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Debt and energy assistance

Find out ‘what’ to do and ‘where’ to get support when you can’t pay your bills.

What do I do if I can’t pay my energy bill?

First of all, please call us on 0800 0699 831. We’d much rather you talked to us about it and we'll do everything we can to help you work things out. 

Please also read this whole section, as it tells you about lots of helpful organisations – and the OVO Energy Fund.

How can OVO help me?

Take a look to see if you’re eligible for the OVO Energy Fund (see below), as we might be able to give you a one-off payment if you’re in debt and you earn less than £16,190. 

Whether you are or aren’t eligible, please call us on 0800 0699 831 if you’re having money troubles. 

Our friendly advisers will talk you through your options, based on your circumstances. If you’re in debt, we can work out a payment plan together. And if your debt keeps on going up, we can fit a prepayment meter at your home so you can pay it back, a little at a time.

What’s a prepayment meter?

It’s where you pay for your energy as you use it. It’s a great way to help you budget, clear off any debt and make sure you don’t get large bills. You do have to make sure there’s always credit on the meter, though, or else it’ll disconnect and you’ll have to add credit to get your energy again.

Who else can help? Are there any charities or government organisations?

There are plenty of organisations – some charity, some government – that can offer you advice when it comes to money worries. They are:

Step Change Debt Charity

This is the UK’s largest provider of free, independent debt advice. It helps thousands of people every week to overcome debt problems.
You can talk to them for free on 0800 138 1111 (Monday to Friday 8am-8pm and Saturday 8am-4pm).
You can also use their online Debt Remedy tool. After you’ve answered a series of questions about your household, income and expenditure, it’ll recommend how to manage your debts, based on your personal circumstances.

Fuel Direct 

The Fuel Direct scheme (part of the Department for Work and Pensions) can take the hassle out of paying your energy bills or debt, as it will pay them for you – directly from any of these benefits: 

  • Income Support.
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance Pension Credit.
  • Income-related Employment and support Allowance.

For more information, contact Jobcentre Plus (or your pension centre if you’re on Pension Credit). You’ll need to give:

  • Our details and how much you owe us.
  • Your customer account number.
  • Your National Insurance number.

National Debtline

This debt charity gives free advice in England and Wales through its helpline and online tool, My Money Steps.
My Money Steps will ask some questions about your income, spending and debts. It’ll then help you work out the best way to deal with your debts and give you step-by-step help and support to get back in control.
Call them on 0808 808 4000 (Monday to Friday 9am-9pm and Saturday 9.30am to 1pm).

Centre for Sustainable Energy

We’ve partnered with the energy saving advice experts at  Centre for Sustainable Energy to give you free, impartial advice on how to save energy and keep your home warm in winter.
Just have your name and account details ready when you call. And remember, if you are of pensionable age; have a disability, hearing and/or visual impairment; or suffer from long-term ill health, there may be special help available, so don’t forget to mention this to us when you call.  
Call them on 0800 408 6601 or 0117 203 4264 for mobiles. (Monday to Friday 9am-5pm)

Civil Legal Advice (CLA) 

Get free, confidential legal advice in England and Wales, if you’re eligible for legal aid. Call 0845 345 4 345 (Monday to Friday 9am-8pm and Saturday 9am-12.30pm).

Citizens Advice Bureau

For free advice and information on debt, drop into your local Citizens Advice Bureau or visit 

Ombudsman Services

If you have a problem sorting out a complaint with a gas or electricity company, the Ombudsman may be able to help on 0330 440 1624. 
However, you should only contact the Ombudsman after you’ve tried to resolve things directly with your gas or electricity company. So, if you’re with OVO, please tell us you’re unhappy before you contact them – and we’ll do our best to put things right.

What is the OVO Energy Fund?

It’s a fund to help people who’ve fallen behind with their energy payments to OVO, fallen into debt and who want to become more financially stable in future. If your application is successful, we’ll make a payment directly into your OVO account.

Am I eligible for the OVO Energy Fund?

You can apply to the fund if:

  • You have, or have had, an account with OVO Energy.
  • You’ve run up a debt on your gas or electricity account of at least £150.
  • Your annual household income is £16,190 or less.
  • You have a valid reason affecting your ability to pay. 
How do I apply to the OVO Energy Fund?

You can apply now
Apply Now

How will you assess my application?

We will work with the Plymouth branch of the award-winning charity Citizens Advice, which is well known for its high-quality energy debt advice.

Provided your application is successful, Citizens Advice Plymouth will be in touch within 4 - 6 weeks of you submitting your application.

When you apply for the fund, we’ll start by offering you a 1-hour telephone appointment with a Citizens Advice Plymouth Energy Advisor. They’ll talk you through all your options and explain how you can reduce your risk of debt in 3 ways:

  1. By making the most of your income.

  2. Using energy more efficiently

  3. Avoiding energy debt.

We hope this will help to increase your long-term financial confidence and stability.

I’ve applied once for a grant from the fund. How soon can I reapply?

If your application is successful and you get an award to clear your energy debt, we may ask you to wait 2 years before reapplying to the fund.
If your application is not successful, you can re-apply whenever you like if your circumstances change, but we will ask for evidence.

I’m having trouble completing the application form. Where can I get help?

If you’re having trouble because you’re ill, affected by sight loss or arthritis, or otherwise vulnerable, you can ask a friend, relation or carer to help you. There’s a section in the form where they’ll need to write their details to show they filled in the form with you.
You can also get help from a Citizens Advice Plymouth Energy Advisor – just call 01752 507703.

Are there any terms and conditions for the OVO Energy Fund?

Yes, here are the OVO Energy Fund Terms and Conditions.

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