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How this household halved its electricity bill using a dynamic pricing plan

A smart electricity meter
Photo: Gary Stringer/Dreamstime.

Stuart Humphrey is one of growing number of Brits who keeps a watchful eye on the nation’s electricity mix. When it’s dominated by renewables, he tries to make the most of the lull in prices to run his appliances and slash his monthly utility bills.

In February 2024, Humphrey switched to Octopus Energy’s “agile” electricity plan, which comes with flexible pricing linked to daily supply and demand dynamics. Since then, his monthly energy bill has declined by around £150, he says, adding that he now pays roughly half of the standard variable rate, on average.

Those savings aren’t generated passively, however.

“The agile tariff makes you think about how and when to use your energy,” Humphrey tells The Progress Playbook.

“When the prices are released at 4pm the day before, I start to look at what I will do the next day to make the most of the cheaper electricity.”

Aside from charging his electric car and home batteries over night when prices are generally low, he’s now more inclined to cook and run the dishwasher and washing machine outside of the morning and evening peak hours, when prices typically spike.

And when there’s an oversupply of wind and solar power, prices can turn negative, meaning Humphrey is paid to use electricity. He takes advantage by charging his car, running energy-intensive appliances, and even pre-preparing meals.

His advice for others who are considering dynamic pricing plans? “Have fun with it and experiment with what works for you.”

In time, consumers won’t need to be as engaged to generate savings from these types of plans, regulators say.

The UK government has introduced new measures aimed at promoting the adoption of smart appliances, which can be programmed to automatically draw power when electricity is cheapest. This will help households to reduce their energy bills without having to follow pricing trends, while also curbing peak demand, strengthening the national grid, and reining in planet-heating emissions.

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