OVO Energy and Ofgem: an update for our members
By OVO Energy Wednesday 29 January 2020
You may have heard in the news that after an investigation by Ofgem (the energy regulator), we will be making a £8.9m payment into a voluntary redress fund which supports vulnerable customers.
Since the day we started, our members have been our number one priority. We always strive to provide the best customer experience in the market and have fought for market changes that make energy fairer for everyone. This news doesn’t reflect our high standards. And we know that it might be unsettling to hear. So we wanted to explain to you what happened and how we’ve made changes to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
We also want to remind you – our members – that you remain our top priority everyday. And we want to say sorry to all affected members and reassure you that the big payment we’re making won’t cause us to increase our prices or compromise our service.
For some time, OVO Energy has been working with Ofgem as they investigated a number of areas in which we’d fallen short of regulatory requirements:
Due to inaccuracies within our IT systems, some of our members were not sent final bills, and others received inaccurate billing information and as a result, a number were either under or overcharged for their energy. In some instances, this also meant that they were charged an amount that went over the price cap.
Not everyone coming to the end of their contracts were given the correct information about their upcoming renewal in sufficient time.
Finally, we didn’t consistently give all our members an annual statement, which was a regulatory obligation until February 2019.
We apologise unreservedly to those affected. We refunded our members who were affected by overcharging on the prepayment meter cap.
Some members were overcharged as a result of inaccurate estimations over one winter period. Those overcharged by more than £10 were refunded. For the remainder, the total overcharge is included in our payment into the voluntary redress fund.
What have we done to improve?
We’ve always held ourselves to extremely high standards – so as soon as we discovered these issues, we worked tirelessly to put in place improved systems and practices.
We’ve strengthened our team and put in place a number of policies, procedures and governance structures to make sure we meet all our regulatory obligations in the future.
On top of that, we’ve invested in, and are rolling out, a new technology platform which improves overall customer experience. This will help us deliver market-leading information about our members’ energy use, helping everyone better understand their energy use, and receive clear and timely information about their bills.
Throughout the whole investigation, we’ve worked very closely with Ofgem who have acknowledged that we have fixed things.
We’re very proud of what we do – and have spent a lot of time reflecting on this situation to make sure we learn from our mistakes. Again, we’d like to say sorry to everyone who was affected and reassure you once more that we’re 100% committed to providing the very best customer experience for each and every one of you.
The OVO Energy Team