Leaving OVO: Here’s what to do
If you’ve decided to leave us, we’ll be sad to see you go. But we’ll be sure to help you with everything you need to make your switch as quick and easy as possible
Firstly, as a valued OVO member, we’d like to know if there’s anything we can do to change your mind before you leave? We work hard to keep our members happy as part of our green community. So if we’re falling short, we’d like to know why. That way, we can improve our service, and keep us all moving towards net zero carbon living.
And of course, we’d like to encourage you to stay, by reminding you of our mission to reduce each of our members’ carbon footprints by 50%. Have you made use of our free OVO Greenlight tool, that offers energy-saving tips? After all, saving energy means saving money. And don’t forget we plant a tree every year in your name1 and use only 100% renewable electricity2.
But if you’re determined to go, we wish you well on your journey. Thank you for the positive contribution you’ve made to reducing the UK’s carbon footprint during your time with us.
How to let us know you're leaving
You don’t need to tell us directly. Once you’ve signed up with a new energy supplier, they’ll get in touch with us and send us your opening meter reading with them. Using this, we’ll work out the balance on your account to see if we owe you money, or if you owe us money, so we can settle the final bill.
Once we receive notification of you leaving, we may reach out to you to see if there’s anything we could have done better.
How long does the switch to a new supplier take? A step-by-step guide
1. Sign up to another supplier online or over the phone
Find a new supplier and make the switch. Before you leave us, make sure you don’t owe us any money – and double-check whether or not you have to pay an early exit fee (see more about this below).
2. You have a 14-day cooling-off period
You have a 14-day cooling-off period to decide if you’re sure about your switch. Should you change your mind, you can cancel your switch and stay with OVO (yay!). If this is the case, you won’t be charged any exit fees, even if you're on an energy plan with exit fees.
3. Your new supplier will also contact us after your 14-day cooling-off period
This is to let us know you’re leaving, and ask to take over your supply.
4. Get your opening meter readings
A few days before your switch date, your new supplier will ask for your first meter readings.
You get a 10-day window to give your opening meter readings. It begins 5 days before your switch date, and finishes 5 days after. We really recommend sending us those readings too, to help your switch run as smoothly as possible.
Your new supplier will then send off your readings to be validated by the central database that all suppliers use.
5. Final bill and refund
After your readings are checked, your new supplier will send them to us. We'll use those readings to create final statements and close down your account. Gas and electricity readings are sent separately, so you may get 2 final statements. This can take up to 6 weeks.
If you’ve any credit remaining on your account after your final bill, we’ll refund it to your bank account within 10 working days, then we’ll cancel your Direct Debit. If you don’t pay by Direct Debit, or you pay as you go for your energy, we’ll send your refund by cheque.
Your most frequently asked questions answered about switching supplier
We want your switch to run as smoothly as possible, so here are answers to the most commonly asked questions. If you have any queries not answered here, please get in touch with one of our friendly advisers via online chat and they’ll be glad to help.
What happens if I leave OVO with a credit balance?
You’ll get your final bill within 6 weeks after switching away. If you’ve overpaid and you’ve got credit on your account, we'll refund you within 10 working days after you receive your final bill. If you pay monthly for your energy by Direct Debit, the refund will go back into the same bank account. If you don't pay by Direct Debit, or you pay as you go for your energy, we’ll send your refund by cheque.
If we supplied you with both gas and electricity, your final bill may arrive as 2 separate statements. So you’ll get your refund after you’ve received both bills.
What if I owe OVO money?
If you try to switch while you still owe money, we’ll need to raise an objection. You can’t switch away while you’re in debt, unless it's under £25. As soon as the debt is cleared, you’ll be free to switch.
If you pay as you go for your energy, you can take debt of up to £500, for each fuel, to a new supplier. This is called the Debt Assignment Protocol. If you'd like to do this, you'll just need to speak to your new supplier.
What happens to my Direct Debit when I leave OVO?
If you pay monthly for your energy by Direct Debit and have any credit remaining on your account after your final bill, we’ll refund it to your bank account within 10 working days, then we’ll cancel your Direct Debit. Otherwise, we’ll just cancel it.
Will I be charged an early exit fee?
Early exit fees are charged if you leave a fixed plan contract more than 53 days before it’s due to end. So it’s worth checking when your contract ends, and working out the date you can leave without being charged. You won’t be charged exit fees if:
- You’re on our “Simpler Energy” variable rate tariff. You can switch whenever you like.
- You pay as you go for your energy.
- You’re in your 14-day cooling-off period with your new supplier.
- If you’re in your renewals window and it’s about to expire.
