Octopus Energy and Battery Storage Systems

Octopus Energy are a pioneering energy company. Founded in London in 2015, they’ve disrupted the household energy sector with their innovative approach and firm commitment to green energy. 

As part of their mission to power homes with clean, affordable energy, Octopus have been getting involved with various green initiatives and solutions, including heat pumps, generating their own renewable energy and battery storage. 

This article will take a look at Octopus Energy and their battery storage offering, including how it’s set up and the tariffs available. But first, let’s take a quick look at the company themselves to give you some good background information.

Who are Octopus Energy?

Image Credits: Octopus Energy

Since their founding in 2015 under Greg Jackson, Octopus Energy has made significant strides in the renewable energy sector. More so than any other company in the UK. 

In fact, they’ve grown so fast they are now the largest provider of electricity in the UK with around 6.5 million customers. This growth has been fuelled by a great offering and excellent customer service – I can certainly attest to this. Octopus Energy have been named a 2023 Which? Eco Provider and a Which? Recommended Energy Provider for seven consecutive years.

To help them in their mission to make energy fair, clean and simple for all, Octopus have been venturing into different energy avenues. 

At the time of writing, the company operates an impressive £6 billion worth of renewable energy generation, enough to power 4 million homes. They also manage, under their subsidiary Octopus Energy Generation, around 4GW of renewable electricity across 240 large-scale green energy projects. They state that 1 in 10 solar farms in the UK are now managed by Octopus. By 2030, Octopus Energy Generation has set its sights on achieving 20GW of European green generation projects, capable of powering 15 million homes.

Backing up its commitment to a sustainable future, Octopus have invested £5 million in founding the Centre for Net Zero and £10 million in building the UK’s only low carbon heat research and development centre. 

Other Octopus service areas

The company now operate in a variety of different service areas including:

  • Octopus Energy Generation – focussing on investing in renewable energy.
  • Octopus Energy Services – the installation arm, installing heat pumps, EV chargers, smart metres and smart energy hardware.
  • Octopus Electric Vehicles – offering EV leasing deals, home charging solutions and smart green tariffs.

Octopus Energy and battery storage

Recognising the crucial role of battery storage in the transition to a greener energy system, Octopus Energy have made the decision to offer battery storage solutions to its customers. It’s a great move in our opinion. 

By integrating battery storage with renewable energy sources like solar power, households can make the most of their own clean energy generation, reduce their reliance on the grid and potentially lower their energy bills. Read up on the solar battery storage benefits here.

In 2020, Octopus Energy collaborated with Powervault on a trial that demonstrated the potential savings for UK households. The trial showed that even without solar panels, the average UK customer could save between £270 and £580 a year by using a Powervault battery alongside a smart tariff like Agile Octopus. This tariff allows customers to take advantage of cheaper off-peak energy and store it for later use – we’ll get into more detail on this shortly.

Benefits of battery storage

If you’re not too familiar with battery storage, let us briefly explain the basics – you can also read more on getting started with battery storage here.

Battery storage systems allow homeowners to store excess energy to use later on. The energy can either be generated by renewable means, such as with solar panels, or it can come from the grid during off-peak hours when electricity prices are lower. 

This stored energy can then be used during peak hours or when renewable sources are not generating sufficient power, reducing the household’s reliance on the grid and potentially leading to significant cost savings. It can also be used for back-up energy if your area suffers from power cuts. Read more on the best reasons to get battery storage.

Octopus’ battery storage offering

At the time of writing, Octopus’ battery storage solutions are only available in combination with solar panel installations. The company is not yet able to install a battery to work with existing solar panels from another provider.

For the solar panels, the company instals 435W DeepBlue 4.0 Pro PV solar panels. These come with an impressive 25-year product warranty and a 30-year linear power output warranty. When you opt for solar panels with Octopus they currently give you the choice of two battery storage options:

  1. 5kWh battery storage – For small to medium sized homes. This is best for solar systems with 6-10 PV panels. 
  2. 10kWh battery storage – For larger homes with 10-20 solar PV panels. This battery will help to get maximum benefit from your solar system and increase your battery storage capacity. This size is compatible with heat pumps or electric vehicles.  

In terms of kWh sizing, you can read more information on ‘what size battery storage system do I need’ here. 

Octopus don’t go into detail on the make and models of the battery storage solutions they install in the first instance, but they do state that their batteries come with a 12-15 year warranty period, which is good. You can find more details here on the life expectancy of battery storage systems.

Octopus Energy tariffs for battery storage

Octopus Energy offer a range of tariffs designed to help customers maximise the benefits of their battery storage systems. They state that you can save up to 90% on your electricity bill with an Octopus Energy solar panel and battery installation. 

These tariffs cater to different scenarios, including whether you have a battery storage system with or without solar panels. Let’s take a closer look. 

