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Octopus Agile – is it now an energy tariff worth switching to?

Is Octopus Agile worth switching to?

Under the Energy Price Cap and Energy Price Guarantee almost every tariff has been charged at the same price in recent months, but there are now two tariffs from Octopus Energy worth considering – 'Agile Octopus' and 'Octopus Tracker'. The Tracker tariff has a six-month waiting list, so we're focusing on Agile for now. It's not right for everyone, but if you use the tariff the right way, it could mean big savings. We've full info below.

The Agile tariff from Octopus, which often tops our customer service ratings, is a complicated tariff, but it has two key features: 

  • The rates you pay change every 30 minutes. The rates are based on a forecast of wholesale prices (what firms pay for energy) for the next day, including nationwide demand for electricity throughout the day – meaning cheaper rates in off-peak periods, usually overnight or in the afternoon, but higher prices in the morning and evening.    

  • It's a smart, electricity-only tariff, for existing customers only. If you're not already with the supplier, you'll need to move to its standard tariff first. You'll also need to get a smart meter, if you don't already have one, so if you don't want (or can't get) one, it's not for you. Plus, as it's an electricity-only tariff, you'll need a separate gas tariff – this could be Octopus' standard tariff, or another firm's. 

With wholesale energy costs falling massively over the last month or so, Agile Octopus could now be a good option for some households (it's allowed to offer different rates as it's not a standard tariff).

At the moment, even at its most expensive, it's no more than the Energy Price Guarantee – but generally, this tariff works best for people who are able to shift their usage outside of 'peak' periods, as it offers lower rates overnight or in the day when there's less demand for electricity (meaning wholesale prices are cheaper).

While the rates are generally low right now, beware – they can spike rapidly at any time if wholesale prices shoot back up, so you'll need to be willing to keep an eye on the shifting unit rates to ensure it is still competitive. 

Is Agile Octopus cheaper than the Energy Price Guarantee?

As it's a very complex tariff, it's difficult to give a definitive answer on whether it can save you money and how much. It all depends on the rates you get, how wholesale energy prices are changing, how much you use and when you use it.

To try to answer this, we looked at the unit rates from the Agile tariff and compared them with the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) rate for the Midlands region over the week of 13 to 19 February...

Under EPG you'd pay: 

- All day: 33.83p a kilowatt hour (p/kWh)
- Standing charge: 49.15p a day 

Under Agile Octopus you'd pay: 

- Peak times (around 6am to 10am and 4pm to 8pm): 33.73p/kWh 
- Off-peak times: From 10.74p/kWh to about 30p/kWh
- Average: 28.11p/kWh
- Standing charge: 45.07p a day

As you can see, the peak Agile unit rate never went higher than the unit rate under the EPG during the week we carried out our assessment – and its standing charge is lower than the EPG's standing charge.

And if Agile's rates were to rise above what you'd pay on the EPG rate for your region, you'll benefit from the discount on the unit price under the EPG. Though, as this is a fixed discount, you could still pay more than the EPG if Agile's rate is particularly high to start with. 

  • See how the Agile Octopus rates change over a day

    To give you a full idea of how the rates can change throughout the day, here's Agile Octopus vs the EPG for the Midlands region on Wednesday 15 February.

    Agile Octopus electricity rates vs EPG electricity rates over one day

    Time of day

    Agile Octopus


    Energy Price Guarantee
    00.00 to 00:30 23.81 33.83
    00:30 to 01:00 26.46 33.83
    01:00 to 01:30 27.65 33.83
    01:30 to 02:00 24.26 33.83
    02:00 to 02:30 28.05 33.83
    02:30 to 03:00 26.24 33.83
    03:00 to 03:30 28.49 33.83
    03:30 to 04:00 25.36 33.83
    04:00 to 04:30 29.51 33.83
    04:30 to 05:00  28.67 33.83
    05:00 to 05:30 33.10 33.83
    05:30 to 06:00 33.08 33.83
    06:00 to 06:30 33.73 33.83
    06:30 to 07:00 33.73 33.83
    07:00 to 07:30 33.73 33.83
    07:30 to 08:00 33.73 33.83
    08:00 to 08:30 33.73 33.83
    08:30 to 09:00 33.73 33.83
    09:00 to 09:30 33.73 33.83
    09:30 to 10:00 31.15 33.83
    10:00 to 10:30  28.64 33.83
    10:30 to 11:00 27.34 33.83
    11:00 to 11:30 26.70 33.83
    11:30 to 12:00 26.48 33.83
    12:00 to 12:30 26.46 33.83
    12:30 to 13:00 26.02 33.83
    13:00 to 13:30 26.96 33.83
    13:30 to 14:00  26.00 33.83
    14:00 to 14:30  26.88 33.83
    14:30 to 15:00 27.16 33.83
    15:00 to 15:30  28.44 33.83
    15:30 to 16:00 30.87 33.83
    16:00 to 16:30  33.73 33.83
    16:30 to 17:00 33.73 33.83
    17:00 to 17:30 33.73 33.83
    17:30 to 18:00 33.73 33.83
    18:00 to 18:30 33.73 33.83
    18:30 to 19:00 33.73 33.83
    19:00 to 19:30 33.73 33.83
    19:30 to 20:00  33.73 33.83
    20:00 to 20:30  33.73 33.83
    20:30 to 21:00 31.30 33.83
    21:00 to 21:30 33.73 33.83
    21:30 to 22:00 26.46 33.83
    22:00 to 22:30 28.67 33.83
    22:30 to 23:00  23.59 33.83
    23:00 to 23:30 27.54 33.83
    23:30 to 00:00 26.46 33.83

