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The case for Octopus Agile (with solar panels)

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At the beginning of the month I decided to switch to Octopus Agile.

Previously I was reckoning that it was only worthwhile with a battery so you could take advantage of cheap times for import and expensive times for export.

However 2021 is a very different summer to 2020.

All the times are expensive for import.  The daily mean price is around 28p/kWh.  About 20p in the small hours of the night, and 32-33p during mid morning, and 35p capped in the early evening.

So far, not so good!  My Octopus flexible tariff was 18.53p/kWh for comparison.

But what about exports?  If anything my solar panel investments have told me, is that a large solar array blows away small import quantities with a complete flood of exported electricity.

Previously on the flexible tariff I was paid 5.5p/kWh.  It was competitive, but the agile export tarriff the last month has never dipped below 10p/kWh.  It's astonishing.  Sometimes mid morning I can see 15p/kWh being paid.  This is just the sort of thing that makes solar investments worthwhile!

So.  Summertime at least, wind power is slack, so the wholesale electricity prices are high because gas prices are high (much higher than last summer).  What of the autumn and winter times when my solar doesn't cover the evening time consumption anymore, and exports dwindle?  We shall see.  I'm hoping the wind power kicks in at this stage and keeps gas dependency in check.

My only regret with the switch is not doing it earlier in the springtime.   However I'm wandering how soon it will be when those high agile import prices makes it through to regular electricity bill prices.  I'm reckoning October will be crunchtime on that front.
8.9kw solar.  12 panels ESE,  16 panels SSW.  JA solar 320watt smart panels.   Solar Edge 8KW HD wave inverter.  Located Aberdeenshire
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  • Exiled_Tyke
    Exiled_Tyke Posts: 1,202 Forumite
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    I thought that currently it is not possible to be on both Agile export and Agile import? Have a got that wrong? 

    Agile import prices have been very poor for a while now and I can't see them improving. With a battery I'm using Octopus Go and recharge each nighttime which works out far better value for money. Also if there isn't much sun I programme the dishwasher etc. to run I the night. 

    I think the issue with Agile is that so much electricity is now bought on fixed contracts that it's making the spot price much higher.  Personally I'd get off Agile import and find something better which meets your needs.
    Install 28th Nov 15, 3.3kW, (11x300LG), SolarEdge, SW. W Yorks.
    Install 2: Sept 19, 600W SSE
    Solax 6.3kWh battery
  • arty688
    arty688 Posts: 411 Forumite
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    I don't think there are many people left on Agile. To make it work you would need a lot of excess energy. Most people have jumped ship to Go or Go faster although you only get an export rate of 3p
    8kw system spread over 6 roofs , surrounded by trees and in a valley.
  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,822 Forumite
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    edited 27 August 2021 at 2:37PM
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    When I was looking into this, my reading of Octopus's website (which is a bit fragmented) was that you can be on Outgoing Agile with any incoming tariff except Go or Go Faster. They might have changed it though!

    N. Hampshire, he/him. Octopus Go elec & Tracker gas / Shell BB / Lyca mobi. Ripple Kirk Hill member.
    2.72kWp PV facing SSW installed Jan 2012. 11 x 247w panels, 3.6kw inverter. 30MWh generated, long-term average 2.6 Os.
    Taking a break, hope to be back eventually.
    Ofgem cap table, Ofgem cap explainer. Economy 7 cap explainer. Gas vs E7 vs peak elec heating costs.
  • arty688
    arty688 Posts: 411 Forumite
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    I think that's the wrong way round you couldn't be on an export tariff at all if you were on Go , they changed that to 3P 6 months or so ago. Agile was always Import and Export the rest of the tariffs are 5.5p I think
    8kw system spread over 6 roofs , surrounded by trees and in a valley.
  • frozen_wastes
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    My original plan was to be on the go tariff.  But I couldn’t be on the outgoing fixed rate tariff at the same time. 

