OVO's £50m Customer Support Package: everything you need to know

OVO’s Customer Support Package has been designed to help those of our customers who need it most this winter. Whether you’re with OVO Energy, SSE Energy Services or Boost – we’re here for you. We started to roll out our support from 1 October 2022 and it runs until 31 March 2023. 

The support package includes free or discounted products and services, like smart thermostats, electric throws and boiler servicing. Some of the items we have are in limited supply and will be given to as many households as possible, prioritising those who need them most.

Chat to us for additional help

If you’re an OVO Energy, Boost or SSE Energy Services customer and need additional financial support, you can chat to our specialist support team. We’ll discuss your situation, listen to your needs and let you know what support we’re able to offer you.

Dedicated specialist financial support team

Here’s the support that will be available to customers:

Direct financial relief

Direct Debit relief, emergency top-up, and payment holidays for customers struggling to pay for their energy.

Hardship Scheme

Additional funds will be allocated to our Hardship Scheme, which will provide additional support for customers via a wide range of interventions, accessed through our dedicated support team.

Specialist support

Dedicated support for our customers in the most financial difficulty from a highly-trained team, including support for those in financial difficulty for the first time

Free and discounted products and services

A range of free and heavily discounted products and services like smart thermostats, boiler servicing and electric throws – prioritised for those who need extra support.

Additional support for those with an immediate need

Direct Debit customers

You will always have access to our online payment support tool which helps to assess the right payment plan for you. For customers particularly impacted by the high cost of living, we have an option to reduce direct debits by up to 15%, giving breathing room until the next direct debit check in.

Pay On Demand customers

You will be able to create bespoke payment plans lasting up to 36 months, increasing from the previous 24 months.

Prepayment customers

We're working to increase our emergency credit from £5 to £15. We’re also making sure that if we switch our customers to prepayment plans, we regularly check in to make sure they're able to manage through this difficult period.

We’ll be offering payment holidays for debt repayment for all prepayment meter customers so that every penny put on the meter will go towards heating, not paying back debt this winter.

Staying connected this winter

We will not disconnect our customers this winter where they fall behind, and encourage all customers who are unable to make their payments to contact us as soon as possible to discuss the tailored support we can offer.

Home energy efficiency support

We’re here to support and encourage all our customers to improve the energy efficiency of their home. This can help customers to reduce energy waste and what they pay.

Our specialist team will be offering these products and services to those who need extra support and meet certain eligibility criteria.

These discounted energy saving products and services include:

Free boiler services

Free boiler services, worth more than £60, to ensure boilers are working efficiently this winter, helping reduce energy use and bills

Free energy saving products

Free energy saving products such as smart thermostats, which can help customers take control and reduce heating costs by up to 30%1

Free electric throws

We’ve now sent all of our 30,000 electric throws to households in need. As a result we’ll be removing the option to apply for one through the Customer Support Package form from Friday 2 December.

Discounted A-Rated Boilers

Exclusive 20% discount for customers in need of a newly installed A-Rated boiler, helping reduce energy use & bills

Working with StepChange and the Trussell Trust

We’re continuing to support StepChange, the debt charity, so they can provide their vital support to customers who need to closely assess their finances and may require help in challenging situations. 

We’ve launched a new partnership with the Trussell Trust to support food banks to meet increased need this winter and help people facing hardship access practical support to get through this crisis and to a place where they can afford the essentials.

General questions

We’re doing this to help our customers in need of additional support because of rising energy prices. Even with the government’s support this winter, average household bills will still be 70% higher in real terms than last winter. We know this will have a significant impact on the household budgets of many of our customers and could make this winter a difficult time. While we recognise this won't solve the energy crisis, our Customer Support Package can make a difference for our customers who need it most this winter.

OVO’s Customer Support Package started to roll out from 1 October 2022, and will run until 31 March 2023, but we’ll be monitoring the situation closely to see if more help is needed. There is limited stock of some of the free products on offer, and we will prioritise those who need them most.

