Introducing Intelligent Octopus

May 5th, 2022

Introducing Intelligent Octopus

Updated: July 29, 2022

Put us in charge of your smart devices to help you save money on energy and reduce stress on the grid. 

Intelligent Octopus is our first-ever integrated smart device management feature that rewards you with a $10 monthly credit for helping to balance the grid when demand for energy is high, so long as your device remains connected. Specifically, Intelligent Octopus helps you automate energy usage and save money when prioritizing energy efficiency and grid resilience. Currently, Intelligent Octopus is still in beta testing and is only compatible with ecobee smart thermostats, however we are working to expand the scope of compatible devices…stay tuned for more integrations!

How does it work? 

Smart thermostats

When demand on the grid increases, Octopus Energy will send a temperature hold that raises your thermostat’s set-point by 3ºF for a maximum of 2 hours to decrease energy usage, after which your thermostat automatically adjusts back to its original setting. This helps to decrease demand on the grid when it nears its peak, plus you get rewarded for helping balance the grid!  

Why Intelligent Octopus? 

Reduced Grid Stress

Because we have an independent energy grid, we (90% of Texans) are solely responsible for our ability to maintain energy stability. High demand for energy during peak times results in more expensive energy being used (namely, fossil fuels), and you end up paying the price through raised energy rates from energy retail providers. Intelligent Octopus helps you manage that demand, without you having to think about it by consistently monitoring the grid for peak times then reducing how much energy you’re using. 

Reduced Carbon Emissions

Historically, electric power is one of the top carbon-emitting sectors in Texas. Emissions peaked in 2011, and the state has prioritized cleaner forms of energy. At Octopus, we’re completely focused on decarbonization while optimizing when energy is the cheapest — and most of the time, that means when it’s powered by renewables. 

What do I need to do to sign up?

  • You must be an Octopus Energy customer to participate in Intelligent Octopus. If you’re not a customer yet, sign up today.
  • Have a compatible smart thermostat

While we’re in beta, we can only connect to ecobee smart thermostats. Look out for future integrations! 

  • Read and accept our terms and conditions. 

Because we’re in beta, some things may not work the first time around. The terms and conditions explain what customers can expect from this product. 

How do I connect my device? 

Once you’ve signed up, you can connect your device from either your desktop account or the Octopus Energy app. 

Smart thermostats

From your account: 

  • Click the button that says “Connect your device” 
  • Log in to your ecobee account
  • Authenticate Intelligent Octopus
  • You’re now connected! 

From the app

  • If you haven’t already, download the Octopus Energy app from the App Store or Google Play, and log in to your account. 
  • Tap “Devices” at the bottom of your screen
  • Tap on “Connect your device here” to link to your browser
  • Tap “Connect your device now” and agree to our Terms of Service
  • Log in to your ecobee account
  • Authenticate Intelligent Octopus
  • You’re now connected! 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How does Intelligent Octopus affect my thermostat settings? 

  • We send temperature hold commands when there is high demand for electricity; these intervals last no longer than 2 hours.
  • The temperature hold is set to 3ºF degrees higher than your temperature set point and lasts for up to 2 hours. This doesn’t mean that every temperature hold will be set to 2 hours, but that as grid demand increases, the opportunity to offset peak demand will be greater.

Why two hours?

As a beta feature we are constantly working on improving it for customers. By analyzing the data we received from participants’ thermostats, we found that air conditioners (ACs) use a lot of energy to get back to their set point after a hold ends. Because of this we extended our hold times from 15 minutes to 2 hours. This is because high-price and high-carbon-intensity events tend to last longer than fifteen minutes, so the previous brief holds were not as effective as longer holds could be. In other words, an AC hold is kind of like using your house as a thermal battery, and the longer it lends us some energy, the easier it is for us to use greener electricity to recharge it.

What is the significance of on peak and off peak?

  • Peak demand occurs when people are using the most energy, typically from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Partial peak hours are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again between 7 to 9 p.m. All other times are considered off peak. Knowing peak hours can help you use energy at less intensive times, which helps keep the grid stable.

Can I opt out when Intelligent Octopus interferes with my thermostat settings? 

  • Yes! You always have control of your device, just turn off the temperature hold from your device’s screen or remotely from the ecobee app. 

When will Intelligent Octopus connect to other smart home devices? 

  • At the moment, Intelligent Octopus only connects with ecobee smart thermostats. We’re working on getting more devices connected, and will let you know when there are further integrations available. If you have any questions or ideas, shoot us an email at heretohelp@octopusenergy.com. Your feedback is greatly appreciated! 
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