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  • FIRST POST
    • Zarch
    • By Zarch 22nd May 19, 1:07 PM
    • 326Posts
    • 719Thanks
    Zarch
    My Octopus Agile & Go tariff analysis/comparison website
    • #1
    • 22nd May 19, 1:07 PM
    My Octopus Agile & Go tariff analysis/comparison website 22nd May 19 at 1:07 PM
    As many of the regulars know, the Octopus Agile tariff has really piqued my interest in time of use tariffs using Smart Meters.

    Whilst you could grab bits and pieces of historical data from Octopus about 'Agile' it was a bit limited. ie it didn't show all DNO areas and wasn't complete back to Feb 2018.

    So i've written a few scripts and pulled all the data in to one place.
    • All 30 minute data from all 14 DNOs going to back to the first day of the Agile tariff (Feb 19th 2018).
    • The data also updates at 5pm each day after Octopus have released their next day's figures.

    I've then layered Grafana graphs on top so you can visualise the data yourself on my new website.

    Plus, there is a Google Spreadsheet with all the historical data on.

    https://www.energy-stats.uk/

    I would be interested in people's thoughts on the project.

    What could be done better?
    What else would people like to see in terms of graphs?
    Is this stuff useful?
    Could you see this tariff working for you?
    Could a combination of PV / batteries get you mostly over the expensive 4pm to 7pm hump?

    I'm hoping to expand the project into their GO tariff as well as their new Agile Export figures too.

    Cheers.
    Last edited by Zarch; 07-06-2019 at 12:26 PM.
    17 x 300W panels on a 3.68 SolarEdge system in Sunny Sheffield.
Page 8
    • GreatApe
    • By GreatApe 11th Dec 19, 4:20 AM
    • 4,367 Posts
    • 3,081 Thanks
    GreatApe
    I think this could make sense if the switching devices are cheap enough, it could heat both space and hot water for those with immersion tanks. I guess one factor might be sudden demand peaks on local connections if an ara happened to have high take up - I can imagine our house could switch on a 7kwh car charger, 2 x 3kw immersion heaters and then however many electric rads we could run whilst staying under 100A main fuse load!
    Originally posted by michaels

    Also you can register your heater to your address and this way if there is congestion in your part of the grid the grid tells the heater to back off.

    Electrifying heating will need some grid upgrades but not so much on the 'last mile' more likely at substations and feeders. This is cheaper and easier to upgrade so a doubling in demand might only need a 10% increase in grid costs (for arguments sake) thus each unit will get cheaper as the per unit grid cost is lowered . If you like think of the opposite image everyone suddenly used 50% less electricity well the grid and other fixed costs are more or less the same so unit prices would have to go up significantly to cover this
    • michaels
    • By michaels 11th Dec 19, 10:32 AM
    • 23,228 Posts
    • 105,564 Thanks
    michaels
    It wouldn't be that much, no matter how many rads you have they would turn themselves off once the house is at 20 centigrade or whatever you set it at. For my big old house I use about double the gas and still it only equal to just 4KW of heat. More normal sized homes with wall insulation (,mine is solid brick mo insulation) would use closer to 2KW for heat

    Also the average car only needs 5KWh charge per day to meet the annual mileage needs
    If set to charge over 5h period that's just 1KW (I know you might be charging at 7KW but the average for the fleet will be just 1KW assuming they all charge during the same five hour window)

    Likewise your tank may pull 6KW but not for hours.
    Again doing the math for hit water demand the average recharge over s five hour period would be less than 1KW

    So while you might pull 23KW some of the time the fleet of cars/heaters/tanks nerve pull at the same time and the average for a fully Electrified house in winter for heating EV and Water would be about 4KW or less.

