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Coronavirus: managing your energy

 

We know it’s a worrying time. To help you, we’ve created answers to the questions we’re being asked the most right now. You’ll find lots of help here. But if you don’t find the answer you’re looking for, you can ask us on Twitter or pick the brains of other members on our forum.

See our main coronavirus help page >

General questions

No, there’s no reason to worry about your supply. We’re taking lots of steps to make sure it’s protected.

To help us help those who need us the most, we’re asking everyone to use their online account or app wherever they can. You can use these to manage your payments and submit readings.

Download our app here for Android and here for iOS

Log into your online account here.

If you have a non-urgent question, please check the help pages on our website. If you can’t find what you need, you can:

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can. 

If you have an emergency, you've lost your energy supply or you can’t pay your bill, you can call us on 0330 303 5063 (Monday to Friday 8am-6pm). There will be longer waiting times than normal. But we want you to know that we’ll do everything we can to help. 

Changing your direct debit is simple. You can do it in your online account or using the app. 

Download our app here for Android and here for iOS

Log into your online account here.

To help, we’ve created these short videos. If your account looks like the picture below, watch this video:



Or if your account looks like this picture, then this is the video for you:



 

You can make a top-up payment using your online account or the app. 

Download our app here for Android and here for iOS

Log into your online account here.

To help, we’ve created these short videos. If your account looks like the picture below, watch this video:


Or if your account looks like this picture, then this is the video for you:


 

If it’s an emergency or you might lose power, please ring our team on 0330 303 5063. We’ve set up a dedicated team in our call centre to help those who are struggling.  We’re doing everything we can to make sure nobody is left without power.

There might be longer waiting times than normal, but we want you to know that we’ll do everything we can to help.

To help us help those who need it most, we’re asking that you submit readings and manage payments in your online account or through our app. You can also contact us on social media with general questions:

  • Download our app here for Android and here for iOS
  • Log into your online account
  • Ask a question on Twitter
  • Get support from our community on the forum

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can. 

Our teams have been specially trained on how to keep everyone safe, while they’re inside your home. We’ll be following all the latest government guidance - including in areas where a local lockdown is in place:

  • On the day of your appointment, our team will call ahead to check it’s still safe to visit. They’ll ask if anyone in your household is self-isolating. If this is the case, your appointment will need to be rescheduled. 
  • When the engineer arrives, they’ll check this again with you in person.
  • Our engineers will follow strict safety measures in line with government guidelines, including wearing PPE. 
  • Our engineers will also be observing social distancing, which includes asking you to stay safe in another room while they work. Wherever possible, please give the engineer space to work safely.  
  • Our engineer may take more frequent breaks to get fresh air. They will also ask you to open windows and doors close to the meter for the duration of their visit. 

To minimise the time our engineers spend in your home, they may work in a slightly different way to usual. This means that they might install a smart meter but not switch on its smart functions. Don’t worry, you’ll still be left with a working meter. And, if any of this happens we’ll return as soon as we can to finish the job. 

All our engineers will stop working immediately if anyone shows any symptoms of coronavirus, during their visit. 

Important: if you or anyone in your home is self- isolating or feels unwell before your appointment, please give us a call on 0330 303 5063 and we’ll work through your options. Even if you’re ill, we’ll do everything we can to stop you losing power. Our phone lines may be busy right now, but we’re prioritising those with emergencies like yours. Bear with us and we’ll be with you as quickly as possible.

We will also be following local lockdown guidance where applicable.

Yes, you’re still able to switch energy suppliers in the normal way. You can switch to OVO easily online here. If you want to leave us, you're still able to do this as well. 

No, we want you to know that we’re still here to support you. Since coronavirus hit, we’ve made a number of changes to our services to help prioritise the vulnerable, and those at risk of power loss. (You can read about that in our FAQs on this page). But there won’t be any extra changes to our service as a result of this really difficult decision. We’re very much still here for you.

If you're worried about paying your bills

We know that this is an extremely difficult time for us all – and that staying at home means you’ll probably use more energy than usual. But if you want some practical help to cut your energy use – and bills – head here.

We're working with Tully to improve the support we can give to members who are struggling with their bills due to coronavirus. If you’d like to see how Tully could help you,  just click here. The scheme is completely free. Just so you know, clicking here will take you to the Tully website. Please note that the Tully Privacy policy will apply in relation to any data you submit.

You can find out more about Tully below.

These organisations also offer brilliant help and advice for anyone struggling to manage – or pay for – their energy. 

We’re looking at every case individually so we can tailor the support we offer. If you’re struggling to make ends meet and can’t afford your payments we’ll do our best to help. You just need to apply to the OVO Coronavirus Hardship Scheme.

