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Octopus Saving Session

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  • mmmmikey
    mmmmikey Posts: 1,806 Forumite
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    Looks like another "crisis" story to me. It will probably be reported as "1000's die in poverty as greedy customers cheat the rules in National Grid energy saving scheme crisis".
  • Raxiel
    Raxiel Posts: 1,401 Forumite
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    I got about £30 so a bit above average. I won't be twirling my moustache while wearing a top hat and monacle like some people apparently.

    I didn't even know there was an octopus energy subreddit. Less than a thousand subs and they're more (in)famous than this board!

    I did get an email from Octopus thanking me for taking part in every session and saving in every half hour period, apparently there's a prize draw for that too, fingers crossed.

    If they repeat the scheme next year, I think it would be good if they could take export into account. If the goal is to reduce demand, then surely that helps even more than switching everything off. People with batteries may be able to 'cash in' by dumping them, but it's not like power station operators don't make a mint during the peaks either.
    3.6 kW PV in the Midlands - 9x Sharp 400W black panels - 6x facing SE and 3x facing SW, Solaredge Optimisers and Inverter. 400W Derril Water (one day). Octopus Flux
  • Chrysalis
    Chrysalis Posts: 4,185 Forumite
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    Chrysalis said:
    Chrysalis said:
    alleycat` said:
    Mstty said:
    This may mean they realise not all is well 



    Unless Octopus are blaming "sendgrid", their mass mailer service of choice (which is a bit unclear), then this is the usual nonsense of when marketing people are put in charge of e-mail campaigns and then shifting the blame anywhere else.

    Firstly they should be well aware that e-mail is not a guaranteed time / delivery medium. There's nothing in e-mail specification for a guarantee on when e-mail will be delivered at all. There are some basic premises about it telling you when mails are delayed, delivery retries, etc but nothing is said about a guarantee on delivery. It's quite frightening that very large companies believe services like e-mail have some sort of guaranteed time basis on them (and they make business decisions based on it).
    This was always going to end badly if they were expecting a reasonable "click through" rate and had any basic knowledge about e-mail as a service.

    They've then doubled down by using a "mass mailer" service that is, most likely, rate limited by many ISP / Service providers.
    Sendgrid, silverpop, mailgun and the like are known as "spamvertisers" in the industry for a reason. These "mailer" companies ignore many of the basic principles of mail behavior to try ram as much e-mail out as possible. It's a "fire hose" approach to sending e-mails. They're typically heavily restricted as they allow all their clients to run "campaigns" at any time of day or night they feel like. Usually the people involved have all done the same marketing/psychological courses and all want to send their mails at the same time. Thursdays, certainly were, the big day they all liked to target (typically around 11am).
    I suspect this means that loads of mails got backed up on their side with delivery retries and many of us at the bottom of the list were left receiving mails after the event had started.
    I run my own mail server and the only connection i received from them was at 18:29 and the mail was delivered to my "inbox" 2 seconds later. That's got nothing to do with "me" rate limiting or delaying e-mails and everything to do with their sending service bogging down.

    My advice for them is if they want to push "last minute" type events then they need to do it via the App or SMS (i suspect they won't like the costs involved). E-mail, as a protocol, is a terrible way of communicating "instantly" with people.

    Anyway - They've sent me some unsolicited "octopoints". I'm not sure if this was done on an average of previous periods or a random number they're assigning to everyone?



    Its a bit worrying they trialling it, I still think anyone registered for saving sessions should be automatically added to each session.
    Why is it worrying? That's the whole point of a trial to see what issues there are and then to try and iron them out.


    Perhaps I should clarify, the idea of a trial is fine, but rather the short notice would be the issue, as it means less people will be aware, and less benefits.

    I supposed their thinking is that people will only cut back if they are specifically made aware first by having to click a opt in button.
    The reasons these trials are taking place is so they can be deployed at short notice if needed. Octopus would have gathered feedback from this short notice session and work on ways of making in run smoother in the future incase there is a real need for a live short notice saving session.


    Perhaps I should try and clarify again.

    I am not talking about the short notice specifically, but rather the opt-in and short notice combination.

    There is nothing wrong with criticising the system, they cant improve it if there is no negative feedback.
  • k_man
    k_man Posts: 1,636 Forumite
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    edited 8 April 2023 at 9:22AM
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    Chrysalis said:
    Chrysalis said:
    Chrysalis said:
    alleycat` said:
    Mstty said:
    This may mean they realise not all is well 



    Unless Octopus are blaming "sendgrid", their mass mailer service of choice (which is a bit unclear), then this is the usual nonsense of when marketing people are put in charge of e-mail campaigns and then shifting the blame anywhere else.

