Intelligent Octopus: your questions answered
Introducing Intelligent Octopus: Our Kraken-powered tariff specifically designed for EV drivers, controlled hassle-free via the Octopus app. Take advantage of 6+ hours of super cheap rates for your car and home.
So what is Intelligent Octopus?
Intelligent Octopus evolved from our Octopus Go smart tariff: You have access to a super low price between 11:30pm - 5:30am for the whole home, plus it smart-charges your car at the cheapest and greenest times overnight. Occasionally we'll smart charge your car outside of the off-peak window but don't worry, all smart charging is billed at the off-peak rate.
Intelligent Octopus will pair directly with your car or charger, using Kraken’s 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.
Requirements for use:
- You’re an Octopus Energy customer (sign up here)
- Have a smart meter we can connect to
- A compatible EV charging system
- A compatible iOS or Android device
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 tariff with peak and off-peak pricing. Customers benefit from a low price night rate for their EV and home energy use of 7.5p/kWh between 11:30pm and 5:30am. Outside these hours your unit rate will vary by region.
Intelligent Octopus is a variable tariff, which means that the price you pay can rise and fall with the cost of wholesale energy. We'll always give you reasonable notice of any changes to the pricing of flexible tariffs.
To find Intelligent Octopus rates for your area, go to this page.
When we schedule your charging, you’ll always benefit from the low 7.5p/kWh for both EV and home, even if we ask your car to charge outside of the standard night hours. If you need to charge more urgently you can trigger a bump charge, which is billed at your normal unit rate.
You can find out more about Intelligent Octopus rates on our Intelligent Octopus Home Page.
Is Intelligent Octopus the cheapest way to charge your EV?
Yes. In August 2023 charging your car with an EV tariff of other big suppliers cost between 8.0 p/kWh and 10.0 p/kWh. With Intelligent Octopus you smart charge your EV for 7.5p/kWh any time of the day.
How could I save £800 with Intelligent Octopus?
With Intelligent Octopus you'll save when charging your EV and on the energy use of your whole home with
- all smart charging at off-peak rates - no matter when
- 6 hours of cheap, green energy for your whole home every night
How much you'll save depends on how often you smart charge your EV and how much of your home's electricity you use during off-peak hours.
For example, considering energy prices in July 2023, the average EV owner driving around 10,000 miles/year and living in a typical medium-sized home could save £802 by switching to Intelligent Octopus.
That's based on:
- The average EV using 0.315 kWh/mile
- An average medium-sized home using 2,900 kWh/year
- 13.98% of energy used during off-peak hours. Based on the consumption behaviour of the typical Octopus customer
Why might I not be eligible for Intelligent Octopus?
If you were not eligible for Intelligent Octopus, this may be because:
- You don’t have an iPhone (iOS v14.0 or later) or Android (v7 or later)
- You have multiple properties linked to one Octopus Energy account
- You are using a car or charger that we’re not yet compatible with (Link to eligibility)
- You don’t have a smart meter
- You are not on supply with Octopus yet
Octopus customers can download our mobile app without being eligible for Intelligent Octopus.
Billing and Payments
How will I be billed for my charging?
When the Octopus app actively manages your charging schedule you will receive the off-peak rate. If you control the charge of your car outside of the Octopus app during peak hours you’ll be charged at peak rate. Any charging during off-peak hours is charged at the off-peak rate. Using the Octopus app means that you are getting the cheapest and greenest energy available.
Unit rates vary by region. You can find your rates here
How much will bump charges cost?
Any usage during a bump period will be charged at whatever rate is active during that time, i.e. off-peak between 11.30pm - 5.30am, and your peak rate for any charging outside those 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 no matter when the smart charging happens.
Can I use Intelligent Octopus with my export tariff?
How do you calculate the £200 saving on Intelligent Octopus vs. Go?
We assumed 7,000 miles driven per year with 100% of charging in the Intelligent Octopus window vs. 80% of charging in the Go window. This also includes savings in underlying household consumption for a longer night window vs. Go.
