I'm having trouble understanding my payments - how can OVO help me?

We want to help you keep your account healthy. If you’re finding it hard to pay your energy bills, give us a call straight away and we’ll do our best to help you.

If you do fall behind, there are lots of ways to get back on track, so here’s what happens next.

Finding it hard to make payments

If you’re struggling to pay your OVO Energy bills, or you’re worried that you might be about to, please contact us as soon as possible. We’d much rather you spoke to us, we’re here to help.

Our friendly advisers will talk you through your options, based on your circumstances. Then we can work out a payment plan together that will help you keep any debt as low as possible. If your debt keeps on going up we might need to fit a repayment meter at your home.

What is a Repayment meter?

With a repayment meter in your home 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 any large bills. You do have to make sure there’s always credit on the meter, though, or else it’ll disconnect itself and you’ll have to add credit to start getting your energy again.

Of course, we will only fit a repayment meter if it’s safe and the right thing to do. We’ll talk about how much of your payments we’ll take towards clearing your debt. And if you’re going to add credit with cash payments, we’ll tell you where you can do it close to your home.

If we recommend you get a repayment meter fitted and you say no, we might have to disconnect your supply.

Disconnecting your energy supply

We’ll always try to help you come up with a manageable way to pay for your energy, but if you don’t pay for your energy at all, we’re legally allowed to cut off your supply. We’ll do our best to stop this happening.

If we have to pay any charges for disconnecting or reconnecting your supply (like a locksmith’s fees, for example), we’ll have no choice but to add them to your account.

If we do have to disconnect your gas or electricity, we’ll write to you and call you at every stage, to keep you up to date with what’s happening. We’ll also visit your home before disconnecting your energy, to give you information about reconnecting and the ways you can pay. If you still have debt on your account after we’ve disconnected you, we might take legal action to get the money back.

Between October and March we won’t disconnect your energy if you’re a pensioner living alone, or if you live with people of pensionable age or aged under 18. We’ll also do our best not to disconnect your supply during these months if everyone in your home is disabled or chronically ill. If we use a debt collection agency, they’ll follow these rules, too.

How the debt process works

If you’re in debt, we’ll get in touch to ask why you’ve stopped making your Direct Debit payments. We’ll explain that you must have an active Direct Debit on the account and/or make a payment to clear your debt. If you’re finding it hard to pay, give our Collections team a call and they’ll help you work out a payment plan.

If you don’t respond, we’ll take the following steps in this order:

  1. Try to collect your debt through our internal process.
  2. If that doesn't work, we'll ask a debt collection agency to take over.
  3. If you still don't respond, they'll visit your home to talk about your debt, as a last try to sort things out.
  4. The next step if this doesn't work is to fit a repayment meter at your home. You'll need to be at home at the time we arrange to fit it, if not, or if you don't let the fitter in, we'll get a court warrant to enter your home to fit it at another date or to disconnect your supply. We don't have to tell you this new date, only to let you know the date of the court warrant hearing.
  5. When our fitter gets to your property, they will decide whether they can fit a repayment meter or if they'll have to disconnect your supply instead.
  6. If we have to pay any costs to a debt collection agency, or for disconnecting or reconnecting your supply, we’ll add them to your account. This includes things like getting a court warrant or for a locksmith to enter your home. This will make your debt bigger and affect your credit rating.

Reconnecting your energy supply

Pay off all your debt (including any charges) and we’ll do our best to get you hooked up to your gas and/or electricity in two clear working days, if we need to install a new meter to reconnect your supply, this should take 4 working days.

You can also have a chat with us about setting up a payment plan, or fitting a repayment meter, to pay back your debt over a longer period of time. That way, we can get your supply up and running again right away.

Priority Services Register

If you’re a pensioner, have a disability or are chronically ill, get in touch with us to register on our Priority Services Register (PSR). You can see full details of this in our PSR Code of Practice, which you’ll find on our website, or give us a call and chat to one of our friendly Bristol-based advisers about it.

If you lose your energy supply

If you lose your supply, check whether there’s any credit on your meter. If your credit’s run out and your emergency credit hasn’t kicked in, the meter will disconnect itself.

If you’re having problems paying for your electricity or gas and you find your meter is disconnecting itself all the time, get in touch and we can talk through changing your debt repayment level, and help you decide what to do next.

We’ll come to read your meter and check it’s still working properly at least once every two years (this is the industry standard). If you don’t let us in, we may have to get a warrant to enter your home. If so, you may have to pay extra costs (like the cost of getting a warrant, locksmiths’ fees and solicitors’ fees).

If you’ve got a standard meter and you’ve lost your energy supply, please get in touch with us straight away on 0800 5999 440.

Moving Home?

To ensure that we can provide you with an accurate final statement, we ask that you provide us with a meter reading on the day you move home. You will need to leave your meter keys in the property as they will only work on that meter, your balance cannot be transferred on to a different meter so will need to be paid off if in debt or refunded to you if in credit when you receive your final statement. We advise that if you have a prepayment meter that you leave the meter with a low, but positive balance and switch off all your appliances, it may also be handy to leave a note for the new tenants advising that we’re the supplier.                             

If you’re not happy…

If we’ve done something wrong, we’ll try and sort things out the very first time you get in touch. So we can put things right (and stop it happening again), tell us what’s up via this form, and we will get back to you within five working days.

Our complaints procedure is governed by the Gas and Electricity(Consumer Complaints Handling Standards) Regulations 2008 (you can see a copy here).

In line with the OFGEM Complaint Handling Standards, every year we publish the number of complaints we receive that we couldn’t sort out by the end of the next working day.

Debt advice

There are various places where you can get help and advice on managing your energy bills. OVO work in partnership with StepChange Debt Charity who specialise in over the phone debt help. It’s free and confidential, and details of your call will not be passed on to us unless you want them to be. If you’d like to speak with StepChange Debt Charity, you can give them a call on 0800 138 1111.

If you feel you are less able to pay your bills due to a vulnerability - of pensionable age, registered disabled, chronically ill, have children under 5 years of age or are pregnant - please let us know by getting yourself on to the Priority Services Register, give us a call us on 0800 5999 440 to see if you qualify.

We’ve listed some more places where you can get help here, and the Citizens Advice Bureau will be able to tell you about others.

Energy Supply Ombudsman

National Debtline

Need some extra help?

Energy can be a bit complicated, so we’ve put together some other guides to help you know what’s what, you can find them here.

Give us a shout

Any questions about this guide, please let us know. Our friendly, Bristol-based customer service team are ready and waiting to hear from you.

Email us:
Call us: 0800 0699 831

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