    Firstly they should be well aware that e-mail is not a guaranteed time / delivery medium. There's nothing in e-mail specification for a guarantee on when e-mail will be delivered at all. There are some basic premises about it telling you when mails are delayed, delivery retries, etc but nothing is said about a guarantee on delivery. It's quite frightening that very large companies believe services like e-mail have some sort of guaranteed time basis on them (and they make business decisions based on it).
    This was always going to end badly if they were expecting a reasonable "click through" rate and had any basic knowledge about e-mail as a service.

    They've then doubled down by using a "mass mailer" service that is, most likely, rate limited by many ISP / Service providers.
    Sendgrid, silverpop, mailgun and the like are known as "spamvertisers" in the industry for a reason. These "mailer" companies ignore many of the basic principles of mail behavior to try ram as much e-mail out as possible. It's a "fire hose" approach to sending e-mails. They're typically heavily restricted as they allow all their clients to run "campaigns" at any time of day or night they feel like. Usually the people involved have all done the same marketing/psychological courses and all want to send their mails at the same time. Thursdays, certainly were, the big day they all liked to target (typically around 11am).
    I suspect this means that loads of mails got backed up on their side with delivery retries and many of us at the bottom of the list were left receiving mails after the event had started.
    I run my own mail server and the only connection i received from them was at 18:29 and the mail was delivered to my "inbox" 2 seconds later. That's got nothing to do with "me" rate limiting or delaying e-mails and everything to do with their sending service bogging down.

    My advice for them is if they want to push "last minute" type events then they need to do it via the App or SMS (i suspect they won't like the costs involved). E-mail, as a protocol, is a terrible way of communicating "instantly" with people.

    Anyway - They've sent me some unsolicited "octopoints". I'm not sure if this was done on an average of previous periods or a random number they're assigning to everyone?



    Its a bit worrying they trialling it, I still think anyone registered for saving sessions should be automatically added to each session.
    Why is it worrying? That's the whole point of a trial to see what issues there are and then to try and iron them out.


    Perhaps I should clarify, the idea of a trial is fine, but rather the short notice would be the issue, as it means less people will be aware, and less benefits.

    I supposed their thinking is that people will only cut back if they are specifically made aware first by having to click a opt in button.
    The reasons these trials are taking place is so they can be deployed at short notice if needed. Octopus would have gathered feedback from this short notice session and work on ways of making in run smoother in the future incase there is a real need for a live short notice saving session.


    Perhaps I should try and clarify again.

    I am not talking about the short notice specifically, but rather the opt-in and short notice combination.

    There is nothing wrong with criticising the system, they cant improve it if there is no negative feedback.
    In order to reduce usage during a saver session the user needs to be aware one is taking place.
    Once the user is aware they can opt in*

    If users miss the notification and are not aware of the session, they haven't missed out in anything**

    *There may be a few cases of users being aware, and wanting to and being able to reduce usage, but not being able to opt in.

    **apart from the occasional situation where usage patterns would look like a usage reduction.


    ETA: or to put it another way, who benefits from an auto opt in?
  • masonic
    masonic Posts: 23,788 Forumite
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    edited 8 April 2023 at 10:49AM
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    Does anyone know when the cut-off for opting in was? e.g. by the start of the session, or by the end of the session
    It seems reasonable someone should be able to opt in while the session is ongoing, as they can still turn down for the remainder. No point in people being opted in if they are not aware of the session until after it has ended.
    It seems that Octopus have been quite good in letting people who have faced technical difficulties around the opt-in not lose out. There have been a few instances where people have reported opting in, but it not being recorded.
  • bristolleedsfan
    bristolleedsfan Posts: 12,190 Forumite
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    masonic said:
    Does anyone know when the cut-off for opting in was? e.g. by the start of the session, or by the end of the session

    "you have to opt into a Session before it begins, so we know you’re planning to take part and use less electricity"
  • Chrysalis
    Chrysalis Posts: 4,185 Forumite
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    edited 8 April 2023 at 8:18PM
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    k_man said:
    Chrysalis said:
    Chrysalis said:
    Chrysalis said:
    alleycat` said:
    Mstty said:
    This may mean they realise not all is well 



    Unless Octopus are blaming "sendgrid", their mass mailer service of choice (which is a bit unclear), then this is the usual nonsense of when marketing people are put in charge of e-mail campaigns and then shifting the blame anywhere else.

