The best ways to track your energy consumption and spending
There are a few different ways to track your energy use. The easiest, most accurate way is through the Octopus Energy app. Here's how.
Choosing the ‘Usage’ tab on the app will show you your energy usage charts.
Once you’re in the usage tab, you can tap on the name of the view you’d like to explore:
- The previous day
- Or, set your own timeframe
Our energy usage graphs show the energy you’re using in kWh and £. You can toggle between the two in the top right corner of each graph.
When you choose £, you'll see a snapshot of your energy costs excluding VAT and daily standing charges. You can find your confirmed charges including VAT and standing charges on your statement.
(Good to know: our app feature showing your energy in £ is already rolled out for the vast majority of accounts. If you're on one of our smart tariffs, or another multiple-rate tariff, we're still working on it).
This graph gives the most detailed picture of your energy usage throughout the day. It’s only available if you’ve set your meter to take readings every 30 minutes.
The charts are updated once a day. So in the morning, you can just tap ‘Day’ to take a look at your previous day’s usage, and you can flip back in time to compare your energy use day to day.
The horizontal axis, which runs along the bottom of the chart, shows the time across a single day.
The vertical axis shows your electricity or gas usage in kWh, or in pounds and pence, depending on which version of the graph you’re looking at. You can tap each bar to see the specific time and usage.
Over a single day, you’ll see the patterns of your gas and electricity usage - when you’re using the most, and how much that costs. This view is a great way to see whether any energy saving measures have done the trick and saved you power. Or you can investigate spikes in your energy use at certain times to hunt out energy-hogging devices.
Tapping ‘Week’ will show your weekly usage, running from Monday to Sunday.
You’ll see this chart if your meter takes half-hourly or daily readings.
Your total usage for the week is shown above the chart. And each vertical bar on the chart shows your total usage per day, in kWh or pounds and pence. You can tap each bar to see the specific date and usage.
We update the weekly chart once a day, just after midnight.
Tapping ‘Month’ will show your usage for each day in the calendar month so far. You can tap each bar to see the specific date and usage. You can also use the scroll above the graph to view your usage for previous months, to see how your energy use changes with the seasons.
Your total usage for the month is shown above the chart.
Tapping ‘Year’ will show your usage patterns as they change from month to month. Each vertical bar on the chart shows your total usage per month.
Set your own timeframe
Tapping the calendar in the right hand corner allows you to set your own timeframe. So if you’d like to see your usage from a specific date – for example, from the date you received your latest statement – you can do that by choosing the date and then selecting ‘month’ from the drop down menu on the right.
The graphs you’ll see will depend on how often your smart meter takes readings. You can change how often your smart meter sends readings in your Octopus account or in your app at any time.
If you’d like to see your daily usage, we’ll ask if you’d like to change to half-hourly readings. And if you’d like to see your weekly usage, you can change to half-hourly or daily readings.
You might see gaps in your usage when we haven’t received an automatic meter reading. This can happen when we temporarily lose connection with your meter.
Gaps in your usage normally don’t last long. But if your charts have been missing data for more than a week, get in touch and we’ll look into it.
Other ways to track your energy usage
You can track your usage in your Octopus account online, as well. You might notice your usage information is more detailed using our app. While we work on improving the Octopus online dashboard, we recommend using our app in the meantime.
You can track your energy usage on your In-Home Display (IHD)
When you get smart meters installed, the engineer will offer you an In-Home Display (IHD).
It's a small, portable screen that shows how much energy you're using, or how much credit you've got on your meter. Sometimes there are issues linking up your IHD to your smart meter, and it might not always reflect exactly how much you’re spending or how much energy you’re using. The most accurate way to track your energy is via our app, instead.
Your In-Home Display (IHD) is not your smart meter – it’s the little display unit that comes with your smart meter. Too many walls between your IHD and smart meter might mean they can’t connect, so generally it’s best to keep them within 10 metres of each other. You can check the signal strength by looking at the 4 bars on the top left of the screen. The more bars, the stronger the signal.
You don’t need a smartphone or WiFi to use your IHD - it connects to your smart meter wirelessly through a secure protocol called Zigbee (a low power, low frequency radio network similar to Bluetooth).
To make the most of your In-Home Display, it’s useful to keep it plugged in somewhere you can easily see it. But it needs to keep a good connection with your smart meter, so wherever you choose to keep it, check the signal strength by looking at the 4 bars on the top left of the screen. The more bars, the stronger the signal. If the signal is weak, move the In-Home Display closer to your electricity smart meter.
We have more information on our blog about how to use your In-Home Display, and how to fix your In-Home Display if it isn’t working.
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