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OVO on the radio – Stephen Fitzpatrick on You & Yours

Stephen Fitzpatrick, our CEO, was interviewed on Radio 4’s consumer affairs programme You & Yours a few weeks ago. He spoke with Peter White about energy pricing and customer service.

You can hear the full interview again here (go to 30.20). Because the issues discussed are very topical at the moment we’ve put together a quick summary of the areas covered, and a little more information to support the answers Stephen gave. 

Why have OVO's prices increased?

 OVO’s prices reflect what’s happening in the wholesale energy market. Up until very recently, wholesale prices fell for several years. This meant we were able to drop prices consistently. Between January 2015 and January 2016, for example, we dropped our prices eight times. However, wholesale costs started rising earlier this year. As a result some of our prices have changed:

  • We raised fixed prices recently for new customers joining, or existing customers renewing. 
  • If you’re already a customer and you had signed up to our Better fixed plan before the price rise there was no change – your prices were locked in at the rate you signed for . 
  • If you’re on our variable Simpler Energy plan, it’s good news too – these haven’t changed eitherOVO hasn’t raised its standard variable tariff since February 2014.

While wholesale energy prices have come back down slightly, they’re still 25% higher than April this year. With the impact of global events there’s more uncertainty in wholesale prices. Industry and network costs are going up too. 

How do OVO prices compare to the Big Six?

OVO’s prices are still cheaper than the Big Six variable rates –  so in many cases, you will still save. What’s more, OVO is cheaper in the long run, as we offer all our customers the same great rates – no tease rates followed by price hikes at OVO.

Why isn’t OVO the cheapest in the market?

OVO believes in fair, transparent pricing. Pricing that reflects great value for the exceptional customer experience and service we offer.

There are a lot of teaser rates for new customers out there. But consumers need to be careful when it comes to cheap deals that might be too good to be true. It often means constantly shopping around to avoid rolling onto much more expensive prices when the initial teaser rate expires. 

At OVO you don’t have to worry about doing that. Every customer – new or existing – gets the best price we have. Always.   

What about the Ofgem’s recent complaints report – is OVO still delivering great service?

Looking at the bigger picture, our customer satisfaction level remains the highest according to the latest Which? customer satisfaction survey, and we have the lowest level of complaints in the energy sector with just 1 complaint per 1,000 customers according to Ofgem’s reporting. That said, here at OVO our aim is to have zero complaints, so there is always room for improvement.

How does that compare to other energy companies?

OVO had 1 complaint per 1,000 customers. This compares to the average Big 6 figure of around 20 complaints per 1,000 customers.

How does the OVO complaints process work?

We’re not perfect. When things do go wrong we work actively with our customers to solve problems quickly by following this complaints procedure. In most cases we’re able to come to a good resolution with customers. In the few cases we can’t, customers can escalate their complaint to the Ombudsman.  

Got a question we haven’t covered here? 

You'll find over 330 articles about all things energy in our online help centre, OVO Answers – why not have a browse.

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O​VO​ 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.

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