    So, that means the agile tariff is the only option available for good export rates and flexible night time pricing (though that’s not the same as “cheap” right now)

    Thing is:  I export predominantly from March to September.  So I’m wandering if I can switch from Go in the winter time  to Agile in the summer and back again.   Or is there anything in the Terms and Conditions that prevents you being Agile in this way (excuse the pun)
    8.9kw solar.  12 panels ESE,  16 panels SSW.  JA solar 320watt smart panels.   Solar Edge 8KW HD wave inverter.  Located Aberdeenshire
  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,822 Forumite
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    Thing is:  I export predominantly from March to September.  So I’m wandering if I can switch from Go in the winter time  to Agile in the summer and back again.   Or is there anything in the Terms and Conditions that prevents you being Agile in this way (excuse the pun)
    I wondered about seasonal switching, too. Octopus let you switch tariff every month (or so I've heard) so it *should* be possible.
    Once I've got a year of smart meter export data I'm intending to review whether I'm better off sticking with deemed export on FIT or switching to metered, and that's when I'll look at OOA again.

    N. Hampshire, he/him. Octopus Go elec & Tracker gas / Shell BB / Lyca mobi. Ripple Kirk Hill member.
    2.72kWp PV facing SSW installed Jan 2012. 11 x 247w panels, 3.6kw inverter. 30MWh generated, long-term average 2.6 Os.
    Taking a break, hope to be back eventually.
    Ofgem cap table, Ofgem cap explainer. Economy 7 cap explainer. Gas vs E7 vs peak elec heating costs.
  • Screwdriva
    Screwdriva Posts: 1,193 Forumite
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    Can I ask what type of SMART meter you own? I have a SMETS 1 meter and I believe you need a SMETS 2?
    -  10 x 400w LG + 6 x 550W SHARP BiFacial Panels + SE 3680 HD Wave Inverter + SE Optimizers. SE London.
    -  Triple aspect. (22% ENE/ 33% SSE/ 45% WSW)
    -  Viessmann 200-W on Advanced Weather Comp. (the most efficient gas boiler sold)

    Feel free to DM me if I can help with any energy saving!
  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,822 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Photogenic Name Dropper
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    Can I ask what type of SMART meter you own? I have a SMETS 1 meter and I believe you need a SMETS 2?
    SMETS2 or Secure(TM) SMETS1, according to the current Octopus website.

    Good to know:

    • You'll need a SMETS2 (or SecureTM SMETS1) smart meter that we can receive half-hourly export data from
    • Currently, you can't be on both outgoingOctopus and OctopusGo, our EV tariff, at the same time.
    • If you have started receiving FiTs in the last 12 months, the FiT rules mean you won't be able to switch to outgoingOctopus just yet


    N. Hampshire, he/him. Octopus Go elec & Tracker gas / Shell BB / Lyca mobi. Ripple Kirk Hill member.
    2.72kWp PV facing SSW installed Jan 2012. 11 x 247w panels, 3.6kw inverter. 30MWh generated, long-term average 2.6 Os.
    Taking a break, hope to be back eventually.
    Ofgem cap table, Ofgem cap explainer. Economy 7 cap explainer. Gas vs E7 vs peak elec heating costs.
  • frozen_wastes
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    Can I ask what type of SMART meter you own? I have a SMETS 1 meter and I believe you need a SMETS 2?
    I've got a "secure" SMETS 1 smart meter.  It works.  It was originally installed by First Utility (now shell) in 2017, and it was a dumb meter when I changed to Bulb, until just a few months before I got solar installed.  It's been smart ever since.
    8.9kw solar.  12 panels ESE,  16 panels SSW.  JA solar 320watt smart panels.   Solar Edge 8KW HD wave inverter.  Located Aberdeenshire
  • Screwdriva
    Screwdriva Posts: 1,193 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic
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    Many thanks! This is the only thing holding me back as I have a SMETS1 dumb meter that Bulb does not appear to be able to read from directly.


    -  10 x 400w LG + 6 x 550W SHARP BiFacial Panels + SE 3680 HD Wave Inverter + SE Optimizers. SE London.
    -  Triple aspect. (22% ENE/ 33% SSE/ 45% WSW)
    -  Viessmann 200-W on Advanced Weather Comp. (the most efficient gas boiler sold)

    Feel free to DM me if I can help with any energy saving!
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