Any of our customers can apply for the OVO Customer Support Package, but to help us make sure it goes to those who need it most, we’d ask you to only apply if you’re struggling to pay your bills this winter.

You may have experienced financial difficulty before, or this may be the first time. That doesn't matter to us. If you are experiencing difficulty we want to try to help.

 When you apply for support, we’ll take into account things like household and disposable income and medical needs to help us prioritise those who need help most.

For some of our free and discounted products and services, we’ll also take into account things like the way your home is heated and how many people live at your home. This is to make sure we’re giving you the right support. 

We won’t be able to help everyone – but we hope to help as many people in need as possible this winter.

Financial support will be available from 1 October, with other help such as free and discounted products and services rolling out in the coming weeks. If you’re struggling to pay your bills, or you’re worried about paying your bills over winter – please get in touch. You can call our team on 0330 3035063 – we’re open Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm. Otherwise, please keep an eye on this page for updates on how to apply.

We’ll be contacting all of our customers on Pay As You Go shortly with information on what we're doing to ensure no-one goes off-supply this winter – including extending emergency credit limits and pausing debt recovery. This email will also include details of how to apply for extra help this winter.

When you apply to the OVO Customer Support Package, you’ll need the following information:

  • Your household income. That’s the total income before tax of yourself and anyone who lives with you. This includes any benefits you’re entitled to like your pension or job seekers allowance.
  • Your monthly disposable income. This is your income after tax, rent or mortgage payments and key bills. If you’re not sure what your disposable income is, this online disposable income tool from IncomeMax can help you work it out.
  • What kind of heating your home uses – gas or electric – and whether you have existing boiler insurance. This will help us work with you to make sure you’re getting the best help we can offer.

If you’re not able to apply yourself, please ask a friend or family member to apply on your behalf. As long as they have your permission to do so, they can call OVO and act on your behalf.

No. The support we’re offering as part of the Customer Support Package won’t impact your energy prices. We think it’s really important to help those who need it most during the current crisis, without adding further pressure to customer bills.

As always however, your bills will be influenced by how much energy you use. That means if you receive a free product like a smart thermostat or an electric throw as part of our Customer Support Package, your use of these products will help determine what you pay for your energy.

Yes, customers from OVO Energy, SSE Energy Services and Boost can all apply for help from the OVO Customer Support Package. All of our customers will be asked the same questions about their current situation, and we won’t prioritise support based on brand.

If you’re worried about paying your bills this winter, we have an option to reduce your Direct Debit, giving breathing room until the next direct debit check in. You can apply for this through your online account. If you're with OVO Energy log in to your account here. Or if you're with SSE, you can log in on our SSE website. Here are some other tips to help you save energy and money this winter:

  • Reducing your home’s energy loss If you can, adding insulation like a hot water cylinder jacket to your hot water tank, or reflector panels behind your radiators can help keep heat in your home, and reduce your bills.

  • Reducing unnecessary energy use:

    • Check your boiler pressure: the ideal boiler pressure is usually between 1 and 2 bar (this varies from boiler to boiler, so also check your boiler manual for the correct information). If you’re able to, check yours and if the pressure isn’t what it should be, read the instruction manual to learn how to change it.
    • Bleed your radiators: if you’re able to, bleeding your radiators helps to keep your central heating working efficiently – it makes sure that you’re getting the most heat possible out of your radiators.
    • The Energy Saving Trust also has lots of recommendations on how to use energy efficiently.
  • Keeping track of your energy use

     Smart meters measure how much energy you use, then share this info with you via your online account and on an In-Home Display (IHD). Unlike a traditional meter, you can see how much energy you’re using in real-time on the IHD.

    This can help you make small changes to reduce how much energy your home uses and cut your bills. To find out if you’re eligible, use our smart meter appointment tool.

If you’re eligible for support from the OVO Customer Support Package we’ll confirm exactly what support we can offer you, and what will happen next. The support we offer you could range from just financial help, through to financial help and free products and services. We’ll tailor support based on each customer’s needs.

