Intelligent Octopus for thermostats FAQs

You have the Q's and we have the A's about Intelligent Octopus. So read on to learn everything there is to know about Texas' favorite flexibility product.

What is Intelligent Octopus for thermostats? 

Intelligent Octopus works with your Wi-Fi-enabled smart thermostat to save you money by helping you manage your energy consumption during periods of peak demand. 

I just joined Intelligent Octopus… Now what?

Using Intelligent Octopus is simple – set your thermostat preferences to where you're comfortable, and then nothing. It's the ultimate set-it-and-forget-it tool. You don't need to worry about setting your thermostat to conserve energy anymore because we'll do all the work for you! It's maximizing your flex appeal made easy.

How does Intelligent Octopus work?

Intelligent Octopus uses your smart thermostat to manage your electricity usage automatically when there's a lot of demand or stress on the grid. When the grid is stressed and needs some help, Intelligent Octopus will adjust your thermostat for a short time. That adjustment is now no more than 3 degrees for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, your thermostat returns to its original settings, and we won't adjust for at least 15 minutes. That said, we're always looking for ways to make the program better for our customers so that the exact details may change in the future.

When does Intelligent Octopus adjust my thermostat?

We know that the idea of anyone touching your thermostat outside of your house is a tough sell, and we take that responsibility extremely seriously. The signal we use when energy conservation is necessary is the real-time price of power, which is how the grid expresses that it's stressed. We dynamically adjust the price threshold based on grid conditions so that you notice Intelligent Octopus as little as possible.

How much does Intelligent Octopus adjust my thermostat for, and for how long?

At Octopus Energy, we aim to save you money without sacrificing your comfort. Right now, we only adjust your thermostat by three degrees from your set point, which is less than most energy companies! We're always working to maximize your savings and comfort, so this may change in the future, but our goal is to make it so seamless that you don't notice it.

I already set my thermostat high to conserve energy. Will Intelligent Octopus still make adjustments?

The short answer is yes, but you no longer need to do that with Intelligent Octopus. We recommend setting your thermostat to your ideal comfort level and letting us handle the rest to save your energy when it needs saving. Being connected to Intelligent Octopus means you don't need to set your home thermostat to extreme temperatures in the winter or summer to save energy- our tech does all of that for you without you needing to do anything.

How long can Intelligent Octopus adjust my thermostat?

Summers in Texas are hot – as Texans, we appreciate that as much as anyone. Our guiding principle is that saving money is great, but it needs to be balanced with your comfort, so our conservation measures are currently only in 30-minute increments, which helps the grid when most stressed. This also may change, but rest assured that every change we make aims to maximize comfort against savings.

How often can Intelligent Octopus adjust my thermostat?

Once a conservation event has ended, we won't do anything for at least 15 minutes to allow your home to reset a bit to ensure you're comfortable. We won't do anything for an hour if you override a conservation event. The duration and frequency of events may change as we figure out the best way to keep your home as comfortable as possible while also helping you manage your consumption.

Why does Intelligent Octopus adjust my thermostat?

The short answer is: to save you money! When power companies sell you a contract, you pay the average price they expect to have to pay to ensure the lights come on every time you flip the switch or turn on your A/C. If we can assume that you will use less power when it's at its most expensive (when the grid is stressed), we can offer you a lower rate because we can assume the average price of power we need to provide is lower. 

How does Intelligent Octopus benefit me if I'm on a fixed rate?

When you sign a contract with a fixed rate, the rate you're charged reflects what we think the average power price will be when you're using electricity based on your historical usage. Sometimes, you'll use power when it's super cheap, like in the middle of the day when there's tons of sun and wind energy. Sometimes, you'll use power at extremely expensive times, like 5 PM on a hot August day. If you're on Intelligent Octopus, we can assume you'll use less of that really expensive power so that we can charge you a lower rate!

Does Intelligent Octopus turn off my A/C in the summer? 

No! We adjust your thermostat's set point; we don't actually turn your A/C off or on. The change in set point may affect when your A/C is operating, so it may turn off to reach the set point. But we never directly control your A/C. 

If the power goes out, will it count against my 24hrs disconnected?

It shouldn't! Let us know if you see something weird in your bill, and we'll fix it. One way or another, you won't lose your connected device rate.

If I already have a heating or cooling schedule, will the holds adjust those?

At the moment, yes, they will. The goal of Intelligent Octopus is that you can set your thermostat where you're most comfortable and then forget about it – we'll do the hard work for you. However, this is something that we will explore in the future! 

What if I am already adjusting my thermostat to save money?

Our intention with Intelligent Octopus is that you don't need to think about your thermostat once you've set your comfort preferences. We want to do the hard work for you! If you're still adjusting your temperature outside of conservation events, Intelligent Octopus will still make its adjustments. 

Do I have to connect my device immediately?

Nope! You can add your device at any point in your contract. However, you won't get your connected device rate while your device isn't connected.

When will I get my connected device rate?

Once you connect your device, it'll show up in your next bill cycle if it's been connected for 24 hours in that billing cycle!

Have more than one device linked? 

Intelligent Octopus will communicate with all the smart thermostats in your account as long as they are enabled. You can manage preferences for all your devices in your Octopus Energy account. There are no additional discounts for having more than one device type connected, as the incentive will not stack. Having one connected is the same as having 100 connected.

What happens if Octopus Energy loses connectivity to my device? 

Sometimes, technical complications happen, and your device may lose connectivity. If that happens, we will notify you via email with instructions on how to reconnect. 

Why did I not receive the discount this month/discounted rate?

A.) You overrode Intelligent Octopus more than five times

B.) Your device has been disabled for more than 24 hours 

C.) Your device has been disconnected for more than 24 hours

D.) Your device was not connected within 14 days of signing up.

What are my device management options? 

A.) Enable Device: To enable means to connect your smart device to Intelligent Octopus.

B.) Disable Device: When you disable your device, it prevents IO from sending temperature holds to your smart device(s).

If I have both a Smart Thermostat and an Electric Vehicle. Can I get both discounts?

Right now, you can onboard multiple devices by onboarding your EV in our app and your thermostat online. However, we just added this feature, so we're not currently stacking any rate discounts because we need more data on what a fair savings rate will offer you. We encourage you to add both because it will help us figure this out faster and because both contribute to grid stability and use more clean, cheap energy.

Sensi customers already in a DR program

If you're a Sensi customer, you may already be enrolled in another ERCOT demand response program. 

To join Intelligent Octopus, you will need to opt out of the ERCOT one. Send an email to asking to withdraw from the program, and once they've confirmed you're withdrawn, you'll be able to enroll in Intelligent Octopus!

Should I be enrolled in Rush Hour Rewards if I have a Nest?

Yes. Rush Hour Rewards enables third parties, like Octopus Energy, to operate flexibility programs on Nest devices. If you need help registering your Nest for Intelligent Octopus, double-check whether you already enrolled in another program. If you are, you'll need to withdraw from that program before you enroll in Intelligent Octopus.

I'm having trouble connecting my thermostat in the app. What's happening?

First, make sure that you're using the latest version of the app! If that still doesn't work, try onboarding the thermostat through your account online. 

Slash your bills about 30% (or more) with Intelligent Octopus

  • Unlock Texas' fast-growing flexible smart product when you sign up with Octopus Energy. Signing up with us is easy and will take less than two minutes.
  • For current customers, getting connected is easy! Just login to the Octopus Energy app and scroll down to tap the 'Connect my device' button. Just follow the simple steps and boom! You're in. Your new, lower energy rate will immediately go into effect.

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