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Charger and Octopus

M312

New Member
Jul 27, 2020
3
0
Leicester
Hi,

Please don't shoot me for asking, I know it's been asked 100 times before, but I'm still not sure, especially after speaking to Octopus!

I should hopefully be matched to a Model 3 LR in September, I need to get a charger installed and switch energy company.

Seems everyone is going for Octopus Agile and the OHME cable...

But spoke to Octopus about this and they said that the cable can only be used with a 3 pin or commando socket... They also said I should get the EO charger and use Go instead.

Agile seems like the go to plan right now, but I also have no smart meter...!

Should I...
1) Get a dumb charger (untethered?) and the OHME cable
2) Get a dumb charger on its own
3) Get the EO charger and use Go instead
4) Something else

Can someone just break down what I need to do here please, which charger for Octopus Agile...

Thanks in advance
 

Jeeves

Member
Feb 12, 2020
501
283
UK
You aren’t compelled to have any particular charger or cable to work with Octopus or the Agile tariff in particular. You do need a smart meter for the time of use tariffs though.

The Ohme cable is good in that it can automatically turn the power on an off to optimise cost, but that isn’t the only way of doing it.

Your Tesla can be controlled over the Internet and you can get the same result with the ev.energy app so long as your charge point can be on all the time.

I use an EO Mini Pro with Octopus Agile and let the ev.energy app do the smart charging control.
 
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M312

New Member
Jul 27, 2020
3
0
Leicester
You aren’t compelled to have any particular charger or cable to work with Octopus or the Agile tariff in particular. You do need a smart meter for the time of use tariffs though.

The Ohme cable is good in that it can automatically turn the power on an off to optimise cost, but that isn’t the only way of doing it.

Your Tesla can be controlled over the Internet and you can get the same result with the ev.energy app so long as your charge point can be on all the time.

I use an EO Mini Pro with Octopus Agile and let the ev.energy app do the smart charging control.


Thanks for this. I thought so, but when I rang Octopus they said I could only use Go with the EO charger... The app do as good a job as the OHME cable then?
 

Jeeves

Member
Feb 12, 2020
501
283
UK
I don’t know because I’ve never used the Ohme, but it is highly respected. I suspect it is likely to be more precise than the app due to communication delays with the Tesla APIs vs direct switching of the power on and off. However, the cost differences would be negligible.

I don’t know whether or not Agile have some way of working directly with an EO to give you the Go tariff without having a smart meter.
 

Adopado

Active Member
Aug 19, 2019
3,355
2,528
Scotland
I don’t know whether or not Agile have some way of working directly with an EO to give you the Go tariff without having a smart meter

I can't imagine that's the case. There would have to also be a smart meter because anything in the charge point will not be capable of measuring use elsewhere in the house.
 

simon.c

Member
Sep 4, 2019
71
61
Glasgow, UK
You can’t be on Go before you get a smart meter - you will be put on a temporary standard tariff until they can install one. I know there have been significant delays during lockdown so you might want to check with Octopus as to when they anticipate you could get one installed. There certainly isn't a requirement to have an EO to be on either Go or Agile. I've not used the Ohme myself but they seem to be quite highly regarded. You can either get the Ohme cable (with the aforementioned 3 pin or type 2 connector for use with an untethered charger), or you can in fact get an Ohme wall charger which is a tethered unit with everything hard wired in.

As for which to go for it really comes down to personal preference. As you are getting a Tesla the free ev.energy app will work with any wall charger (either dumb or a smart one working in dumb mode) with either Agile or Go (and many other time of use tariffs), but remember the OLEV grant will only apply if you are getting a smart home charger - so it may well end up cheaper overall going for a smart charger regardless of whether you want to use it in smart mode or not. At present I believe the Ohme is the only one with built in support for Agile (I gather it is something the myenergi Zappi is due to support "soon"), though most smart chargers will be capable of being set up to only charge the car overnight during Go hours since those are fixed.

