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Wiki Everything you wanted to know about Intelligent Octopus But Were Afraid To Ask

Why write this post?
A lot of people are starting to get interested in IO. I don't think Octopus do a very good job of spelling out the benefits in their website. They have some FAQs, but the same questions keep coming up over and over on the forums.

What is it?
In a nutshell, IO is a split tariff that gives you a cheap off-peak rate for charging your EV and other electrical items in the household, including home batteries.

Isn’t that the same as Octopus Go or Go Faster?
The principle is the same, but in exchange for some benefits which we’ll explain, you allow Octopus to control the timing of your EV charge, so they can choose low carbon intensity and/or cheap wholesale priced time slots.

So I’m not in control of my charge? I don’t like the sound of that!
Well yes…and no. You’re in control of how much to charge and when you want the car to be ready, just like you would be normally. Within those parameters, you’re allowing Octopus to control which half-hour slots the car chooses to get to that target % charge. And you can always override IO if you want to “bump charge” through the day.

OK, but what are the benefits you mentioned for this trade off?
First of all, you get a larger guaranteed off-peak window for using household appliances and charging home batteries, etc. It’s six hours between 23:30-05:30. Go, for example, is a fixed 4 hour window.
In addition, when IO schedules your EV charging slots it sometimes creates schedules that fall outside of the fixed, six hour window. If that happens your EV charging and all your household use in these extra-slots is also charged at off-peak rates.
I have frequently had schedules give me seven or more hours of off-peak rates. On one occasion, I had a total of ten hours of off-peak rates.

Am I eligible?
You need a smart meter and a compatible car and/or charger. Since you’re reading this here, I assume you’ve got or are thinking of getting a Tesla. IO works with the Tesla API to create the charging schedules. The advantage of this is that IO will work with any* home charger. If you have a charger with smart features, you need to disable them so that the charger acts as a dumb switch. IO will control everything via Tesla’s API to start and stop your charging.
*Even your granny charger - but you need to tell IO what the max throughput is when you go through setup so that it can work out your schedules properly.

Some of this sounds too good to be true.
Phantom drain caused by having smart charging enabled in the Octopus app has been fixed as of 30th August 2022. One small side effect appears to be that schedules sometimes take longer to appear in the app after plugging in.

Further questions (to be updated in the main thread body once the edit timer on this post expires)

I have two EVs, can I charge the other while on IO?

Not with IO scheduling the charging, but you can charge any other car in the fixed 23:30-05:30 off peak window or at any other time at peak prices.

What are the rates etc?
Octopus do a decent job of explaining the peak and off-peak rates along with contracts etc. Head over to their pages to discover that.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Mrklaw

Active Member
Mar 5, 2020
1,910
1,256
Berkshire
want to leave tomorrow early at 100%. Currently at 75% so just need a bit of a top up overnight and then finish off in the morning. Is it safe to set the car to 100% and ask IO to get me there by eg 6am (aiming to leave 6:30)? Previously I’ve charged up to 90% and then manually topped up when I get up in the morning, but timing will be too tight for that tomorrow.

Dont mind if it is a couple % out, but is it pretty good at hitting the target at the time you say or can it often be way before?
 

M3P_W8

2021 M3P
Jan 12, 2021
192
226
UK
I have just received my Go renewal quote, and also an invite to apply for Intellient.

If I renew Go it’ll move as of the renewal date (obviously).

If I apply for Intelligent, will it also start on that date or prior to that? If before, how long roughly does the move take? I’d like to do it as near to my renewal as possible to maximise the benefit of my current significantly cheaper tariff.

I have emailed Octopus to ask, but though some kind soul here might know.

I'm in the same boat as you. Have you received a reply to your email?

Our 5p Go rate ends on 18th Aug. Planning on shifting to IO but want to maximise my time on the cheap rate. @browellm suggests the switch could happen 'immediately' but would very grateful for anyone who has made the Go to IO transition to share their experience.
 

z0z0le

New Member
Jul 24, 2022
3
1
Wales
I recently switched to the IO tariff and... I'm very confused, but maybe someone experienced this and can shed some light.

I was prepared to install a battery and a charger (don't really need one but thought it was a requirement, managed to sign up w/o it in the end), but now that I've been switched over and charging as usual using the granny charger I seem to get off peak rates almost 24/24, anyone else gets that?

I'm starting to wonder whether I need a battery in the first place with this setup, as there will be little benefit from having it installed.

This is how my smart schedules look like most of the time..

