Brits spend an average of 10 hours 50 minutes a year travelling to local shops and topping-up on energy
This equates to a whole month over a lifetime, that could instead be spent on attending 480 football matches
Top-up anywhere: brand new Smart PAYG+ app from OVO Energy ends the need for key card top-up in shops
The average pay-as-you-go (PAYG) energy customer in Britain is spending almost a month of their life dashing to the local shop to top-up on pre-paid energy.
Research by OVO Energy unveiled that the average pay-as-you-go user tops up on energy 3.54 times a month, with each trip to the shops taking 16 minutes. The time spent on these repeated trips adds up to 10.8 hours per year or 28 days in an average lifetime. This time could instead be spent on:
Attending 480 football matches
Watching every episode of Friends 8.5 times
Visiting all of the UK’s major cities
Learning a European language to an intermediate level
Running 130 marathons
The research has also unveiled that the time wasted on topping-up in shops could instead be spent on earning up to £150 a year, or an impressive £7,350 in an average working lifetime. This additional money could be spent on the following:
A round-the-world trip
Playing the National Lottery 3,675 times
Saving enough money to buy two years of food shopping for a family of four
Buying 15,000 pints of milk
A lifetime’s supply of toilet roll
The research was commissioned by OVO Energy to coincide with the launch of Smart PAYG+, the first energy pay-as-you-go top-up service that enables energy top-ups with the tap of an app on a mobile phone, rather than dashing to a shop. Users can also check their balance and see their energy usage at a glance to avoid unexpected blackouts.
Professor Adele H Marshall, Statistician and Director of Research at Queen’s University Belfast, who analysed the findings, commented: “It’s proven that creating free time during the year to do things we enjoy makes people happier in life, so OVO Smart PAYG+ is very welcome for some 11million pre-pay energy users in the UK, helping them save a staggering month of their life. Not only will it help put an end to all kinds of stressful and inconvenient situations but having more spare time gives people a higher quality of life overall.”
Justin Cockerill, Managing Director of OVO Smart PAYG+ said: “From being forced to make top-up trips at the most inconvenient times, to household emergencies due to energy suddenly running out, pre-payment energy customers have endured a rough ride from the industry. With PAYG+ these frustrating and time wasting situations are no more! We’re putting the power into the customers' hands and giving them unprecedented control and convenience over the cheapest possible energy supply.”
The research also uncovered the most common frustrating situations PAYG energy customers can find themselves in when it comes to an unexpected lack of energy in the home. 17% have experienced being stuck in a very sticky situation, when they’ve been in the shower or bath when the lights went out and a very unlucky 5% have even been left on the toilet.
Almost half (40%) of PAYG energy users have been left at home in darkness at least once as the shop has been shut and they’ve been unable to top-up the power. While over 40% have had a home cooked meal ruined, with the same number only realising they’re without power when they wake from a night’s sleep to find their freezer defrosted, no hot water, and no power to get ready. Over a third (36%) have missed an important sporting moment, or the ending of a film, after the meter unexpectedly ran out mid-way through.
The five most irritating situations customers have been left in, when caught without energy:
Making a meal (39%)
Missed ending of a significant sporting moment or film (36%)
Just about to go to bed (26%)
Stuck on the loo or in the shower (22%)
Getting ready to go out on the town (10%)
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OVO Energy Ltd, registered office 1 Rivergate Temple Quay Bristol, BS1 6ED, company no. 06890795 registered in England and Wales, VAT No. 100119879
Additional terms and conditions
Please see below for full terms and conditions on 33% renewable electricity, 3% interest rewards, exit fees and saving claims.
1Monthly cost - Representative monthly direct debit costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying in advance by direct debit, including online discount. All rates correct as of 23/08/16, but may go up or down.
2Weekly cost - Representative weekly costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas). All rates correct as of 23/08/16, but may go up or down.
3Pay Monthly Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYM OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location.
4Pay As You Go Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYG OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location.
We include almost twice as much renewable electricity as the national average: At least 33% of electricity in all of our tariffs comes from renewable sources. The national average, according to Ofgem as at March 2014 was 16.7%. For more information please visit this page.
33% of your electricity comes from renewable sources: 33% renewable electricity as standard as of 1st April 2015. Renewable electricity is generated from wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas.
3% interest: Calculated at 3% per year, paid monthly based on number of days in credit and the amount left in your account after you’ve paid your bill. OVO Interest Reward is capped at 12 times the amount of the current direct debit amount and is available to customers paying by advance direct debit. Terms apply: http://www.ovoenergy.com/terms/
95% of new customers save when switching to OVO: Based on all new customer signups between 01/02/2016 and 31/07/2016
94% of surveyed customers would recommend us: OVO conducted a survey of their customers in between 1st January 2016 and 15th April 2016. Out of 15,312 customers who responded, over 94% rated OVO 6+ when asked 'how likely would you be to recommend us to a friend and family, on a scale of 1 to 10.
Britain's top rated energy provider: Britain's top rated energy provider in the Which? 2015 satisfaction survey. Survey conducted in October 2015. Awarded in January 2016.