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Agile rates?

m3gt2

Member
Sep 14, 2015
878
298
england
Hi, been with Octopus for nearly 4 months now and was told the smart meter wasn't compatible and would need changing. I've chased them up and they have now said that the existing meters are compatible and are connected to them :mad: god knows when they'd have let me know if I didn't chase them! Anyway, I'm now torn between Go and Agile, I was set on Agile but now were coming into winter I'm thinking Go may be better. What is the best way to check what the Agile rates are in my area? Also are any of you on Tracker for your gas? If so is it generally better than standard fixed TL rates? Thanks
 

Medved_77

TM3 SR+ | MSM+Black | No FSD
Jan 20, 2020
1,954
1,921
Scotland
Hi, been with Octopus for nearly 4 months now and was told the smart meter wasn't compatible and would need changing. I've chased them up and they have now said that the existing meters are compatible and are connected to them :mad: god knows when they'd have let me know if I didn't chase them! Anyway, I'm now torn between Go and Agile, I was set on Agile but now were coming into winter I'm thinking Go may be better. What is the best way to check what the Agile rates are in my area? Also are any of you on Tracker for your gas? If so is it generally better than standard fixed TL rates? Thanks
Can't speak for Gas but to check the Agile rates in your area you can download apps such as 'Octopus Watch' or 'Octopus Agile'. I'm sure there are websites that also publish the rates but I find the apps more convenient.

If you decide on Agile then you can keep track of which tariff is better for you using this online tool:
Octopus Comparison

I recently compared my spend on Agile vs Go for the month of September which you can read here:
Octopus Agile Peak Rate

I'm still saving 15% by being on Agile however it's much closer than it has been previously so will be keeping an eye on it. It will be different for each persons usage pattern though.

The nice thing is though that you can change your tariff overnight with no charge so it's not a long term commitment. Agile prices have been higher recently due to power stations going off line for maintenance. I think they're back on now, forecasted agile rates are looking better and will fewer people going into offices etc I suspect they will be favourable again for the short term.

Personally, I'd recommend signing up to Agile, using the tools available to compare against Go, and if it's not working out cheaper then make the switch.
 
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Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,696
UK
I've found that comparing tariffs is now getting to be a great deal harder, as you need to know your likely usage hour by hour to make a fair comparison. I've been keeping a spreadsheet updated, using a .csv download from the house monitoring system, and then comparing the usage pattern with a handful of different tariffs. For us, E7 is still way ahead, but that's mainly driven by the fact that we need more than 4 hours of off peak every night in winter.

To make things even more complex, I've been considering installing a home battery system. Until recently this made no sense economically, in that any savings wouldn't be recouped over the likely lifetime of the battery, but that's now beginning to change. The ability to charge a battery during a very cheap off peak period, and then use that energy during a very high price peak period, changes the balance a fair bit. The snag for us is that our winter heating system takes hours to charge up with heat, and we charge that exclusively at the cheap overnight rate (much like an old fashioned storage heater). In can't decrease the charge time, as if I increase the heat pump flow temperature that just results in a house temperature overshoot around midday the following day. Means we're probably stuck with E7 for the foreseeable future, I just hope they don't push the price up of E7 as a way of trying to get people to switch.
 
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m3gt2

Member
Sep 14, 2015
878
298
england
I've found that comparing tariffs is now getting to be a great deal harder, as you need to know your likely usage hour by hour to make a fair comparison. I've been keeping a spreadsheet updated, using a .csv download from the house monitoring system, and then comparing the usage pattern with a handful of different tariffs. For us, E7 is still way ahead, but that's mainly driven by the fact that we need more than 4 hours of off peak every night in winter.

To make things even more complex, I've been considering installing a home battery system. Until recently this made no sense economically, in that any savings wouldn't be recouped over the likely lifetime of the battery, but that's now beginning to change. The ability to charge a battery during a very cheap off peak period, and then use that energy during a very high price peak period, changes the balance a fair bit. The snag for us is that our winter heating system takes hours to charge up with heat, and we charge that exclusively at the cheap overnight rate (much like an old fashioned storage heater). In can't decrease the charge time, as if I increase the heat pump flow temperature that just results in a house temperature overshoot around midday the following day. Means we're probably stuck with E7 for the foreseeable future, I just hope they don't push the price up of E7 as a way of trying to get people to switch.
Some very valid points you make and it's clearly impossible to say for certain that one is better than the other. It's easier for us to try and work it out as the heating/water/hob/ovens are all gas. We don't have battery storage or solar either.
 

Gatsojon

Member
Aug 4, 2019
577
536
Manchester UK
I've only recently had the smart meters fitted and switched to Go as the Agile tariffs were looking a bit sick. As noted above, you can switch easily, which I plan to do if they come back down again.

As I have a Powerwall, I also have the option of the Tesla Tariff which is 8p per kWh buy and sell, with no standing charge. That is tempting but with solar production reducing now and one having to hand over control of the Powerwall and car charging to Octopus, I'm not rushing into that one yet.
 
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tomorrowman

Member
Mar 10, 2020
188
158
Hampshire
Hi, been with Octopus for nearly 4 months now and was told the smart meter wasn't compatible and would need changing. I've chased them up and they have now said that the existing meters are compatible and are connected to them :mad:

Interesting !

I'm currently switching to them and have a SMERTS1 smart meter that Scottish power installed. They gave me the standard 'go on a standard tariff and when we have installed SMERTS2 smart meter you can move to Go or Agile tariff' blah blah.

Out of curiosity what smart meter did you have
 
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m3gt2

Member
Sep 14, 2015
878
298
england
Interesting !

I'm currently switching to them and have a SMERTS1 smart meter that Scottish power installed. They gave me the standard 'go on a standard tariff and when we have installed SMERTS2 smart meter you can move to Go or Agile tariff' blah blah.

Out of curiosity what smart meter did you have
It comes up as SMETS1 but if they can connect to it I'm not sure! Scottish power also fitted ours about a year ago so it wouldn't surprise me if it's SMETS2, the gas meter shows as SMETS2 and was fitted at the same time.
 

tomorrowman

Member
Mar 10, 2020
188
158
Hampshire
apparently the following helps you compare octopus tariffs using your actual data
Octopus Comparison
I think the idea is you go with one of the tariffs and then you can use historical data to determine the price differential between agile and go

One the basis my switch to Octopus is yet to be completed (and I need a new smart meter) I've not investigated further

Additionally there seem to be lots of phone apps that do the same

Agile historical data for all regions https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/...tatics/data/agile-rates/agile_rates_2019.xlsx
 
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Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,696
UK
The challenging bit is when most of the time of your electricity consumption is very low, or negative if you have solar panels, but you have periods when the consumption is quite high, and you're not always able to control those high loads. For example, we have over 6 kWp of PV panels in the roof, so during the day the house rarely draws any grid power, as the background load is pretty low. At night the load can increase a great deal though, from around the 300 W background level, up to about 3.3 kW whilst the hot water is boosting (if it hasn't heated enough during the day), plus another ~7 kW if the car is charging (could easily be for the full 7 hour off peak period if we've been away the day before), plus another ~ 1.5 to 2 kW for up to 7 hours if the heat pump is on to charge the slab up in cold weather.

These overnight loads dominate our usage, especially in winter, but they vary a lot. The car probably only needs charging a couple of times a week, the heating varies a great deal with the outside temperature and the hot water varies a great deal with how sunny the previous day has been. This means that some nights there will be no additional demand, it will stay at the ~300 W house background load, other nights it could be over 12 kW, perhaps for the full 7 hour E7 period.

This makes comparing tariffs interesting, as I need to compare the hour by hour rate from each supplier against our historic consumption, in order to try and see which comes out on top. Go is a non-starter, because the off-peak period is too short. Agile gets close to E7 at times, but right now seems to be getting more expensive again (although the average has been biased by the recent high price periods).

Trying to decide which supplier to shift to without at least a year's worth of reasonable, hour by hour, usage data, and without access to the hour by hour pricing from suppliers for the same period, would be challenging, although if your usage data was made publicly available then an app should be easily able to make such a comparison (more easily than my five year old Excel spreadsheet!). If we also had home battery storage then the challenge would be trying to work out how much stored energy could be used during Agile peak pricing periods and how much charge could be replenished from primarily solar, with low price periods as a back up.

I have a feeling my brain might start to hurt trying to do this!

The consolation, for us, is that we don't pay anything for electricity, anyway, and don't have gas, or any other fuel, so the whole thing becomes a bit of a pointless exercise. So far this year we've been paid £1,066 for electricity we've generated, plus FiT, and we have paid out a total to date of £536.50 for electricity we've used, including charging the car. The E7 tariff we're on could increase by a heck of a lot before we'd actually start paying anything for energy, so comparing prices is really, for me, just an intellectual exercise . . .
 
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m3gt2

Member
Sep 14, 2015
878
298
england
apparently the following helps you compare octopus tariffs using your actual data
Octopus Comparison
I think the idea is you go with one of the tariffs and then you can use historical data to determine the price differential between agile and go

One the basis my switch to Octopus is yet to be completed (and I need a new smart meter) I've not investigated further

Additionally there seem to be lots of phone apps that do the same

Agile historical data for all regios https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/...tatics/data/agile-rates/agile_rates_2019.xlsx
Thanks, I'll have a good study on excel later :)
 

tomorrowman

Member
Mar 10, 2020
188
158
Hampshire
thanks for the 'existing meters compatible' tip. I double checked the dashboard and they now seem to be stating they will transfer me to Go tariff the moment the supplier switch is complete (to an octopus none smart tariff) and no mention of meter change.

I've dropped them an email to confirm my understanding. If correct then marvellous.
 
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m3gt2

Member
Sep 14, 2015
878
298
england
Not really Agile related but it is only showing 30 minutes usage slots for gas just for 1 day (this Monday), do they not list historical usage for smart gas meters? Thanks
 

NastyNick83

Member
Nov 28, 2019
159
106
Sutton Coldfield, UK
Everyone’s usage will vary slightly - so you’ll need to do your own sums.

However, since I switched to Agile in March ‘20 I have saved £175.26 vs Go with an average spend of £45.31p/m.

Even with the rates in Sept (which have been the worst I’ve seen Agile) I’m still saving £3.96 (month obviously not complete yet).

will monitor over the winter
 
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m3gt2

Member
Sep 14, 2015
878
298
england
Everyone’s usage will vary slightly - so you’ll need to do your own sums.

However, since I switched to Agile in March ‘20 I have saved £175.26 vs Go with an average spend of £45.31p/m.

Even with the rates in Sept (which have been the worst I’ve seen Agile) I’m still saving £3.96 (month obviously not complete yet).

will monitor over the winter
Thanks, our usage is fairly constant throughout the day/night with fridges and freezers, pond pumps etc running 24 hours. Heating and cooking are gas and lights are on in a lot of rooms for many hours due to eye health issues, though they are all low energy. On that basis I've just took the average of Agile that I found over the past year (8.89p/kWh) and this should still work out better than Go or fixed/variable tariffs. The only significant usage I can time shift is the vehicle charging which again looks like I'd still save, even using the last weeks rates. I have a 'dumb' charger, would ev.energy be the best way to charge the car at the best rates? Thanks
 

Medved_77

TM3 SR+ | MSM+Black | No FSD
Jan 20, 2020
1,954
1,921
Scotland
Thanks, our usage is fairly constant throughout the day/night with fridges and freezers, pond pumps etc running 24 hours. Heating and cooking are gas and lights are on in a lot of rooms for many hours due to eye health issues, though they are all low energy. On that basis I've just took the average of Agile that I found over the past year (8.89p/kWh) and this should still work out better than Go or fixed/variable tariffs. The only significant usage I can time shift is the vehicle charging which again looks like I'd still save, even using the last weeks rates. I have a 'dumb' charger, would ev.energy be the best way to charge the car at the best rates? Thanks
I've found ev.energy to be the best way to charge during the cheapest slots. Works fine with a dumb charger as it uses the Tesla api to start/stop the charge based on the current rates via the octopus api.
 
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m3gt2

Member
Sep 14, 2015
878
298
england
I've found ev.energy to be the best way to charge during the cheapest slots. Works fine with a dumb charger as it uses the Tesla api to start/stop the charge based on the current rates via the octopus api.
Thank you, can I download it and set it up now or do I need to wait until the tariff is swapped?
 

Medved_77

TM3 SR+ | MSM+Black | No FSD
Jan 20, 2020
1,954
1,921
Scotland
Thank you, can I download it and set it up now or do I need to wait until the tariff is swapped?
You'll be able to connect to your car with it now. It works with many different tariffs as well so you may be able to use it straight away. I'll pm you a referral code, should be good for a £5 amazon voucher.
 
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Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,696
UK
Just spent a happy hour playing around, looking at tariffs and comparing them. As a laugh, I tried entering our usage data into three of the well-know comparison sites. All of them selected "best deals" that were actually more expensive than we're currently paying, varying from only 4% more expensive to 25% more expensive, and this was with me entering our past year's actual energy use, both peak and off-peak. I did find a supplier that offers a tariff that would save us about 14%, but it wasn't a tariff that showed on any of the comparison sites.

Can't quite understand how the comparison sites can be so wrong, as they had our post code, address, present supplier and tariff, as well as our peak and off peak usage. It wasn't just one of them that got it wrong, either, they all did, for some reason.
 
Last edited:

Spacey73

Member
Nov 2, 2019
255
246
United Kingdom
I'm on Agile and the killer is the 4pm until 7 pm, have been learning to pre cook some dinners at cheap rate as it can go to 30p kwh for those 3 hrs and doesn't really get cheap again until 8pm.

I also have 4kw of PV and that just powers my bitcoin mining operation (much more money per kwh than selling it to grid). A home made 10kwh useable (only charge from 3.3v to 4.05v for longevity) off grid battery.

Seriously thinking about the Tesla powerwall though if the standard rate is 7p kwh.

Mostly though the Agile rate is around 4 to 7p kwh apart from 4 to 8pm
 

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