Screenshot 2022-07-24 at 11.42.55.jpg


Now the only question would be, are these slots triggered without actually having your car plugged in?
 

z0z0le

New Member
Jul 24, 2022
3
1
Wales
Our 5p Go rate ends on 18th Aug. Planning on shifting to IO but want to maximise my time on the cheap rate. @browellm suggests the switch could happen 'immediately' but would very grateful for anyone who has made the Go to IO transition to share their experience.
Sorry for double posting (can't edit previous) but I've recently switched (18th) and indeed the switch happened almost instantly after I've completed the test charge.
 
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I'm in the same boat as you. Have you received a reply to your email?

Our 5p Go rate ends on 18th Aug. Planning on shifting to IO but want to maximise my time on the cheap rate. @browellm suggests the switch could happen 'immediately' but would very grateful for anyone who has made the Go to IO transition to share their experience.
Yes I got a reply. They said the switch should activate on the renewal date if I use the link in the email, but if it doesn’t I can let them know and they’ll sort it.

However, I’m fairly sure it’ll switch soon as I do the test charge. I’m thinking of simply renewing on Go, then after my renewal date I’ll switch to IO.
 
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yessuz

Active Member
Dec 30, 2021
1,716
1,228
Midlands
want to leave tomorrow early at 100%. Currently at 75% so just need a bit of a top up overnight and then finish off in the morning. Is it safe to set the car to 100% and ask IO to get me there by eg 6am (aiming to leave 6:30)? Previously I’ve charged up to 90% and then manually topped up when I get up in the morning, but timing will be too tight for that tomorrow.

Dont mind if it is a couple % out, but is it pretty good at hitting the target at the time you say or can it often be way before?
Yes
 
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yessuz

Active Member
Dec 30, 2021
1,716
1,228
Midlands
I recently switched to the IO tariff and... I'm very confused, but maybe someone experienced this and can shed some light.

I was prepared to install a battery and a charger (don't really need one but thought it was a requirement, managed to sign up w/o it in the end), but now that I've been switched over and charging as usual using the granny charger I seem to get off peak rates almost 24/24, anyone else gets that?

I'm starting to wonder whether I need a battery in the first place with this setup, as there will be little benefit from having it installed.

This is how my smart schedules look like most of the time..

View attachment 832195

Now the only question would be, are these slots triggered without actually having your car plugged in?
Granny charger is very slow. If you need a lot of power, IO tries to charge you as requested.

This might be a huuuge hack, really.

If granny is slow and it gives you 24/7 5p rate, it looks like superb way to make 24hr off peak tariff :D
However I see this being a loophole which should be fixed by IO team
 

z0z0le

New Member
Jul 24, 2022
3
1
Wales
Granny charger is very slow. If you need a lot of power, IO tries to charge you as requested.

This might be a huuuge hack, really.

If granny is slow and it gives you 24/7 5p rate, it looks like superb way to make 24hr off peak tariff :D
However I see this being a loophole which should be fixed by IO team
It does indeed, I didn't expect the cheap slots to be so frequent or even last that much basically keeping you on the off peak almost always, could it be the area that I live in that helps?
 
How is the app giving you charging slots before you plug in? I only ever get given charging slots after I've plugged in. This is how it works for me:
  • Arrive home and plug in immediately (even if it's before 5pm)
  • Check the Octopus app for charging slots
  • As soon as charging slots appear, the car stops charging.
  • Very occasionally, I don't get a charging slot and the car continues charging, so I stop it manually from the Tesla app, then if I close and terminate the Octopus app, and relaunch it, I get charging slots.
  • I then get on with my day and the next morning the car is a few % below where I set Octopus to, but that's fine with me, and I go on my merry way
Try plugging in when you arrive home, and if the charging doesn't stop itself within a couple of minutes, stop it from the Tesla app.
Check you have charging slots in the Octopus app
Wait and see if it charges overnight
I tried it again yesterday and again it kept charging as soon as I plugged it in. This time I manually stopped it in the Tesla app, which worked. Octopus says in the terms that the car will be instructed to stop by the IO app, but this doesn't seem to be working for me.

The other point to watch out for if you have battery storage is that the app will schedule times outside the normal cheap rate. For example, I only needed to charge from 65% to 85% last night, a charge that could easily be accommodated within the cheap period. The app scheduled the charge from about 5AM to 8AM. Great, I got an extra 2.5 hours cheap rate. However, my GivEnergy system is set to maintain my battery at 35% over the cheap period, and then to supply house load from the battery from when the normal off-peak rate ends. Because the IO system started charging the car at 5AM, the system then dumped battery charge into the car, resulting in a very flat house battery in the morning.

