Energy > Our Reviews

Octopus Energy Review

Fred Isaac

Fred Isaac
Mar 20, 2017


The strikingly named Octopus Energy is another small supplier looking to wrench you away from the arms of the Big Six and into its tentacles.

Based in London, it joined the gas market in 2016 but has been building solar farms since 2011.

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The 154 UK solar farms Octopus has funded generate 40% of all the UK’s large scale solar power – enough to power over 250,000 homes.

Like many smaller suppliers, Octopus promotes itself as an alternative to the Big Six – EDF, E.ON, Scottish Power, British Gas, SSE and Npower (read our Npower review to see how one of the Big Six compares)

It’s an approach that seems to be working; this year, six out of ten switchers have opted for a smaller supplier.

Octopus promises to make buying energy as “simple as buying cornflakes” and insists 70% of Big 6 customers could save £515 switching to them.

To find out if Octopus Energy could save you money, compare energy suppliers for free now. 

So is Octopus Energy all it’s cracked up to be? What’s its customer service like?

Let’s take a closer look in our Octopus energy review...

 

Octopus Energy Tariffs

Octopus Energy offers a range of tariffs including: Octopus 12 month Fixed; Octopus Flexible and Green Octopus and Super Green Octopus. 

Eco-conscious consumers will like the Green Octopus.

It offers 100% renewable electricity and full carbon offset for gas. This essentially means that your home is carbon natural and doesn’t leave a footprint on the planet.

The Octopus Flexible plan is one of the cheapest deals on the market, costing a medium energy user around £776 a year.

This is likely to be considerably cheaper than any duel fuel deal from the Big Six.

Remember: on a variable, flexible tariff your prices may go up if wholesale energy costs go up.

A big plus is that none of the tariffs charge exit fees.

All of them are paperless billing only.

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Switching to Octopus Energy

Octopus promises it takes just two minutes to switch and can be done from your phone, desktop or tablet without a bill to hand.

Don’t worry, when switching energy provider, there’s no risk of disconnection and an engineer doesn’t need to visit.

If you're interested in switching energy companies use our free tool to compare energy suppliers now.

 

Green credentials

Octopus say that when it launched its tariffs, it aimed for its renewable share to be at least 50% - "over twice the amount delivered by the Big Six". 

And it looks like the company has delivered, big time. 

Its Fuel Mix Disclosure reveals where Octopus gets its electricity from (the UK average is in brackets) 

* Coal: 1% (17%) 
* Natural Gas: 1% (32%)
* Nuclear: 1% (24%)
* Renewable: 97% (24%)
* Other: 0% (3%) 

At 97% renewable electricity, Octopus flying the flag for affordable renewable energy. 

As we’ve mentioned, it also claims to be the UK’s biggest investor in solar farms and has ploughed money into anaerobic digestion plants, which harnesses the natural breakdown of plant waste to generate electricity.

And let’s not forget that the Green Octopus tariff provides 100% renewable electricity.

So it's fair to say Octopus are, especially considering its price, a pretty green provider indeed!

 

Online offering

To offer cut price tariffs, small suppliers have to make savings somewhere.

Octopus have clearly not spent a great deal on their website.

Customers do have access to an online account, but there are no detailed guides to help you with your energy consumption.

The site is littered with crude boxes encouraging you to type in your postcode and get switching.

This is a site designed to acquire new customers, rather than pamper new ones.  

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Octopus Energy customer service

It will worry some customers that Octopus hides its phone numbers under a separate tab and encourages customers to contact them online.

Octopus promises that online inquiries will receive a response within one hour, but dealing with customer service through online chat is not popular.

You can end up wasting a lot of time talking at cross purposes, and customers will fear their problem will be picked up by a new employee each time they log on.

If you do want to call Octopus, they’re on 0330 808 1080 or 0800 612 0884.

Between July and September 2016, it received 238 customers per 100,000 accounts, resolving 80% of them on the same or next working day.

When compared to its rivals, Octopus is doing pretty well.

In the same period, medium-sized suppliers Co-op Energy received 656 complaints per 100,000 accounts, First Utility 1091, Extra Energy 820, Utility Warehouse 1785 and Utilita 3368. 

OVO, however, received just 80 complaints per 100,000 customers. 

Of these firms only Utilita (84%) and (82%) resolved more complaints within one working day than Octopus. 

The most common issues with Octopus are around customer set-up, billing, payments and customer service. 

If you’ve had a problem with Octopus, use A Spokesman Said’s free tool to post your issue in public and demand a fair response.

undefined The Octopus Energy team. Source: Octopus Energy website

 

Making a payment to Octopus Energy

Octopus promotes Direct Debit as the preferred method of payment, but you can also pay using a prepayment meter.

The Octopus energy aim to review your Direct Debit twice a year to make sure you’re paying the right amount for your energy, but you can help by submitting regular meter readings.

 

Recent news

In March 2017, The Times found that Octopus were using doorstep salesmen to target new customers. 

 

Our verdict

Pros:

* Clear pricing policy
* Very competitive tariffs
* Investment in renewable energy

Cons:

* Focus on online customer service will put some consumers off
* Limited website

Cover photo from Octopus Energy website.

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