Intelligent Octopus: your questions answered

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Introducing Intelligent Octopus: a new beta smart tariff just for EV drivers, giving you access to 6 hours of super cheap electricity every night. Got questions about Intelligent Octopus? You're in the right place! In this blog we're going to tackle some of the most common questions we get asked about our new smart tariff!

So what is Intelligent Octopus?

Intelligent Octopus evolved from our Octopus Go smart tariff: it smart-charges your car at the best and greenest times overnight – for a fixed, super low price of 5p / kWh between 11.30pm and 5:30am.

Intelligent Octopus will pair directly with your car’s charging system, using KrakenFlex machine-learning to find the best time to charge. Simply use the app to tell us when you need the car charged and how much charge you need and we’ll make sure it’s ready for use.

  • A smart meter we can connect to (either a SMETS2 or Secure SMETS1)
  • A compatible EV charging system (currently, either Tesla or Wallbox Pulsar Plus)
  • An iOS smartphone

We’re expanding the cars, chargers and operating systems compatible with Intelligent Octopus all the time.

How much does Intelligent Octopus cost?


Intelligent Octopus is a smart time-of-use tariff with peak and off-peak pricing. Customers benefit from a low price night rate for their EV and home energy use of 5p/kWh between 11:30pm and 5:30am. Outside of these hours customers’ have a unit rate that varies by region and a daily standing charge.

Plus, when we schedule your charging, you’ll always benefit from the low 5p/kWh for EV and home, even if we happen to ask your car to charge outside of the standard night hours. And if you need to charge more urgently, you can trigger a Bump Charge at your normal rate.

You can find out more about Intelligent Octopus rates on our Intelligent Octopus Home Page, and to find Intelligent Octopus rates for your area, go to this page.

How will I save money with Intelligent Octopus?


Intelligent Octopus customers benefit from a longer off-peak window allowing them to save money on longer charges and for underlying energy use in the home. Customers tell Octopus when they need the car ready by and Octopus will find the best time to charge. If Octopus schedules a charge outside of the cheaper night rate hours, customers will get the lower rate for all their uses during that time.

Why might I not be eligible for Intelligent Octopus?


As we’re in Early Access, we can currently only bring on a narrow range of people. If you were not eligible for Intelligent Octopus, this may be because:

  • You don’t have an iPhone
  • You have multiple Octopus Energy accounts
  • You said that you have more than 1 car
  • You are using a car or charger that we’re not yet compatible with
  • You don’t have a smart meter

Billing and Payments

How will I be billed for my charging?


When the Intelligent Octopus app actively manages your charging (Smart Charging) you will receive the off-peak rate. If you charge your car without the Intelligent Octopus app during peak hours, then you will be charged the peak rate. Any charging during off-peak hours will be charged at the off-peak rate.

How much will Bump Charges cost?


You will be charged the prevailing rate for Bump Charges, i.e. 5p/kWh, for any charging during night hours of 11:30pm to 5:30am and the day rate for any charging outside of these hours.

What happens if Intelligent Octopus chooses to charge my car outside of the off-peak window?


Don’t worry, you’ll always get the off-peak rate when we have decided to charge your car for Smart Charging.

Can I use Intelligent Octopus with my export tariff?


At this point in Early Access, we can only have export customers on the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) tariff use Intelligent Octopus. You’ll still receive 3p/kWh for what you export, meaning the logic for when we Smart Charge your car isn’t impacted by your exporting activity.

How do you calculate the £100 saving on Intelligent Octopus vs. Go?


We assumed 15,000 miles driven per year with 100% of charging in the Intelligent Octopus window vs. 80% of charging in the Go window, and a day rate of 15.49p/kWh. This also includes savings in underlying household consumption for a longer night window vs. Go.

Signing up to Intelligent Octopus

What devices work with Octopus Energy


Intelligent Octopus currently works with Tesla cars, but we're working to add more chargers all the time. You’ll also need a smart meter. During early access, the app is only available for iPhones with iOS 14 or higher but we’re working to release on Android too.

Can I connect more than one car to Intelligent Octopus?


Not yet. Early Access will start with only allowing you to connect 1 vehicle. You can remove your car and add another if you’d like to use Intelligent Octopus for a different car.

Can I use Intelligent Octopus in more than one property?


Not yet. Only those with one property on their account can use Intelligent Octopus. If you fill in the Intelligent Octopus form then we’ll save your details and contact you when this functionality is ready.

Why haven’t I switched to the new tariff?


If you have successfully authenticated your car, and not switched tariff, there might a number of reasons you haven't switched:

  1. You didn’t start your onboarding journey through our sign up form. You must complete this, and be considered eligible in order for your tariff to switch.
  2. You are still in the process of switching from another smart tariff. This may sometimes cause issues.
  3. There could be an outstanding bill on the current tariff which is blocking the switch.

If in doubt, please contact us at and we’ll help switch you to the new tariff.

