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Published 22 March 2023
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Octopus Business Energy: Pros, Cons & Tariffs

Is Octopus business energy the right fit for your organisation? Read our review to find out more.

Many or all of the products and brands we promote and feature including our ‘Partner Spotlights’ are from our partners who compensate us. However, this does not influence our editorial opinion found in articles, reviews and our ‘Best’ tables. Our opinion is our own. Read more on our methodology here.

Octopus business energy at a glance

Octopus Business Energy provides 100% renewable electricity, alongside gas, for businesses in Great Britain. Most Octopus business energy tariffs are fixed for 12 months, while larger businesses can get in contact to discuss procuring a tariff.

All of Octopus Energy’s electricity comes from renewable sources – such as solar, wind, and hydro power – with the aim to help your business curb its carbon footprint.

Octopus Business Energy

Octopus Business Energy
  • 24/7 customer service?
    Yes

Learn more about how we bring you our review.

Octopus business energy pros & cons

Pros

  • It offers 24/7 customer service if your business has an emergency.
  • It has Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with renewable generators across Great Britain.
  • You can pay bills via direct debit, bank transfer or cheque.
  • Smart meter installation is available on request (if your area is covered).

Cons

  • There is just one Octopus Energy tariff for businesses.

These pros and cons are based on an exclusive survey of UK business owners on what they found important when selecting a range of business products, conducted by NerdWallet in December 2022.

Octopus business energy key features

  • 100% renewable electricity as standard with Octopus Energy business tariffs
  • 24/7 customer service available if you have an emergency
  • Special products available, such as electric vehicle charging and specific tariffs for businesses with solar panels

Octopus business energy full review

Founded in 2016, Octopus Energy provides 100% renewable electricity, alongside gas, to over 25,000 businesses. 

Alongside business energy, Octopus is also known for its domestic energy supply, winning Which? ‘Recommended Provider status for the past six years from 2018 to 2023.

We’ve put together everything you need to know about Octopus Energy at a glance in our table below. 

Electricity contract length12 months 
Gas contract length12 months
Fuel mix disclosureCoal: 0%
Gas: 0%
Nuclear: 0%
Renewable: 100%
Other: 0%(1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022)
Customer service number020 3389 5613
Payment numberN/A
Complaints number0808 164 1088
General email address[email protected]
Complaints email address[email protected]
Trustpilot rating4.8 stars (24 January 2023)
Smart meter installationYes
AppYes
Payment optionsDirect debit (you must have an active direct debit)
Bank transfer
Cheque

Octopus business energy features

Below, you can find more information on the features and tariffs available with Octopus business energy.

Customer service

If something happens to your gas or electricity supply, or you have queries over a bill, you want to be able to sort it as soon as possible. That’s backed up by NerdWallet’s survey, which showed that 24/7 customer service is the number one most important factor business owners consider when selecting a business energy supplier.

Fortunately, you can contact Octopus Energy 24/7 if you have an emergency. You can email the supplier at [email protected] for a response in minutes, even outside business hours. You should include the word ‘emergency’ in your message to ensure it is flagged as a priority.

You can also call the 24/7 freephone line at 0808 164 1088 if you want to speak to someone about your emergency.

Otherwise, for general business supply enquiries, you can call 020 3389 5613 from 9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday, and 9am to 4pm on Fridays.  Similarly, you can send an email to [email protected] seven days a week. 

Meanwhile if you have a complaint, you can ring the freephone line at 0808 164 1088, email [email protected], or write to Octopus by post at:

Octopus Energy Ltd

UK House, 5th floor, 164-182 Oxford Street

London

W1D 1NN

Business energy tariffs

Not every business has the same energy needs. That’s why it is important to business owners that suppliers offer different tariffs for varying business sizes and demands – so much so that is in the top three factors owners consider when choosing a supplier, according to NerdWallet’s survey. 

In this area Octopus Energy is somewhat limited, with just one main tariff available for businesses.

Fixed-rate tariff

As standard, Octopus Energy offers businesses a 12-month fixed-rate tariff, with 100% renewable electricity. Fixed tariffs enable your business to lock in the same unit rates and standing charges for the duration of the contract. While your direct debit can change according to your energy consumption, the unit rate you are charged for the energy you use will remain the same.

Octopus requires you to make an advance payment when you sign up for a business energy tariff, usually the equivalent of one month’s estimated energy costs (although it can be up to three months, depending on your credit score).

Octopus says this is so it can offer businesses the best rates, by compensating the supplier for periods of estimated usage. This advance payment will be paid back to you in full at the end of your contract. 

Tariffs for larger businesses

If you are a large business, Octopus Energy encourages you to get in contact directly at [email protected] in order to discuss your options.

Special products

Outside its standard business energy tariffs, Octopus offers the following special products, both of which use 100% renewable energy:

  • Panel Power – combined energy tariff for businesses exporting solar power, designed for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Octopus currently pays those businesses for surplus energy supplied back to the National Grid.
  • Electric Universe – allows you to charge your electric vehicle at various charging points across the UK using your Octopus Energy account.

Deemed or out-of-contract rates

If you move into a new business premises supplied by Octopus Energy without arranging a new contract, you may be placed on a more expensive deemed or out-of-contract rate. You should be free to switch from this rate at any time.

