When Greg Jackson founded green energy supplier Octopus Energy, he wanted to make energy greener, but also cheaper. He’d grown up in a low-income, single-parent family and knew the stress of a high utility bill. Three years later, he sits at the helm of a company that sells among the cheapest energy tariffs in the UK, and powers homes with 100% green energy.
How green is Octopus Energy?
Octopus Energy: quick stats
Green electricity: 100%
Green gas: 0%
Carbon offsetting: yes
Customer service: 5 stars (Trustpilot)
Energy Switch Guarantee: yes
Exit fee: none
Octopus Energy is 100% green. All its electricity comes from 100% renewable sources like sun, wind and water; and while the company doesn't supply green gas, for the price of a coffee, Octopus will offset all the carbon emissions created in both the production and the consumption of the natural gas you use in your home.
How? By reforesting and conserving vast areas of the Amazon, and working with UK charity Renewable World to bring innovative renewable energy technology to fuel-poor communities worldwide. Octopus buys its energy from solar sites – its parent company, Octopus Group, is the largest UK investor in solar farms – and matches any that is bought from other sources with a Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificate.
The company is looking to the future, too. Its tariff Agile Octopus gives customers access to half-hourly energy prices based on the wholesale energy market at the time. The prices are updated every day: at 4pm, customers receive a different unit rate for every half hour of the next 24 hours. It means they can maximise their energy usage when prices are at that day’s cheapest.
Octopus Energy: price
At 11.7 per kwh for electricity and 2.3p for gas, Octopus’s variable tariff is one of the lowest in the market. It’s also one of the cheapest green energy suppliers. (You can see details of Octopus's tariffs for your area here.) Of the companies we reviewed, only Bulb came in with a lower kwh price for gas and electricity. Bulb’s daily standing charges are higher though, at almost 4p more for gas.
Octopus does not charges penalties for going elsewhere, and there’s no indirect loyalty penalty if you stay for years, either. The supplier offers the Energy Switch Guarantee, which guarantees a reliable and hassle-free switch within 21 days, and if you refer a friend you both get a £50 reward.
Octopus Energy: tariffs
There are four main Octopus tariffs to choose between: fixed 12 months, fixed 24 months, a variable tracker and Super Green, which offsets gas, too. Octopus also has several specialist tariffs, including one that’s designed for electric vehicle drivers. All tariffs are based on your postcode and usage and, in the case of Octopus Agile, your time of use.
Octopus Energy: customer service
Octopus customers can talk to the company on the phone, via email and on Facebook Messenger. Plus, it’s the only energy company in the market at which you might get to speak with the boss. Every day, Jackson sets aside time to respond to customer queries. When T3 magazine dialled, Octopus picked up within nine seconds.
Octopus Energy: user reviews
Octopus Energy has been a Which? Recommended Supplier for two years running, and has a whopping five stars on Trustpilot, with 92% of over 17, 000 reviewers rating it excellent. Users have consistently praised the company’s user-friendly, transparent information and its prompt customer service.
Octopus Energy was also voted the Best Company to Work for at the 2019 UK Employee Experience Awards, and at the 2019 British Renewable Energy Awards, Octopus picked up the award for the company that’s done the most to advance UK renewables. All of which goes far to explain how Octopus Energy has gone from zero to 1.2 million customers in under three years.
Octopus Energy: do you need a smart meter?
Not all customers need a smart meter, but Octopus offers an installation service for anyone who might want one. And it has several innovative tariffs that work with smart meters, including Octopus Go, to power up your electric vehicle over night at the cheapest rate.
Octopus Energy: switching
Switching to Octopus energy is easy. Pop your postcode into the website, get a quote and activate the switch. Octopus will then liaise with your old supplier, and make sure everything is sorted. (Read more about switching to Octopus Energy.)
Should you switch to Octopus Energy?
When Octopus burst into the energy market in 2016, the company set out to be cheaper, fairer and greener. Right now, it’s one of the cheapest green energy suppliers around; and its consistently good reviews from customers and clutch of industry awards speak for themselves. The company won’t send green gas to your home, but it offsets all the carbon emissions created by the natural gas it supplies. Yes, you should switch to Octopus Energy.