Launched in 2009 and with a focus on clean energy, Bristol-based Ovo Energy is the UK’s biggest independent energy supplier. After acquiring Economy Energy and SSE’s home energy business in 2019, Ovo has become a larger player in the UK energy sector. Read on to find out what Ovo Energy can offer you.
About Ovo Energy
Ovo Energy has made leaps and bounds since it launched a decade ago. Its focus on green energy and smart technologies has boosted its public image. In late 2019 it bought out SSE to take its place as one of the larger energy suppliers. Let's find out where it all began and where the supplier is headed.
- 2009: Stephen Fitzpatrick founds Ovo Energy. It is registered as a private limited company on 29th April 2009.
- 2013: Ovo Energy partners with Woodland Trust (the UK's largest woodland conservation charity) to supply energy via Woodland Trust Energy.
- 2014: The Ovo Foundation is set up with the charitable objectives of supporting organisations that give young people from around the world a better future.
- 2015: Ovo Energy partners with the Peterborough City Council to supply energy to Peterborough Energy customers.
- 2017: Ovo introduces Boost Energy, a sister company to run Ovo’s smart prepayment platform. It allows customers with prepayment meters to top them up using Ovo Energy’s Smart PAYG+ mobile application. Ovo Energy registers a total of 680,000 customers as of June 2017.
- 2018: Ovo acquires Spark Energy in November 2018, which includes Spark’s 290,000 customer accounts and its staff in Scotland and Wales. In the same year, Ovo reports revenue of over £1 billion.
- 2019 After Economy Energy goes under in January 2019, Ofgem selects Ovo Energy to take on the failed company’s 235,000 customers.
- 2020: In December 2019 the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) approves a £500m takeover of struggling SSE, tripling Ovo’s customer base from around 1.5 million to 5 million households. This buyout is expected to be completed in January 2020.
2. Present Day
Ovo Energy claims to be the current leading independent energy retail company in the UK. Following its purchase of SSE, it boasts somewhere in the region of 5 million customers. The Ovo Group now employs over 10,000 members of staff across seven retail brands:
With regards to its purchase of SSE, Ovo Energy promises there will be no changes until January 2020 and, until that time, the two suppliers will continue to operate separately. Following this, Ovo will gradually move SSE customers onto its own systems and promises there won’t be any service interruptions or tariff changes.
3. Ovo Energy in the News
Ovo Energy has its own press page filled with articles about its latest endeavours. However, we wanted to see where it was making headlines in the national press.
SSE sells UK energy business to Ovo - December 2019
Ovo and fellow energy supplier SSE revealed that they have agreed on a deal for the former to buy out the energy retail arm 'SSE Energy Services' for £500m.
This deal means Ovo Energy becomes the UK's second-largest energy supplier behind only British Gas.
Ovo Energy set to launch in the Australian market - August 2019
Ovo Energy revealed that it plans to expand into the Australian energy market, after having formally applied for a retail licence with the Australian Energy Regulator (AER). It could be granted permission to sell electricity and gas in New South Wales, south-east Queensland, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.
Ovo’s application comes at a time when the Australian energy market is going through the biggest shake-up since deregulation, with an array of changes affecting all retailers.
Ovo installs the world’s first domestic vehicle-to-grid charger - December 2018
Ovo Energy unveiled the world’s first widely available domestic Vehicle-to-Grid Charger (V2G). It gives electric vehicle drivers the freedom to store renewable energy in their cars, use that to power their homes and sell back any unused energy to the grid at peak times.
The V2G charger takes advantage of electricity when it’s at its cheapest and when there are more renewables in the system. This will allow more renewable energy to reach the National Grid, allowing households to reduce their electricity bills. The V2G charger is currently available only to Nissan drivers with a 30 or 40 kWh battery.
4. Fuel Mix
Ovo Energy claims to offer renewable electricity by purchasing REGO certificates. This does not mean that the energy used to power your home is renewable, rather than for every kilowatt-hour of fuel you use, it will buy certificates for the equivalent amount of fuel from a green energy producer. This may depend on the energy tariff that you choose from Ovo Energy.
Ovo Energy extra services
Many of Ovo’s extra services and products are designed to complement its green initiatives. These range from electric vehicles to smart meter plans. Let’s take a look at what extras you could expect from Ovo Energy as your supplier.
1. Electric vehicle products
Ovo Energy customers with electric vehicles can enjoy an array of perks. Read on to find out how they can help to keep the costs of powering your car down.
EV Everywhere bundle
Ovo’s 'EV Everywhere' bundle allows you to combine your domestic tariff with the cost of powering your electric car. The bundle is a two-year fixed energy plan with the following features:
- Free Smart Charger or POLAR plus membership
- 100% Green Energy
- Compatibility with Economy 7
Sounds great, right? However, be aware that if you decide to switch supplier during the two-year plan, the following will happen:
- Your plan will be terminated and termination fees may apply (except if you’re moving out of your property, in which case there will be no termination fee).
