Octopus Energy customers could get up to £100 off energy bills

Martin Lewis discusses Octopus Energy's acquisition of Bulb

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While energy bills rise and the risk of blackouts loom, a number of energy providers have signed up to take part in National Grid ESO’s Demand Flexibility Service to reward customers for off-peak energy usage. The efforts come to take some strain off of National Grid by reducing consumption during periods of high demand. Octopus Energy, who piloted a similar scheme at the start of the year, was one of the first providers to sign up for the service, and customers could make up to £100 in savings by participating.

Launching the service through its scheme, Octopus Savings Sessions, up to 350,000 customers have now signed up, which, according to Octopus, will unlock the same flexible load as a 100MW power station.

Greg Jackson, CEO of Octopus Energy Group, said: “Let’s be very clear: this is a historic moment – we’re entering a new era of energy in which households are moving from passive off-takers to active enablers of a smarter, greener and cheaper grid.

“Instead of cutting off whole chunks of the country if we are short of gas, we can reward people for using less energy at times of peak demand.

“We were the first energy supplier to offer this service to our customers, and we hope others will follow our lead. By doing so, we can make blackouts a thing of the past, and bring costs down for everyone.”

What are Octopus Saving Sessions?

According to Octopus, a “Saving Session” is a short time (usually one to four hours) when eligible customers will earn rewards, called OctoPoints, for using less electricity than usual.

OctoPoints will be applied for every unit of electricity in kilowatt-hours (kWh) a customer doesn’t use compared to normal.

These OctoPoints can then be turned into prizes, donations to Octopus’ Octo Assist fund for customers in need, or cash.

Customers will be notified usually a day in advance of when a Saving Session is coming up, and people can opt-in before each session using their email or the app.

When the time comes, Octopus will share tips and ideas to help people cut down what they can.

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When the session ends, Octopus will look at the participant’s smart meter readings to work out how much they’ve saved. OctoPoints will then appear on the person’s dashboard within 14 days.

Saving Sessions will run from November 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023, and while there are currently 12 sessions that have been confirmed to run, Octopus said there could be many more than this.

Customers can decide when they want to take part but by participating in more sessions, people are afforded the opportunity to save more money.

Also, according to Octopus, customers will get the chance to win mystery prizes during select sessions, including the likes of tech, energy credits, and more.

They said: “We’ll give all the details via email. Just opt-in to the Session, and if you save power, you’ll automatically go in the draw to win.”

Who is eligible for Octopus Saving Sessions?

Any Octopus customer with a connected electricity smart meter can sign up for the scheme.

Octopus Energy must have also received 80 percent of the households’ smart meter readings in the last 20 days and must still be connected now to receive regular, half-hourly readings.

Octopus Energy explained: “We need this reliable connection to your meter so we can see how much you save each session, and measure that against what you’ve typically used in the past.”

How much can people save?

According to Octopus Energy, it’s currently not known just how much a customer can save as there are a number of factors that contribute to the savings, such as undetermined lengths of sessions and how much National Grid, which is funding the scheme, will pay.

However, those who manage to take part in all 12 sessions and save 1kWh on average per event, might expect to collect around £36 worth of OctoPoints.

But, Octopus says it’s likely there will be more than 12 sessions, as they expect around one to two sessions to take place per week instead. If this happens, it could push the incentive up to be worth around £100.

How to sign up

Octopus Energy customers can register their interest in Saving Sessions on the website.

The scheme is free to join, tariffs and energy payments won’t change, and people can opt out at any time.

If a customer is ineligible, Octopus says it will help work out why, including providing information on how to request a smart meter.

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