Ovo Energy Reviews - is it 100% green?
OVO Energy is one of Britain’s largest and fastest-growing green suppliers, recently hitting 850,000 customers after only nine years in business. As one of the only independent suppliers with any chance of knocking the Big 6 off their perch, OVO is bringing renewable energy to the masses.
In our independent OVO Energy review, we give you the lowdown on their customer service, tariffs, pricing and account management to help you decide if switching to OVO is worth your while.
OVO Energy at a Glance
- Electricity: 33% or 100% renewable
- Gas: 50% green gas
- Based: Bristol & London
- Founded: 2009
- Customers: 850,000 (Aug 2018)
- Award-winning green supplier
- Offer renewable tech incl. EV chargers
- Earn 3-5% interest when you’re in credit
- Involved in social & environmental projects
- Excellent smartphone app
Ovo Energy Reviews: Is it any good?
Interested in finding out more about OVO Energy before you switch? Well, we’ve got you covered in our independent OVO Energy review.
1. Customer Service
To start with, let’s take a look at the quality of OVO’s all-important customer service. Whilst OVO have an extensive help section on their website, they also enable customers to get in touch with their call centre by phone, or online using their website’s contact form.
In our experience, OVO Energy reviews are generally some of the most positive of all the green suppliers. Not only do they have thousands of excellent online reviews, but they’ve also won awards including the ‘UK National Contact Centre Team of the Year’ for the quality of the service provided by OVO’s call centre staff.
We certainly have to agree and have found that customers are typically delighted with the customer service staff, describing them as friendly and cheerful over the phone and always happy to help. Customers often comment on how polite and efficient staff are and how quick they are to solve issues and answer questions.
“Very happy with OVO. Such a difference from the big companies. Friendly, efficient, helpful and personal."
There are no certainly shortage of happy OVO customers that praise OVO’s positive attitude and helpfulness whether by phone, email or online.
“Their customer service is wonderful, they are polite and friendly, prompt and thorough, whichever way you contact them."
When it comes to call wait times, the OVO website claims they answer the phone within 21 seconds on average. In reality, a Which? investigation in 2017 found that the average is more like seven minutes and 32 seconds to get through to support staff. Certainly not quite as impressive a time as their website is promoting. However, it’s quite likely due to the fact they are growing at an astonishing rate and taking on large numbers of customers on a regular basis.
In addition, the OVO phone lines are only open until 6pm between Monday and Friday and until 1 pm on Saturdays. This is not ideal and we really feel customer service helplines should be open much later than this for those not able to call during the day, especially for such a large energy supplier.
There are also a small proportion of OVO Energy reviews that do not report such great service. On some occasions, customers have been frustrated at not having their problem solved or experienced unhelpful staff. Some have also been left reeling after OVO have demanded payment for debts or having their details forwarded to debt collection agencies.
“I found their staff 50/50 helpful-unhelpful. After spending hours trying to fix the above problem and contacting them numerous times, I felt completely and utterly let down and more than anything else, like they just did not care."
Overall, however, OVO Energy reviews suggest that its customer service tends to be top-notch in the vast majority of cases and, in our experience, they do a good job at helping customers with most issues that pop up.
For customer service, we rate OVO Energy:
2. Tariffs & Prices
Another key aspect to consider when switching suppliers is how much you’ll end up paying for your energy bills. For households, Ovo offers two main tariffs, the ‘Better Energy’ tariff (12 months fixed) and the ‘2 Year Fixed’ tariff which both offer fixed prices for a set period.
By default, these tariffs only come with 33% renewable electricity and 0% green gas but this can be boosted to 100% renewable electricity and 50% renewable gas for an extra £5 each per fuel, per month. Presumably, this is to allow customers less interested in green energy the option to pay less, which is fair enough, but we think it should be included as standard if they truly want to call themselves a renewable energy supplier.
