Starting from version 3, Octopus Watch is able to automatically estimate your cost on Go while you are on Agile, and vice versa. Other tariff comparison tools overlay Go or Agile rates over your Agile or Go consumption to offer an hour-by-hour comparison. This approach is flawed when you are willing to adjust your usage, particularly for short-term comparisons, as your consumption pattern changes based on the tariff you are on. If the cheapest Agile prices are from 4am-8am, but on Go they are from midnight-4am, then surely you would change the time you turn on the washing machine, right?
With the high prices on Agile during the winter of 2020–2021 a lot of people changed from Agile to Go. And sure enough, people changed their usage of electricity to match those times when prices are cheapest. For example, in the two detail screens below you can see a user who switched almost his/her entire usage to another time to benefit from the lowest prices.
This isn't the end of the story, of course. When you're making a cuppa or cooking dinner, you know that you can't have that usage overnight. The problem then comes down to a rather vague "move my usage to when it's cheapest, but don't move the usage that cannot be moved". The way in which Octopus Watch solves this problem is by flexing it's AI muscles and analysing your usage patterns to intelligently reassigning your usage patterns.
Octopus Watch intelligently detects which usage you can move around and which usage is fixed. If you are not willing to move your consumption around then the Agile/Go comparison used in Octopus Watch is not for you. Instead, you should rely on hour-by-hour comparison tools, such as the excellent OctoComparison from Jakosaur!.
How good is the new comparison tool in Octopus Watch? Judge for yourself. In the above two screenshots you can see two days with roughly the same total and peak usage. The estimated Go rate is at the bottom of the Agile screenshot (2nd Jan) and can be verified against the effective Go rate (7th Jan). Wondering why the predicted Agile rates on the 7th don't match up with the actual ones on the 2nd? This is because Agile prices change every day and the unit rate shown is for the Agile prices on the 7th of January (prices were indeed higher on 7th Jan on Agile).
The benefit of the approach taken by Octopus Watch is that it offers you an accurate day-by-day view of how Agile and Go compare. This makes it possible to quickly change tariffs as the conditions on the electricity market change. And quick changes mean you can save more money.
Working out how much you will pay when changing tariffs is still an estimation. After all, you can only really know when you make the move. Since the release of version 3 of Octopus Watch the app can now assist you in making a detailed estimate. The intelligent approach used by Octopus Watch hits an accuracy of over 90% and has been verified with data from over half a dozen accounts of users who switched between Agile and Go.
The approach taken in Octopus Watch allows you to see how much you would pay on Agile/Go on a day-by-day basis. If you prefer to see weekly/monthly overviews then those are also provided. Octopus Watch, since version 3, also knows the tariff you are on and will automatically compare with the other smart tariff option for you. There is no need to change anything:
Because of its intelligent approach, Octopus Watch is also unphased when it comes to plunges on Agile. Plunges happen yet should not dramatically affect the estimations of how much you would pay on Go. In most cases and for most users this is indeed the case. Plunges, where you consume an atypical amount of electricity, have little impact on the final estimates:
Comparing Over Longer Periods
Octopus Watch focuses on comparing Agile and Go on a day-to-day basis to make it easy to quickly switch between them. If you are interested in more longer-term comparisons between both tariffs, then have a look at the brilliant OctoComparison from Jakosaur!
Whether or not to switch from Agile to Go and back remains a personal decision. Octopus Watch helps by estimating how much you would end up paying on the other tariff. Always verify for yourself whether a switch is worth it. Keep in mind that you cannot switch back within 30 days as per Octopus Energy's rules. While Octopus Watch does not directly compare to Go Faster tariffs, experiments show that the estimates from Octopus Watch still provide an accurate indication. Only you can know for certain whether you can switch most of your usage into a 3h, 4h, or 5h window.