It works by reducing your Direct Debit payments for up to 3 months: allowing you to repay it later, a little bit at a time. You can read more about it in the ‘OVO Coronavirus Hardship Scheme’ section below.

To apply, go to your online account or open your app and click ‘Change your Direct Debit amount’.

We know that this is a really tough time for so many of us. That’s why, to help take the pressure off those who can’t pay their bills, we launched the OVO Coronavirus Hardship Scheme. You can read more about it in the ‘OVO Coronavirus Hardship Scheme’ section below. If you can’t pay for your energy, you can apply to the scheme by going to your online account or app and clicking ‘Change your Direct Debit amount’. If you need extra support, we’ll ask you to call us.

We understand that lots of people are worried about losing income because of the disruption. Our priority is to protect our most vulnerable members. That’s why we’ve set up a dedicated team in our call centre to support them, and launched the OVO Coronavirus Hardship Scheme – which can help you if you can’t pay your bills. 

The scheme reduces your Direct Debit payments for up to 3 months, helping you get through the crisis. Then with a manageable repayment plan you can pay it back later, a little bit at a time. You can read more about it in the ‘OVO Coronavirus Hardship Scheme’ section below. To apply, go to your online account or app and click ‘Change your Direct Debit amount’. If you need extra support, we’ll ask you to call us.

If you need to call us our number is 0330 303 5063 and our opening times are Monday to Friday, 8am - 6pm. There might be longer waiting times than normal. But we want you to know that we’ll do everything we can to help.  
 

We know that this is a really tough time for so many of us, and we don't want OVO HomePlan to be another thing on your list to worry about. If you're struggling to pay for OVO HomePlan, please call us on 0800 012 1232 and we'll do everything we can to help.

The OVO Coronavirus Hardship Scheme

We know these are extremely tough times. The effects of coronavirus are leaving many of us unexpectedly struggling to pay our bills – and feeling overwhelmed. The OVO Coronavirus Hardship Scheme is our way of easing the pressure. 

It‘s a provision of £50 million designed to support those members who’ve been significantly financially impacted by coronavirus. It works by reducing people’s Direct Debit payments for up to 3 months. So we can help those who need support in making ends meet during this crisis. We’ll then work out a manageable plan that allows them to pay it back later, a little bit at a time. 
 

If you’re struggling to pay for your energy, you can apply by going to your online account or app and clicking ‘Change your Direct Debit amount’. If you need a higher level of support, we’ll ask you to get in touch and share some extra information with us. 

If your application is successful, we’ll reduce the Direct Debit you pay for an agreed length of time. 
 

Yes, anyone can apply. Just as long as you’ve been an OVO member since 1st March 2020, you pay via Direct Debit, and you can’t afford your payments because of the effects of coronavirus. We’ll be using a set of questions and criteria to make sure the right help goes to the right people. Not every application will necessarily be successful. We want to make sure those who need it the most take priority. So please don’t apply unless you really need to. 

If you can pay for your energy now, but would welcome advice about managing your energy and finances over the coming months, these organisations all offer brilliant help and support.  

Citizens Advice offers free and impartial advice. 
Step Change is a debt advice charity that can give you free help and advice. 
Centre for Sustainable Energy can give you free, tailored advice on saving energy.
Energy Saving Trust has lots of free practical help with cutting your energy use, and bills.

If your application is successful, we’ll agree a start date with you as early as we can. We’re hoping this will be about 3 days after you’ve given us all this information we need.

We’ll run this scheme until the £50 million has been used, then we’ll decide what to do next. It’s hard to tell you about future plans now. Because a lot will depend on the coronavirus situation at that time.

Only if you need access to a higher level of support. This will help us prioritise those who need the scheme most. You’ll be able to see the support we offer when you apply. 

If you’re able to pay your energy bills, we urge you not to apply. Please help us support those who are really struggling.

To apply for the Coronavirus Hardship Scheme, you need to go to your online account or app and click ‘Change your Direct Debit amount’. If the help we offer you there isn’t enough, please call 0330 303 5063 and we may be able to give you extra support. 

Our opening times are Monday to Friday, 8am - 6pm. There might be longer waiting times than normal. But we want you to know that we’ll do everything we can to help.  
 

We’ve seen the UK come together in a big way recently. For their families, friends, neighbourhoods, for the NHS and for those in need. So we’re relying on this same spirit to help us deliver our scheme to those who need it most. We really believe in the generous nature of OVO members. And we’re confident that, together, we can make this happen. 

