Octopus Energy Saving Sessions: how to get involved

Octopus Energy app in front of some UK money (image: Getty Images)

Octopus Energy customers will be rewarded for cutting back on their energy use this winter. The supplier is taking part in the Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) this winter. In this guide, we explain how you can get involved.

The energy provider’s version of the initiative aims to get households to move their electricity use to off-peak times when there is exceptional demand. Octopus calls these events ‘Saving Sessions’. It comes after it recently launched a rewards scheme, Octoplus.

With the Ofgem price cap having increased 5% in January 2024, Saving Sessions offer one of the only ways to save a bit of money on your bills. Cutting your usage with our energy saving tips can also help you save money. Octopus Energy offers two tariff options – Agile and Tracker – that can be competitive with the Ofgem cap, so long as you can be flexible with your energy use.

So, how do Octopus Energy Saving Sessions work – and how can you get involved? Here’s everything you need to know.

Am I eligible for Octopus Saving Sessions?

Saving Sessions are open to Octopus Energy customers who get their electricity from the supplier. If you’re already signed up to Octoplus, you will automatically be eligible for the scheme. But if you’re not, look for ‘Octoplus’ in your online account. You will also need to meet the following criteria:

  • Have a fully functional smart meter that sends meter readings every half-hour
  • Pay via direct debit

Octopus says it will need to have received smart meter readings for at least 80% of the previous 15 days before you can take part. It needs this level of connectivity because it will regularly measure your meter readings throughout the Saving Sessions.

What are Octopus Saving Sessions?

Saving Sessions are part of the National Grid Demand Flexibility Service (DFS). You earn credit on your electricity bills for shifting your usual energy use away from peak times on certain dates. Specifically, when demand on the National Grid is exceptionally high, or when it’s testing its capacity.

Each session usually lasts for an hour or two between 4pm and 7pm. You will be notified about the date and timings via email or through an app notification (Octopus advises its customers to make sure their app notifications are switched on) roughly a day beforehand.

You will then have to opt in to each session, if you want to take part. You can do this through your account’s dashboard. 12 test events are scheduled between November 2023 and March 2024, with further live events (Octopus calls these ‘surprise sessions’) expected during cold snaps. We have already had several live runnings of the DFS this winter.

The Octopus spin on the DFS (British Gas and Ovo Energy also have their own versions) is that you will earn Octopoints for saving energy rather than straight-up credit. These points can be converted into credit. But, at some point soon, they will also be redeemable against shopping and entertainment vouchers or you will be able to donate them to charity, Octopus says. Live DFS events will tend to pay out more Octopoints than test ones as the need to balance the National Grid will be greater.

The supplier says live events will be announced at short notice, sometimes only a few hours before they are due to begin. It says households should subscribe to its social media accounts or WhatsApp Channel to find out when these events will run.

How much can I save through Saving Sessions?

Octopus says a typical Saving Session will net you anything between 800 to 1,000 Octopoints (worth between £1 and £1.25). Surprise Sessions will be more lucrative – although it depends on how much the National Grid needs to balance itself. 

The supplier has warned that if your usage is already low at peak times, you may find it hard to save much. You may also save different amounts on different occasions because the National Grid pays suppliers different rates depending on how much energy it needs to save.

Octopus Saving Sessions money saving tips

Our energy saving guide will give you in-depth advice on how to slash your energy usage. But here are some quick tips that’ll maximise your savings through Octopus Energy’s version of DFS:

  • Don’t do your washing: washing machines are intensive energy users. If you normally use them at peak hours, you will earn more in credit during Saving Sessions. The same goes for your dishwasher and tumble dryer.
  • Batch cook off-peak: cooking away from peak hours (4pm to 7pm on weekdays) should cut your energy use back significantly compared to normal. To heat up your meal, use the hob or a microwave rather than an oven.
  • Prepare a flask of tea: if you tend to guzzle tea during peak hours, plan ahead. By boiling the kettle before a Saving Session and using an insulated flask, you will cut back your usage by enough to earn you some Octopoints.
  • Switch everything off at the wall: by turning your appliances off at the plug, you are likely to cut back your energy use.
  • Be strict with your timings: if you want to earn a meaningful amount of Octopoints, you’ll have to make sure you’re avoiding peak times as much as possible during Saving Sessions.