles of product labels. Or even the tumble dryer making your members’ sports kit fresh for the next day.

Consider turning these machines on in the morning when you get to work, rather than in the evening before you leave. Better yet, if your appliances have a delayed start function, set them to run overnight.

Remember - with Shape Shifters, it’s happy hour 21 hours a day. So make the most of it 🪩.


Take care of the temperature earlier in the day

Heaters and air conditioners are pretty energy intensive. So, changing when we turn them on can make a big difference to bills.

Constantine and radiator

Whether you use a timer or a thermostat (or both), a little wiggle room goes a long way.

If you have a timer, let your heaters have a power nap during the 4-7pm peak. You can still have the heating on up until then, so your staff are cosy and warm before the break.

If you have a thermostat, let your fans chill during peak hours. Your bills will thank you - and the planet will too.

For help keeping the temperature right while your appliances are off, check out our energy efficiency tips.


Beware of vampire devices 🧛

When you turn your PC’s monitor off, it’s not using any power - right?

Afraid not. 😱

As spooky as it may seem, lots of appliances are clandestine consumers of electricity when you’re not using them.

In fact, anything that’s left on standby will keep on using a bit of juice. Think printers, kitchen appliances, screens, anything that uses a remote control. That includes chargers too - even if they’re not charging at the time.

So, start by hunting around your workplace for these vampire devices. When you know what they are, you’ll be able to slay their inefficient ways.

Then, get into a routine of switching these things off at the mains during peak times. To make life even easier, consider getting hold of some smart plugs - they’re like garlic to these devices.


Keep your usage sleek by re-charging off-peak

It seems like all the good stuff needs charging these days.

Phones, laptops, tablets, battery packs, electric vehicles - they’re often running for you all day. And like runners, they need time to re-energise.

Constantine charging

With that in mind, the time you charge them up can be the difference between a gold medal for your bills and a DNS (did not save).

So why not let them re-charge at the same time you do - overnight?

Your energy’s much cheaper at night, after all. That means you can make big savings. Especially on high users, like battery packs and electric cars.

Remember, though: not all devices need a marathon charge every bedtime. You don’t need to leave devices like laptops and tablets plugged in all night.


Include your staff in the Shape Shifting squad

This is a surefire way to meet your energy goals more easily.

Get all your colleagues in on the energy-shifting action. It’ll help them make good choices - and they’ll think of ways to shift usage that you didn’t even dream of.

Plus, everyone loves feeling part of a big team push.

If you need ways to motivate your people to get involved, we’ve got you covered:

  • Shout about the difference that saving money on energy will make to the business
  • Set specific goals for your workspace, and celebrate together when you meet them
  • Explain you’re not just doing this for you, but for the planet too

Don’t just shift your usage, shift your hours

Table of Shape Shifters savings

If you’ve got a bit of flexibility around opening hours, this is a big opportunity.

Consider moving your active hours around the 4-7pm peak. You could finish earlier, open later or pause things in the early evening.

If you’re not sure whether this is right for you, let the savings help you decide. These are our projected energy bill reductions for Shape Shifters customers:


Keep your eyes on the prize

A key way to make the most of Shape Shifters is to remember why you’re doing it.

Constantine and the world

It’s an opportunity to save some serious money. Most of the day, your energy is way cheaper than at peak times. So the more you shift, the more you save.

And it’s not only your usage that you’re shifting - it’s the way we do energy in this country.

By moving your usage to less busy times, you’re giving us all the best chance of running off renewables alone.

It’s a win for you, green energy and the whole planet.

Published on 14th August 2023 by:

image of Pete McNally

Pete McNally

Content Writer at Octopus Energy For Business

Hey I'm Constantine, welcome to Octopus Energy!