Why did my Test Charge fail?


There are a few reasons why your Test Charge might fail:

  • Your car battery might be full. We need room for around 5 minutes of charging to successfully complete a Test Charge.
  • We may have lost connection with your car during the test.
  • Your car may not have been properly plugged in.

How do I get a smart meter


Register your interest for a smart meter here.

Once you've registered your interest, our team will be in contact when we have an appointment in your area.

Please note: though they’re generally suitable for most properties, in some instances we might not be able to install smart meters (e.g. in some really rural areas with poor signal, or in some properties with a communal meter cupboard). Very occasionally, we are unable to install a smart meter for reasons outside of our control. To name one example, if you live near a Royal Air Force Base, we may not be able to install a smart meter because they can interfere with their communications. To be clear, situations like this are pretty rare! If we can’t fit a smart meter for you, we’ll be in touch to let you know, and you’ll be free to switch away from us at any time.

Just so you know, if you have a SMETS1 meter, it doesn't need to be upgraded to SMETS2. Both are great pieces of tech, the key difference between SMETS1 and SMETS2 is that SMETS2 have the inbuilt functionality to let you change supplier without losing their 'smart' ability. We are expecting SMETS1 meters to be upgraded remotely (with no engineer visit required) with this functionality later this year.

Car Charging:

How does Octopus charge my car intelligently?


We connect to your car or charging equipment through the Intelligent Octopus app. You tell us what time you need your car by and how much charge you need. Then, across all the hours you’re plugged in we’ll charge your car when it’s cheapest for you, and greenest for the grid.

What If I need to charge my car immediately?


You’re always in control. You can schedule a Bump Charge through the Intelligent Octopus app, which will start the car charging immediately. You pay the unit rate at the time - 5p/kWh for Bump Charging between 11:30pm-5:30am or your local day unit rate outside of these hours.

You can find out more about Intelligent Octopus rates on our Intelligent Octopus Home Page.

Why is my car not Smart Charging?


If you’re car isn’t Smart Charging, then try the following:

  • Check if your car is properly plugged in.
  • Check that the car and charger used are the ones you’ve set up on your Intelligent Octopus account.
  • If using other smart charging services then ensure they are no longer able to control your car’s charge.
  • IO may not be Smart Charging your car because it believes your car isn’t at home. We currently identify ‘home’ as your car’s location when you went through onboarding. If your car was not at home during your onboarding, then you will need to log out of your car in the Intelligent Octopus app and go through onboarding again with your car at home.
  • We may have set your home address to a different location to your actual address. We set your home location as the location of your car during onboarding. If you believe this may be incorrect then please log out of your car, and complete onboarding again whilst your car is at home.
  • Sometimes we may instruct your car to charge and it might not let us.

Will my car charge for the whole 6 hours?


No, the 11.30pm-05.30am window is the time that we aim to Smart Charge your car within. Smart Charging often results in multiple charges throughout the evening, with some charges happening outside the off-peak window (don’t worry, you’ll still be charged the off-peak rate). You may receive one continuous charge if you need all the time to get to your desired charging target.

What happens if Intelligent Octopus Smart Charges out of off-peak hours?


When Intelligent Octopus Smart Charges your car, you will always receive the off-peak rate. If you Bump Charge, or charge your car without Smart Charging, during peak hours, then you will be charged the peak rate.

What happens if I plug in before 5pm?


We will notice your car charging and stop the charge. Later on, if something else causes your car to charge, then we will allow this charge to continue.

Why won't my car not stop charging when I plug it in?


In most cases, Intelligent Octopus should stop charging when you plug in your car. The charge may not stop for the following reasons:

  1. The Charging Plan has started when you plug in, so all is according to plan! You can check the Charging Schedule in the app to check if this is supposed to happen.
  2. Something else is causing the car to charge, such as a charging schedule in the car, or smart charging features on the charger. You should turn these off in order to guarantee Smart Charging.
  3. IO may not be stopping your charge because it believes your car isn’t at home. We currently identify ‘home’ as your car’s location when you went through onboarding. If your car was not at home during your onboarding, then you will need to log out of your car in the Intelligent Octopus app and go through onboarding again with your car at home.

What happens if I charge my car away from home?


Intelligent Octopus only counts towards charging at home. If you charge your car away from home, then you will pay for charging like you normally would. If your car is away from home then we won’t control your charging.

Will Intelligent Octopus harm my car’s battery life?


Our charging plan won’t impact your battery any more than regular charging. Car batteries are designed to handle this pattern of charging and should be covered by your car's battery/warranty. Check your warranty to make sure.

Why isn’t my car going to sleep?


Like all charging, in order to Smart Charge your car, we will need to wake it up. We plan to back off and let your car go back to sleep (to avoid battery drain) as often as possible.

Published on 16th June 2021 by:

image of Phil Steele

Phil Steele

Future Technologies Evangelist

Hey I'm Constantine, welcome to Octopus Energy!