Despite being a relatively recent arrival, OVO Energy has fast become a top choice for customers seeking an energy provider with a sustainable approach. OVO’s strategy and service is driven by three core values: “Find a way”, “Build something great”, and “Be the good guys”. These values build the foundation for OVO’s business practices, best exemplified through its embrace of eco-friendly methods and its rejection of the traditional, destructive ways that have long guided the energy industry.
Total customers: 1,500,000
OVO Energy was founded by Stephen Fitzpatrick in 2009. The goal was to introduce an energy provider that actively works to overcome and eradicate the threats caused by the climate crisis. With a strong awareness of the energy industry’s massive role in propagating these issues, OVO set out to do things differently, and show that the industry doesn’t need to resort to damaging tactics to power the country. OVO is able to do so through its innovative energy solutions like the Vehicle-to-Grid Trial or its push to expand urban car charging.
Through its values, innovation, quality and customer service, OVO Energy has earned a hugely positive reputation. 2019 marked the fourth time in five years that OVO Energy received the uSwitch ‘Supplier of the Year’ award.
OVO announced the acquisition of SSE's energy offering in 2019. This will expand OVO’s customer base to almost five million, increasing the market share of OVO Energy to 15%. OVO Energy will, in turn, become the UK’s second-largest energy supplier, behind British Gas, marking a major shift for the traditional ‘big six’.
Alongside a primary goal of reaching zero-carbon living, OVO also hopes to provide the best quality product available when it comes to gas and electric services.
There are currently just two plans available with OVO Energy: Better Energy and 2 Year Fixed Energy, each of which offers additional upgrades that can be added to the package. Both OVO tariffs offer fixed rates, so you’re protected against unexpected price rises. You’ll be billed at the same rate throughout your contract, which for the Better Energy plan is 12 months, and for the 2 Year Fixed Energy plan is 24 months. Because these are fixed rate contracts, both plans have an Early Exit fee of £30 per fuel.
Both plans are available as either dual or single fuel plans, and both offer Economy 7 and Economy 10 plans to offer cheaper electricity rates during the night. Economy 7 and Economy 10 plans require their own specific meters, so you will need to have one of these installed before utilising either of these services.
There are two add-ons that you can add to your chosen OVO Energy plan:
GREEN ENERGY UPGRADE: For an additional £5 per month, you are able to add 100% renewable electricity and 100% carbon-neutral gas to either plan.
OVO BEYONDBETA UPGRADE: For an additional £6 per month, you can upgrade to 100% renewable electricity and 100% carbon-neutral gas, along with a smart meter. You will also have three carbon-fighting trees planted on your behalf every year that you are a customer, and access to useful insights, tips and resources through OVO Energy’s Energy Spotlights and Zero In tools.
You can add or remove these upgrades at any time, with no contracts or extra costs involved outside of the monthly price.
While it is lauded for its fight against climate change, OVO Energy’s plans do not use 100% renewable energy as standard. Standard OVO Energy plans utilise 50% renewable energy, but as mentioned, you are able to upgrade this to 100% renewable energy for just £5 a month.
By using the Green Energy upgrade for gas, your household will be using 100% carbon-neutral gas, certified by Renewable Gas Guarantees of Origin (RGGOs). It is not possible to have gas that is completely carbon-free; OVO’s carbon-neutral gas is 15% sustainable biomethane, but OVO is committed to offsetting its carbon emissions by participating in many carbon-cutting programmes. This includes I Dig Trees and the UN-REDD Programme. These efforts allow OVO to offer 100% carbon-neutral gas to Green Energy upgrade customers.
As mentioned, OVO Energy’s customer service has earned the provider numerous awards, including the 2019 Uswitch Supplier Of The Year award. Customers providing OVO reviews to Which? have stated that complaints tend to take a maximum of eight weeks to be resolved, but the company’s digital tools leave something to be desired.
Like the Green Energy upgrade, OVO BeyondBETA is another add-on that will upgrade your plan with 100% renewable energy and 100% carbon neutral gas. In addition, OVO BeyondBETA is OVO Energy’s smart meter plan. Currently, this upgrade is free for the first three months, and then £6 per month thereafter.
The OVO BeyondBETA smart meter is another way OVO is helping customers reduce their carbon footprint, and subsequently their bills. Smart meters track your energy consumption and send this data directly to your provider so you no longer need to carry out manual meter readings. Because of this frequent tracking, you can expect your bills to be as accurate as possible when you use a smart meter – you’ll never be charged more than you should be.