Signing up to Intelligent Octopus
How do I sign up?
Which cars work with Intelligent Octopus?
You can check eligibility on the IO signup page. We’re always working on adding more to this list. If eligible, head to our app to complete the signup journey for IO by completing a test charge.
Some brand models can be integrated using a 3rd party, and some brand models won't be eligible if you do not have access to their smart control apps. their smart control apps.
Do I need to have a smart meter to use Intelligent Octopus?
Yes, we need access to half-hourly meter readings to bill you correctly.
What devices work with Octopus Energy
Currently iPhones (iOS v14.0 or later) and Android (v7 or later) or tablets.
Can I connect more than one car to Intelligent Octopus?
No, you can only have one car connected to Intelligent Octopus’ smart charging at a time. If you have a second electric vehicle, then you can charge during this 6-hour off-peak window by manually setting it to charge at these times.
Can I use Intelligent Octopus in more than one property?
No, the tariff is linked to a single property.
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:
- Be sure you’ve completed all of the steps in the onboarding process
- Double-check that you’ve successfully completed your test charge via the Octopus Mobile App - this can take several minutes to complete
- Your switch from your other tariff is still pending, this can take up to 24hrs
If in doubt, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help.
Why did my test charge fail?
The app will display reasons for a failed test charge. Check out this guide with tips on how to get set up for a successful charge.
- Your car battery might be full. We need to be able to charge your car for around 5 minutes 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.
- We think your car is not at home (it has been registered to the wrong location)
- Your car or charger is stopping us from adding charge to your battery
How do I get a smart meter
Once you've registered your interest, our team will be in contact when we have an appointment in your area.
How does Octopus charge my car intelligently?
We connect to your car or charging equipment through the 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?
Use the “bump charge” button, which will start a charge immediately. If you bump charge, or charge your car without smart charging, during peak hours, then you will be charged the peak rate.
You can stop this charge from the app at any time.
Why is my car not smart charging?
Please check the following:
- Check the charge cable is properly connected to both car and charger - unplug at each end and try plugging in again.
- Check the car and charger used are the ones you’ve registered for Intelligent Octopus.
- Make sure any other charging services aren’t controlling your car.
- We might think your car isn’t at home. We currently identify ‘home’ as your car’s location when you signed up to Intelligent Octopus. 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 reconnect it while your car is at home.
What will my smart charging schedule look like?
The 11.30pm-5.30am window is the time that we can aim to smart charge your car within. Smart charging schedules can be made up of multiple shorter charges between 11:30p - 5:30am, with some charges happening outside this off-peak window (don’t worry, as long as you don’t bump charge you’ll always be on the off-peak rate).
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.
Why does my car start charging immediately after I plug it in?
After plugging in your EV, it will charge for a short period before the Intelligent Octopus smart charging schedule takes over.
There are a few reasons why your car might continue to charge for longer after plugging it in:
- 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.
- 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.
- Intelligent Octopus 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 signed up to Intelligent Octopus. 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 the process again while your car is at home.
- Intelligent Octopus checks in on your car at regular intervals to monitor your charging status. If the car is plugged in just after one of these checks, it could mean up to 30-minute delay in us stopping the charge.
What happens if I charge my car away from home?
Intelligent Octopus only works for home charging. If you charge your car away from home, then you will pay for charging like you normally would. With Intelligent Octopus you get 8% off charging on the go when charging on the Electroverse network.
What should I do if I’m not using my car for a long time?
You can turn off smart charging from the app from the settings page. This means Intelligent Octopus won’t wake up your car, or create smart charging schedules. Remember to switch smart charging back on when you’re using your car again.
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 also be covered by your car's battery/warranty.
Why isn’t my car going to sleep?
To smart charge your car we’ll need to wake it up. We let your car go back to sleep (to avoid battery drain) as often as possible. We recommend keeping your car plugged in at home to help it go to sleep more often and for longer periods.
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