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Octopus Energy

By Sarah Ingrams

Article 18 of 29

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Octopus Energy

Octopus Energy says it’s ‘doing energy better’ and doing away with bureaucracy to give customers simplicity. Find out if Octopus Energy lives up to its claims.

Octopus Energy has grown fast since its launch in 2016. It now supplies more than 400,000 homes, having gained around 30,000 customers per month on average.

It says it’s committed to ‘fair and transparent’ prices and to making things as simple as possible for its customers.

It offers a range of tariffs, including a green tariff with 100% renewable electricity and full carbon offset 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 often sells tariffs among the cheapest in England, Scotland and Wales. None of its tariffs have exit fees.

In 2018, it acquired the customers of M&S Energy, Iresa, Affect Energy and Gen4U.

Read on to find out how Octopus Energy matches up to more established firms.

Compare gas and electricity prices using Which? Switch to see if you could save money with Octopus Energy.

Octopus Energy customer score

Octopus Energy came top out of 30 energy companies rated by 7,429 members of the public in the annual Which? customer survey – the broadest view of energy companies out there.

It’s a Which? Recommended Provider (WRP) for energy; the only company to be awarded this sought-after accolade in 2019 after it passed all of our tough assessments. 

Find out more about how firms qualify to become a Which? Recommended Provider for energy or read on to learn what Octopus Energy’s customers think of it.

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.

Find out how Octopus Energy compares with other energy firms in our guide to the best and worst energy companies 2018.

Which? verdict on Octopus Energy

Octopus Energy is a relative newcomer to the energy market but off to an incredibly strong start, as its WRP status for two years in a row demonstrates.

It was the only firm in our survey to receive five-star ratings from its customers on every single measure we asked about, from billing to complaints handling.

Octopus Energy also passed our procedures and practices assessment, and our pricing check, to earn its status as Which? Recommended Provider.

At least 90% of Octopus Energy’s customers rate it good or excellent in all but one area, which is no mean feat. An impressive 96% of those we asked praised its online customer service.

Some 90% consider it good or excellent value for money.

Besides being highly rated by its customers, it has one of the lowest levels of complaints, though it’s not the fastest firm at resolving them. In the first six months of last year it solved just over half of the complaints it received within two days. The best firms manage more than three-quarters in that time frame.

Octopus Energy is owned by Octopus Investments, which funds solar panel sites, wind generation and anaerobic digestion. It claims to have funded enough solar farms to power a quarter of a million homes.

It was the second-fastest energy company to respond to emails in our snapshot energy company response times undercover investigation. It took an average of just eight hours and five minutes to reply. The fastest firm failed to respond to several of our emails, however, while Octopus missed just one in our snapshot investigation. In contrast, the slowest firms took more than a week on average. It’s no wonder that Octopus encourages customers to email, rather than phone.

But it’s not slow to answer the phone to customers, either, taking 2 minutes 29 seconds on average in our investigation to put us through to a human.

Pros: The only energy WRP, fast to respond to emails. Also offers competitive prices

Cons: Doesn’t currently support smart prepayment meters

Octopus Energy electricity sources

Octopus Energy in the news

 

September: Ofgem appointed Octopus Energy the supplier of last resort for small supplier Gen4U, when it went bust. Gen4U’s 500 customers will become part of Octopus which will contact them in the coming days.

Octopus Energy also bought smaller rival Affect Energy. Affect Energy’s customers will be moved over to Octopus in due course. Octopus Energy says it will ‘continue providing their excellent service’.

Octopus also became M&S Energy’s supply partner, replacing SSE, which had worked with M&S Energy for nine years. Octopus Energy said customers would benefit from its digital-first approach to bills and customer service. M&S Energy said it expected eight in ten customers to save money compared with SSE.

August: All of Iresa's 90,000 customers will be transferred to Octopus Energy, energy regulator Ofgem announced, after the smaller supplier went bust. Octopus Energy was appointed as the 'supplier of last resort' in a competitive process run by Ofgem.

Octopus Energy honoured customers' credit balances.

Greg Jackson, Octopus Energy CEO, said: 'We are delighted to welcome Iresa’s customers to Octopus, and we promise to be a safe haven after the terrible experience they have had. Iresa’s records are in a terrible mess, so it will take us a bit of time to untangle them.'

June: Octopus Energy revealed it would raise prices for customers on its flexible Octopus variable tariff from 7 August. The 2.6% average increase added £24 to customers’ bills on average, per year.

February: Octopus announced that its Agile Octopus smart tracker tariff would occasionally pay customers to use energy in times of particularly low demand. The tariff’s prices change every half hour so customers can choose when to use electricity based on its cost.

Octopus Energy said if you’re able to use most of your electricity outside of peak times (around 4-7pm), this tariff would be cheaper than its fixed deals.

 

May: Octopus Energy launched a ‘tracker’ tariff; its prices change daily, tracking the wholesale cost of energy. Octopus says that its priority was ‘transparency – letting customers see how much they’re paying’ and know that ‘the price of their energy is a true reflection of its cost to us’.

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