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Octopus Energy (2021) review: Our favourite energy supplier

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Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
90.30
per month for a medium energy user on a dual-fuel tariff

A multi-award-winning energy supplier, Octopus Energy is a great all-rounder

Pros 
Renewable electricity as standard
Carbon-offset gas on some tariffs
Invests in renewable energy generation
Cons 
Tariffs aren’t the cheapest
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Octopus Energy was launched just five years ago but has grown to be one of the UK’s largest energy providers. It currently supplies more than two million homes with renewable electricity, gas or both.

It isn’t just its green credentials that are impressive, although that extends beyond the mere supply of green electricity. Its parent company Octopus Investments claims to be the UK’s largest investor in solar power and on some of its tariffs customers can fully carbon offset their gas supply as well.

Octopus also swept the board in our Best Energy Supplier Awards 2021, scooping gongs for best supplier overall, Best Customer Support, Best Value and Best Bills. Most impressively, some 96% of its customers said they would recommend it to others.

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Octopus Energy (2021) review: The tariffs

Octopus Price Promise

Launched in July 2021, this is the cheapest tariff Octopus currently offers for a customer using a “medium” amount of electricity and gas (2,900kWh of electricity per year and 12,000kWh of gas).

It’s a variable tariff that tracks the Ofgem price cap (the maximum rates a supplier can charge on its default tariffs) until September 2023. As well as including 100% renewable electricity, any gas you use is carbon offset.

Prices are updated in October and April and give medium energy users savings of at least £50 a year if they are dual-fuel customers, compared with how much they would pay at the level of the price cap.

As with all of Octopus’ tariffs, it has no exit fees so you’re free to switch at any time and it’s online only with no paper bills. When you come to the end of your current deal, you’re moved onto Octopus’s cheapest standard tariff, but you should see if you can get a better deal with Octopus or elsewhere at this point.

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Flexible Octopus

This is another variable deal, so your prices can go up or down, but it costs around £38 more per year than Octopus Price Promise at current rates. It has no end date, and your gas isn’t carbon-offset with this tariff, but you still get 100% renewable electricity.

As there are no exit fees, you’re free to switch to a better deal whenever you like, whether that’s a fixed tariff or another variable one.

Octopus Fixed

Octopus Fixed does exactly what you’d expect it to: launched in July 2021 it fixes the per-unit price of any energy you use while you’re on the tariff, which lasts for two years.

It’s more expensive than the two variable deals above at current rates, but you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that the price of your energy won’t go up during this time.

Although it’s a two-year deal, Octopus’ policy of not tying you into a contract means you can switch to a better deal at any time without having to pay exit fees.

Pay-monthly tariffs

Octopus Price Promise

Flexible Octopus

Octopus Fixed

Annual cost

£1,083.64 (£90.30 a month)

£1,122.13 (£93.51 a month)

£1,206.07 (£100.51 a month)

Fixed/variable

Variable – at least £50 lower than Ofgem’s price cap for 2 years

Variable

Fixed for 2 years

Renewable tariff?

Yes - 100% renewable electricity; gas fully carbon offset

Yes - 100% renewable electricity

Yes - 100% renewable electricity

Exit fees

None

None

None

Notes: Estimated monthly gas and electricity cost for a medium user (2,900kWh of electricity per year and 12,000kWh of gas) in London paying by monthly direct debit. Correct on 14 July 2021.

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Octopus Energy (2021) review: Range of tariffs

The above tariffs are the ones we were quoted for on the Octopus website, but they’re by no means the only ones to choose from. In fact, Octopus offers a huge range of tariffs, with more than 40 available to domestic customers. As well as including 100% renewable electricity as standard, just under half of these also carbon offset the gas you use.

It offers fixed and variable deals and tariffs for prepay customers as well as those who pay by monthly direct debit.

Among these are some innovative tariffs, such as Octopus Tracker, which follows the wholesale price of energy; Agile Octopus, which gives smart-meter users cheaper rates when wholesale prices drop and lets you save money by using energy outside of peak times; and Octopus Go for drivers of electric vehicles, which gives you cheaper rates at night for charging your car.

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Octopus Energy (2021) review: Survey results

Customer support

Octopus Energy’s customers are a highly satisfied bunch. An impressive 67% said they were Very Satisfied with its customer support in our survey, compared with the second highest percentage of 48% for Bulb Energy. And, if you add the customers who were merely Satisfied to this figure, the percentage rises to 92%.

Value for money

It was also highly rated for value for money with 91% of its customers saying they were Satisfied or Very Satisfied. This was the winning result in our survey, with Avro Energy coming in a close second place; some 89% of Avro customers said they were Satisfied or Very Satisfied with the value for money their supplier offered.

Accuracy and clarity of bills

Octopus was way ahead of its rivals in our survey for the clarity and accuracy of its bills. Here, 72% said they were Very Satisfied with how easy its bills are to understand compared with the next best – Bulb Energy – with 57%; while 77% of Octopus customers were Very Satisfied with the accuracy of its bills compared with 60% for Bulb.

Smart meters

When it came to fitting smart meters, which automatically send your meter readings to your suppliers and let you monitor your energy use in real-time, Octopus received a Highly Commended award. It had the third-highest proportion of customers with smart meters (although some of these could have been fitted by a previous supplier).

Complaints

According to the complaints data published by the energy regulator Ofgem for the first three months of 2021, Octopus Energy had a relatively low number of complaints per 100,000 customer accounts, at a mere 488.

It also resolved them fairly quickly, although not as quickly as some of the other suppliers in our survey. Some 57% of complaints were resolved by the end of the next working day by Octopus and 88% within eight weeks – the latter being the lowest percentage among the suppliers in our survey. Avro Energy was the quickest at resolving complaints with an 87% next-day resolution rate.

Ofgem complaints data

Complaints per 100,000 customer accounts

Industry average complaints per 100,000 customer accounts

Complaints resolved by end of next working day

Complaints resolved within eight weeks

488

1,629

57%

88%

Notes: Data is for the first three months of 2021.


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Octopus Energy (2021) review: Verdict

You can be sure of getting a great service from Octopus Energy and it’s an excellent choice if you want to reduce your carbon footprint and support the generation of renewable energy. There’s also a wide range of tariffs to choose from to suit your needs, including cost-saving electric car rates, although the sheer number available could be confusing.

Octopus’ offerings are good value for money, too, but if you care about price alone, make sure you compare all the deals available to get the very cheapest tariff.

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