Overall, during the week we looked at (13 to 19 February) the average Agile Octopus rate was 28.11p/kWh in the Midlands region – the chart below shows how the rates changed over that period.

Even though we carried out this analysis almost a month ago, rates have been similarly low compared with the EPG, at 27.66p/kWh on average between 6 and 12 March.

Graph shows how electricity rates for Agile Octopus compared with the Energy Price Guarantee rates in the Midlands region between 13 and 19 February. While the Guarantee remained static at 33.83p a kilowatt hour, rates for Agile Octopus fluctuated over this time, and at points over the weekend even dropped to between 10 and 15p a kilowatt hour.

While rates are cheaper right now, they can spike suddenly if wholesale rates rise

As the Agile Octopus tariff tracks daily wholesale costs, it gives quicker access to falling prices – but if wholesale starts to climb, so too will the rates you pay. 

Currently, energy prices are controlled by regulator Ofgem's Price Cap and the Government's Energy Price Guarantee (EPG). These only change every three months, so there's a big time-lag between changes in wholesale prices and any change to the actual rates we pay for energy. For full info, see Martin's briefing on how wholesale energy prices affect rates.

With Agile Octopus, falling wholesale prices are reflected in the rates you pay almost immediately, and with wholesale rates dropping back massively from all-time highs over the last month or so, now is the perfect time to examine the tariff.

Yet this works both ways – if wholesale prices were to shoot up, as they did last autumn to all-time highs, the rates you pay could shoot up too. 

Though Agile Octopus has a 100p/kWh maximum cap, so if prices do rise rapidly, there is a limit on what you would pay for each unit of electricity you use. Plus, as we outlined earlier, while the EPG is still available you'll get the discount on this maximum rate, taking it down to around 66p/kWh.

If you're considering Agile Octopus, shift your usage out of peak hours to make the most of it

As prices change every 30 minutes, with cheaper rates at certain times of the day when nationwide demand is lower, if you can shift your usage outside of peak periods, the tariff could help you save even more. Yet if you need to use lots of energy during peak periods, you could end up paying more.

According to Octopus, due to volatile wholesale energy prices, it is currently only recommending the tariff to customers with solar panels, home batteries and electric vehicles (EVs) –  as these households may be able to more easily shift use outside of peak periods, or they need to use a lot of electricity overnight to charge their EVs. 

Who can get it and how to apply 

To get it, you'll need to do the following: 

  • Step 1. For new customers only – switch to Octopus (existing customers skip to step 2). If you're not already with the firm, you'll first need to switch to Octopus' standard tariff. You can apply online, or give it a call.

    As Agile is an electricity-only tariff, you could switch just your electricity to Octopus' standard tariff, though you might prefer to have both your gas and electricity with the firm for ease. 

  • Step 2. Get a smart meter if you don't already have one. You'll need to ask the supplier for one, then wait for it to be installed and for Octopus to connect to it – this should take a few weeks. If you already have one, and Octopus is already connected to it (so it can receive automatic meter readings), you can skip this step. 

  • Step 3. Ask Octopus to move you to the Agile tariff. Contact it online, via email or on the phone and ask to be moved to the Agile tariff. You'll need to accept new terms and conditions and then you'll be moved across. If you're with Octopus for your gas supply, it will remain on the provider's standard tariff. 

Are there any other similar tariffs?

Alongside the Agile tariff, the supplier has the Octopus Tracker tariff – a gas and electricity deal that also tracks wholesale energy prices, but the rate you pay only changes once a day, rather than every half hour. 

However, the supplier has told us that there is currently a six-month wait time to join the tariff. You can sign up to the waiting list if you're interested, just remember to check what rates are being offered when you finally can join, as they could have changed dramatically.

On the Octopus Tracker tariff, in the Midlands region between 13 and 19 February, the rates were between about 22p/kWh and 26p/kWh for electricity, with a standing charge of 45.24p a day. Gas rates were around 6p/kWh, with a standing charge of 25.56p a day.

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