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Octopus Energy

By Sarah Ingrams

Article 17 of 25

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Octopus Energy

Octopus Energy calls itself a ‘new breed of energy supplier’, doing away with bureaucracy to give customers simplicity. Find out if Octopus Energy lives up to its claims.

Octopus Energy is just two years old (it started taking customers in July 2016), but it’s growing fast and now has more than 350,000 customers. Octopus says it’s committed to transparency, honesty and simplicity for customers.

It offers a range of tariffs, including a green tariff with 100% renewable electricity and full carbon offset for gas, and a tariff that tracks wholesale energy prices and allow customers to track 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.

It’s included in our energy customer satisfaction survey for the first time. Read on to find out how Octopus Energy matches up to more established, rival 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 4th out of 31 energy companies rated by 8,762 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 2018 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 has a really competitive rate. It is well organised, communicate with me regularly through emails, is transparent about charges and responds quickly if I message it.’

Octopus Energy customer

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

Although it’s a newcomer to the energy market, Octopus Energy is off to a very strong start, as our energy WRP award shows. Besides being highly rated by its customers, it has one of the lowest levels of complaints and resolves among the highest proportion on the same or next working day.

‘I have always been very satisfied with their politeness and getting the job done immediately without any fuss.’

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

It promises ‘bills that actually make sense’ and delivers on this promise as more customers rank the accuracy of its bills as excellent than customers of any other supplier included in our survey.

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 quarter of a million homes.

'Very well designed website, clear graphics and good information.’

Octopus Energy customer

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 2min 29sec on average in our investigation to put us through to a human.

Pros: The only energy WRP, the fastest energy firm to answer emails. Also offers competitive prices

Cons: Doesn’t supply prepayment meter customers

Octopus Energy electricity sources

Octopus Energy in the news

2018

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’.

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 will contact Iresa's customers by 14 August and switch them onto its Flexible Octopus tariff by around 21 August. It will honour 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.'

July: Octopus Energy will become M&S Energy’s supply partner from 29 September, it was announced. It replaces SSE, which has worked with M&S Energy for nine years.

Octopus Energy says customers will benefit from its digital-first approach to bills and customer service. M&S Energy expects eight in 10 customers to save money compared with SSE.

June: Octopus Energy revealed it’ll raise prices for customers on its flexible Octopus variable tariff from 7 August. The 2.6% average increase will add £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.

2017

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’.

Want to know which energy firm is the cheapest for you? Use Which? Switch to compare gas and electricity prices.

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