• Where our electricity comes from

    where our electricity comes from

    Source: Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)

    OVO has always challenged the status quo and we are passionate about innovating to make a significant impact via simple solutions to offer the greenest electricity we can, at the best possible prices. We call this balance between clean energy and great value ‘Mainstream Green’.

    Our plan is for OVO’s fuel mix to become steadily greener over time and the last year has been no exception. The fuel mix charts below * show how the electricity OVO supplied over the last three years (April to March) was generated and how this compares to the UK average.

    FMD grid


    Source: Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)

    As you can see, our fuel mix drastically improved over this period, with coal use dropping from 39.3% to 0% and the total mix now made up of 85% gas and 15% renewables. The chart below shows the carbon intensity of our mix falling from 486 to only 321 grams of CO2 per kWh, largely driven by eliminating coal.

     Carbon intensity 2 Source: Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)


  • How we did it

    These fuel mix improvements are all part of OVO’s Mainstream Green strategy. As well as supplying as much of the mix from renewables as we can (whilst still keeping down costs), we realised that simply getting rid of coal would cut our carbon intensity dramatically.

    We have said before (here and here and here) that we were unhappy with how much coal was in our fuel mix. Unfortunately, since we don’t own our own power stations, it’s been tricky to avoid, since we are left buying much of our power from the UK’s ‘residual mix’ which is far dirtier than we would like. But we’re a determined bunch here at OVO, and we’re pleased to say we finally found a way to wash our hands of coal for good.

    Delivering a 34% reduction in the CO2 intensity of our electricity means we avoided 296,000 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to taking about 62,000* cars off the road.


  • What about renewables?

    For the year 2014-15, our renewable electricity was generated using mostly wind, the diagram below shows the full breakdown.

    Renewable breakdown

    Source: Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)

    But as you can see, for the 2014-15 compliance period, our total share of renewables looks like it decreased from 26% to 15%. This is a little misleading, as it’s actually because, in order to scrub out coal, we no longer buy from the residual mix. That’s great for getting rid of coal, but also means we don’t count the 12% renewables from the residual mix last year (2013-14). Actually, in April 2015,we more than doubled the amount of renewables in our three main tariffs from 15% to 33% so by the end of this year (2015/2016) our renewables share will be above 33%. It’ll also mean another improvement in our carbon intensity.

    Eliminating coal from our fuel mix and increasing the amount of renewables has been a big challenge for us this year, and we’re proud of the results. But we’re not done yet and we know there’s still a ways to go before we reach the best possible Mainstream Green balance. In the meantime, you can see the official fuel mix numbers from Ofgem on our fuel mix disclosure page.

    *UK Renewable power is generated from wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas.