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Octopus Energy customers’ fury over optional blackouts which only cut £1 off bills ‘after hour of sitting in the dark’

OCTOPUS Energy customers are furious over a money-saving scheme where some sat for an hour in the dark but only saved £1 off bills.

Energy providers have been offering people money off their bills if they use less energy during peak times.

Some Octopus Energy customers were disappointed with how little they saved

It comes as part of the National Grid blackout scheme which aims to help prevent blackouts across the country this winter.

Customers of some energy providers have been invited to switch their energy off during peak times, in a bid to save energy and money.

Octopus Energy previously said customers will be £100 better off by using its “Saving Sessions” flexibility service.

To qualify, energy usage would need to be reduced in peak times such as 9am to 11am and 4.30pm to 6.30pm.

Customers will typically be notified via text message which days and exact times they can earn cash by reducing their usage.

But following “Saving Sessions” this week, some Octopus customers have been left disappointed that they’ve earned so little money back.

One person Tweeted a photo of their smart meter which said they had saved zero cash so far with the caption “Am I winning?”.

While another said: “The #SavingsSessions aren’t really worth it. Saved 83% electricity. Sat with a torch on with a pre-charged iPad for an hour. Saved £1.08.

“Can’t see that I’ll be doing that again! Literally had the fridge on. Used 0.11kwh of electricity. Can’t do any more!”

Another disappointed customer Tweeted: “So the second #SavingSessions the first one stated we didn’t save anything. Interesting when we didn’t use any electric and sat with the lights off for an hour.

“Tonight we went out and spent more having McDonalds than we’ll probably save – seems odd!”

However, other customers have said they’ve been enjoying the sessions, and have been pleased with the results.

One customer, who saved £3.69 during a session, said: “Sat in the dark for 1 hr under a blanket reading a book with 2 dogs having flicked the fuse and everything off. Would recommend.”

Another, who saved over £3, Tweeted: “Good fun this evening with the first #SavingSessions – boys even revised geography rather than look at screens!”

Octopus said the average saving has been £1 after an hour of blackout, but some customers made up to £4 in savings.

Initially, Octopus has committed to 12 one-hour sessions this winter, but it hopes to offer a total of 25 and for longer periods.

Of course, the amount of savings people can make will differ depending on typical use, the time of the blackout and what is turned off.

The energy firm, which has 20million customers, said 200,00 customers took part in the session. It said that just 6% of tweets were negative, while 34% were positive.

The scheme has been criticised by experts for not offering households enough cash to sign-up.

The Sun asked Octopus Energy for a comment.

What appliances could I switch off to reduce energy?


According to uSwitch, an electric oven powered at 0.97 kilowatts and used for 30 minutes costs roughly 18p.

If you used it for 30 minutes every day for a year, that would cost you roughly £66.

Washing machine

A household of two adults and two children does an average 468 loads of washing a year – equivalent to 1.3 loads a day. 

For these households, the cost of running a washing machine costs an annual price of £159.12.

Slow cooker

Uswitch told The Sun that using a slow cooker for eight hours costs 92p.

If you ate a slow-cooked meal every day for a month, you’d fork out roughly £13.80.


It costs roughly 27p to run a single dishwasher cycle.

So if you used it every day for a week, it would rack up over £12 a month.


It costs about £56 a year, or 0.6p an hour, to run a fridge.

More ways to save money on energy bills

Millions of households across the country are facing the pinch of the cost of living this winter – but there is help available.

Energy bill discount – worth £400

Millions of households started receiving a £400 energy bill discount from October 1.

The payment will be dished out by your energy supplier and will be split across six discounts between October and March next year.

We’ve listed how the leading energy suppliers plan to pay households.

British GasEDF EnergyOvo Energy and Scottish Power plan to send the cash directly into customer bank accounts.

The way you’ll be paid will depend on how you pay for your energy.

Warm Home Discount – worth £150

Millions of households are in line to get a £150 discount off their energy bills between December and March 2023.

You’ll be eligible for the automatic discount if you received any of the following benefits up to August 21 this year:

Cost of living payment – worth £650

Millions of households have been paid the first part of their £650 cost of living payment.

The payments aim to help hard-up households to help them with spiralling bills and essentials.

And those on the following benefits are eligible for the second payment worth £324:

  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit

Pensioner Cost of Living Payment – worth £300

During this month, a £300 one-off “Pensioner Cost of Living Payment” will be paid out to eight million households.

It will be given to those who already get the Winter Fuel Payment, worth between £100 and £300 for those over state pension age.

To qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment and Pensioner Cost of Living Payment, the following must apply:

  • You were born on or before 25 September 1956
  • You lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of 19 to 25 September 2022 – this is called the “qualifying week”.

Household support fund – worth £150

Local councils are giving out cash to help households struggling with bills and other essential costs.

How much you can get depends on where you live and in many areas.

To qualify you’ll usually need to be a recipient of council tax support.

Cold weather payments – worth up to £75

When temperatures plummet those in low-income households can get a £25 payment.

These cold weather payments have already been made in several locations where residents have experienced below-zero weather.

The payment is made automatically, including to those on Universal Credit, for each seven-day period of low temperatures between November 1 and March 31.

Energy grants – up to £1,500

There are plenty of energy grants and schemes open to help you out if you’re struggling.

British Gas has confirmed it’ll pay its most vulnerable customers grants worth £750 to help with sky-high bills.

And the British Gas Energy Trust pays hard-up households up to £1,500 – and it doesn’t matter if they’re not a British Gas customer.

Ask your supplier what’s on offer and how to apply, or check here:

Water bill discount – up to £270

Families on Universal Credit or other benefits could reduce their water bill by hundreds of pounds on average if they’re struggling.

You may be eligible for help through the WaterSure scheme, which puts a cap on bills for low income customers regardless of how much water they’re using. 

Free £150

Shell Energy will be giving thousands of customers an extra £150 to help them this winter.

The energy giant will be boosting the £150 warm home discount payment to £300 for all 157,000 customers who get the help.

The warm home discount is available to those on the lowest incomes to help with rising costs.

You’ll need to be a recipient of one or more of the following benefits to qualify for the automatic £150 discount:

Fuel vouchers – worth £50

If you’re on a prepayment meter you might be able to get a one-off voucher to top up.

The fuel voucher scheme comes via the Fuel Bank Foundation charity, and it’s offered through a range of organisations, like food banks and Citizens Advice.

The best place to start to find somewhere which can offer you a fuel voucher is by asking your local council – you can find yours via by searching your postcode.

Universal Credit Christmas bonus – £10

Households claiming Universal Credit and other benefits will soon qualify for a tax-free Christmas bonus.

Eligible households will not need to apply for the bonus as it will be paid automatically – but they will need to meet the eligibility criteria.

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  1. Pingback: From skipping bills to buy kids’ uniform to living on beans – the hidden help you can get to keep your bills down

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