- If you chose the POLAR plus bundle, you’ll lose your free subscription to POLAR plus.
- If you chose the Smart Charger bundle, you’ll need to pay £300 towards the cost of your Smart Charger.
At the end of your two-year Fixed Energy plan, you will have the choice to sign up for a range of energy plans from Ovo. If you fail to do this, Ovo Energy will place you on its more expensive variable-rate tariff.
Vehicle to grid chargers
If you have a Nissan electric vehicle, you may want to take advantage of Ovo’s Vehicle-to-Grid charger (V2G). This charges your vehicle when energy is cheaper and most likely to have come from renewable sources. It then passes energy back to the grid during peak times.
Get up and running with your V2G charger in 3 simple steps:
- Let Ovo Energy know when you need to use your car and your chosen minimum charge level via the Kaluza app.
- Plug your V2G charger into your car while at home. Ovo will charge your car when demand on the grid is low and export when demand is high.
- The supplier will sell any exported electricity that your house doesn’t use back to the grid. On your monthly statement, you’ll see the money you’ve saved.
Ovo Energy Smart Charger
This EV Smart Charger works with any electric vehicle, so it’s not just restricted to Nissan vehicles. If you’re on Economy 7 rates, you can set it to charge when your off-peak rate starts, saving you money.
Good to know...You can get an EV Smart Charger for free if you’re eligible for the OLEV Grant. This government grant for Electric Vehicle owners provides £500 off the cost of purchasing and installing a home charge point.
2. Ovo Energy smart meter rollout
Our complete UK Smart Meters guide explains what a smart meter is and what the benefits of owning one are. Ovo Energy has actively been installing smart meters in its customers’ homes.
3. Smart Storage Heaters
A storage heater draws cheaper off-peak electricity through the night to store heat for use the following day.
Ovo claims that its smart storage heater, the Dimplex Quantum is “the world’s most advanced, economical, off-peak electrical heater on the market”. While we can’t verify whether this is true or not, it does have several perks that may make it worthwhile for you:
- Efficiently retains heat, releasing it only as and when you need it.
- The adjustable LCD screen allows you to see the current temperature.
- Significant savings* compared to a standard storage heater system.
- Ability to control the temperature remotely, using the Dimplex Control mobile app.
- Ten-year limited warranty when you register the product with Dimplex.
- Free, no-obligation survey to check if your quote is cost-efficient for your home.
- Option to have Ovo’s installer take your old heaters away, freeing you from having to dispose of them yourself.
*Annual savings based on a 90m2 3-bed semi-detached home, built to 1990s building regulations, on a “UK Average” electricity tariff.
4. CORGI HomePlan
CORGI HomePlan is the UK’s third-largest home services provider of insurance cover for boilers, central heating, plumbing, drains and electrics. Ovo Energy added CORGI HomePlan to its portfolio in April 2017 and has expanded the brand’s services to include boiler maintenance and installation, thermostats, and other in-home technology.
Every once in a while, Ovo runs promotions, such as discounts on selected CORGI HomePlan policies, like boiler cover.
Before you rush into getting boiler cover, there are some things you should note:
- Good to know...
- You’ll need insurance cover that’s adequate for your type of boiler. This could range from a gas boiler to a combi boiler.
- Ask yourself whether it’s best to repair or replace your boiler. You’ll want to weigh up the costs of each option.
- You don’t necessarily have to go through CORGI HomePlan to get boiler cover just because you’re an Ovo Energy customer. You should shop around for the best boiler cover on the market.
- If you’re a landlord, you’ll want cover that specifically caters to landlords.
- You should still look after your boiler even if you have cover. Follow our boiler maintenance tips to keep it in tip-top condition.
Ovo schemes and foundations
Together with its stated aim of providing sustainable energy, Ovo is also involved in initiatives to help some of the most vulnerable in society. Let's take a closer look at some of these schemes.
1. Ovo Energy Warm Home Discount
The Warm Home Discount is a government initiative aimed at tackling fuel poverty by providing financial assistance to those who need it most during the cold winter months. As one of the largest suppliers in the UK, Ovo Energy participates in this scheme by offering a one-off discount of £140 towards electricity bills to those who are struggling to pay. This discount is applied to the customer’s bill rather than paid directly into their bank account. Read our Warm Home Discount guide to find out more.
2. Ovo Energy Fund
The aim of the Ovo Energy Fund is to give customers the opportunity to pull themselves out of fuel poverty by awarding one-off grants to help reduce or clear their debts.
To meet the qualifying criteria for the Ovo Energy Fund, you must be an Ovo customer and:
- Have a debt on your account that meets the minimum set by the Ovo Energy Fund.
- Your yearly household income is under the threshold set by the Ovo Energy Fund.
- Have a valid reason as to why you cannot pay the debt.
3. The Ovo Foundation
Ovo Energy also runs a charity known as the Ovo Charitable Foundation, which funds projects that help young people build a better future. The Ovo Foundation develops projects in three areas: energy and the environment, youth poverty, and education. Let’s take a look at a couple of projects it’s been involved in so far.