    This is also why electric showers don't fry the grid
    They use a huge 10KW and there are at least a few million of them around
    In theory if they all turned on at once the grid would instantly blackout
    Only in reality they never ever are all on at once. Probably no more than 1% are in during the peak morning showering periods
    Originally posted by GreatApe
    The issue would be that I and all those with a smart system would have it configured to start everything when the cheap tariff cut in. Your next post about some form of cooperation covers this.
    Cool heads and compromise
    • JKenH
    • By JKenH 11th Dec 19, 12:17 PM
    • 1,244 Posts
    • 3,433 Thanks
    JKenH
    The issue would be that I and all those with a smart system would have it configured to start everything when the cheap tariff cut in. Your next post about some form of cooperation covers this.
    Originally posted by michaels
    I wonder if there are enough Octopus Go customers, yet, to cause a spike when they start charging at 00.30? My car starts to charge at 00.40, four minutes after I think (but am never outside watching the meter to check) my E7 tariff kicks in. Eventually that sudden switch on will need to be smoothed out.
    Northern Lincolnshire. 7.8 kWp system, (4.2 kw west facing panels , 3.6 kw east facing), Solis inverters, Solar IBoost water heater, Mitsubishi SRK35ZS-S and SRK20ZS-S Wall Mounted Inverter Heat Pumps, Nissan Leaf (plus some ICEs )
    • 1961Nick
    • By 1961Nick 11th Dec 19, 1:12 PM
    • 1,222 Posts
    • 3,939 Thanks
    1961Nick
    I wonder if there are enough Octopus Go customers, yet, to cause a spike when they start charging at 00.30? My car starts to charge at 00.40, four minutes after I think (but am never outside watching the meter to check) my E7 tariff kicks in. Eventually that sudden switch on will need to be smoothed out.
    Originally posted by JKenH
    Since I got Octopus Go I've barely bought any leccy outside of 00.30 to 04.30. During that period consumption is about 20 Kw.
    4kWp (black/black) - Sofar Inverter - SSE(141) - 30 pitch - North Lincs
    Installed June 2013 - PVGIS = 3400

    Sofar ME3000SP Inverter & 5 x Pylontech US2000B Plus Batteries - 12kWh
    • GreatApe
    • By GreatApe 11th Dec 19, 3:33 PM
    • 4,367 Posts
    • 3,081 Thanks
    GreatApe
    I wonder if there are enough Octopus Go customers, yet, to cause a spike when they start charging at 00.30? My car starts to charge at 00.40, four minutes after I think (but am never outside watching the meter to check) my E7 tariff kicks in. Eventually that sudden switch on will need to be smoothed out.
    Originally posted by JKenH

    During that time of night demand is falling by more than about 1GW/hr so it wouldn't be a spike up but it would be a slowing of the 'spike down' as most people turn things off and go to bed

    It's not an issue anytime soon
    • GreatApe
    • By GreatApe 11th Dec 19, 3:51 PM
    • 4,367 Posts
    • 3,081 Thanks
    GreatApe
    The issue would be that I and all those with a smart system would have it configured to start everything when the cheap tariff cut in. Your next post about some form of cooperation covers this.
    Originally posted by michaels
    I imagine a smart heater turns on if two conditions are met.
    1 excess wind on the grid
    2 available capacity in that location of the country

    This way it only uses spare capacity, spare wind and spare grid capacity
    The user would have to do nothing just plug it in

    I'd actually socialise this and have the units free via regulating a 0p rate for these heaters
    So it's free heat for the household
    But only when there was spare unused wind and spare unused grid capacity
    So the cost of generating and transmission is zero anyway

    Cost of a smart heater could be as low as 20
    Sell online to anyone who wants one and limited to one per address


    If 10 million homes order one that's 30GW of demand
    What this means is instead of installing 30GW offshore wind by 2030 you could install 60GW and not worry too much about curtailment because you've created a huge quantity of demand that only turns on when there is excessive wind in the system.

    Before anyone says this will fry the grid the UK grid has operated at 65GW historically (cold winter days about 15yrs ago when appliances and lighting were much less efficient) while average year round demand is just 38GW so there is a lot of spare capacity most of the time. And the 65GW peak demands that used to occur were not the absolute peak capacity of the grid by the fact that the grid didn't go down during those times

    The more offshore wind is installed the more hours these free heaters will provide 'free' heat
    Last edited by GreatApe; 11-12-2019 at 4:04 PM.
    • Zarch
    • By Zarch 13th Dec 19, 1:05 PM
    • 326 Posts
    • 719 Thanks
    Zarch
    I was asked if I could add the daily Agile pricing in table format.

    Whilst I can't guarantee I can add everything asked for, this one seemed to work out ok.

    So I've added table based pricing as an alternative to the graphs/charts to each of the 14 DNO regional Agile and Agile Outgoing pages.

    For example: https://www.energy-stats.uk/octopus-agile-yorkshire/

    Hope this helps folks.
    17 x 300W panels on a 3.68 SolarEdge system in Sunny Sheffield.
    • Zarch
    • By Zarch 17th Dec 19, 8:39 AM
    • 326 Posts
    • 719 Thanks
    Zarch
    I've made some changes to my code over the weekend which should now enable quicker updates to the website (https://www.energy-stats.uk/) and posting the Agile pricing summary graph out via @energystatsuk

    I used to have a set cron job at 6pm that did all the work, but i've now put some ongoing checks from 4pm onwards looking for new pricing via the API and acting upon them when I see them posted.