No. While some suppliers are providing forms of support, each supplier’s plans are different.

As it stands the Customer Support Package runs until the end of March 2023, or until the products and financial support runs out. That’s why we’ll be keeping a close eye on the situation. Supporting our customers is our top priority, and we’ll continue to work with the government to develop long term energy market reform.

No, only one application per household is allowed. When you apply we can offer you a range of support from the package (e.g. direct financial support, and an electric throw), meaning you shouldn’t need to apply again.

At the moment, the maximum allocation for each household is one thermostat. Customers are able to access one free boiler check and one discounted boiler per household. This is to make sure as many customers as possible get the support they need.

If anything is wrong with the product, the product guide has contact details for the manufacturer and instructions on how to get in touch. 

If the product has been damaged in the post, the process that follows depends on the product.

  • If your electric throw is damaged or faulty, Purple Chameleon (the supplier) will arrange for returns to be sent to their distribution centre, via courier. You can get in touch with Purple Chameleon to organise this. Their contact details are on the product guide.
  • If your tadoº smart thermostat is damaged or faulty, you should call tadoº directly. Information on how to do this is included in the product packaging.
  • If you have changed your mind, or found that the tadoº is not compatible with your home heating system, you can return the tadoº to us. All you need to do is let us know and we’ll arrange this for you.

We’ll update this page with  information on how to replace or return Google thermostats soon.

We’re sorry that your product hasn’t arrived. We are aiming for the products and services being offered as part of the Customer Support Package to be fulfilled in the following timeframes:

  • Thermostats
    • If you’re getting a tadoº smart thermostat, this should arrive within 30 days
    • If you’re getting a Google Nest E, this should arrive within 30 days.
  • Electric Throws will start to arrive from early November. Beyond this date, they should arrive within 30 days of the order being placed.

If it’s been longer than this, please, call us on 03303035063 to let us know that you haven’t received your product and we’ll look into it for you.

Free smart thermostats

We’re offering customers free smart thermostats to help reduce their energy costs this winter. Smart thermostats are thermostats that connect to the internet, giving you control of your heating from your smartphone or tablet. They offer features like automatically turning your heating off when you leave your home, and back on when you return, draught detection and detailed scheduling.

If, for any reason, you think your smart thermostat might be faulty, please reach out to the manufacturer (either tadoº or Google). Information on how to do this will be included when you get your smart thermostat in the post.

Smart thermostats are designed so that you can fit them yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable installing it, please check if a friend or family member can help you. If this isn’t possible, you’ll need to book a professional installer in your area. Unfortunately this will be an additional cost and we’re not able to cover this as part of the Customer Support Package.

Yes, lots of people fit their own thermostats, and both tado° and Google provide clear instructions on how to self-install their thermostats.

tado° 

tado° gives detailed step-by-step instructions for more than 16,000 different heating systems. If you run into problems, tado°s highly trained Technical Support Team is on hand to assist during the installation.

If you don’t feel comfortable installing it yourself, a friend or family member may be able to help you. If this isn’t possible, you’ll need to book a professional installer in your area. Please note this will be at an additional cost.

Google

Most people install the Nest Thermostat E in 60 minutes or less, because you don’t need to access your heating system. The Heat Link E goes in the same spot as your current wired thermostat. And you can put the Nest Thermostat E anywhere you like.

If you don’t feel comfortable installing it yourself, a friend or family member may be able to help you. If this isn’t possible, you’ll need to book a professional installer in your area. Please note this will be at an additional cost.

Customers will either get a tado° smart thermostats or a Google’s Wireless Smart Thermostat and Nest Thermostat E. Which one you get will depend on existing stock levels available.

tado°

An independent study on heat control systems has shown that installing and correctly using a tadoº smart thermostat can reduce your energy use from heating by up to 31%.