The Future Builders scheme looks to break the cycle of youth homelessness in the UK. Launched in Bristol, Sheffield and Birmingham, it gives young people at risk of homelessness the chance to renovate derelict properties to live in. They gain experience within the construction industry while completing a traineeship that equips them with the skills needed to secure a job in the sector.
Project Jua is an initiative focusing on rural Kenya, where just 56% of the population has access to energy. ‘Jua’ is Swahili for ‘sunshine’ and the project looks to install solar panels in schools and health clinics to help improve health and education. Schools benefit from being able to continue classes after dark, while clinics are able to power life-saving equipment.
Ovo Energy tariffs and prices
Next, let’s take a glance at some of the tariffs available from Ovo. For a more in-depth look and prices, visit our dedicated section on Ovo Energy tariffs
1. Fixed Tariffs
Ovo’s two fixed-rate tariffs are as follows:
- Better Energy Plan - fixed rate for one year
- 2 Year Fixed Energy Plan - fixed rate for two years
With either of these tariffs, you get peace of mind knowing that you’ll be protected against price rises in the wholesale energy market.
2. Variable tariffs
Simpler Energy is Ovo’s only variable tariff. There’s no fixed contract, making it more flexible than either of the two fixed-term tariffs. Also, there are no exit fees to pay if and when you decide to switch supplier.
3. Green Tariffs
Although Ovo Energy doesn’t have a separate 'green tariff' as such, you have the option of getting a green 'add-on' to your gas and electricity tariffs by paying £5 extra per month for each fuel. This means that for an extra £10 per month on top of your standard tariff, you'll be supporting:
- Renewable electricity
- Renewable gas
4. Economy 7 Tariffs
If you have an Economy 7 meter, you can choose any Ovo Energy plan and it will give you two unit rates - one for daytime and one for the night. Ovo doesn't specify on its website what those unit rates are, so you would have to contact them and get a personalised quote if you wanted this tariff.
5. Prepayment tariffs
Ovo customers with a prepayment meter are on a pay as you go (PAYG) tariff, where they pay in advance for their energy.
Ovo Energy split off its PAYG service, which is now run by Ovo’s sister company Boost Energy. It has developed a ‘smart PAYG+ meter’ which allows customers to top up online.
6. Ovo Energy business tariffs
Ovo is no longer taking on business customers, so if you are searching for a provider to supply your company’s premises, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Shop around for the best business energy suppliers on the market and look out for one that offers the most competitive tariffs for a business of your size.
7. Electric vehicle bundle
Ovo’s EV Everywhere bundle is a package deal from which you can benefit from if you own an electric vehicle. With this bundle, you’ll be on the 2 Year Fixed Energy Plan.
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Are Ovo Energy’s tariffs below the Ofgem price cap?
Let’s take a look at how Ovo Energy’s tariffs compared to the Ofgem energy price cap. This cap is in place to protect customers by ensuring they are given a fair price for the energy they use. In our comparison test based on Ovo’s cheapest tariff, we found Ovo to be broadly in line with the Ofgem cap.
It’s true that Ovo’s fixed-rate tariffs may offer better value for money. However, when it comes to standard variable tariffs it may be worth looking at other providers such as Bulb and Octopus to see how they are positioned against the price cap. Some of these providers also offer renewable energy, so if that is your main reason for choosing Ovo, it could be worth taking a look to see what else is out there.
How can I contact Ovo Energy?
If you have a specific question for Ovo, you can get in touch through a variety of different ways. There are the usual channels of email, online form, Facebook or Twitter. However, before doing this it may be worth taking a look at the supplier’s FAQs and online forum community.
Should you not find your answer or need to discuss something specific, you may well be better off calling the Ovo Energy contact number. Take a look at our page on the best ways to contact Ovo for more details.
My Ovo Login
To login to your Ovo online account, all you need is the email address and password associated with your account. If you are having problems logging in, follow our step by step guide on how to set up your Ovo Energy login
Ovo Energy reviews
Finally, let’s try to get a rough understanding of how customers have reviewed the services and products provided by Ovo Energy.
Customer reviews of Ovo Energy
Reviews from Ovo Energy customers on a range of different consumer review platforms are mostly positive. Its portfolio of generally happy customers is perhaps one of the reasons why this supplier has quickly climbed the ladder to become one of the UK’s largest energy suppliers.
Find out in more detail how Ovo weighs up against its competitors in our Ovo Energy Reviews guide.
Ovo Energy Summary
Ovo's commitment to renewable energy and technologies certainly sets them apart for one of the country's larger energy providers and those with electric vehicles may well find value in their EV bundles.
Something to consider for those impressed by Ovo's green credentials however, should be that it is unclear if renewable gas is received for those not signed up to the Green Gas add-on. Ovo is also not the place for those looking for business tariffs, given their recent shift to focusing only on domestic customers.
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