I would suggest getting some quotes in (for both smart and dumb) and start the switch to Octopus ASAP so you have a better chance of getting the smart meter installed in time for the car arriving, as without it you will be unable to use either Go or Agile. It won't matter too much which smart tariff you go for to start with as you can change it at anytime and swap to the other as of midnight that evening via your online account.

Personally I started with Octopus Go using a dumb charger and using the car and Teslafi to stop/start the charge (though ev.energy would have worked just as well), and then more recently moved to Agile and began using ev.energy to charge at optimum Agile times but have since changed to a Zappi as my old dumb BMW wallbox died and am now using the Octopus and myenergi APIs to select Agile times for the Zappi to boost in (which cuts out the delay and occasional phantom drain I get with ev.energy) until myenergi's built in support begins.
 
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AndrewGR

Member
Oct 18, 2019
363
166
Oxfordshire, UK
Now Tesla have sorted out chargepoint control of charging my Zappi chargepoint is working very well with Octopus Go. No need to set anything in the car. I also get ‘automatic’ charging with excess generation from my solar panels although if I’m honest this doesn’t amount to a lot since I only have a 3kW peak solar system.
 

M312

New Member
Jul 27, 2020
3
0
Leicester
Brill, that's great info, thank you very much.

Does the ev.energy app work automatically with Agile, or do you need to input times everyday?
 

AndrewGR

Member
Oct 18, 2019
363
166
Oxfordshire, UK
Smart meter is essential to take advantage of Go or Agile although I’ve seen suggestions Octopus may put you on a tariff with estimated benefits whilst waiting for smart meter installation.
 

tj333

Member
Aug 30, 2019
100
36
Burton on Trent
Hi!

Agile seems like the go to plan right now, but I also have no smart meter...!

As others have said, you must have a smart meter to be able to use the Agile or Go tariffs. (You could switch to a standard octopus tariff whilst waiting for a smart meter install).
I'm not sure if this is the case for you but don't get confused between 'smart meters' (which connect your house to the grid) and 'smart chargers' (which you plug the car into).

Can someone just break down what I need to do here please, which charger for Octopus Agile...

Octopus Agile (or Go) can work with any charger. To make best use of those tariffs you obviously want to control at which time the car starts/stops charging - this can be done a variety of ways;
  • Use the car's inbuilt scheduled charge function (great for Go, less good for Agile as the cheapest price likely to vary each day and you may not want to have the faff of changing it in the car each time)
  • Use a home charger that has scheduled time capability, such as controlled through an app (there are a variety, e.g. EO mini pro, Ohme wall charger, etc). Even better, one that integrates with octopus so you don't have to manually change the start/stop times manually through said app. The ohme wall charger fits in this bracket. NOTE: not all 'smart' home chargers have the capability to do a scheduled start/stop charge (e.g. I have a Podpoint, which has been great, but has no schedule functionality or integration with Octopus).
  • Use a [smart] cable that has scheduled time/octopus integration capability, i.e. ohme cable, that connects to a 'dumb' socket
  • Use a 3rd party app to connect to the Tesla API and/or octopus API to start/stop charges (e.g. ev.energy app)
Different people find different things work for them. Personally I quite enjoy :cool: checking the octopus Agile prices and manually setting the start/stop times for charging using an app, it only takes a few seconds. I've heard others have said good things about the ev.energy app if you want it to just take care of itself.

My suggestion for you would be (in this order);
(a) get a smart meter installed (either with existing supplier if not yet initiated the switch or with Octopus)
(b) choose a home charger and get it booked in to install (can take many weeks), just choose one based on your preference for cost/aesthetics. I quite like Podpoint.
(c) switch to Octopus (using my referral code.... ok that bits optional :))
(d) when you've got (a) (b) and (c), switch to Agile (or Go) and download the ev.energy app

when I rang Octopus they said I could only use Go with the EO charger
This is just wrong
 

simon.c

Member
Sep 4, 2019
71
61
Glasgow, UK
Brill, that's great info, thank you very much.

