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Learning from Intelligent Octopus: at-home EV charging behaviours & automation

Independent Analysis

Smart tariff data analysis

The energy transition will result in a proliferation of low carbon technologies (LCTs) which will impact household electricity consumption patterns and their energy bills. As our previous work identifies, electric vehicles (EVs) present the largest load from a single LCT type. If all EV charging were to be left unmanaged, there is a risk that higher energy consumption coincides with existing high grid load periods, potentially resulting in unnecessarily high bills for consumers or even challenges with grid stability.

We have already seen that there are mechanisms that can help reduce grid strain by incentivising customers to switch their energy use to periods outside of grid peaks through Time-ofUse (ToU) tariffs. One way in which this change in behaviour could be achieved – with potential benefits for consumers and the grid – is through automation. Customers on the Intelligent Octopus beta tariff are exploring some of this potential right now, offering us valuable insights into how the future might look.

In this piece, we analyse customers on the Intelligent Octopus beta tariff. First, we explain how this tariff is different from other Octopus Energy tariffs. Then, we explore patterns of user and charging behaviours of those on Intelligent Octopus. Finally, we comment on the key findings relevant for a future energy system, how consumers interact with automation and technology as well as key research areas for the future.