    Firstly they should be well aware that e-mail is not a guaranteed time / delivery medium. There's nothing in e-mail specification for a guarantee on when e-mail will be delivered at all. There are some basic premises about it telling you when mails are delayed, delivery retries, etc but nothing is said about a guarantee on delivery. It's quite frightening that very large companies believe services like e-mail have some sort of guaranteed time basis on them (and they make business decisions based on it).
    This was always going to end badly if they were expecting a reasonable "click through" rate and had any basic knowledge about e-mail as a service.

    They've then doubled down by using a "mass mailer" service that is, most likely, rate limited by many ISP / Service providers.
    Sendgrid, silverpop, mailgun and the like are known as "spamvertisers" in the industry for a reason. These "mailer" companies ignore many of the basic principles of mail behavior to try ram as much e-mail out as possible. It's a "fire hose" approach to sending e-mails. They're typically heavily restricted as they allow all their clients to run "campaigns" at any time of day or night they feel like. Usually the people involved have all done the same marketing/psychological courses and all want to send their mails at the same time. Thursdays, certainly were, the big day they all liked to target (typically around 11am).
    I suspect this means that loads of mails got backed up on their side with delivery retries and many of us at the bottom of the list were left receiving mails after the event had started.
    I run my own mail server and the only connection i received from them was at 18:29 and the mail was delivered to my "inbox" 2 seconds later. That's got nothing to do with "me" rate limiting or delaying e-mails and everything to do with their sending service bogging down.

    My advice for them is if they want to push "last minute" type events then they need to do it via the App or SMS (i suspect they won't like the costs involved). E-mail, as a protocol, is a terrible way of communicating "instantly" with people.

    Anyway - They've sent me some unsolicited "octopoints". I'm not sure if this was done on an average of previous periods or a random number they're assigning to everyone?



    Its a bit worrying they trialling it, I still think anyone registered for saving sessions should be automatically added to each session.
    Why is it worrying? That's the whole point of a trial to see what issues there are and then to try and iron them out.


    Perhaps I should clarify, the idea of a trial is fine, but rather the short notice would be the issue, as it means less people will be aware, and less benefits.

    I supposed their thinking is that people will only cut back if they are specifically made aware first by having to click a opt in button.
    The reasons these trials are taking place is so they can be deployed at short notice if needed. Octopus would have gathered feedback from this short notice session and work on ways of making in run smoother in the future incase there is a real need for a live short notice saving session.


    Perhaps I should try and clarify again.

    I am not talking about the short notice specifically, but rather the opt-in and short notice combination.

    There is nothing wrong with criticising the system, they cant improve it if there is no negative feedback.
    In order to reduce usage during a saver session the user needs to be aware one is taking place.
    Once the user is aware they can opt in*

    If users miss the notification and are not aware of the session, they haven't missed out in anything**

    *There may be a few cases of users being aware, and wanting to and being able to reduce usage, but not being able to opt in.

    **apart from the occasional situation where usage patterns would look like a usage reduction.


    ETA: or to put it another way, who benefits from an auto opt in?

    Not if the user routinely doesnt use much off peak.

    But again, you dont need someone to opt in to make them aware, you merely need to notify them.  Someone might read the opt in notice in time for the session but not in time for the opt in.
  • masonic
    masonic Posts: 23,788 Forumite
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    Chrysalis said:

    But again, you dont need someone to opt in to make them aware, you merely need to notify them.  Someone might read the opt in notice in time for the session but not in time for the opt in.
    What is required by the scheme is a commitment from the end user for each session. This cannot be obtained through one-way notification. I agree however, that there is scope for improvement in regard to your second sentence. If someone still has time to make changes to their usage during the session, then they ought to be permitted to opt in.
  • bristolleedsfan
    bristolleedsfan Posts: 12,190 Forumite
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    edited 9 April 2023 at 7:47AM
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    Chrysalis said:



    There is nothing wrong with criticising the system, they cant improve it if there is no negative feedback.
    National Grid asked for a certain amount of feedback both for them and supplier used for turn down events as well as experiences, those who took part were also asked to complete a diary for last two turn down events.

    Posted 9th March on Twitter  by CSE,, obviously done and dusted now.






  • masonic
    masonic Posts: 23,788 Forumite
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    Looks like the above link is now dead:


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