- If you want to upgrade your fixed plan to another with OVO (except for Simpler Energy).
The OVO energy early exit fee is £30 per fuel. So if you have both electricity and gas with us, the exit fees will be £60.
Will my OVO smart meter work with my new supplier?
This depends on the type of smart meter you have installed – it could be a SMETS1 or a SMETS2. The new generation SMETS2 meters should work with every supplier. But the older SMETS1 meters have been known to have some issues, and are in the process of being upgraded.
The easiest way to tell what kind of smart meter you have is to take a look at the numbers on the front of your meter. The first 2 digits of the meter are the year of manufacture. If that’s followed by a P, it’s a SMETS1 – and if it’s followed by M or K, you have a SMETS2 meter.
SMETS1 meters also have numbered keypads, whereas SMETS2 meters don’t.
To find more information, head over to our article on switching suppliers with a smart meter.
What happens to my In-Home Display (IHD) if I switch suppliers?
If you have an IHD and your new supplier uses the same system to communicate with your meter as we do, the IHD should be able to display your energy use.
There’ll be a bit of (remote) tweaking needed though, as it will still be programmed with our tariff. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about that, as it should happen automatically. Your new supplier will also reprogramme your meter so the IHD can show how much your energy is actually costing you.
If your unit rates and standing charges haven't updated, give your new supplier a call and they’ll follow up for you.
Which energy suppliers are compatible with OVO smart products?
The best way to find out is to speak to your new supplier about the smart products they’re using and see if they’re compatible with ours.
Will my Smart Gateway still work with a different energy supplier?
Unfortunately not. It won’t work with any other energy company’s meters, as you need to be able to access the data through your OVO online account.
What can slow down my switch, and how will delays be resolved?
Most switches go smoothly, without any hiccups. But, occasionally, there might be a delay – and it’s likely to be from one of these things:
1. Your meter readings might take longer than normal to be validated
When you sign up to your new supplier, they’ll ask for your electricity and gas opening readings. They’ll also get your readings checked against the meter readings from us.
These checks are carried out by different companies, which means that when your validated readings are returned to them and your new supplier, they might not come back together. This can lead to a delayed first statement on one of your fuels. And if the figures don’t match, it can lead to a reading dispute.
2. Your meter details or address might be wrong
It might be that they’re missing one of your meter numbers, or haven't got your full address.
3. You might have had an erroneous transfer
They’ll use the national database to find your meter details, so they switch the right person. They should send these to you to check. If you forget and they don't match, they might transfer someone else by mistake. This is called an erroneous transfer. You can find out more about erroneous transfers in our help page.
4. You've built up a debt
If you owe us money, we may reject or block your switch, which will lead to a delay.
I’m trying to switch away. Why have you raised an “objection”?
An “objection” is an official way of us saying, “you can’t leave us yet”. This might happen if:
- You still owe us money
- You’re breaking the terms of your contract
- Your supply has been accidentally switched, known as an erroneous transfer
- You spot an erroneous transfer and ask us to block it
- You've got a “related” meter or meters, which have 2 or more meter point administration numbers (MPANs), and your new supplier hasn't tried to switch both at the same time
If we do raise an objection, we must let you know as soon as possible (this is one of the terms of our licence) and explain:
- Why we’ve raised the objection
- How you can resolve matters and get us to remove the objection
It’s hard to say goodbye…
When you chose us, you chose to be a part of a community of people working together against the climate crisis. We want our members to feel like they’re part of our mission to drive progress towards net zero carbon living. We’re not just about tariffs and prices – we’re a community of like-minded people, with shared values, walking the green walk towards Plan Zero.
OVO aren’t like other suppliers – we’re also pioneers, constantly innovating with the technology we need to boost a green energy system with our partner, Kaluza. The future is an exciting place for green initiatives, and we’d like you to come with us. So here’s a recap of what we can offer you as an OVO member:
- 100% renewable electricity as standard4
- A tree planted in your name every single year you are with us5
- Access to OVO Greenlight: free energy-saving tips
- An award-winning smart meter experience (Uswitch 2020)
- A £50 gift card every time you introduce a friend
- A 5-Star TrustPilot rating by 30,000 members
Simply by being with us, you’ve already contributed to the development of a zero carbon energy system and a cleaner future for all. And we’d like to thank you for that.
Sources and references:
1 and 5. Each year, OVO plants 1 tree for every member in partnership with the Woodland Trust. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, so tree-planting helps to slow down climate change.
2 and 4. 100% of the renewable electricity we sell is backed by renewable certificates (Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates (REGOs)). See here for details on Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates and how these work. A proportion of the electricity we sell is also purchased directly from renewable generators in the UK.