For battery systems with solar panels

If you have, or are going to have, a battery storage system with solar panels, there are two main tariff options:

Octopus Flux

Octopus Flux is a combined import-export tariff. In short it offers lower rates overnight (between 02:00 – 05:00 every day) and a peak rate in the early evenings (between 16:00 – 19:00). This allows customers to charge their batteries when prices are low and export excess energy back to the grid when prices are high. 

The standard Octopus Flux tariff has a static rate structure based on the time of the day. For example, my rate would be 14.8p/kWh import and 5.26p/kWh export at night with a peak rate of 34.53p/kWh import and 24.99p/kWh export

To be eligible for this tariff, customers must have solar panels, be an Octopus Energy customer and have a smart metre. 

Octopus Intelligent Flux

Intelligent Octopus Flux takes the tariff a step further by optimising battery charging and discharging for even better rates. It’s a smart tariff that gives you the best rates for consuming and selling your energy for you to make the best return. 

For example, the import rates are even lower than standard Flux. My rates would be off-peak of 22.2p/kWh import and 22.2p/kWh export and a peak rate of 29.6p/kWh for import and export. 

To be eligible for this tariff, you need to have solar panels, be an Octopus Energy customer, have a smart metre. However, most importantly, this tariff is currently only compatible with GivEnergy batteries. Read our GivEnergy All-in-One review.

For battery systems without solar panels

Although not usually advised from a total efficiency perspective, it’s possible to have a battery storage system without solar panels. If you do have a battery without solar PV panels, Octopus has a couple of suitable tariffs.

Agile Octopus import tariff

The Agile Octopus import tariff allows customers to take advantage of fluctuating wholesale energy prices. By charging your battery when prices are low and using the stored energy during peak hours, you can reduce your energy bills. This tariff is best for those who can change up their energy use to avoid these expensive peaks. 

Agile’s low prices tend to occur when grid energy is greener. This means that if you shift energy use to access the cheaper rates, you’ll also be playing your part in driving green energy use. 

The Agile Octopus tariff also includes two unique features. The first is ‘Plunge Pricing’. During periods of negative wholesale energy prices, customers can actually get paid for consuming electricity, which further incentivises the use of battery storage systems.

This tariff also has ‘Price Cap Protect’, which gives customers peace of mind that they’ll never pay more than 100p/kWh for their electricity. This is because wholesale market prices can peak to high amounts for short periods of time.

Outgoing Agile tariff

As well as importing energy to your battery, you can export it to the grid too. 

Octopus’ Outgoing tariff pays you for supplying energy to the grid. This applies for those who have solar panels. For customers with battery storage systems without solar, the Agile version of the Outgoing Octopus tariff allows you to export your stored energy back to the grid when prices are high, earning you money in the process.

It’s worth noting that Outgoing Agile can only be paired with certain import tariffs, such as Agile and a few others. You can read up on tariff combinations here.

It’s also possible to pair Agile import with Outgoing Fixed, which comes at a standard flat rate of 15p/kWh to give you peace of mind and predictability with your exports.

Wrap up on Octopus and battery storage

As a company, Octopus are clearly dedicated to green energy and transitioning people to renewables. They are a market leader when it comes to offer the best and cheapest tariffs for a range of different scenarios, including those with differing renewable energy set ups. 

Since starting off just supplying more renewable energy, they are now involved in a range of initiatives to green up the UK’s energy. This influence is also stretching across Europe. 

Octopus are now starting to edge more into hardware solutions and smart tech, including heat pumps, solar panels and storage batteries. These innovations are undoubtedly the future of sustainable energy supply in homes. 

Although Octopus don’t (yet) offer battery storage installations on their own – for example, when a household already has solar panels installed – I don’t think it’ll be long before they do. 

At the minute, Octopus offers battery storage in combination with solar panel installations and some super smart tariffs to make it both cost-efficient and energy-efficient for homeowners. They’re allowing more and more households to take control of their energy consumption, reduce their environmental impact, and potentially save money on their energy bills.

Overall, a fantastic company doing great things in the home energy market and, importantly, making energy fairer, cleaner and greener. 

About the author 

Ben Hardman

Ben is a professional writer and the creator of sustainable living website TinyEco.com.
It's here where he helps people to reduce their environmental impact through simple, everyday choices. Away from the laptop, Ben loves spending time in the natural environment with his young family and Murphy the cocker spaniel.

First Class BSc Biology degree (environmental and climate change focus)
Six years of working and writing in the environmental sector, including two years working at an international sustainability consultancy
Written for Ethical Consumer magazine, My Mother Tree, Unsustainable Magazine, Happy Eco News, Emission Index, PeakDistrict.org
Commented in The Independent, The Guardian, GreenMatch. Also featured on Radio 1's environmental special 'Minute of Me'

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