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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:
I was on that rate until the 1st week of Jan. Given the rumored price jumps will be hammering in october I figured it was better to jump now to IO so as to lock in until Oct and April have hit. Again, to my thinking I didnt want Octopus to turn and say "IO isn't available atm as it's over subscribed" come October , like they did with Go last year, Better (in my mind) to have a small rise now for 4 months) rather than a double whammy in 2023
Exactly the same as me - ends start of January (on Octopus Go) so I'm hoping that jumping on IO was the right choice :) At least I know what I'm paying for another 12 months and I'm thinking about adding battery storage to store cheap energy. Already got PV array which came with the house.
 
I was on that rate until the 1st week of Jan. Given the rumored price jumps will be hammering in october I figured it was better to jump now to IO so as to lock in until Oct and April have hit. Again, to my thinking I didnt want Octopus to turn and say "IO isn't available atm as it's over subscribed" come October , like they did with Go last year, Better (in my mind) to have a small rise now for 4 months) rather than a double whammy in 2023

That was what I was thinking... that and I don't know when exactly they'll up the rates... indeed I think Ofgem announce the new rates on the 26th August... so since I don't think IO is a capped rate, they could increase it then.

I had the old Go tariff until mid Nov and didn't want to be fixed at an even higher rate than now. I lose out on a few quid by moving early, but nothing compared to what it'd cost if I miss the next increase (ps. predictions I've seen suggest 83% rise in Oct, followed by smaller rises to that in Jan and April, leading to an "avg" household bill of over £5250/yr in April).
 

Drew57

Active ember
Apr 4, 2020
1,616
1,965
Chester UK
Something I suspected happening with IO was confirmed by my latest Octopus bill.

In April I noticed a further 8kWh car charge on IO just after the 5.30 low cost period ended. It wasn't on the previous nights schedule and I was billed at peak rate. I queried with Octopus, sent a chaser including bill & Zappi screenshots but never received a reply. Assuming they were overloaded with newly transferred customers from failed providers I let it be as a one-off.

On 29th July my Zappi showed exactly the same that morning and have now asked Octopus again but with a stronger worded email. Although the two instances combined are relatively small amounts, my IO tariff renews early January and the peak rate is likely to be several multiples higher by then so I need to stop this happening or at least agree compensation for the overcharges.

I am experienced enough to always set IO with the Zappi in dumb mode, no schedules on car or charger & then plug-in. Unplug next morning after charging completes so nothing I am doing changes with each IO session.

On both occasions the Zappi app confirmed that the period shown at peak rate on the Octopus bill is an 8kWh draw by the car & IO was still controlling that. The previous evening, the Octopus app also confirmed a charge schedule which happened to be within the standard 6 hour period.

It's a beta tariff but this shouldn't be happening, two instances from seven bills since using IO.
All other instances correctly show the tariff drop by graph & usage/cost when charging takes place outside of 23.30-05.30

Since 29th July I now take a screenshot of the schedule I am given after plugging in - I didn't do that for either of these but Octopus can clearly see the car charging where their graph matches the periods shown by the Zappi app.

Octopus bill 29 July.png
Car 29:7a.PNG

...enlarged from Zappi image:
Car 29:7a.PNG
 
  • Informative
Reactions: phil4
I’m with EDF at the mo and was hoping to move into one of their EV tariffs but looks like they’ve stopped them for now.

Gonna have to look at switching - possibly to Octopus as I’ve heard generally good things…
I'm with EDF on their goelectric tariff atm. I want to switch to octopus but exit fees are £300 for dual fuel.
EDFs customer service is terrible, and the IO tariff is better for EVs & home IMO. Depending on if it suits you I'd advise you switch!
 
  • Like
Reactions: rowedav
I'm with EDF on their goelectric tariff atm. I want to switch to octopus but exit fees are £300 for dual fuel.
EDFs customer service is terrible, and the IO tariff is better for EVs & home IMO. Depending on if it suits you I'd advise you switch!
I’d second that. EDF could not get billing right and customer services couldn’t fix their errors. I gave up with them and moved to octopus and they are great.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ozboz7 and rowedav

M3P_W8

2021 M3P
Jan 12, 2021
192
226
UK
Anyone else having/had issues with the IO Test Charge?

Trying to switch from Go to IO, but despite several attempts it just isn't having it!

I have an Andersen A2 charger and I have disabled all schedules. I've also disabled the scheduled charging in my M3P. I plug in so the car starts charging and then click to start the test charge.... but no luck, despite several attempts. I am doing something stupid here?

I have also attempted a test charge having first hit the 'stop charging' button in the Tesla app on the off-chance that Octopus will start it as part of the test. but alas, still no luck!

Signup page just stays like this:

Screenshot_20220822-210553_Octopus.jpg


I'll email Octopus for help, but thought I'd try my luck with the helpful bunch on here in parallel.
 

browellm

Active Member
Oct 4, 2019
1,529
1,655
Notts
Anyone else having/had issues with the IO Test Charge?

Trying to switch from Go to IO, but despite several attempts it just isn't having it!

I have an Andersen A2 charger and I have disabled all schedules. I've also disabled the scheduled charging in my M3P. I plug in so the car starts charging and then click to start the test charge.... but no luck, despite several attempts. I am doing something stupid here?