Your energy consumption data will also be sent to OVO’s data science team, who will analyse your usage and collate personalised statistics that you can then access in the form of ‘Energy Spotlights’. You can view your Energy Spotlights through your My OVO account. The ‘My Energy Breakdown’ feature within Energy Spotlights breaks down your usage even further, offering personalised insights that can be as specific as unveiling the impact of switching off your TV at the socket, for example.
With this expert insight, you’ll be able to monitor your usage more accurately than ever before – and in turn – you can adjust your consumption habits accordingly based on the data. This can help you cut back on unnecessary consumption, which would lead to reduced bills, and lower emissions.
OVO Energy boasts a long list of services in addition to its gas and electric plans. These services are designed to encourage and assist customers in sustainable living.
OVO’s collaboration with CORGI HomePlan offers a range of insurance policies that provide boiler cover and home emergency cover for things like plumbing, electrics and drains. On any OVO HomePlan, you will receive unlimited callouts, access to an emergency hotline, and parts and labour will be included in your monthly cost, which begins as low as £5 a month.
OVO Energy offers two separate plans catering to electric vehicle drivers. Both plans offer a two year fixed energy plan with 100% green energy, and both are compatible with Economy 7. When you sign up for OVO Energy’s EV Everywhere plan, you’ll choose between a free OVO Smart Charger or a free Polar Plus Membership. You must be eligible for the OLEV grant to receive the smart charger.
Worth £399 with OLEV grant, £899 without – free with EV Everywhere
Universal Socket, untethered
7kW maximum power output
Compatible with Kaluza app to set timers and view history
You will receive a free Polar Plus membership worth £188 over two years
You will be able to charge your vehicle at thousands of charging points across the UK
When you sign up with OVO Energy you’ll have the opportunity to partake in the OVO Vehicle-to-Grid Trial. You’ll be given a V2G Charger along with a £75 credit on your energy bill and a payment of up to 30p per kWh of energy that’s exported back to the grid.
V2G Chargers are compatible with any Nissan electric vehicle battery. The charger stores electricity in your vehicle, and then sells energy back into the grid when it’s in demand. The charger can be controlled using the Kaluza web-app, where you can adjust your minimum charge levels, set schedules, view live charging updates, and view your charging history.
You’ll set a time on Kaluza for when you need your car to be ready at your chosen minimum charge level, and plug your car in when you’re at home. Kaluza will then decide when to charge your battery, and when to export to the grid, while ensuring your electric vehicle is always ready to use when you need it. This is another way OVO Energy is working to get more renewable energy to the grid, while encouraging more low-emission cars on the road.
OVO Energy offers deals on a range of Quantum Storage Heaters from Dimplex. These sleek, modestly designed heaters are yet another way OVO are helping customers reduce their carbon footprint. Upgrading to a Quantum heater can save you £3002 on average, as they use significantly less energy to warm your home than standard radiators.
Alongside your smart heater, you’ll also receive a Dimplex Hub, usually worth £162, for free. You can also use the Dimplex Control app to manage your heating on-the-go.
OVO Energy has collaborated with Carbon Trust to create the Carbon Tracker. The Carbon Tracker is an online tool designed to keep customers in the loop about their carbon emissions. Figuring out your carbon footprint may seem like a tedious task, but OVO Energy’s carbon tracker makes it easy; by asking you a few simple questions about your home and travel habits, it can estimate your carbon footprint and will provide a comparison between your results and the average UK household. The Carbon Tracker is free to use for any OVO member, and can be accessed via My OVO.
OVO Energy customers can contact customer service on OVO’s online help page. Here, you’ll be able to find support on a number of issues and queries, or visit the OVO Forum. There are many ways to make a complaint: via online form, email, phone call, or post. OVO Energy’s customer support phonelines are open from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, and can be reached at 0330 303 5063.
OVO Energy is a great choice for consumers who want to make a difference for the environment. With competitive tariffs, a huge range of additional services, a strong reputation for customer service, and its efforts to tackle the climate crisis, OVO Energy appears to be leading the way towards the future of the energy industry. Set to become the UK’s second-largest energy supplier, the success of OVO Energy’s forward-thinking outlook could change the way other independent suppliers approach their business, and create even more competition among renewable energy suppliers.