Yes, this section walks you through important information about how your reduced Direct Debit works. Plus, the repayments you’ll need to make. Please read it carefully before you apply. If your application to the scheme is successful, terms will apply to the repayment plan we agree with you. You can see them here. They apply on top of our core OVO Energy terms and conditions here

Yes, this scheme isn’t a grant scheme. It works by temporarily helping you pay less. You’ll still need to pay back your full balance, a little at a time, when things are more normal again. We’ll work with you to agree a repayment plan that feels fair and manageable, and we won’t charge interest. 

Yes, you can pay back the full amount you owe us anytime before the payment plan ends.

No, we’re sorry. If you still owe us money you’ll have to pay us back before you change supplier. Unless we agree to transfer your debt to your new supplier. 

Yes, you’ll have to pay back any money you owe us, in full. Unless we agree to supply you at your new address, which means we can transfer the amount over with you. We may need to set up a new payment plan for your new address. But we’ll discuss all this with you and make sure that your repayments feel manageable.

If you don’t manage to make a payment to us under the manageable payment plan we’ve agreed, we can take action to recover your debt, in line with your contract. But we won’t want to do this. If you’re struggling to repay, it’s important that you call and tell us. This gives us a chance to understand your situation and check that your repayment plan is still right for you.

Yes, if you’re struggling to meet your repayments in the future, you can ring us on [number] to review the terms of your repayment. We can also review the payment plan at regular intervals, and make changes if we need to. But we’ll let you know if anything is set to change.

Please support us by only applying for this scheme if you absolutely have to.
 

Payment support from Tully

Tully offers support for people who are being financially impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

We’re working with Tully to improve the support we can give to members who are struggling with their bills due to coronavirus.
Tully provides a range of services: when you’re struggling to pay your bills it’ll help you apply for reduced energy payment plans that are tailored to your needs. But it also offers financial advice, mental health support and more.

If you’d like to see how Tully could help you,  just click here. The tool is completely free to use. Just so you know, by clicking here you will be transferred to the Tully website. Please note that the Tully Privacy policy will apply in relation to any data you submit. 
 

First, you’ll need to head to Tully to answer a few short questions about your current financial situation. For example, they’ll want to know if you’ve been furloughed, or if you’re worried about making ends meet. 

Based on your answers, Tully will then give you tools and advice that’s tailored to your circumstances. The next step is to use Tully’s tool to help you build a realistic personal budget, and work out what you can afford to spend on energy.

Once you’ve done this, Tully will let OVO know whether you can afford your current repayments. Then OVO will work with you to agree a manageable payment plan.

On top of this, you’ll also have access to extra financial and wellbeing advice and guidance: from tips on working from home, to how to keep busy during the lockdown.

Yes, Tully is completely free to use. 

We want to make sure we have the best tools available for people who are struggling with their bills due to recent events. And because Tully are experts at offering this kind of support, we’ve chosen to team up with them during this difficult time. 

Yes, Tully is a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) authorised company who have helped thousands of people work out a plan and move forward with their money. Tully will process your data in accordance with their privacy policy.  Their FCA license number is 811098 – and you can see exactly how they’re licensed to support you here.

Yes, you can trust Tully. That’s why we’ve carefully chosen to partner with them. They’re FCA authorised, and listed on the Government’s Money Advice Service website as a recommended free service provider.

So that we can identify you, Tully will share your name, address and date of birth with OVO. Tully will also share what they’ve concluded from the details you’ve given: for example, whether you can afford your current payments or not. This is so we can create a payment plan that works for you. Tully won’t share any other personal or banking information with us.

No, Tully is an independent company, partnering with OVO to give independent financial and wellbeing support.

It takes Tully around 10-15 minutes to get back to you. Then, you can spend as long as you want reading through the content and advice they give you.

Find out more about the service offered by Tully here.

Meter readings, smart meters and home visits

If you have a smart meter your readings will update automatically, so there’s nothing to worry about.

We’re asking anyone who doesn’t have a smart meter to submit their readings through their online account or in the OVO app. It’s really easy to submit readings this way – and we thank you for your support. To help, we've created some short videos showing you how.

If your online account looks like the picture below, you can watch this video on how to submit meter readings:

Or if your account looks like this, here's the video for you:

To submit a meter reading online, log into your account, here.

Or download the OVO app for Android here or for iOS here.

From the 1 September, we’ll be starting our meter reading services again, for both outside and inside meter reading appointments – with the help of our partner, MDS. We’ll be following all the latest government guidance - including in areas where a local lockdown is in place.  

Important: if you or anyone in your home is self-isolating or feels unwell before your appointment, please give us a call on 0330 303 5063 and we’ll work through your options. 

