Octopus Energy has grown incredibly quickly since its launch in 2016. It now supplies more than 1.4 million homes, having gained around 30,000 customers a month, on average, and acquired six other firms in two years.
It says it’s committed to ‘fair and transparent’ prices and to making things as simple as possible for its customers. It aims to provide great value for the long term.
It offers a range of tariffs, including a green tariff with 100% renewable electricity and full carbon offsetting for gas, a tariff designed for electric vehicle drivers, and a tariff that tracks wholesale energy prices and allows customers to see their costs daily.
Octopus Energy's tariffs are often among the cheapest in England, Scotland and Wales. None of its tariffs have exit fees.
Part of its growth is down to it taking on customers from other energy suppliers. Back in 2018, it acquired the customers of M&S Energy, Iresa, Affect Energy and Gen4U. And in 2019 it begun supplying Co-operative Energy’s customers, and transferred across those from Flow Energy and GB Energy Supply. At the start of 2020, Octopus Energy bought rival supplier Engie, adding another 70,000 customers to its business.
Read on to find out how Octopus Energy measures up to more established firms, plus results for Flow Energy before the brand was retired.
Octopus Energy customer score
Octopus Energy came top out of 35 energy companies rated by 7,355 members of the public in the annual Which? customer survey – the broadest independent view of energy companies out there.
It’s a Which? Recommended Provider (WRP) for energy for the third year running, after passing all our tough assessments.
Octopus Energy score breakdown
The graphic below shows the breakdown of Octopus Energy’s score in our latest survey.
Scroll down to read our verdict on Octopus Energy and to find out more about its prices.
Which? verdict on Octopus Energy
If Octopus Energy was a child it wouldn’t have started school yet, but thanks to its achievements it's already outstripped much older firms. It’s the only energy firm to have been made a WRP three times, while growing its customer base to more than a million.
It was one of only two firms in our survey to receive the maximum five-star ratings from its customers on complaints handling – no mean feat.
Octopus Energy also passed our assessment of procedures and practices, and our pricing check, to become a WRP.
Out of the suppliers in our survey, it had the highest proportion of customers who rated its customer service and bill clarity as 'excellent'.
More than 90% of customers rated it 'good' or 'excellent' on all measures we asked about, with the exception of complaints handling (which 89% said was 'good' or 'excellent').
Besides being highly rated by its customers, it gets relatively few complaints, although it’s not the fastest at resolving them. In the first six months of 2019, it received just two complaints per 1,000 customers, but solved just under half on the same or next working day. A few firms manage to solve more than 80% in that time.
Octopus Energy is owned by Octopus Investments, which funds solar panel sites, wind generation and anaerobic digestion. It claims its solar farms make up 40% of the large-scale solar generation in Great Britain.
It took us 2mins 14secs, on average, to get through to a human on the phone to Octopus in our in September 2019. With one firm we got through in 38 seconds, but Octopus Energy is still far quicker than the slowest firm, Scottish Power, which took more than 21 minutes to answer the phone, on average.
Octopus focuses more on email, for which its response time was average across the companies included in our snapshot research. It took one day 3hrs and 21mins, on average, to respond. The fastest firm, So Energy, took just 29 minutes on average, while the slowest, Powershop, took more than five days.
Pros: A Which? Recommended Provider, relatively fast to respond to emails, competitive prices
Cons: Not as speedy as some at resolving complaints
Flow Energy results
We included Flow Energy in our customer survey before customers were transferred to Octopus and the brand closed. Originally launched in 2013, it had around 150,000 customers and because part of Co-operative Energy in 2018.
Flow Energy came joint-16th out of 35 energy companies (alongside ), ranking much lower in our table than Octopus Energy. The graphic below shows the breakdown of Flow Energy’s score from our latest survey.
When we conducted a snapshot investigation into , Flow Energy took less than a minute to answer the phone, on average (45 seconds) – faster than linked brands Cooperative Energy, GB Energy and Octopus Energy.
Customers of Flow Energy and GB Energy Supply are being moved on to an Octopus Energy tariff as their current tariffs end.