(The study found that the tadoº device can reduce heating energy requirements by 14-26% through controlling the heat source (say a boiler or heat pump) and by another 7% by turning down the heating based on the weather forecast, depending on the window sizes. If the window surfaces are relatively large, the energy saving will increase.)

Google

There’s less information available on the performance of Google’s thermostat, but Google claim that 8-16% savings can be made on heating bills.

tado°

You will need an internet connection to control your heating system with tado°, however you can’t use Wi-Fi to do so. Instead, you plug the Internet Bridge directly into the router using an Ethernet cable. The Internet Bridge then connects the tado° wireless thermostat to the internet.

Google

While it's recommended that you connect your Nest thermostat to a Wi-Fi internet connection, Nest can still function in the absence of one. Without a Wi-Fi internet connection however, your Nest Thermostat will simply function as a traditional thermostat.

Free electric throws

Electric throws can help you save energy compared to heating an entire home – which is why we’re providing these for free to customers who need them most. The throws are 180cm by 130cm - this can cover up to 3 people and comes with a detachable digital controller.

OVO Energy has sent out all 30,000 electric throws to households in need. This means OVO has run out of throws, but there’s still a lot of support options available in the customer support package.

The heated throws are grey flannel fleece, and they measure 180cm by 130cm. The material is made from a mixture of recycled flannel and polyester.

If, for any reason, you think your electric throw might be faulty, please reach out to the manufacturer.

An electric blanket acts like a heated fitted sheet on your bed. An electric throw is a portable blanket that goes over you.

The heated throws meet all the required safety testing and certificates and come with overheat protection. 

Please note however, the throw is not suitable for use on children under 3 years, people who are insensitive to heat or unable to handle overheating.

It can be a cost-effective way to stay warm, but we still encourage you to keep your home above 15 degrees centigrade this winter to avoid mould.

Free Boiler Servicing

We’re offering free boiler servicing to eligible customers to help make sure their heating is working as efficiently as possible this winter. That’s because an efficient boiler costs less to run - saving customers money and making sure their home is as warm as possible.

If you are eligible for a free boiler service, OVO’s home services team will arrange for the job to be booked in with an engineer. You will receive confirmation of the date and time slot from the engineer within 4 weeks - either via SMS or a telephone call from the engineer.

We’re very sorry this has happened. Usually, this is because of a system error or mistake so we would encourage you to call the engineer again to rebook.

If as a result of the boiler service your boiler is found to be non-operational and requires work, we‘ll do everything we can to help you. The engineer will contact us with details of the fix required. We’ll review the situation and call you back within 24 hours to advise on next steps.

We can service all domestic mains gas boilers. There are hundreds of different types of boilers which our engineers are experienced at dealing with. There are a few boiler types that we can’t service. These include:

  • Liquefied petroleum gas, oil fired, solid fuel or electric boilers and heating systems
  • Back boilers or dual-purpose boilers such as an AGA or Rayburn
  • Central heating and/or controls specifically designed for piped or electric underfloor systems

We have mainland UK coverage. If there is mains gas in your area, we cover it. Please note that some of the Scottish Highlands & Islands are not connected to mains gas and as such aren’t covered by our boiler servicing network.

A free boiler service is worth over £60.

Discounts on new boilers

This winter we’re offering discounted boilers to all OVO customers with a mains gas supply (that’s customers of OVO Energy, Boost and SSE Energy Services), through our partner CORGI HomeHeat. Any customer can apply for a £400 discounted boiler by calling CORGI HomeHeat on 0800 085 6398 – option 1. And as part of the OVO Customer Support Package we’re offering up to a 20% further discount to customers who are struggling to pay their bills due to the current energy crisis. 

To make sure this additional support goes to those who need it most, and provide the most appropriate support to each customer, we’ll be prioritising those most in need of help. You may have experienced financial difficulty before, or this may be the first time. That doesn't matter to us. If you are experiencing difficulty we want to help.

