Switching your energy provider is an easy way to save money and usually takes just a few minutes. Take a look at my Octopus Energy review to see how I saved £100’s off my bill and earned £50 credit using an Octopus Energy referral code. And if you join, you can refer your friends too!
Have you ever stopped and thought about how much we actually depend on electricity? If you’ve had a power cut recently, then I’m sure you’re aware.
But one of the most frustrating things about it, is the cost. Even though it’s an essential service, it doesn’t come cheap. That’s why it’s always important to shop around and find yourself a better deal.
I switch regularly and one company that is often near the top of the comparison sites for the best price is Octopus Energy. This year it came out top for me, so I finally thought I would give them a try.
Who is Octopus Energy?
Octopus is fairly new to the energy market, having only started in 2015. However, they’ve come a long way over such a short period and have now reached over 500,000 customers.
Are they a good company?
Octopus doesn’t just focus on cheap prices but customer service too. In 2018. they were voted the top energy company by Which? customers and in 2019 it became a Which? Recommended Provider (WRP) for energy; the only company to be awarded this sought-after accolade. Also in that year, they were given the title of company of the year by The Association For Renewable Energy & Clean Technology.
And if that isn’t enough… In 2020, they were named as uSwitch supplier of the year.
Is Octopus Energy cheap?
Cheap is a strong word to use when it comes to spending on energy. I can think of 101 things I would rather spend my money on. However, if you visit a price comparison site, you’ll often find Octopus is one of the most competitive.
And Octopus Energy has a couple of advantages over all the big providers. They have just 3 tariffs which makes it far easier to choose the best price for you.
Finally, there are no exit fees if you decide to leave. If you have enough of Octopus or just find a better deal, you can change suppliers without having to pay a charge.
Keeping track of your energy
Each month, Octopus will send you a statement about how much energy you have used by email. If you miss it, don’t worry. You can also log into your account and find it there. Octopus also provides a handy app to check these things, if that’s how you prefer to keep an eye on your account.
Requesting a refund
Long-time energy customers will know that plenty of energy companies have a habit of over-estimating the amount you need to pay each month. Then, one day you check and find that the company actually owes you £100s! Well, requesting a refund from Octopus is very easy. All you need to do is visit your account online and click a button. Octopus will check that everything is good to go and will refund you, usually within 3 working days.
From your online account, you can also make one-off payments if you owe money, or change your direct debit. In all the time I have been with Octopus, I have never had to call them.
If you’re not bothered about customer service or prices, then how about the fact that Octopus uses 100% green electricity as standard? And they’re backed by Octopus Investments, the UK’s largest investor in solar power, responsible for nearly 40% of the nation’s large scale solar generation.
Is it difficult to switch providers?
Not at all. In some cases, it will take just a few minutes. You just need your address and bank details. Even if you don’t know how much energy you use, Octopus can estimate it for you by using the size of your house. It’s best if you have a bill from your current supplier with your annual usage, as this will give you a more accurate figure, but it isn’t essential. Your switch will usually be complete within 3 weeks.
There is no need for an engineer to visit, you won’t lose the supply of your electricity and Octopus will inform your old supplier that you are leaving.
What if my current supplier charges exit fees?
Often, if you have a fixed contract with an energy company, you will be charged a fee to leave early. However, once you receive notification that your contract is coming to an end (usually between 42-49 days before), you can leave without penalty.
Octopus Energy smart meters
If you choose to, you can have a smart meter installed by Octopus. The good news is, it’s not compulsory and the choice is yours. In fact, I’m not convinced how useful they really are and have never seen any benefit from mine. If you would like to request one, then you can do so through their website.
If you have an old smart meter (known as SMETS1) already installed by your old supplier, it may not necessarily work when switching over to Octopus. Newer meters (SMETS2) will be compatible with all suppliers.
However, Octopus does offer a couple of extra tariffs for smart meter users.
- Half-hourly electricity prices that update daily based on wholesale costs.
- Shift your energy use outside the 4-7pm peak to save money.
- Four hours of 5p/kWh super off-peak electricity every night from 12:30-04:30am.
- Perfect for charging an electric vehicle.
Save even more money with Octopus refer a friend
Fortunately, on my search for a new energy supplier, I heard about how Octopus allows you to refer a friend. This little beauty not only gives the referrer £50 credit towards their bill, but it gives the new customer £50 off too! So, in total, you can save £100 between you!
If you become a member, you too can refer a friend to Octopus and receive a £50 credit to your account. And you can recommend as many people as you like.
How do I refer a friend to Octopus Energy?
All you need to do is log in to your account and find your unique Octopus refer a friend link. Then, send it to your friends and you’ll both earn credit to your accounts when they join. You can keep a track of all your referrals through the Octopus website, although it’s currently not available on mobile.
How much did I save when switching?
When I entered my figures into the Octopus Energy website, it told me I would save £229 over the year. This figure does need to be taken with a pinch of salt though. The figures quoted assumed that I would go onto First Utility’s (my previous provider) standard tariff. I would have actually swapped to one of First Utility’s discounted tariffs, but this was still £130 more expensive than Octopus. With the £50 Octopus referral, I was still looking at a £180 saving.
With saving money, of course not!
To keep your bills as accurate as possible, it is best if you send in your meter readings every month. However, when you submit your meter readings, there is a nice little roulette game. Just spin the wheel and you could win credit towards your account. Although, if you have a smart meter, you won’t get to spin the wheel.
What others say
If you take a look at reviews over at Trustpilot, Octopus has a rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 from over 33,000 reviews and is rated as ‘excellent’.
Positive reviews include:
Best supplier in Uk
Energy made easy!
Easy to understand options
Great service from octopus
My Octopus Energy referral code
If you want to see how much you can save, click on the image below which contains my Octopus Energy referral link. If you do sign up, we both receive £50 credit. And once you’ve joined, you can start to refer friends.
Octopus Energy vs Bulb
I thought I would add this after being asked several times which is better, Bulb or Octopus? It probably won’t surprise you that I have also previously been a Bulb customer before.
When it comes to pricing, both are very competitive. Depending on your region, you’ll find that both will be near the top of the list when it comes to finding the best deals.
Both companies also offer a £50 credit to your account when you join.
The only real difference I have found is when it comes to customer service. I have found Bulb much slower to reply to emails with any questions I have. In fact, it took me several weeks to receive a refund from them.
Unless they have updated their systems, Bulb requires you to email them when you want credit returned to your bank. When I requested this, it took them a week to reply, only to ask where did I want my refund sent. All other companies just return it to your bank where the direct debit is set-up, so I’m not sure why they even asked.
For me, Octopus wins every time.
Please note that all opinions are my own and not associated with Octopus Energy.
Does Octopus Energy only accept payment by Direct Debit?
No. Although this is the preferred method, you can pay by bank transfer, cheque, credit/debit card, or cash via PayPoint.