Ofgem and government support

The Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) kicked in on the 1st October 2022. This price guarantee came unannounced, at an unfortunate time, and all energy companies have been scrambling to try and understand its various rules. For Octopus Energy this means they have to revise hundreds of active tariffs, as well as redefine how their smart tariffs work.

Octopus Energy is prioritising the changes that affect the most people. This means that they are first updating the rates listed on their website (and their app), and revising their smart tariffs to be compatible with the EPG. Unfortunately this means that some tariff information in the API – notably for standard tariffs such as Flexible Octopus for both gas and electricity – has not been updated and does not yet correctly apply the EPG.

The Octopus Watch app relies on the API to fetch its data. As such, for some tariffs, you are seeing the Ofgem rates in the app instead of the rates after the EPG is applied.

  1. If you are on a contract that started before the 1st October 2022 with a fixed duration, then the EPG applies to you.
  2. If you are on a fixed tariff, then your correct rate is right around 34p/kWh and 10.3 p/kWh for gas – with small variations based on your region.
  3. If you are on a variable tariff, such as Agile or Tracker, then you get a discount up to 17p/kWh to keep the price as close as possible to 34p/kWh.
  4. If you are on Go, Intelligent Octopus, Powerloop, or Tesla then the EPG does not apply to you.

If you fall in category 1–3 then the Energy Price Guarantee applies to you, even if you do not yet see the correct rates in the Octopus Watch app. Octopus Energy just hasn’t had the time yet to correctly update these for your particular tariff.

How about a workaround?

Some people have suggested that a workaround should be applied in the app. This cannot happen for three major reasons.

First, a workaround to fetch data from other sources has been tried and wasn’t possible. Roughly put: the REST API of Octopus Energy has incorrect rates, while the GraphQL API has incorrect dates. They cannot be magically merged to solve the problem without some very brittle patches.

Second, I am unaware of the terms and conditions of the hundreds of tariffs offered by Octopus Energy, so I cannot work out how the (very) peculiar rules of the EPG would apply to them.

And third, with the heating season right around the corner I would rather spend my time on developing tools, such as support for gas usage and related statistics in the app, to get everyone through the winter.

Given the current state of affairs, and the succession of U-turns made by the government, it is now expected that it could take Octopus Energy until the end of the month to fully update all their tariffs.

As soon as the dust settles and all tariffs are updated the app will receive an update to ensure that your history correctly reflects the prices you will pay after applying the EPG.

Expect a bumpy ride.

The transition to a new Ofgem cap and government support will not be smooth. Expect errors in the API data for new rate, and these errors could also be shown in the app. This is not a problem of, or caused by, the Octopus Watch app. It is expected that these issues will smooth themselves out towards the end of October.

Agile rates and predictions correct.

As of 1st October 2022 the rate predictions for Agile incorporate the energy price guarantee discount. The discount in the predictions is calculated on a national level. Further fine-tuning will happen over the next couple of weeks. Agile rates obtained through the API already correctly reflect the energy price guarantee discount.

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