To do this, we’ve set up some criteria to help us make sure those who need help most, get it first. This includes criteria like household and disposable income, medical needs and vulnerability, as well as questions about your boiler. We’re prioritising customers who are most in need, have a boiler that’s more than 10 years old, or have a Standard Efficiency boiler (a non-condensing boiler). A new boiler will have the most impact on these homes. There may also be other support we can offer you if you’re struggling to pay your bills, such as providing free electric throws or a smart thermostat, that will make more difference to you.

To get the £400 discount, please call the CORGI HomeHeat team on 0800 085 6398 – option 1. They’re our boiler installation partner, and part of the OVO family. Payment options may be available (subject to status).

If you’re struggling to pay your bills, and you’d like to apply for a further discount on your new boiler – please apply for the OVO Customer Support Package.

All OVO Energy, SSE Energy Services and Boost customers can get £400 off a new boiler. As part of the Customer Support Package, customers who are struggling to pay their bills can also get up to 20% further discount off their new boiler. The exact value of this discount will depend on the kind of boiler you choose.

The discounts can be applied to any of the boilers that are offered by CORGI HomeHeat (that’s our boiler installation partner). They offer three boiler brands:

You can choose which boiler you’d like to have installed at your home when you speak to them.

If you’re eligible for a further discount on a new boiler we’ll pass your details to the CORGI HomeHeat team, and they’ll give you a call to discuss your options and give you a quote.

You can expect this call within 24 hours if your boiler is currently not working and you’re without heat, and within 3 days if your boiler is working. 

If you decide to go ahead with the new boiler installation, an Engineer will be allocated to you, and they’ll reach out to arrange a survey & installation date that suits you.

They’ll install your new boiler and clean your heating system. They’ll also add a corrosion inhibitor to keep it working for longer, along with a magnetic filter to optimise energy efficiency. Once the installation is complete, they’ll take away your old boiler and recycle it (where possible).

All installations are carried out through our partner CORGI HomeHeat. CORGI HomeHeat only ever uses Gas Safe registered engineers to install boilers, as they're legally qualified to work on gas.

If it’s a straightforward swap, CORGI HomeHeat can get your old boiler out – and your new one in – within a day. If you’re looking to convert your system from a conventional boiler system to a combi system, this can take 2 to 3 days. When you speak to the team they can advise you on the expected timescale for your installation.

All boilers installed by CORGI HomeHeat as part of the Customer Support Package come with an installation warranty of 12 months. That means anything that goes wrong that’s due to the installation of the boiler will be covered for 12 months.

 You’ll also be covered by the standard manufacturers warranty which varies depending on the make and model of your new boiler. This is normally around 5 years, but when you speak to the CORGI HomeHeat team they can confirm the warranty period of the specific boiler you choose.

If you have an issue with your boiler within the first 12 months, please get in touch with the CORGI HomeHeat team.

If you have an issue with your boiler more than 12 months after its installation, please get in touch with the manufacturer. Please also be sure to read the boiler manufacturer's terms and conditions carefully once you’ve had your boiler installed.

We don’t currently offer a paid boiler service, but if you’d like regular boiler services from OVO you can sign up for our boiler cover which includes an annual service.

An efficient boiler will use less energy (and money) to keep your home warm. So always consider energy efficiency when it’s time to choose a new boiler. For example, if you live in a semi-detached house and move from an old G-rated boiler to a new A-rated condensing boiler with a programmer, room thermostat and thermostatic radiator controls (TRVs), you could save you up to £445 a year according to the Energy Saving Trust. Savings would vary depending on the size and thermal performance of your home.


1An independent study on heat control systems has shown that installing and correctly using a tadoº smart thermostat can reduce your energy use from heating by up to 31%.

(The study found that the tadoº device can reduce heating energy requirements by 14-26% through controlling the heat source (say a boiler or heat pump) and by another 7% by turning down the heating based on the weather forecast, depending on the window sizes. If the window surfaces are relatively large, the energy saving will increase.) ↩