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 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, Jaguar and Land Rover)
  • 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?

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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 7.5p/kWh between 11:30pm and 5:30am. Outside these hours your unit rate will vary by region.

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.

How will I save money with Intelligent Octopus?

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Intelligent Octopus customers benefit from a longer off-peak window allowing them to save money on EV charging and the energy use of their home. Customers tell us when they need their car ready and Octopus will find the best time to charge.

If Octopus schedules a charge outside of the cheaper night rate hours, customers still get the lower rate for all their EV and home during that period.

Why might I not be eligible for Intelligent Octopus?

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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 (iOS v14.0 or later) or Android (v7 or later)
  • 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?

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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 you’ll be charged at peak rate. Any charging during off-peak hours is charged at the off-peak rate.

Unit rates vary by region. You can find your rates here.

How much will Bump Charges cost?

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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?

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Don’t worry, you’ll always get the off-peak rate no matter when the charging happens.

Can I use Intelligent Octopus with my export tariff?

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As a beta product, only customers with Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) can use Intelligent Octopus. You'll still receive 4.1p/kWh for your export and will be able to benefit from our smart charging schedules.

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

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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 35p/kWh. This also includes savings in underlying household consumption for a longer night window vs. Go.

Signing up to Intelligent Octopus

Which cars work with Intelligent Octopus?

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Currently Tesla, Jaguar, Land Rover, Ford and Volkswagen (excluding ID models). Integration with Jaguar, Land Rover, Ford and Volkswagen is facilitated by a third party.

We’re always working on adding more to this list!

Do I need to have a smart meter to use Intelligent Octopus?

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Yes, we need access to half-hourly meter readings to bill you correctly.

What devices work with Octopus Energy

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Currently iPhones (iOS v14.0 or later) and Android (v7 or later).

Can I connect more than one car to Intelligent Octopus?

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No, you can only connect one car. You can remove a car and connect another at any point.

Can I use Intelligent Octopus in more than one property?

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No, the tariff is linked to a single property.

Why haven’t I switched to the new tariff?

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

  1. We need you to start your onboarding journey through the sign up form. You must complete this and be eligible for the tariff before we can switch you.
  2. You are still in the process of switching from another smart tariff.
  3. There could be an outstanding bill on your current tariff which is blocking the switch.

If in doubt, please contact us at smart@octopus.energy and we can help.

Why did my Test Charge fail?

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  • 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.

How do I get a smart meter

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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?

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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?

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Use the “Bump Charge” button, which will start a charge immediately.

You can stop this charge from the app at any time.

Why is my car not Smart Charging?

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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 smart 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 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 might have your home address incorrect. 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.

Will my car charge for the whole 6 hours?

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No, the 11.30pm-05.30am window is the time that we can 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, 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?

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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?

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

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

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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.
  4. IO 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?

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Intelligent Octopus only counts works for home charging. 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 cannot control your charging.

What should I do if I’m not using my car for a long time?

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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?

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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?

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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.

Published on 16th June 2021 by:

image of Phil Steele

Phil Steele

Future Technologies Evangelist

Hey I'm Constantine, welcome to Octopus Energy!

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