Luckily for me it wad sunny this morning so I managed to charge the house battery up, otherwise I would have had to power the house from peak rate grid import.
 

browellm

Active Member
Oct 4, 2019
1,529
1,655
Notts
I tried it again yesterday and again it kept charging as soon as I plugged it in. This time I manually stopped it in the Tesla app, which worked. Octopus says in the terms that the car will be instructed to stop by the IO app, but this doesn't seem to be working for me.

The other point to watch out for if you have battery storage is that the app will schedule times outside the normal cheap rate. For example, I only needed to charge from 65% to 85% last night, a charge that could easily be accommodated within the cheap period. The app scheduled the charge from about 5AM to 8AM. Great, I got an extra 2.5 hours cheap rate. However, my GivEnergy system is set to maintain my battery at 35% over the cheap period, and then to supply house load from the battery from when the normal off-peak rate ends. Because the IO system started charging the car at 5AM, the system then dumped battery charge into the car, resulting in a very flat house battery in the morning.

Luckily for me it wad sunny this morning so I managed to charge the house battery up, otherwise I would have had to power the house from peak rate grid import.
Yeah I really recommend you look into the HA integration with your IO API and GivEnergy battery.
 
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My Go expires next month. Being quoted 35p/kWh peak to renew Go, vs 40p/kWh peak for Intelligent. I don't think the extra off-peak hours will make up for the higher peak cost of Intelligent. I very rarely need more than 4 hours of car charging, so I'm going to stick with Go.
Scratch that. My Go renewal price has jumped to match. So I guess Intelligent is the way to go, then.
 

Toblerone

Member
Apr 22, 2022
682
1,522
UK
I’ve been following along with this thread. Here’s my situation (apologies for the long post) and would appreciate your thoughts:

I am awaiting delivery of a MYLR (EDD September).
I have solar panels at my property with an immersion diverter (no battery).
I have just had a Zappi charger installed.
My electricity supply is not with Octopus.
I do have a smart meter.

So, I am looking at my options and IO seems like a good choice. My elec unit rate is currently 28p, so while IO peak rate is more expensive, it is probably better to fix before the price rises come in, which are announced in Sept & come into effect in October.

Questions:
Can I move to IO before I get the car? I’ve seen mentions of a test charge, which I can’t yet do.

If I can move, should I do this asap, to front-run the price rises? My thoughts are the higher unit rate is offset by my low daytime consumption (due to solar).

I looked on the IO website and it does look like I can start the switch process - just not sure if it would be successful.

Thanks all!
 

browellm

Active Member
Oct 4, 2019
1,529
1,655
Notts
I know absolutely nothing about HA, coding or scripts. To me, it looks like the domain of Linux users "Yeah, it's soooo easy to use. All you need to do is open a command line and type a few simple lines <followed by pages of unintelligible script>" :D
:D
Yeah, similar. I got help from a very kind chap on the Octopus forums. If it's much beyond following a "do this, then that" recipe, I'm stuffed.

I could try and help, but I have almost forgotten what I did to set it all up 😂
 
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yessuz

Active Member
Dec 30, 2021
1,716
1,228
Midlands
Questions:
Can I move to IO before I get the car? I’ve seen mentions of a test charge, which I can’t yet do.

If I can move, should I do this asap, to front-run the price rises? My thoughts are the higher unit rate is offset by my low daytime consumption (due to solar).

I looked on the IO website and it does look like I can start the switch process - just not sure if it would be successful.

Thanks all!
No, you need YOUR car, as IO connects to car via API and needs to perform test charge.
 
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I looked at IO but I don't use the car a great deal at the moment and so settled for Go Faster - 8.25p per kwh from 9.30pm - 2.30am. The day rate is not great, about 39p I think, but we have 19kwh of batteries going in soon along with solar so the day reliance should drop right off.

I'm taking a hit on day rate at at the moment but thought it worth it to pre-empt any further hikes in the not too distant future. That said, Octopus do seem to pre-empting that now to some extent, particularly the quoted day rate which is currently 10p higher than my old variable day rate.

The 9.30pm start allows us to get some tumble drying done if needed and also the kids ridiculoust 10.5 kw shower. Plus ample time to charge the car when needed.

I'll look again at IO in the future but it doesn't suit me just at the minute.

Roll on the battery and solar install so we can insulate against a lot of these mad energy rates!
 

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