Octopus Watch prioritises accuracy. For this reason it doesn’t support direct tariff comparison. While the idea seems helpful, a moment-by-moment comparison often falls short, and may even be misleading.
Users with Only Import
If energy prices on the new tariff go up 8x at certain times of the day, are you really not going to change your usage? If you do change your usage then a moment-by-moment comparison loses its relevance. Your unique consumption patterns – the ‘when’ and ‘why’ of your electricity use – are hidden away by the flat tariff rate. However, if you don’t change your usage despite the price hike, then simply comparing daily average tariffs offers a simple, accurate alternative. That is why Octopus Watch provides this information to both base and subscription users.
For those on at least a (smart) dual tariff, such as Go, Flux, Cosy, or Agile, accurate comparisons are possible. Though this does require a lot more effort that a moment-by-moment comparison. Octopus Watch provides this for the Agile-Go pair. But there is now a catch - Octopus Energy enforces restrictions on who can join these tariffs. As many users don’t have access to these alternatives, tariff comparison has lost some of its benefit.
Users with Export
If you generate or store electricity, remember that smart meters only measure at your property boundary. They provide no insight into what happens with the electricity you generate and store – the information on when and how you use this energy is lost. This lack of data can result in highly inaccurate tariff comparisons.
Any moment-by-moment comparison is skewed towards your current tariff, making it an unreliable comparison tool. By the time it suggests a switch, the other tariff would already be noticeably cheaper. Especially if you are flexible in your usage and adjust for the time-of-day rate.
Given these factors, Octopus Watch doesn’t support direct tariff comparisons, upholding the importance of accuracy over convenience.
Interested in daily averages? Head on over to Energy Stats UK to find this information.