Smart Meters: The gateway to new technology



Over seven million smart meters have been installed to date and the wheels are in motion to move towards the Government’s rollout target to have every home in the UK installed with a meter by 2020. Despite concerns expressed by some in the industry around the target, nearly two-thirds of our customers have expressed to us that the main benefit of having a smart meter is no more meter readings, with 42 per cent stating that the main advantage for them is accurate bills and 29 per cent indicating that they are pleased with having an in home device for monitoring energy usage. In fact, the benefits do not end with accuracy, ease of use and efficiency as smart meters will serve to transform the system by acting as a gateway to new technology, feeding into the smart grid and supporting the shift to renewable energy.

We believe that smart meters are the gateway to a range of products and services that will transform energy systems for the long term. They are the foundation for new smart technology to develop and thrive in homes, and create energy efficient systems. Nearly half of our pay monthly customers currently have a smart meter installed, meaning they are able to actively monitor and view their account online or using the My OVO app. My OVO uses the half-hourly reading data from the meters combined with complex algorithms to determine what appliances and devices are using power in a customer's home, and a breakdown by appliance helps customers be more targeted when looking to reduce their demand. When smart meters are optimised to their full potential we can look at using smart technology to develop a suite of new services, including smart appliances, home energy storage, and electric vehicle charging.

Furthermore smart meters feeding data into smart grids, will allow energy providers to better manage bi-directional power flows into and out of their grids, and give customers the insights needed to understand their own energy infrastructure investments. Here at OVO, VCharge, with the technology platform VNet, has developed a solution for electric heat customers in the UK, which makes use of the function of smart meters. It utilises the smart meter programme and a smart tariff to unlock grid balancing revenues when the energy is not being used by the customer to offer added value to them. Initial pilot results from schemes in Glasgow and Newcastle have demonstrated customer savings, which comprised of reduced overall energy consumption and costs savings through the tariff.

Additionally, as more people start to plug in and charge their electric vehicles at home it will become more apparent how smart meters and the smart grid need to work together. This is where vehicle to grid (V2G) technology can play a key role. V2G technology enables energy stored in electric vehicles to be fed back into the grid to help supply energy at times of peak demand. It plays an important part in helping to ‘balance the grid’ so that more renewable energy can be added to the network. It essentially enables EVs to become mobile batteries, which provide load shifting and frequency response to support the national grid as renewable penetration increases. At an individual level, V2G technology allows EV owners to manage and sell back their energy, eventually becoming energy self-sufficient. At a macro level, V2G technology provides opportunities for energy independence and resilience against blackouts.

As the transition to truly smart energy systems gathers pace, customers will be increasingly demanding trusted access to the technical hardware that will power the shift to a digitised future. Smart meters underpin the move to a digitised, decentralised and decarbonised energy system and OVO is in a fantastic position to shift towards this future vision.

Melissa Gander, Managing Director of In Home Technology

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, 3-5% 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 20/3/2018, 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 22/11/2017, but may go up or down.

3Pay Monthly Savings claims: Saving based on the estimated annual cost of Simpler tariff for a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying monthly in advance by direct debit, including online discount. Comparisons made against the average of the Big 6 standard variable tariffs with equivalent features. All rates correct as of 20/3/2018.“The Big 6” are British Gas, Scottish Power, SSE, Npower, E.ON and EDF.

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.

OVO Interest Rewards: Interest Rewards are paid on credit balances of customers paying by monthly Direct Debit. It is calculated at 3% in your first year, 4% in your second year and 5% in your third year (and every year thereafter) if you pay by Direct Debit. Interest Rewards are paid monthly based on the number of days you’re in credit and the amount left in your account after you’ve paid your bill. Full terms apply:

95% of new customers save when switching to OVO: Savings based on the average estimated annual costs for all new OVO customers quoted through the OVO website, compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/05/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT.

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.

uSwitch's Energy Supplier of the Year 2017: OVO energy was voted and awarded  'Energy Supplier of the year' and best for: Overall Customer Satisfaction, Most Likely to be Recommended, Value for Money, Best Deal for You, Customer Service, Billing Services, Energy Efficiency, Meter Services, Online Services, Green Services and Transfer Process. OVO Energy scored a 96% customer satisfaction score.

* EV - Everywhere, full terms and conditions:

* OVO SolarStore (Beta), full terms and conditions:

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