    Its seems to have been stable over the past few days, so hopefully will continue to work as planned in to the future.
    17 x 300W panels on a 3.68 SolarEdge system in Sunny Sheffield.
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 20th Dec 19, 12:50 AM
    • 2,812 Posts
    • 4,256 Thanks
    silverwhistle
    I now have an early new year installation date for my SMETS2 meter and so going onto Agile is in sight.


    Then comes learning how best to use it and possibly sorting out some smart switching. Will my FIT supplier (Good Energy) start using actual as against deemed for export? I think it was MMMMikey who came up with the idea of using surge pricing for the immersion so that they could switch off their iboost and gain more from export!



    Incidentally I appear to be one of their first customers for their variable gas tariff. Not sure how I'm going to game that! Last night I cooked polenta on the flat top of my wood burner, so there's lots of little ways you can avoid the peak electricity rates without going the battery route..
    • EVandPV
    • By EVandPV 20th Dec 19, 8:32 AM
    • 246 Posts
    • 420 Thanks
    EVandPV
    I now have an early new year installation date for my SMETS2 meter and so going onto Agile is in sight.
    Originally posted by silverwhistle
    How long you been waiting ?
    We switched on the 3rd but still no word on a smart meter date.
    Still trying to decide between Go or Agile.
    Scott in Fife, 3kwp pv south facing, Fronius inverter installed Jan 2012
    4.8kwh Pylon battery storage with Lux ac controller
    Renault Zoe R110 40kwh, Zappi 2 charger, arduino immersion controller
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 21st Dec 19, 2:33 PM
    • 2,812 Posts
    • 4,256 Thanks
    silverwhistle
    How long you been waiting ?
    We switched on the 3rd but still no word on a smart meter date.
    Still trying to decide between Go or Agile.
    Originally posted by EVandPV

    I initiated the move from my previous supplier on the 12 November, first reading 21 November to go on an interim tariff and the date first offered to me was the 3rd January (for both meters).



    In one of their emails they did apologise for the delay and mentioned heavy demand and reliance on third parties.
    • GreatApe
    • By GreatApe 21st Dec 19, 6:38 PM
    • 4,367 Posts
    • 3,081 Thanks
    GreatApe
    Incidentally I appear to be one of their first customers for their variable gas tariff. Not sure how I'm going to game that! Last night I cooked polenta on the flat top of my wood burner, so there's lots of little ways you can avoid the peak electricity rates without going the battery route..
    Originally posted by silverwhistle

    That's interesting I wonder how much the prices will vary?
    Storing gas should be fairly easy just a basic contraption to store compressed gas in a tank outdoors.

    My guess is there would only be about a 0.5p/kWh variation in price and only long term eg summer Vs winter in which case it would just be one annual charge and discharge and wouldn't be worthwhile to save just 0.5p/kwh on storage of 1,000 units is only 5 saving per year.
    • EVandPV
    • By EVandPV 5th Jan 20, 7:41 PM
    • 246 Posts
    • 420 Thanks
    EVandPV
    Look out for possible negative pricing on Agile again this week as we're due to take a bit of a battering from the wind over the next couple of days.
    We get our smart meter fitted on Tuesday so might try Agile for a bit once the testing is complete.
    Scott in Fife, 3kwp pv south facing, Fronius inverter installed Jan 2012
    4.8kwh Pylon battery storage with Lux ac controller
    Renault Zoe R110 40kwh, Zappi 2 charger, arduino immersion controller
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 6th Jan 20, 2:21 PM
    • 2,812 Posts
    • 4,256 Thanks
    silverwhistle
    I initiated the move from my previous supplier on the 12 November, first reading 21 November to go on an interim tariff and the date first offered to me was the 3rd January (for both meters).

    In one of their emails they did apologise for the delay and mentioned heavy demand and reliance on third parties.
    Originally posted by silverwhistle



    I was informed last week that the operative due to install my meters today was ill, so it's been put back 10 days.



