Octopus Energy has unveiled a rewards scheme that will allow its customers to earn points by cutting their energy usage and referring new customers.
Known as Octoplus, the scheme will give people the chance to get hold of ‘Octopoints’ that can be redeemed for credit, converted into vouchers for entertainment and food or donated to charity. It will mainly reward customers for taking part in Saving Sessions – Octopus’s take on the National Grid ESO’s Demand Flexibility Service (DFS). These events allow you to earn credit back on your energy bills.
At the moment, there are no energy deals that can compete with the current level of the Ofgem energy price cap. It also has unique tariffs that could save you money, such as Octopus Agile and Octopus Tracker. If you want to reduce your bills more generally, you can save money by following our energy saving top tips.
So, what do we know so far about Octopus Energy’s new rewards scheme? Here’s the latest and whether we think it will help you to save much money.
Can I join Octoplus?
Octoplus is available to all households who get their electricity supplied by Octopus, have a smart meter fitted and pay via direct debit. You do not have to be on a particular tariff. To sign up for the rewards scheme, head to the Octopus Energy website.
Once you’ve joined, you will be able to earn rewards for taking part in Saving Sessions (more on this below). The scheme only applies to electricity usage as there is no gas equivalent scheme for the Demand Flexibility Service.
How does Octoplus work?
As with British Gas PeakSave, Octoplus is part of Octopus Energy’s take on the DFS. It offers you the chance to claw back credit on your electricity bill. You can do this by moving your power use to off-peak times through its Saving Sessions scheme.
Saving Sessions will reward for not using as much energy during certain peak periods (usually between the hours of 4pm and 7pm). Octopus tracks your usage during these events at half-hourly intervals and then compares it to your typical usage at that particular time of day. Its spin on the DFS is you will earn Octopoints rather than straight-up credit.
Octopoints are similar to those you get with a supermarket loyalty scheme and can be converted to credit after you get them. They are valid for three years and can be viewed in the Octoplus tab of your online account or the Octopus app.
As well as getting points for saving on your energy usage, you will also still be able to directly get money back through Octopus Energy’s ‘Free Electricity’ Sessions. These pay you for using energy when there’s a surplus on the national grid.
Saving Sessions will be the main way to earn Octopoints, Octopus says, with around 800 to 1,000 typically available in each session. It says there will be 12 test sessions this winter, lasting either one or two hours each. ‘Live’ DFS events are also likely to occur during cold weather, with the latest scheduled to take place on Friday (1 December) between 4.30pm and 6pm.
You will also be able to get points if you:
- Spin the supplier’s Wheel of Fortune
- Get someone to switch to Octopus via the supplier’s referral scheme (also through its solar installation scheme)
- Switch to Octopus yourself and get a smart meter installed.
Octopus says you will soon be able to convert your Octopoints into vouchers for eating out or entertainment. These vouchers will be worth a multiple of the value of your points tally. But the energy supplier has not yet confirmed what this multiple will be, nor where you will be able to cash in these vouchers. We have asked Octopus for more details and will update you as soon as we hear back.
You will also be able to donate your Octopoints to charity or redeem Octopus Energy merchandise with them. These options are not yet live.
Is Octoplus going to save me much money?
Based on the information we have at present, Octoplus will give you a feel-good factor but not much in the way of extra cash.
Given 800 Octopoints equate to £1, you won’t get much money back from Saving Sessions – the main way to earn Octopoints, according to the provider. Also, given that Octopus only expects 12 of these Sessions to take place between now and next March, you’re unlikely to generate much money over a 12-month period.
The big question is how many multiples the value of your Octopoints will be increased by if you convert them into vouchers for food or entertainment. Under similar schemes, such as Tesco Clubcard, we have seen the value of points tripled (although the supermarket downgraded it to double earlier this year). If the energy supplier’s scheme does something similar, it could prove to be lucrative for its customers.
In short, we currently think Octoplus will be an added bonus for existing customers rather than a reason to switch to Octopus Energy in itself.