Does the ev.energy app work automatically with Agile, or do you need to input times everyday?
It automatically looks up the agile prices each day. The only setup required is to tell it your Tesla login credentials so that it can get itself an API access token (required to find out the charge level of the car and then to wake it / start charge and stop charge). You then tell it which tariff you are using and with Agile selected you can then tell the app what target battery level you want and by what time and it will select the cheapest half hour blocks to achieve it. You can also specify a maximum tariff point and it won't charge the car unless the tariff is below it, though obviously if the agile tariff happens to be high on a particular day you may not get much (or perhaps any) charge if you set this too aggressively low. You leave the car with a a delayed start charge time (ev.energy recommend midnight) at which point the car will inittiate a charge but ev.energy will stop it almost straight away unless it happens to have selected 00:00-00:30 for charging) and it will then start / stop the charge as required to achieve the requested charge level.

The main disadvantages of using ev.energy is that you have to give it your tesla login details (which may be a security concern for you, but then many third party services fall into the same boat). It also has a slight delay when starting/stopping charges so you will tend to find they start and stop 2-3 minutes past the half hour blocks. Finally you may find it sometimes keeps the car awake unnecessarily (so called phantom drain), though overall I haven't found it too bad for that.
 
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Cwmwd

Member
Sep 12, 2019
180
92
Wales/UK
Just to add that both Octopus and ev.energy have referral schemes (the ev.energy one is less lucrative, though) so if you do find the above useful be sure to PM some of the guys above to ask for links... :)
 

HenryT

Member
Jan 29, 2020
486
382
Manchester
If you don't have a charger installed yet you could opt for an Ohme charger (tethered version which comes with a cable).

The Ohme app is capable of managing the various tariffs and I'm sure it can accommodate Octopus Agile.
 

Ant M3

Member
Oct 13, 2019
343
149
Solihull, UK
I’ve got a Rolec charger and use octopus go ... no issues from either Rolec or Octopus only with Tesla when they decided to do an update which cocked up charging ... now back to normal
 

Dougall1248

Member
Jul 28, 2020
98
56
Glasgow
Hi,

Please don't shoot me for asking, I know it's been asked 100 times before, but I'm still not sure, especially after speaking to Octopus!

I should hopefully be matched to a Model 3 LR in September, I need to get a charger installed and switch energy company.

Seems everyone is going for Octopus Agile and the OHME cable...

But spoke to Octopus about this and they said that the cable can only be used with a 3 pin or commando socket... They also said I should get the EO charger and use Go instead.

Agile seems like the go to plan right now, but I also have no smart meter...!

Should I...
1) Get a dumb charger (untethered?) and the OHME cable
2) Get a dumb charger on its own
3) Get the EO charger and use Go instead
4) Something else

Can someone just break down what I need to do here please, which charger for Octopus Agile...

Thanks in advance
I have had a look through your replies, a lot of which are perhaps a bit complicated for a Newby. One important thing I haven't seen stressed is that if you think that you might want a fancy cable in the future get a pod which is untethered. I made this mistake 3 years ago so can't get OHME or Zappi. I just use the timers in the cars (Kona EV and plug in Ionic and can put on over 100 miles/night in a car at 5p/unit which suits fine so far. I am changing Ionic for Model 3 LR next month and I can't see a problem happening. My son has Model X and put in untethered pod on my advice but doesn't use it much as he gets free supercharging.
 

simon.c

Member
Sep 4, 2019
71
61
Glasgow, UK
Bear in mind that going for an untethered charger adds in a lot more faff when it comes to coming home and "just plugging in" as you have to then get your cable out and plug it into both the charger and car; either that or your leave your cable permanently connected up and have to get a second for using when out and about. Might not be such an issue if you have easy access to unlimited supercharging, but for most people I would have thought they would be getting a home charger to use it as frequently as possible.
 

rotor2k

Member
Sep 16, 2019
478
251
London
ev.energy was great for the few weeks I tested it, but then I realised it had kept my M3 awake for a week (which kills any benefit you get from charging at the *slightly* cheaper half-hourly blocks). I emailed them about it and they promised to look into it, but haven't had an update since.
 

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