We have strict measures in place to keep both you and our teams safe. When we arrive, we’ll check if anyone in your home is self-isolating or sick. If they are, we won’t be able to carry out any appointments to read meters that are inside your home. 
 
Our team will:

  • Apply hand sanitiser before and after entering your home
  • Keep a 2 metre social distance at all times
  • Wear a face covering and gloves 

We’ll also be following government guidance for areas where a local lockdown is in place, and adapting what we do in line with this.

We are now able to start taking bookings for smart meter appointments again – with strict safety measures in place. We can only carry out appointments where it’s safe to do so. This means we still won’t be carrying out non-emergency appointments in homes where anyone is self-isolating from coronavirus. We’ll also be following government guidance on areas where a local lockdown is in place. 

We install smart meters because they help you to manage your energy better. Smart meters send readings automatically, so you get more accurate bills, and a clearer understanding of how you’re using energy. 

Our full risk assessment for smart meter operations can be found here and for office workers here. You can also see confirmation that we comply with the government guidance on Staying COVID-19 Secure here.

Our top priority is the safety of you and our teams. Our engineers are trained to take strict precautions to keep everyone safe, while they carry out smart meter appointments. They’ll be wearing PPE, and they’ll observe social distancing while in your home – keeping at least 2m away from you and asking you to stay in another room if possible. Before they enter your home, they’ll also check that no one is self isolating. And, if this is the case, they won’t be able to carry out the installation.

We will also be following government guidance on areas where a local lockdown is in place.  

Our teams have been specially trained on how to keep everyone safe, while they’re inside your home: 

  • On the day of your appointment, our team will call ahead to check it’s still safe to visit. They’ll ask if anyone in your household is at high risk, or self-isolating. If this is the case, your appointment will need to be rescheduled.
  • When the engineer arrives, they’ll check this again with you in person.
  • Our engineers will follow strict safety measures in line with government guidelines, including wearing PPE. 
  • Our engineers will also be observing social distancing, which includes asking you to stay safe in another room while they work. Wherever possible, please give the engineer space to work safely.  
  • Our engineer may take more frequent breaks to get fresh air. They will also ask you to open windows and doors close to the meter for the duration of their visit. 

To minimise the time our engineers spend in your home, they may work in a slightly different way to usual. This means that they might install a smart meter but not switch on its smart functions. Don’t worry, you’ll still be left with a working meter. And, if any of this happens we’ll return as soon as we can to finish the job. 

All our engineers will stop working immediately if anyone shows any symptoms of coronavirus, during their visit. 

Important: if you or anyone in your home is self-isolating, or feels unwell before your appointment, please give us a call on 0330 303 5063 and we’ll work through your options. Even if you’re ill, we’ll do everything we can to stop you losing power. Our phone lines may be busy right now, but we’re prioritising those with emergencies like yours. Bear with us and we’ll be with you as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately not. We’re taking strict measures to keep both you and our teams safe, so this means we’re not able to carry out appointments for people who are self-isolating. 

The only time we might carry out an appointment for people who are self-isolating is if it’s an emergency – and you’re at risk of losing power. If this is the case, please call us.

Yes. In line with new government guidelines, you can book an appointment if you feel comfortable doing so. Our teams have been specially trained on how to keep everyone safe. Find out more about the safety precautions they are taking above. 

Please note that we’ll be following government guidance in areas where a local lockdown is in place.  
 

Yes. In line with new government guidelines, you can book an appointment if everyone in your household feels comfortable doing so. Our teams have been specially trained on how to keep everyone safe. Find out more about the safety precautions they are taking, above. 

Please note that we’ll be following government guidance on areas where a local lockdown is in place.  

Yes, no problem - you can reschedule the appointment by calling us on 0330 303 5063. 

Important: if you’re showing any symptoms of coronavirus, please make sure to reschedule for after the two week self-isolation period. 

No, we won’t charge you a cancellation fee if you need to cancel because of a coronavirus-related situation, or if you become unwell. 

We’re now able to carry out smart meter appointments everywhere we have engineers operating, and where local lockdown guidance allows us. You can check their availability here.  

You can take the following steps to make sure things are as safe as possible: 

  • Before your appointment, disinfect the area around your meter where the engineer will be working. Do this again after they leave.
  • Open windows and doors in the room where the engineer will be working. 
  • Make sure the engineer has clear access to your meters, and they’re free from clutter. 
  • Stay at least 2m away from the engineer at all times. If possible, go into a different room while they’re installing your meter, and make sure pets are kept out of the way. 

We’ll call you the day before your appointment to check it’s still safe for us to visit. Please tell us if you or anyone in your household is unwell or self-isolating. When the engineer arrives, they will check this with you again. 