To compare green supplier tariffs, we use our standard example of a family of four living in a three-bedroom house in London with average usage (3,100 kWh electricity and 12,500 kWh gas).
|Pure Planet||Bulb||Tonik Energy||OVO Energy|
|Average cost per year for 3 bed house in London||£959||£994||£1,175||£1,110|
Prices correct as of June 2020
Our fictional family would pay around £1,110 per year with Ovo Energy. In comparison, Pure Planet came out at £959 per year, Bulb waswere £994 per year and Tonik quoted £1,175 per year for equal usage. So, while it’s not the most expensive on offer, Ovo Energy could cost you around £150 more a year than the cheapest green supplier.
The above price estimate is without even including the 100% renewable electricity and 50% green gas add-ons. At £5 each per month, these green energy upgrades would add £120 a year, bumping up the total annual bill to a whopping £1,260!
Unfortunately, unlike many other green suppliers, Ovo still charges an ‘exit fee’ of £30 for electricity-only customers or £60 for dual fuel customers. This means you would have to pay before switching again to a new supplier again in the future. We’re not big fans of this practice and although it’s not a huge amount of money, it’s something to be aware of before signing up.
To make up for this however, they do offer an equal discount for going paperless and doing everything online. This is a nice touch and makes the exit fee less of a issue.
However, the combination of being more expensive than most green suppliers and also not offering 100% renewable electricity by default, alongside charging exit fees are three marks against Ovo in our books. Making customers pay extra for green energy goes somewhat against the push to make renewable energy accessible to everyone.
For tariffs and pricing we rate Ovo Energy:
3. Bills & Account Management
When it comes to managing your account and paying your bills, Ovo makes good use of technology to make this as easy as possible. Both pay monthly and pay as you go customers can access their My Ovo online account and use it to submit meter readings, access and pay bills and view other useful account information. Whilst customers can choose to receive paper bills in the post, Ovo offers a £60 discount for customers that choose to go ‘online only’ and manage their account entirely on the internet.
Luckily, the Ovo website is excellent, and the customer account area in particular is very simple to use, well-designed and enables you to do everything you need to manage your account and bills. Even the least tech-savvy customer should be able to access and use the online account with ease. Customers also comment frequently on the simple and easy to read bills and appreciate the monthly meter reading reminder emails that they receive.
“Been with Ovo a couple of years now and never had any issues - website is clear and you can always see exactly what you're spending."
Ovo Energy Smart Meter
If you have a smart meter installed in your property, you can also keep track of your past and predicted energy usage from your My Ovo account with some clever graphs and interesting energy usage stats. Not only will it show your day-to-day gas and electricity usage, but also how much each of your appliances are using!
For example, you can view how much energy just your washing machine and dryer are consuming by themselves. We love this use of technology and attention to detail as it really helps customers to stay on top of their usage and have some control over their overall spend.
OVO Energy App
For customers that want to manage their account on the go, similar functionality and data can also be viewed from the Ovo Energy smartphone app. Customers can download the app to view their bills, submit meter readings and view usage data on the go.
“Quick and easy to use. Works well alongside my smart meter. Can easily see my bills and usage is much more accurate now I've finally had my smart meter installed. Moved from another provider who couldn't give me a smart meter so pretty chuffed with the app."
Customers that have reviewed Ovo’s app claim it is easy to submit meter readings and view your home’s energy usage data, whilst it is well laid out and user friendly. Apple customers with the iPhone app are impressed, rating it 4.5 on average on the App Store. However, on the Android smartphone owners are less impressed with a rating of 3.2 out of 5 on the Google Play store. With some users claiming that it suffers from some occasional glitches and some missing features.
For the majority of users though, the Ovo Energy app appears to be a good way to manage their account when out and about.
For bills and account management we rate Ovo Energy:
All things considered, Ovo Energy do a lot of things the right and we feel they are one of the better green suppliers on the market in 2018. Whilst they may be experiencing some inevitable growing pains of a rapidly growing business, the majority of customers appear to be very pleased with all things Ovo. Whilst we feel they’re a little pricey, they make up for it with their excellent customer support and well designed online account and mobile app.
