Ovo Energy | T3

OVO Energy review 2020: should you switch?

OVO’s green credentials are impeccable, but it’s not the cheapest energy supplier in the UK

OVO Energy review
(Image credit: OVO Energy)
T3 Verdict

OVO Energy is a popular supplier with a good reputation. Its smart technology is top-of-the-line, as is its commitment to zero-carbon living. Overall, OVO offers good value for money – but isn't cheap, and the £30 exit fee may be a turn-off.

Reasons to buy
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    Trees planted when you switch

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    £50 gift card if you refer a friend

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    15% green gas; 100% carbon neutral

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Reasons to avoid
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    £30 exit fee per fuel

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    Pay extra for green energy

OVO Energy is a green energy supplier that aims to give you the green energy and tools you need to lighten your carbon footprint. The company has been in the energy market since 2009, and has attracted over five million customers with its promises of cheaper, greener and simpler energy; impressive tree planting commitments; and investment in smart home technology. So should you switch to Ovo Energy? 

We conducted a large energy comparison, looking at the best energy deals from the UK's leading suppliers to evaluate value for money – as well as each provider's track record for good customer service, their green credentials and more. In this Ovo Energy review, we'll help you decide whether to switch to Ovo Energy. 

OVO Energy: Price

OVO Energy: Quick stats

Green electricity: 100%
Green gas: 15%
Carbon offsetting: yes
Tariffs: three
Customer service: 4.5 stars (Trustpilot)
Energy Switch Guarantee: no
Exit fee: £30 per fuel

You’ll pay more for green energy at OVO than at Bulb or Octopus Energy. OVO sells a kwh of electricity for 17.4p, compared to Octopus’ 14.3p for the same central London postcode. Plus, you’ll also have to pay a fee for OVO’s green energy: currently £5 per fuel, per month. 

On the same day in September 2019, Bulb’s standing charge was 20.4p per day for both fuels compared to 22.6p for electricity and 26.1p for gas over at OVO. Its variable rate for both gas and electricity was also more expensive than new energy company Igloo’s: electricity cost 5p more per kwh.

But there are plenty of incentives to switch to Ovo. When you join, the company plants five trees to offset your carbon emissions. So far, it’s planted over 1,000,000 trees. Also, refer a friend and you both get a £50 giftcard for M&S, John Lewis or Amazon.

How green is OVO energy?

All OVO's plans come with 50% renewable electricity as standard. Alternatively, you can add a green electricity upgrade to your plan for £5 per month to get 100% green electricity; and you can upgrade to green gas, too, for an extra £5 per month. This will give you 15% green gas from sustainable biomethane, and OVO will offset the remaining 85% of natural gas by investing in green sources.

If you upgrade to either green plan, OVO will also reward your move by planting five trees. If you green up further to its third product, OVO Beyond, you’ll get 100% renewable energy, 100% carbon-neutral gas, three trees planted every year and smart technology that will crunch your data into personalised energy-saving actions. 

And in 2019 the company launched Plan Zero, its plan to achieve zero carbon emissions across the entire business by 2030. By then, OVO Energy also plans to kit out its customers with the technology they need to supercharge their journey on this planet to zero carbon.

OVO Energy: Tariffs

OVO

(Image credit: OVO)

OVO has three tariffs: Simple, its standard variable tariff; and two fixed tariffs: Better Energy and 2 Year Fixed Plan. If you have an electric car, the EV Everywhere bundle is another option. It comes with a free smart charger, 100% green energy and the 2 Year Fixed Plan.

If you stay in credit, OVO will pay 3% on the balance, rising to 5% after three years. If you're on a fixed tariff, you’ll be charged £30 per fuel if you leave before your contract, and bear in mind that the company hasn't signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee – a voluntary commitment to a speedy and safe switch from one energy provider to another. Finally, a green upgrade to OVO Beyond (mentioned in overview) will cost £6 per month after the first three.

OVO Energy: customer service

You can contact OVO by phone, email, social media or the OVO forum. T3's call was answered within 11 seconds, and the person at the end of the line was welcoming and knowledgeable about the company’s tariffs and products. Social media channels are proving increasingly popular for Ovo’s customers: within the last six months, 30,000 of them interacted with the company this way.

OVO Energy: user reviews

OVO Energy won the uSwitch Supplier of the Year in 2019 for the fourth time in five years. The company also topped the Which? Customer Satisfaction survey in 2016 and 2017. Ovo has chalked up 4.5 stars on Trustpilot with an impressive 71% of 35,500 customers rating it excellent. However, some reviewers complained that it wasn't straightforward to renew contracts with changes.

OVO Energy: do you need a smart meter?

Although OVO has long championed the smart meter as a means of helping customers understand their energy use, you don’t have to have one.

OVO Energy: switching

Switching to OVO Energy is easy. Tell OVO you’re joining by email or phone. Then you’ll get a welcome letter, via post or email, detailing the tariff you’ve chosen and your expected switch date, direct debit amount and first payment date. 

You get a 14 calendar day cooling-off period. Unlike some energy suppliers, if your old provider charges you for leaving, OVO Energy will not refund you.

Should you switch to OVO Energy?

OVO Energy review

(Image credit: OVO Energy)

OVO Energy offers good value for money, and the company’s long-term commitment to zero-carbon living is very impressive indeed. OVO's technology platforms and smart home products are second to none, and its tree-planting record is unbeatable. If these factors are important to you, you should switch to OVO Energy. 

However, if you need cheaper green tariffs, look elsewhere. OVO’s £30 per fuel exit fee is also a turn-off, as is its decision not to sign up to the Energy Switch Guarantee. Nevertheless, OVO Energy's customers speak highly of the energy provider and it remains a strong choice.