Frequently asked questions about Octopus Tracker

How do I sign up to the Octopus Tracker?

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We are currently operating a waiting list for invitations. If you'd like to try out Tracker for yourself, please join the list.

Do I have to be an existing Octopus customer?

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You don't have to be a current Octopus customer to switch to our Octopus Tracker. Both existing customers and those interested in becoming customers can join the waiting list, and we’ll be in touch.

Will I be exposed to unreasonable risks of volatile prices?

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With the Octopus Tracker, your prices are guaranteed to reflect wholesale market drops just as quickly as market increases. In the long run, trackers are usually cheaper than hedged and insured prices (hedging and insuring are not free – and consumers always pay the price in the long run).

Why has no other supplier done this?

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It’s technically complex, requires a sophisticated user interface, and most importantly, it ties the hands of a supplier. Many suppliers may not want to take such a step yet.

Do you support Economy 7?

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Unfortunately, the Octopus Tracker does not currently support Economy 7 meters.

What does the Octopus Tracker cost?

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As of 05 May 2017, the estimated average annual cost for a medium usage household on Octopus Tracker would be £907. At the moment, this is slightly lower than Flexible Octopus, our Standard Variable Tariff, which is £920, and our Octopus 12M Fixed, which is £912. Note that the Octopus Tracker estimate changes every day as wholesale gas and electricity prices change.

How does the Octopus Tracker compare to other tariffs?

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The estimated projection currently for an average household is £907 per year (as of May 5, 2017 – it will vary every day), which is comparable with the most competitive Standard Variable Tariffs, and about £231 cheaper than the average Big 6 standard variable tariff.

I’ve heard a lot about volatility in energy markets

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The most volatile month for energy prices in the last decade was November 2016. Even in that month the Octopus Tracker would have been cheaper than a typical Big 6 Standard Variable Tariff, with bills affected by less than £15, and overall, customers would've saved hundreds of pounds across the year compared to a typical Standard Variable Tariff. Customers can still pay with a fixed monthly direct debit as they do now, further reducing the impact of such spikes.

If wholesale prices go up, am I stuck on the Octopus Tracker paying a higher price?

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No. If you ever want to come off the Octopus Tracker, just email hello@octopus.energy and we will move you to one of our other tariffs the next day, for no charge. Or if you want to leave for another supplier (though we’d be sad to see you go), we won’t charge you any exit fees either (though industry processes means leaving can take up to 28 days).

Does this affect my Direct Debit?

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When you sign up to the Octopus Tracker we estimate what your annual cost will be, divide it by 12, and set your direct debit to that figure. We review regularly so that if your consumption or energy prices are different from the estimate we’ll adjust your payments to avoid excess credit or debit.

How is the price of the Octopus Tracker calculated?

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Prices for Tracker are made up of a unit rate (the price you pay for every unit of energy you use) and a standing charge, which is a fixed daily charge.

The unit rate is updated at midnight each day based on the latest wholesale price. Changes to standing charges are infrequent, and we’ll let you know at least 30 days in advance of any changes coming into effect.

Within Tracker you can view daily updated forecasts of how we expect wholesale prices will change in the future. While we endeavour to make these as accurate as possible, like all forecasts they involve numerous uncertainties, and as such may differ materially from actual prices.

Both unit rate and standing charge vary based on where you are in Britain.

East England

  • Electricity standing charge: 17.636p per day
  • Electricity unit charge: (W * 1.19) + 7.126 p per kWh
  • Gas standing charge: 14.373p per day
  • Gas unit charge: (W * 0.036) + 1.132 p per kWh

East Midlands

  • Electricity standing charge: 16.066p per day
  • Electricity unit charge: (W * 1.19) + 7.098 p per kWh
  • Gas standing charge: 14.373p per day
  • Gas unit charge: (W * 0.036) + 1.114 p per kWh

London

  • Electricity standing charge: 17.016p per day
  • Electricity unit charge: (W * 1.19) + 6.787 p per kWh
  • Gas standing charge: 14.373p per day
  • Gas unit charge: (W * 0.036) + 1.301 p per kWh

Merseyside & Northern Wales

  • Electricity standing charge: 17.106p per day
  • Electricity unit charge: (W * 1.19) + 8.056 p per kWh
  • Gas standing charge: 14.373p per day
  • Gas unit charge: (W * 0.036) + 1.227 p per kWh

West Midlands

  • Electricity standing charge: 16.846p per day
  • Electricity unit charge: (W * 1.19) + 7.236 p per kWh
  • Gas standing charge: 14.373p per day
  • Gas unit charge: (W * 0.036) + 1.199 p per kWh