When you book, we’ll share even more info about what to do before, during and after your appointment, to stay as safe as possible. 

If you’re not able to maintain social distancing of at least 2m during your appointment (because of the size/layout of your home or for any other reason) then please don’t book one. We won’t be able to carry it out safely. 

If you’ve already booked a smart meter appointment but you don’t think you’ll be able to maintain social distancing, please cancel. You can do this via your appointment confirmation email, through your online account or on our app. 

Unfortunately, without a meter reading, we’re unable to send your payment, as we won’t be able to work out how much we owe you. But if you're struggling to submit a meter read because you're unwell or unable to leave the house, please contact us on Twitter, or email us on [email protected].

Alternatively, you’ll also have the chance to submit new readings in June, and your payment will be backdated.

We understand that you may be struggling to submit a meter reading, because you're unwell or unable to leave the house. If that’s the case, please email us on [email protected] and we’ll work through the options with you. 

If you are able to submit your meter readings online, please continue to do so. This will help keep our phone lines free for members in emergency situations.

Yes, you will. We know this is a really difficult time, so any calls related to coronavirus will not result in you losing your credit - just email us on [email protected] and we will sort it out.

Don’t worry. If your smart meter installation is postponed due to coronavirus safety measures, you’ll still keep your OVO Beyond subscription. You can now rebook your smart meter appointment. But, to keep both you and our teams safe, please don’t rebook it yet if:

  • Anyone in your household is self-isolating 
  • Anyone in your household is at high risk from coronavirus 
  • Your area is in a local lockdown

These are appointments where meters are faulty and the member may be at risk of losing their energy supply because of this. If you already have an emergency appointment booked, then this will go ahead. 

If you have an emergency and your meter is broken, please call us on 0330 303 5063, Monday to Friday, 8am - 6pm and we’ll do all that we can to support you.
 

If your emergency means you’re going to lose power or you’ve already lost it, we can still help you – even if you or someone in your household is sick or self-isolating. We know this is a worrying time and we’re working very hard to try to make sure our members all have access to energy. 

Please give us a call on 0330 303 5063 and we’ll work through your options. Even if you are ill we will do everything we can to ensure you are not left without power. Our phone lines are busier than normal, but we’re prioritising those with emergencies like yours. We’ll be with you as quickly as possible.

We’re now able to carry out boiler maintenance appointments where local lockdown guidance allows us.

If you're in Wales, from 23 October to 9 November all non-emergency home services and boiler servicing appointments will be suspended in line with the latest government guidance. We hope you understand and we appreciate your patience. 

EV Charger Installations

If you live in England or Wales and you already had an appointment booked or you were waiting for one, our team will get in touch with you. Then, they'll help find a new time for your installation - which will be carried out with strict safety measures in place.

At this time we won’t be carrying out installations in Scotland.

You can read our full risk assessment for EV charger installations here.

Yes, if you live in England or Wales. In these places, we’re now taking maintenance appointments again – while following strict safety measures.

If you’ve already told us that you have a technical problem with your charger, we’ll be in touch over the next few weeks. If you haven’t contacted us yet and need to book an appointment, please email [email protected] Or you can call our installation partner, Charged EV, on 03300 431 851 (Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm). 

No, unfortunately not. At the moment, we’re prioritising members who were waiting for an appointment previously, or people who have a technical problem with their charger.

We hope you understand, and we’ll be back in contact to arrange a new appointment as soon as it’s possible to do so. 

If you’re unable to charge your EV, please call 03300 431 851, Monday to Friday, 8am - 4.30pm to contact Charged EV, our installation partner, and we’ll do everything we can to help. 

 Our teams have been specially trained on how to keep everyone safe, while they’re inside your home: 

  • On the day of your appointment, our team will call ahead to check it’s still safe to visit. They’ll ask if anyone in your household is self-isolating or has symptoms of coronavirus. If this is the case, your appointment will need to be rescheduled for a later date.
  • When the engineer arrives, they’ll check this again with you in person.
  • Our engineers will follow strict safety measures in line with government guidelines.
  • Our engineers will also be observing social distancing, which includes asking you to stay safe in another room while they work. Wherever possible, please give the engineers space to work safely.  
  • Our engineers may take more frequent breaks to get fresh air. They will also ask you to open windows and doors close to the meter for the duration of their visit. 

All our engineers will stop working immediately if anyone shows any symptoms of coronavirus, during their visit. 

Important: if you or anyone in your household becomes unwell before your appointment, please give us a call our installation partner on 03300 431 851 and we’ll work through your options.

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