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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:

M3P_W8

2021 M3P
Jan 12, 2021
192
226
UK
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.
Thanks for clarifying. I've tried a number of test charges as you have suggested (i.e. once the car is already charging) but I keep getting the same response.

Expecting/Hoping for a response from Octopus support team today, ideally with some details about what they see to be the problem as from my perspective everything is in order.
 

Undecided_2

Member
Supporting Member
Jan 21, 2022
620
447
Helensburgh
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?
Yes. I spoke to them. I have set my home battery to charge during that period. They said any appliances in use or charging during the window will be the cheaper rate.
 

Billbrown1982

TM3 LR 2021 | Red | FSD
Dec 21, 2020
742
475
Basildon
Quick question

I have done all the bits asked and did the test via the app yesterday, i did not leave it plugged in for a charge overnight as i did not really need it. My Account today still shows me on the Go Tarriff, just roughly how long for it to switch over to the IO tarriff?

If you have completed the test charge and your app shows you as being on IO, your on IO.

The website takes a while to catch up. Few days to a week.
 
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Hi all. Trying to change from go to IO but cannot complete the test charge, doesn't even start, problem might be that my address Octopus have for me if worded different to the address my Tesla has on it's location, Mailed Octopus and rang Octopus but no joy and still waiting. The Tesla has been plugged in at home for Two days.
Any ideas anyone?
 
At risk of having a conversation with myself, but hoping it is useful for anyone finding this thread who is in the same boat as me... I've tried to check the above by speaking with Octopus on Twitter and they've said there isn't a 30 day window as such (contrary to their own T&Cs - which tbf are clearly wrong as still refer to an OI App); rather if they notice your onboarding lies dormant then more than likely someone from the smart tariff team would get in touch to ask if any further support was needed to complete the process. Which I think means you can sign up, but not complete a test charge until you actually want to switch. I'm still unclear if I get/they hold the tariff rates at point of sign up, or if instead you get whatever the tariff rates are when you actually complete the switch...
I'm at exactly the same stage that you were... (are). The app won't yet let me add my car gives an "uh oh" err message) nor run a test. The website says I am at stage 4 of 5 on the switch from GO to IO. Did you get any further? What happens next? I've not had any comms from Octopus since starting the process.
 

exlatccatsa

Member
Supporting Member
Mar 6, 2020
628
306
Kemnay
Perfect timing @browellm . I'm in the process of switching from Go.
Im struggling to understand how IO contacts my Tesla M3? I haven't given out any Tesla details? I've dumbed down my Ohme charger and signed out of the app and am in the process of trying to get a test charge. But all I get is the "oops there us a problem "
Finally managed to switch tonight. Not a single problem..they must've done some work to the sign up procedure on the app.
 
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I have a small 5kw battery on order, which arrives in the next 2-4 weeks.

I want to sign up but only option online currently is IO with the interim 75p KW tariff. Says will take payment in 6th, which lines up with octopus saying they will release prices in 10 days.

Should I just hold off and call them on Monday morning?
 

Mrklaw

Active Member
Mar 5, 2020
1,912
1,259
Berkshire
There are 2 advantages of OI over Go for me. I have 2 x 8.2 kWh batteries that can fully charge in 6 hours, but couldn't in 4, plus the chance of extra hours of cheaper electrons for the house outside of the usual hours.

whats the general max for a house to pull? If you have two batteries pulling 3kw each and a car charging at 7 - so 13kw - is that still well within bounds (eg if you put the dishwasher on etc)

And if you have a single inverter (eg givenergy AC3.0) and two daisychained batteries, can they take 3kw each or only 3kw total?

if its total, so it acts like a 3kw 16kwh battery then that’d mean if I got two of the 9.5 (I have one on order at the moment), I wouldn’t quite be able to fill in winter time overnight
 
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whats the general max for a house to pull? If you have two batteries pulling 3kw each and a car charging at 7 - so 13kw - is that still well within bounds (eg if you put the dishwasher on etc)

And if you have a single inverter (eg givenergy AC3.0) and two daisychained batteries, can they take 3kw each or only 3kw total?

if its total, so it acts like a 3kw 16kwh battery then that’d mean if I got two of the 9.5 (I have one on order at the moment), I wouldn’t quite be able to fill in winter time overnight
Everyone will have different requirements but 13kW is around 56/57amp so if you have a 60 or 80 amp limit you are getting close, 100 amp will have a bit of room unless you try using a cooker, shower, kettle etc at the same time.
 
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I have a small 5kw battery on order, which arrives in the next 2-4 weeks.

I want to sign up but only option online currently is IO with the interim 75p KW tariff. Says will take payment in 6th, which lines up with octopus saying they will release prices in 10 days.

Should I just hold off and call them on Monday morning?
Phone them and they'll put you on the variable tariff, with is capped at the minute obviously, in the interim. Once your smart meter is working with them you can then change to IO as I understand it.
 
whats the general max for a house to pull? If you have two batteries pulling 3kw each and a car charging at 7 - so 13kw - is that still well within bounds (eg if you put the dishwasher on etc)

And if you have a single inverter (eg givenergy AC3.0) and two daisychained batteries, can they take 3kw each or only 3kw total?

if its total, so it acts like a 3kw 16kwh battery then that’d mean if I got two of the 9.5 (I have one on order at the moment), I wouldn’t quite be able to fill in winter time overnight
I have a 2.6 kW inverter. The only times it falls short is when we use the electric showers and when cooking a hot meal. We have a 100 amp fuse so when I'm charging the car, the batteries and the immersion heater at night, it's using 13.1 kW, plus the small demands on the house. That's still well short of the 24 kW it should be able to handle. I can't see demand on the system being any higher than 15kW.

The system is restricted by the inverter at 2.6 kW, regardless of the battery size.
 
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