Of course, when you’re looking for cheap gas and electric quotes, the first (and maybe the only) thing you mean to consider is price. However, if you really want to compare gas and electricity from different providers as accurately as possible, there are other aspects to think about as well, like service and greenness.
For example, if you’re the kind of person who always wants to be able to phone up and chat to a real UK-based adviser rather than managing your account online, you may think that’s worth paying a bit more for.
And there are certainly plenty of us who are prepared to spend extra to protect the planet by signing up to a green plan.
The table above shows what you can expect from our three plans, and in this section we help with your price comparison for gas and electricity by explaining what we mean by all the terms we use in the table.
To start with, you’ll pay the monthly amount shown in your quote. However, if we find you’re using more energy than we expected, or much less, we may need to adjust your payment to make sure it covers your energy use accurately over the year.
The figures on this line show the average monthly amount that would be paid by someone on each individual plan if they were a medium user of gas and electricity.
We work them out by using the ‘typical domestic energy consumption’ figures published by Ofgem. These show the average amount of gas and electricity used each year by a medium customer in the UK.
We then multiply this yearly average by our unit rates (for each monthly plan) and standing charges to show the annual cost.
Lastly, we divide it by 12 to find the average monthly payment.
Most energy providers should give an average price figure in their website, to help with your electric and gas comparison.
To us, renewable electricity means energy generated by renewable sources like wind power or the sun’s rays. We believe it’s important to use as much renewable energy as we can, which is why even our Simpler and Better tariffs offer a minimum of 33% renewables.
The renewable electricity in our OVO mix comes from wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment gas and biogas. We buy some of it from renewable energy generators based in the UK, but most of it on the wholesale market, as this helps us offer you renewable energy at the most affordable price.
However, not all the electricity on the wholesale market comes from renewables. It also comes from nuclear power stations and fossil fuels like gas and coal.
This electricity gets mixed up on the national grid, so it’s simply not possible to follow electricity from individual sources on its journey from generator to customer. This means that we can’t guarantee that the electricity that arrives in your home is the exact renewable electricity we bought on your behalf – in fact, no supplier can.
The good news is that, when it comes to renewables, there’s a certificate called a ‘Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin’ that companies like OVO can use to show how much renewable electricity we’ve bought compared to how much we’ve sold to customers. So we can show that for every unit of electricity you use in your home, we’ve bought the same amount of electricity from a renewable source.
‘Renewable’ only refers to electricity, as gas is always a fossil fuel, although a relatively clean one compared to coal.
At OVO, we now charge exit fees on some of our fixed plans. If you want to find out if they apply to your plan, please check your contract. If it does include exit fees, you may be liable to pay these charges if you leave your fixed plan early, or downgrade your plan at any point during your contract. The amount will be £30 per fuel (including VAT) – so you might have to pay us £60 because you’ve changed your mind.
In case you’re not sure, our fixed plans are Better Energy and Greener Energy.
Find out more about exit fees here.
If you’re on a ‘fixed price’ or ‘fixed rate’ plan or contract, it means that the unit prices you’re paying for your gas and electricity won’t change, no matter what may happen to national energy prices. Once we’ve offered you a price and you’ve accepted it, it will stay the same for the 12 months of your contract.
This only applies to our Better and Greener plans; Simpler is a variable rate plan, so unit prices can change when national energy prices rise and fall.
Just to make it clear, fixed prices are not the same as fixed payments. The basic rate that you’re paying for each unit of energy stays the same, but your payments could rise or fall if you use more or less energy each month than we originally expected.
If you’re happy to manage your account online, we’ll thank you with our online account management discount.
At the moment, it’s £60 a year if you get both gas and electricity from us. If you get just one fuel, it’s £30. You’ll see it in your OVO statements as a monthly discount of £2.50 per fuel.
Once you’ve opted in, you’ll get the discount as long as you keep visiting My OVO or using My OVO or the OVO apps to:
… and much more.
You’ll find it’s usually quicker than calling, and often quicker than emailing, and it means you can check on your account, or make changes, at times that suit you.
OVO Interest Reward is our way of giving back the interest we earn when your OVO account is in credit – so it’s something else to bear in mind if you’re trying to compare the market. Throughout the time when you’re in credit, we’ll calculate your OVO Interest Reward each month and it’ll appear in your OVO statements.
The OVO Interest Reward isn’t linked to Bank of England interest rates, but it does reflect what happens to interest rates in general, and we review it every 6 months. At the moment, it’s set at 3%.
*Interest is calculated at 3% per year and paid monthly, based on the number of days your account is in credit and the amount left in your account after you've paid your bill. 3% OVO Interest Reward is capped at 12 times your current direct debit amount and is available to customers paying in advance by direct debit. Terms and Conditions apply.
*3% interest - Calculated at 3% per year for customers paying by advance direct debit. The OVO Interest Reward is paid monthly based on number of days in credit and the amount left in your account after you’ve paid your bill, and the credit balance on which you can earn the OVO Interest Reward is capped.
**Estimated prices based on national average usage for both gas & electricity. These are the average annual bills for an average medium consumer (non economy 7, 3100 kWh electricity, 12500 kWh gas) based on a UK average. Estimated prices are correct as of 06/02/2018.
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 06/02/2018, but may go up or down.
2Pay monthly saving claims: Saving based on the estimated annual cost of OVO Two year fixed 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 06/02/2018.“The Big 6” are British Gas, Scottish Power, SSE, Npower, E.ON and EDF.