North England

  • Electricity standing charge: 17.836p per day
  • Electricity unit charge: (W * 1.19) + 7.195 p per kWh
  • Gas standing charge: 14.373p per day
  • Gas unit charge: (W * 0.036) + 1.148 p per kWh

North West England

  • Electricity standing charge: 16.076p per day
  • Electricity unit charge: (W * 1.19) + 7.133 p per kWh
  • Gas standing charge: 14.373p per day
  • Gas unit charge: (W * 0.036) + 1.218 p per kWh

South England

  • Electricity standing charge: 15.986p per day
  • Electricity unit charge: (W * 1.19) + 7.336 p per kWh
  • Gas standing charge: 14.373p per day
  • Gas unit charge: (W * 0.036) + 1.316 p per kWh

South East England

  • Electricity standing charge: 17.456p per day
  • Electricity unit charge: (W * 1.19) + 7.502 p per kWh
  • Gas standing charge: 14.373p per day
  • Gas unit charge: (W * 0.036) + 1.307 p per kWh

South Wales

  • Electricity standing charge: 17.386p per day
  • Electricity unit charge: (W * 1.19) + 7.726 p per kWh
  • Gas standing charge: 14.373p per day
  • Gas unit charge: (W * 0.036) + 1.208 p per kWh

South West England

  • Electricity standing charge: 17.606p per day
  • Electricity unit charge: (W * 1.19) + 8.218 p per kWh
  • Gas standing charge: 14.373p per day
  • Gas unit charge: (W * 0.036) + 1.309 p per kWh

Yorkshire

  • Electricity standing charge: 18.056p per day
  • Electricity unit charge: (W * 1.19) + 6.752 p per kWh
  • Gas standing charge: 14.373p per day
  • Gas unit charge: (W * 0.036) + 1.162 p per kWh

South Scotland

  • Electricity standing charge: 18.096p per day
  • Electricity unit charge: (W * 1.19) + 7.039 p per kWh
  • Gas standing charge: 14.373p per day
  • Gas unit charge: (W * 0.036) + 1.164 p per kWh

North Scotland

  • Electricity standing charge: 21.106p per day
  • Electricity unit charge: (W * 1.19) + 7.863 p per kWh
  • Gas standing charge: 14.373p per day
  • Gas unit charge: (W * 0.036) + 1.164 p per kWh

Note: “W” refers to the wholesale cost (per kWh for electricity, per therm for gas) on a given day, and is the only price component to change daily. For changes to any other element of the formula, we’ll let you know at least 30 days in advance. Use the formula above to calculate prices excluding VAT .

For electricity, wholesale costs are based on the Nordpool day ahead auction price. To find the latest figure, follow the previous link, set the currency to “GBP” and convert the price to kWh by dividing by 1,000.

For gas, wholesale costs are based on the Marex Spectron Day-Ahead Index. To find the latest figure, download the CSV from the previous link, and open it in a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. Take the “Average” number for the most recent entry where IndexName is “NBP All Day D.A” (National Balancing Point, All Day, Day Ahead). 

How we calculate daily usage

Our smart meter rollout will start in the next few months and until then we'll use the meter readings you give us, and apportion usage to each day using the official Profile Coefficients for electricity, and Annual Load Profiles for gas. We make projections with the official estimated consumption figures for each meter (known as EAC for electricity and AQ for gas), or in their absence, the estimates customers give us. The more meter readings you give us, the more accurate we can be.

How are your estimated projections calculated?

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We look at historical trends from Nordpool for electricity and Marex Spectron for gas, apply to the latest forward prices, and then apply a customer’s expected consumption level. Because the consumption varies by day, we use the Ofgem standard "pattern" and apply this to the forecast prices.

Does it work with smart meters?

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It is designed to work with smart meters or traditional meters, although Octopus Energy’s smart meter rollout won’t begin for another few months.  If you have a non smart meter, we will use the monthly meter reading you send us to estimate daily usage using an industry coefficient. The more readings you give us, the more accurate the daily apportionment of your consumption will be.

What happens if I want to leave?

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You just choose a different tariff on your account page,  email us or phone us up, or switch to another supplier. Switching to another Octopus Energy tariff is effective next day, switching to another supplier takes their usual time. There are no exit fees.

Do you really expect people to look at all this data every day?

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No – but the fact that you (or anyone else) can choose to look at it at any time means you can be certain that what we’re saying is verifiable. We do think it’s helpful to get a feel for a “normal” price – a bit like with petrol – so we expect many people will have a quick glance at the price quite frequently.

Hey! Just so you know, your device is fully charged and you're still charging it. Removing the charger will avoid degrading your battery 😊

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