    It was my impression that the industry as a whole were finding it difficult to persuade people to accept smart meters which was why progress was so slow, but perhaps there are other reasons!:-)
    • EVandPV
    • By EVandPV 6th Jan 20, 4:35 PM
    • 246 Posts
    • 420 Thanks
    EVandPV
    A tip I was given if your having trouble getting a date for a smart meter is to tell them your only reason for switching to them was to get onto a TOU tariff as you have an EV.
    That got me an appointment within a few days of emailing them after the 2 weeks Octopus said it would take came and went.
    Scott in Fife, 3kwp pv south facing, Fronius inverter installed Jan 2012
    4.8kwh Pylon battery storage with Lux ac controller
    Renault Zoe R110 40kwh, Zappi 2 charger, arduino immersion controller
    • M0ney
    • By M0ney 6th Jan 20, 6:01 PM
    • 453 Posts
    • 209 Thanks
    M0ney
    I have just come across this thread and I'm reading with interest, I've got as far as #60. I'm in a bit of a hurry just now so I can't keep reading but I'll be back to finish reading the thread and I'll be asking for some advice based on my energy circumstances.
    • GreatApe
    • By GreatApe 6th Jan 20, 6:27 PM
    • 4,367 Posts
    • 3,081 Thanks
    GreatApe
    Is anyone using the agile tarriff to run a heat pump?

    21h of cheaper prices followed by 3h of expensive prices
    The cheap rates do vary but they look to be 7-10p most the time

    If a cop of 3x is attainable it would be comparable to or below gas boiler heat costs
    • Dave Fowler
    • By Dave Fowler 6th Jan 20, 9:43 PM
    • 535 Posts
    • 972 Thanks
    Dave Fowler
    Agile tariff and ashp
    I've been using the agile tariff for a few months now and have run the ashp between 7am and 4pm to heat the downstairs rooms. With a reasonable COP this appears to be cheaper than running the GCH. At 4pm when the tariff increases I turn on the GCH for the whole house and also, at this time of year, turn on the gas hot water heating. This seems to be cost effective.

    Dave F
    Solar PV System 1: 2.96kWp South+8 degrees. Roof 38 degrees. 'Normal' system
    Solar PV System 2: 3.00kWp South-4 degrees. Roof 28 degrees. SolarEdge system
    EV car
    Location: Bedfordshire
    • GreatApe
    • By GreatApe 6th Jan 20, 10:38 PM
    • 4,367 Posts
    • 3,081 Thanks
    GreatApe
    I've been using the agile tariff for a few months now and have run the ashp between 7am and 4pm to heat the downstairs rooms. With a reasonable COP this appears to be cheaper than running the GCH. At 4pm when the tariff increases I turn on the GCH for the whole house and also, at this time of year, turn on the gas hot water heating. This seems to be cost effective.

    Dave F
    Originally posted by Dave Fowler

    What is the reason for not using the heat pump for all but the 3 expensive hours?
    • M0ney
    • By M0ney 7th Jan 20, 8:50 AM
    • 453 Posts
    • 209 Thanks
    M0ney
    I have just come across this thread and I'm reading with interest, I've got as far as #60. I'm in a bit of a hurry just now so I can't keep reading but I'll be back to finish reading the thread and I'll be asking for some advice based on my energy circumstances.
    Originally posted by M0ney
    OK so a bit about my energy circumstances....

    I'm scheduled to get my smart meter fitted by Octopus on January 14th, with a view to going onto the agile tariff, I'm assuming this will happen within days of getting the smart meter.

    I live in Moray, Scotland and I have a 16 solar PV array which faces roughly 200, so roughly SSW, in the first 12 months this produced just over 3800Kwh. I also have a multifuel stove which is plumbed into 3 radiators in my house as well as a conventional combi-boiler which heats a further 4 radiators. The stove is 9Kw, which is split 3Kw to the room and 6Kw to the radiators. The house is quite well insulated so the stove is nearly always enough on its own. Generally the only time we heat the house with gas is very early in the morning so we're not getting up to a cold house. We also have a gas hob and the only means of getting our hot water is from gas too (including the shower).

    My feeling is that the agile tariff may cost me slightly more in winter but this cost should be more than offset in the summer. I was interested in the discussion about the smart plugs though, I perhaps didn't quite follow the conversation fully but is there such a type of plug which can switch an appliance on when there is a drop in the tariff or excess solar generation?

    A couple of other things I would really be interested in would be a small battery to see me through the 3 hour peak period, I'd have thought around 2Kwh would be enough, anyone able to advise if there are any relatively low cost options for this? Also I'd really like an electric car to make the most of the solar and the low cost overnight electricity but I think the initial outlay for this is too much at the moment but all the same if anyone is able to advise on a way to do it in a somewhat low cost way I would be all ears.
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