Intelligent Flux Information

Many people have been curious as to just how the new Octopus Intelligent Flux Tariff actually works.
Currently this is a somewhat exclusive tariff for Givenergy PV/Battery system owners whereby in exchange for giving Octopus Energy access to control your battery, you get the rates as below (correct as of August 2023, these will be slightly different in October)


As you can see, the rates are symmetrical however you need to be aware that there is also symmetrical peak period between 16:00 and 19:00.
THERE IS NO “CHEAP” OVERNIGHT PERIOD SIMILAR TO INTELLIGENT GO OR NORMAL FLUX TARIFF.
It is the same rate each direction day or night EXCEPT for the peak period.

It is also a combined import export tariff, so it’s an all or nothing type deal (you can’t have the import part without the export part.)

Why?

The theory behind the tariff is to provide grid balancing services via Octopus Energy (either charging to absorb excess or cheaper grid energy & then discharging, to support the grid when it needs it the most.)
You basically become part of something called a VPP (Virtual Power Plant) where your efforts alone may not seem like much, but when hundreds of systems join together in a region, they can provide a very useful service to the grid to help balance supply & demand.

The sweetener for the end user is the symmetrical rates – which if you step back, basically means you have the national grid as your battery instead – every kW you export can be pulled back later for the same cost (bearing in mind the peak periods skew this a little)
This does however require you to have the capability to export sufficient amounts to cover the less favourable PV periods over winter – If you are heavily weighted to consuming all your PV currently or do a lot of EV charging this will probably not be the tariff for you as the balance of import to export will not be in your favour.

Personally speaking – an August launch of the tariff was probably not the best time to show off it’s advantages as there was very little time to build up a virtual battery buffer of PV export £££!

I have been on this tariff since 17th august and it has worked quite well – my first bill after 29 days on it worked out at 38p for the month including standing charges:

How it works

There are some key points / quirks to note:

1: Octopus gain full control of your systems charging – as such it will charge and discharge at their discretion not yours (you can fiddle with it, but it soon notices and turns things back off)

2: It turns ECO Mode off (& as above will keep turning off if you try to trick it) so the battery whilst not doing anything commanded by Octopus, truly is idle and not supporting any house loads. This is by design, as Octopus now essentially have your battery – you do not. Your battery is now the grid working as part of your import & exports.

3: It won’t try and export to leave you worse off – I’m sure this is in the T&Cs somewhere but it won’t charge in the peak and discharge in the off peak periods to lose you money. It will always do the exporting in the peak periods.

4: That being said it may not charge or discharge at max rate, nor will it always export for the entire peak period. It will stop and start as it sees fit.

5: It leaves a 20% buffer in the battery no matter what (or at least it does for me) I’m unsure exactly why given Eco mode is turned off but perhaps it’s to allow some spare for EPS / Power Cuts.

6: It appears to take weather into account – on days where it is forecast to be sunny it won’t charge up much overnight. On poor days it will do more charging overnight.

7: It picks charge rates for PV too – it won’t just let PV fill the battery at maximum available levels. It seems to blend some charging with some export.

8: The Givenergy App & Portal all still work as normal. As I said any settings changes it doesn’t like will just get reverted (usually within about 10 mins)
The Octopus app doesn’t offer up a charging plan as yet, so unlike Intelligent GO (EV) tariff you can’t really see what plans it has in mind just yet.

Examples & Raw Data

I’m sure there is more that people will want to know, so if there is something you really need to find out then just ask. What I have done is pull the data from my system into some graphs below.*
This is all the work of Octopus Intelligent Flux changing settings and charge rates, not me and is for 1 day (26th September) initially with a further 21 Days of data available on the second graph (Which can be zoomed in considerably)
*Please note that my setup is weird – so yes I do get PV at night as explained here

Just as in the Givenergy Portal a (-)negative power value is IMPORT/Charge and a (+)positive value is EXPORT/Discharge.

Single Day Example:

Zoomable 21 Day Example:

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