Total customers: 1,500,000
UK ranking: #7
OVO is one of the leading sustainable energy providers in the UK. Its rise has been rapid - in the space of ten years it has grown to the extent that it has confirmed a deal to buy SSE’s energy supply business, making it one of the biggest suppliers serving customers around the country.
OVO Energy set out to be an energy provider that fights against the climate crisis. Powered by innovation and smart tech, the OVO team is transforming the traditional energy industry into one that leads the way in technology with innovative energy solutions such as its Vehicle-to-Grid Trial or its expansion efforts in urban car charging.
Built with the mindset that energy suppliers do not need to be destructive to the environment, OVO values innovation when it comes to the goal of reaching zero-carbon living while producing the best quality product it can.
With only three available plans, OVO makes its platform simple and easy to use. Furthermore, OVO prides itself on its award-winning customer service - if the user can’t find what they’re looking for on the OVO help desk, there is an active forum for customers and employees to voice concerns, suggestions and potential fixes.
OVO’s commitment to customer service and its innovative ways of advancing energy technology resulted in winning the 2019 uSwitch Supplier of the Year award, which means that it’s won the award for four of the last five years. OVO is recognised not only because of its service, but also its emphasis on reversing climate change.
According to OVO’s website, 100% of its electricity comes from renewable sources such as wind, solar and hydropower. On top of this, it offers a Green Gas Upgrade which offers 100% carbon neutral gas, backed by Renewable Gas Guarantees of Origin (RGGOs). While no gas is 100% carbon free, OVO offsets the carbon emissions it produces through programmes such as I Dig Trees and the UN-REDD Programme. Through these efforts, OVO is a leader in the global effort to live carbon-free.
OVO Energy also founded the OVO Foundation in 2014, which targets youth homelessness and education inequality throughout Great Britain and works on improving access to energy in rural Kenya. These efforts primarily target at-risk school districts and medical clinics. The OVO Foundation is another example of how OVO Energy is taking a modern approach to the energy industry by valuing corporate responsibility over pure profits.
OVO Energy has three plans, allowing customers plenty of choice without making its platform overwhelming. The Better Energy plan, a 12-month contract, and the 2 Year Fixed Energy plan, a 24-month contract, are both fixed-rate OVO tariffs, protecting you from any rate increases during your contract. OVO also offers the Simpler Energy plan, which has no contract, but is vulnerable to rate fluctuations.
Along with standard OVO tariffs, for £5 the customer can upgrade their service and receive 100% renewable energy versus the standard 33%. OVO also offers the OVO BEYONDBETA UPGRADE, which is powered by an OVO smart meter, in contrast to traditional energy meters. A smart meter tracks your total energy usage and usage per appliance. That data is then sent to a team of data scientists who analyse your data and send it back to you in the form of Energy Spotlights. Using these, the consumer sees their usage in a user-friendly display, allowing them to make changes to their energy usage and save money.
Another aspect of OVO tariffs is that the supplier offers 3-5% interest rewards if the customer keeps their account on credit. This means that if you always have funds in your OVO account, you get 3% interest for your first three years of membership. After your third year, the 3% rate bumps up to 5% interest on all funds in your account.
Boost Power is a sister company of OVO Energy. Boost offers pay as you go (PAYG) energy plans which allow the customer to access low cost, sustainable energy without any commitment or contract. Along with PAYG, Boost also offers PAYG+ which takes the same traditional idea of PAYG and adds the convenience of modern technology. The user can top up their accounts online, on the Boost app, via SMS services or at shops with Boost smart cards. All these methods to top up your account make Boost PAYG+ one of the most user-friendly and convenient energy payment plans available. In addition, the Traditional PAYG plans offer the options to top up at participating shops around the United Kingdom.
In the West London region, Boost’s average electricity unit rate is £17.27p per kWh, with a gas unit rate of £3.73 per kWh. This pans out to around £23 a week and £1,215 a year. With these low-cost tariffs, Boost offers a modern, easy-to-use platform for those who don’t want the constricting contracts of most other major energy companies.
Like OVO Energy, Boost Power offers all its customers access to smart meters. With PAYG+, all customers get a smart meter that allows them to not only top-up on their phones, the internet, in shops with smart cards or via SMS, but also gives access to energy usage analysis and reports.
My OVO is an online account management service that you can use to look after your OVO account. You can use My OVO for a wide variety of things, including viewing your statement, seeing how much energy you’re using, claiming for refunds, giving meter readings, managing your Direct Debit, and much more. To sign in, all you need to do is go to the My OVO homepage and type in your email address and password.
There are various different ways of getting in touch with OVO Energy customer service, all of which are signposted in the energy provider’s help page. You can email the support team, or call OVO Energy customer service from 8am to 6pm, Monday-Friday.
Announced in 2019, OVO is set to acquire SSE Energy Services, which will allow OVO to supply nearly five million customers and provide them with a 15% market share of the British energy industry. This acquisition will make OVO the second largest energy supplier in the UK and break up the traditional big six UK energy suppliers. While the deal is not expected to be finalised until 2020, it represents the increased momentum being built by smaller, independently owned energy suppliers in the industry.
Little is expected to change for consumers. However, the movement toward independent suppliers is a positive transition, giving consumers more choice when it comes to energy suppliers. This kind of industry diversity will force energy companies to become more competitive with one another and listen to what the customer actually wants.
For environmentally-conscious consumers who want to make a difference, OVO Energy may be a good fit. Offering a competitive tariff and 100% renewable electricity, OVO is at the forefront of energy innovation without charging unreasonable tariffs on its products. By 2020, OVO is projected to serve five million members, making it the second-largest energy supplier in the UK. This means that customers will get all the benefits of OVO’s innovative outlook, while also being part of a large community of energy users.