Additional fees and charges

It is important to remember that on top of your kWh usage, charged at your unit rate, you will pay:

  • a fixed daily standing charge
  • VAT, either at 20% or the reduced rate of 5% (if your business uses less than 33kWh of electricity or 145kWh of gas a day)
  • the Climate Change Levy (CCL), though there are exceptions to this tax

You will also be charged for third-party, non-energy costs that may vary from month to month. These can include:

  • energy infrastructure costs
  • low carbon generation costs
  • National Grid energy-related costs
  • security of supply costs

» MORE: Business energy tariffs explained

Payment options

Octopus Energy requires businesses to have an active direct debit, although it is also possible to make bank transfers and cheque payments alongside your direct debit.

While that requirement may sound like a negative, 33% of business owners in Nerdwallet’s survey stated that the ability to pay by direct debit was one of the most important features when looking for an energy supplier.

Smart meters

Since smart meters can help businesses improve their energy efficiency, it makes sense that NerdWallet’s survey showed that smart meter installation is in the top five most important factors business owners are looking for from a supplier.

Octopus Energy is installing second generation (SMETS2) smart meters for businesses on a region-by-region basis. In order to get one installed at your business premises, you will need to register your interest and wait for Octopus to come to your area.

If you already have a smart meter installed and it is not a SecureTM SMETS1 meter, it will not be compatible with Octopus’s supply and will therefore function as a normal meter.

Renewable energy options

When it comes to electricity, Octopus Energy is 100% renewable, using wind, hydro and solar generators to supply businesses.

This is done through a mixture of direct supply from Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) with over 100 renewable generators, and buying open market renewable electricity, backed by Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGO) certificates for every megawatt hour it supplies. REGOs are a requirement of the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), as part of the fuel mix disclosure regulations.

While REGOs were designed to give consumers transparency around how much renewable energy a supplier uses, purchasing energy directly from renewable generators is arguably a stronger sign of commitment to ‘green’ energy.

This is because, although renewable electricity still goes through the National Grid, meaning you will not know whether the energy you receive is ‘green’ or not, a PPA gives renewable generators a direct source of income that allows them to maintain their operations.

Octopus also has its Panel Power tariff for businesses with solar panels installed at their premises. Through this tariff, you can sell the surplus renewable electricity you generate back to the grid via Octopus Energy.

Customer reviews

Octopus Energy has an ‘Excellent’ rating of 4.8 out of 5 from 124,957 on Trustpilot (as of 31 January 2023). It should be noted that this score is for Octopus Energy as a whole, not just its business offering.

How can I switch to Octopus business energy?

  1. Determine the details of your new business energy contract with Octopus Energy. You could do this directly with Octopus, through a comparison website, or via a business energy broker.
  2. You will need to make sure you have ended your contract with your previous supplier, and given the correct amount of notice if required.
  3. To complete your sign-up, you will need to supply your company details and payment information. Octopus will then send you a welcome pack.
  4. Octopus Energy also requires you to make an advance payment when you sign your contract.
  5. Next, you will need to submit your latest meter readings to Octopus Energy.
  6. Thanks to the Energy Switch Guarantee, your switch should take no more than three working days after you have signed up.

» MORE: How to switch business energy suppliers

How to choose an Octopus Energy tariff

When considering an Octopus Energy tariff versus other suppliers, you should consider, among other factors:

  • whether you want a fixed or flexible tariff
  • how long you want your contact to last
  • the quote you have been give by each supplier
  • whether you want renewable energy
  • the level of customer service on offer from the supplier

Moving business premises with Octopus business energy

Whether you are moving into business premises already supplied by Octopus, or moving out of premises that have been supplied by Octopus, you will likely need to:

  • inform Octopus of your moving date, with plenty of notice
  • submit a meter reading
  • if using an energy broker, ask them to submit a Letter of Authority
  • set up your account (if you are moving in)
  • pay your final bill (if you are moving out)

If you have moved into a new business premises supplied by Octopus, you will likely be put on an expensive deemed rate. You will then need to negotiate a new contract with Octopus Energy or find a different supplier.

Review methodology

At NerdWallet UK, we base our reviews and our ‘Best’ pages on the results of surveys we undertook about what was important to people who use these products. This allows us to look at products impartially of any commercial arrangements we have and fairly rate the products on the same set of criteria.

Best means our ‘Best’ and is based only on what products we have aligned to our surveys, which form the basis of our reviews and ratings. This means that there will be other products on the market that we have not included in our ‘Best’ pages. Best does not mean it’s best for you, nor does it mean the ‘cheapest’.

Our reviews may display lenders’ rates. This additional information has not been included in our evaluations but is still very important when choosing a product. Rates offered can depend on circumstances, amount and term. Always check details before proceeding with any financial product.

Product details reflect the information that was available at that time but may have changed since. We strive to give you a review on as many products as possible, but there will be products not included on the market. The review is our opinion, but it does not constitute advice, recommendation or suitability for your financial circumstances.

While we try to provide you with accurate information, the providers can change the terms of their products at any time, therefore it is advisable to check the terms before you proceed.

You can view our full review methodology here.

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