Overall, we score Ovo Energy:
About Ovo Energy
To continue our look into Ovo Energy, let's take a look at the company, their ethos, its history and the key people involved.
Who owns Ovo Energy?
Ovo Energy is owned by Ovo Group, which is a subsidiary of Imagination Industries Ltd., a holding company owned by Ovo founder Stephen Fitzpatrick. In February 2019, Mitsubishi Corporation bought a 20% stake in Ovo.
Mission & Ethos
Ovo Energy set out to 'fix the broken energy market' and stand out by providing excellent customer service, honesty and clarity to their customers. A core part of their ethos also centres around supplying Britain with renewably-sourced energy and using innovation and technology to solve the problems they feel are prevalent in the energy industry.
“We’re blending natural energy with smart technology to bring you great service and renewable electricity, and your kids (and their kids) the future they deserve."
They are also involved in various social and environmental charity projects including their Ovo Foundation which helps tackle youth poverty and a lack of education and access to energy around the world. Some of this charity work has involved providing solar-powered electricity to schools and health clinics in Kenya and providing apprenticeships to young homeless people to renovate and live in derelict homes in the UK before moving into construction jobs.
Whilst the positive PR-factor certainly helps, it's pretty impressive stuff for an energy company.
To add to their green credentials they also run a scheme called ‘I Dig Trees’ in which they plant 5 new trees per year for each of their customers on their renewable electricity tariff. This has contributed to volunteers involved in the program planting over 500,000 trees across the UK since they set up the initiative. The aim of the Ovo’s tree scheme is to not only reduce CO2 but also to encourage wildlife habitats and improve green spaces for communities.
With a startup success story similar to many you may have seen on Dragon’s Den, Ovo Energy was founded in 2009 by entrepreneur Stephen Fitzpatrick and a friend at his kitchen table. They set out to solve what they thought needed to change in the energy industry.
From these humble beginnings, Ovo has grown from a kitchen to become one of the largest independent energy suppliers in Britain with over 1,200 staff across two offices in Bristol and London.
In 2018 they reached over 850,000 customers giving them a 3% market share of the UK’s domestic energy market. This makes them far more popular to date compared to the other major green suppliers including Bulb Energy (300,000), Good Energy (250,000), Ecotricity (200,000) and Tonik Energy (50,000) respectively.
Certifications & Awards
Energy Switch Guarantee
Ovo is registered with the UK’s Energy Switch Guarantee scheme which ensures customers can change their energy suppliers quickly and hassle-free.
All suppliers in the scheme have committed to ensuring:
- The switch will take no longer than 21 days
- The new supplier will not charge for the switching process
- Your energy supply will not be interrupted
- Your new energy supplier will handle the whole process for you
- You can change your mind and cancel the switch within the first 14 days
Awards & Recognition
Ovo Energy and their founder have won numerous awards including:
- ‘UK’s 20th best company to work for’ - Sunday Times Best Companies 2017
- ‘World's Best Energy Brand’ - CHARGE 2016 Energy Branding Conference
- ‘Best Customer Service Team in Europe’ - European Contact Centre & Customer Service Awards
- 'UK National Contact Centre Team of the Year' - UK National Contact Centre Awards
- ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ - Telegraph National Business Awards
Ovo Energy's Renewable Energy
Next up, let’s take a look at where their Ovo’s energy comes from. At the moment, Ovo do not generate any of their own energy from their own wind or solar farms for example. Instead they source it from a range of other generators across the UK and abroad.
Ovo Energy generates and sources electricity and gas from a mix of sources, however, they claim it is made up of 64.7% renewables and 35.3% from natural gas.
Unlike many proudly green suppliers, Ovo is not the most transparent in regards to where their green energy comes from. Instead, they state that it comes from a range of renewable sources including:
They’re also not particularly clear whether it’s sourced here in the UK or from abroad, nor do they provide details on the specific wind or solar farms for example that they buy energy from.
