Which Octopus Tariff During Winter?

Hi

We have recently had solar panels and a battery installed and currently on the Octopus Flux Import Tariff.  We should be on the Export Tariff shortly as I have finally got an MPAN Export Reference, but of course now there is little chance of any export!

Unit rates

Electricity: 26.85p per kWh

Gas: 6.82p per kWh

Standing charges

Electricity: 52.32p per day

Gas: 27.47p per day


I did query the rate for the electricity with Octopus - surely my account should show two rates but the representative I spoke to said the electricity rate is a combination of the two.

We have been running the dishwasher and washing machine between 2.00am and 5.00am to take advantage of the cheaper tariff, however I can't say that we delay using electrical appliances until after 7pm and of course there isn't really enough in the battery on dark overcast days to allow for this.

There are numerous Octopus tariffs out there.

What are other solar panel+battery owners on?

I don't really want anything overly complicated.  

I am sure this topic has been posted before but rates have since changed with new tariffs added.

TIA

Comments

  • Oops. I just realised that you don't mention an EV but I think the general principle applies. Buy cheap at night, always export solar, find the biggest differential between import and export prices.

    If you battery and inverter happen to be Givenergy, this control system may help:

    My Energy Optimiser – Demand Response for Home Owners

    Here's a bit more of an explanation:

    My Energy Optimiser – Home Battery Automation - YouTube
  • Alnat1
    Alnat1 Posts: 3,144
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    edited 10 December 2023 at 8:52PM
    You can see from my signature below, the tariffs I chose for winter. I was on Flux over summer and built up a nice credit with the export but I don't find it has cheap enough import prices to use it over winter.

    I admit I have to set the battery daily to charge in the cheapest Agile slots and that might not suit you but it's a couple of minutes to do after dinner each evening. At the same time I look when's best to run the dishwasher/washing machine if needed.

    A few days Agile didn't beat the Flux cheap rates but mostly it does.  I would also suggest you have a look at Tracker if you don't want to faff, which often has rates similar to the Flux cheap slots, but they are set for the whole day, not just a few hours. With Tracker you wouldn't want to fill your battery from the grid though.

    I will change back to Flux when the weather picks up in March, definitely by the time the clocks change. 

    Update: Average import price over that last 7 days is 16.4p, last 28 days 15.22p
    Barnsley, South Yorkshire
    Solar PV 5.25kWp SW facing (14 x 375 Longi) Lux 3.6kw hybrid inverter and 4.8kw Pylontech battery storage installed March 22
    Octopus Agile/Fixed Outgoing and Tracker gas
  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,630
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    I have (old) solar and a (smallish) battery. I'm in my third year of Octopus Go.
    By charging the battery overnight, and using the timer on my washer-dryer, I've managed to use 90% of my electricity on the Go cheap rate and had an average electricity price of about 11p/kWh for the past year.
    Fro Go you need an EV, but you might be able to use a similar technique on Flux? If you can buy even 75% at the 16.5p/kWh cheap rate, 25% at the 27.5p/kWh standard rate, and avoid buying electricity at the peak rate, you'll average 19.25p/kWh.
    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.
    Ofgem cap table, Ofgem cap explainer. Economy 7 cap explainer. Gas vs E7 vs peak elec heating costs.
  • Thank you for the responses.  We don't have an EV.  I watched the videos however I don't think suitable for our situation.  Also, I don't want to take on another DD (Home Battery Automation), even though it is £5 a month.  

    I didn't even realise you could set your battery to charge drawing power from the grid during the cheap early morning tariff.  I will have to get the manual out!


  • cm4ever
    cm4ever Posts: 215
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    edited 10 December 2023 at 5:38PM

     .... and of course there isn't really enough in the battery on dark overcast days to allow for this.

    So in my mind that statement would lead me to think you may not have fully thought through your solar & storage requirements prior to purchase/installation as otherwise you'd have known your typical daily usage and you had the opportunity to size your battery storage accordingly if you wanted your storage to be able to last between possible charge windows..... or if you had, it's come down to a compromise between needed capacity and financial cost of installing that capacity.

    Or possibly even more likely, you have enough designed capacity, you just haven't implemented a good enough or any storage recharging strategy.

    We're happily still able to run on flux even though the sun is nearly non-existent some days now, especially with rain all day lately. But we'd installed battery storage specifically with the aim of using either E7 or some other TOU tariff (especially in the winter) to enable the batteries to be fully recharged using much cheaper rate electric. I said E7 as originally when we had our system installed flux didn't exist and wasn't even on the horizon.

    Battery storage is configured to charge every morning between 2am - 5am, upto 100%. If it takes only 1.5hrs for example due to it's leftover capacity prior to 2am, the storage just sits waiting for 5am before it can start supporting the house load - prior to that and during storage charging, any other house load uses the cheap rate import electric. 

    Moving any heavy loads like clothes washing etc to that time window helps and lowers overall costs 

    I do admit to being envious of people with any form of EV and being able to access even cheaper recharging rate periods.
  • So, we have a Growatt Battery.  I watched a couple of YouTube videos on how to configure the battery to charge between 2am - 5am, using the PhoneShine app, but failed at the first hurdle as there was No "Bat first" configuration item in the PhoneShine app > My Device list > Control.  Identified a contact number at Growatt 0208 5006618 and spoke to a helpful man who after taking the Serial Number directed us to "TOU-Charging" > Password and set it to Enable between 2am - 5am.  In fact, he did it remotely for us.  

    Presumably, those YouTube videos of PhoneShine are out of date (we have only recently had solar panels and battery installed).
  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,630
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    So, we have a Growatt Battery.  I watched a couple of YouTube videos on how to configure the battery to charge between 2am - 5am, using the PhoneShine app, but failed at the first hurdle as there was No "Bat first" configuration item in the PhoneShine app > My Device list > Control.  Identified a contact number at Growatt 0208 5006618 and spoke to a helpful man who after taking the Serial Number directed us to "TOU-Charging" > Password and set it to Enable between 2am - 5am.  In fact, he did it remotely for us.  

    Presumably, those YouTube videos of PhoneShine are out of date (we have only recently had solar panels and battery installed).
    Hopefully you're all set now!
    Tomorrow's smart meter chart should let you know if it has worked :)
    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.
    Ofgem cap table, Ofgem cap explainer. Economy 7 cap explainer. Gas vs E7 vs peak elec heating costs.
  • Yes, it worked!
  • I've been on Flux since mid May with a split array 4kWs due east, 3.12kWs due west. I've been tracking my daily net (not including FiT) cost which started to transition to mostly negative from the autumn equinox and became exclusively, though not massively, negative a couple of weeks before we re-entered GMT. Not having a battery I knew this meant that I would be exposed to the peak import tariff with no longer the means to benefit from the peak export tariff until re-entering BST, and more likely early April. I did consider moving to the flat rate export / import tariff and modelled the daily net cost effect of doing so. This indicated to me that Flux was still the better option for me during October with November being just £1.95 worse off. So far in December I'm just 54p worse off which for me has endorsed my strategy to remain on Flux throughout the winter as an experiment in cost. I should also add that as being partially retired we are able to cook / clean our main meal around midday at least 50% of the time which does help minimise our exposure to the peak import rate, as well as maximising export during the summer. All I'm interested in is achieving as near to a net zero (cost) energy profile as possible over the year (including FiT) and I believe that staying on Flux could achieve that. Fingers crossed!
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