I have also attempted a test charge having first hit the 'stop charging' button in the Tesla app on the off-chance that Octopus will start it as part of the test. but alas, still no luck!

Signup page just stays like this:

View attachment 843876

I'll email Octopus for help, but thought I'd try my luck with the helpful bunch on here in parallel.
Do you ever have problems with the Tesla app misreporting your address? Some issues seem to stem from the geocaching check that the IO service uses failing to reconcile that the car is charging at your home address.
 

M3P_W8

2021 M3P
Jan 12, 2021
192
226
UK
Do you ever have problems with the Tesla app misreporting your address? Some issues seem to stem from the geocaching check that the IO service uses failing to reconcile that the car is charging at your home address.
Thanks for your suggestion. Just checked and the tesla app is showing the car at home, so don't think its that.
 
Last edited:

M3P_W8

2021 M3P
Jan 12, 2021
192
226
UK
Do you ever have problems with the Tesla app misreporting your address? Some issues seem to stem from the geocaching check that the IO service uses failing to reconcile that the car is charging at your home address.
Possibly a silly question, but what determines the car as being at 'home' as far as Octopus is concerned? For example, is it :
  • When my Tesla reports itself as being at home.
    • I.e the car is at the location set as 'home' within Maps/Navigation? and/or matches the the Tesla account address
  • When Octopus thinks that the car is at home.
    • I.e. the car GPS location co-ordinates reported to Octopus match what Octopus have as our home address?
  • Other?
Reason for asking is the Tesla app shows the car within a meter or two from its actual location on our driveway. The 'Location' on the Tesla App front page is also correctly showing our home address (house number and street) and this also matches my address stored in my Tesla account details. This is clearly also the same address that Octopus have for our home, but if they use slightly different mapping system I can imagine a situation where the coordinates might put us on our neighbours driveway.
 

browellm

Active Member
Oct 4, 2019
1,529
1,655
Notts
Possibly a silly question, but what determines the car as being at 'home' as far as Octopus is concerned? For example, is it :
  • When my Tesla reports itself as being at home.
    • I.e the car is at the location set as 'home' within Maps/Navigation? and/or matches the the Tesla account address
  • When Octopus thinks that the car is at home.
    • I.e. the car GPS location co-ordinates reported to Octopus match what Octopus have as our home address?
  • Other?
Reason for asking is the Tesla app shows the car within a meter or two from its actual location on our driveway. The 'Location' on the Tesla App front page is also correctly showing our home address (house number and street) and this also matches my address stored in my Tesla account details. This is clearly also the same address that Octopus have for our home, but if they use slightly different mapping system I can imagine a situation where the coordinates might put us on our neighbours driveway.
I'm not an expert on this but Octopus is querying the Tesla API for its location - so it's the same as whatever is showing as your location in the Tesla app. Then Octopus is x-referencing that with your registered address on your account.
 

M3P_W8

2021 M3P
Jan 12, 2021
192
226
UK
I'm not an expert on this but Octopus is querying the Tesla API for its location - so it's the same as whatever is showing as your location in the Tesla app. Then Octopus is x-referencing that with your registered address on your account.
Thanks. I've sent an email to Octopus asking if their tech folks can see anything on their side that might indicate why the test charge is not completing. Presuming if it is a location issue, that will be getting logged somewhere on their side. Fingers crossed!
 
Sorry if this has already been asked but if i switch from Go to Intelligent Octopus. Am i able to use the 6 hour window for other appliances (dishwasher etc) whilst my car is not connected? Or only when the car is connected?

Also if i switch now will i be locked in on the current rates for next 12 months or is this a variable tariff?
 

browellm

Active Member
Oct 4, 2019
1,529
1,655
Notts
Sorry if this has already been asked but if i switch from Go to Intelligent Octopus. Am i able to use the 6 hour window for other appliances (dishwasher etc) whilst my car is not connected? Or only when the car is connected?
Have you read the first post in the thread? All explained.
Also if i switch now will i be locked in on the current rates for next 12 months or is this a variable tariff?
You get locked rates for 12 months, but there's no penalty should you wish to leave early.
 

Billbrown1982

TM3 LR 2021 | Red | FSD
Dec 21, 2020
742
475
Basildon
Anyone else having/had issues with the IO Test Charge?

Trying to switch from Go to IO, but despite several attempts it just isn't having it!

I have an Andersen A2 charger and I have disabled all schedules. I've also disabled the scheduled charging in my M3P. I plug in so the car starts charging and then click to start the test charge.... but no luck, despite several attempts. I am doing something stupid here?

I have also attempted a test charge having first hit the 'stop charging' button in the Tesla app on the off-chance that Octopus will start it as part of the test. but alas, still no luck!

Signup page just stays like this:

View attachment 843876

I'll email Octopus for help, but thought I'd try my luck with the helpful bunch on here in parallel.

Not sure if it will make a difference or not, but plug the car in so it starts charging, THEN start the test charge and just leave it alone. It won't stop the charge (and neither should you) but hopefully after a few minutes (think it can be up to 10?) it will say test charging complete.

Its not technically checking at this stage if it can control your car or not, its more to see if it can read that the car is charging at the time.
 

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