OVO Energy offers a pretty measly 33% renewably-sourced electricity as standard, however customers can pay an extra £5 per a month to bump this up to 100%. From our point of view, a green supplier should be supplying 100% renewable electricity as standard, however, a £5 a month premium is not unreasonable.
As mentioned above, they do not publish specific statistics regarding exactly how much of their electricity is sourced from solar or wind energy for example. Their website simply mentions it comes from a wide variety of renewable sources including wind, solar, hydro and many others.
Did you know?
As with all suppliers providing 100% renewable electricity, Ovo Energy customers receive the same electricity from the National Grid - a melting pot of electricity sourced from renewable and non-renewable sources. However, for every unit of electricity their customers use, Ovo Energy guarantees to generate or buy and put back an equal amount into the grid that was renewably-sourced.
As renewable energy generation and usage increases in the future, the percentage of renewable electricity customers receive from the grid will increase. Therefore Ovo Energy and other suppliers are helping to increase the renewable portion of the UK’s electricity.
Ovo Energy also supplies up to 50% of their gas from ‘green gas’ which is generated from various sources including gases generated from landfill, sewage treatment and other sources of biomass. However, customers must pay an additional £5 per month for this.
Compared with the other renewable energy suppliers in the UK, Ovo Energy’s 50% portion of green gas is very high, with most providers offering no more than 10% green gas. Whatsmore, Ovo also ‘carbon offset’ the remaining 50% by funding carbon-reduction projects in Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ovo purchases ‘carbon offset certificates’ that go towards funding the planting of trees and protection of forests in these countries.
Tariffs: Is Ovo Energy cheap?
Ovo Energy offers a few different tariffs with fixed prices for either 12 or 24 months. These tariffs are:
- Better Energy (12 months fixed)
- 2 Year Fixed Energy (24 months fixed)
Here are Ovo Energy's prices for a typical 3 bedroom home in London on its Better Energy tariff. This is based on the UK average annual energy usage of 3,100 kWh of electricity and 12,500 kWh of gas.
|Better Energy (Electricity)||Better Energy (Gas)|
|Type of tariff||Fixed||Fixed|
(100% for +£5 per month)
(50% for +£5 per month)
|Minimum term||12 months||12 months|
|Unit rate||15.72p per kWh||3.43p per kWh|
|Standing charge||28.77p per day||28.77p per day|
|Monthly cost||£92.54 per month|
|Total yearly cost (3 bed house London)||£1,110.49|
Unfortunately, Ovo Energy no longer offers specific tariffs tailored to businesses.
How do I contact Ovo Energy?
Ovo Energy customers can access their bills and account on the website via the portal. To access your account, visit the Ovo Energy login page mentioned below. If, however, you’re after an Ovo Energy contact number, you will find them here:
Ovo Energy Contact Numbers
|Pay monthly||0330 303 5063||Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm; Saturday, 9am-1pm|
|Pay as you go||0330 102 7517||Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm; Saturday, 9am-1pm|
Ovo Energy Email
If you’d rather get in touch with Ovo Energy via email, you can send your query to firstname.lastname@example.org and an agent will get back to you.
Ovo Energy, 1 Rivergate, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6ED
Ovo Energy Login
Customers looking for Ovo Energy login info can access their bills and account on the website via the Ovo Portal.
To access your MY Ovo Energy account, visit their login page below and enter your registered email address or ‘My Ovo ID’.
Once logged in to your Ovo Energy account, you can:
- Submit meter readings
- Set meter reading reminders
- View your bills and statements
- View past energy usage
- Manage your Direct Debit payments
- Update contact and login details
- Tell them you're moving house
- Refer a friend to OVO Energy
Should I Switch to Ovo Energy?
Despite being one of the pricier green suppliers, we've been impressed with Ovo Energy. Not only is their customer service generally excellent, but their use of technology to allow customers to track energy usage online is a big plus. With their recent venture into electric vehicle chargers and other renewable tech, Ovo have a lot more to offer than energy.
If you’re looking for a green supplier and not too concerned about price, Ovo Energy is definitely one of our top picks. For more information about switching your supplier, click the button below.