All you need to know about your new VCharge smart heat product
1. Our contract
1.1 This contract is between you and us.
We are VCharge UK Ltd. Related expressions like us or our should be read accordingly. Our address is 15 Atholl Crescent, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH3 8HA.
You are the person who has signed up to take the VCharge service from us.
1.2 By agreeing to receive the VCharge services and having the equipment installed in your home, you are agreeing to these terms and conditions and to contract with VCharge UK Ltd, a member of the OVO group.
1.3 Your contract (and the cooling off period) starts on the date you first agree to your VCharge contract over the phone, face to face or on our website and not the date that you actually start receiving the VCharge service.
1.4 When we refer to the VCharge service (or similar expressions), we mean the smart control of your storage and/or water heaters to optimise your energy usage, costs and comfort.
1.5 When we refer to the VCharge contract, we mean the contract agreed between you and us either over the phone, on our website or in person, the terms of which are contained in these terms and conditions and the letter or email headed “Here’s your VCharge Contract” (the contract letter) which we sent to you on or around the date you agreed to the VCharge contract.
1.6 When we refer to the equipment we mean the “Dynamo” labelled heating controllers, sensors, thermostats and any other VCharge issued equipment required to provide the VCharge service.
1.7 When we refer to the property we mean the property or premises at which the VCharge service will be supplied.
1.8 When supplying electricity via a prepayment meter or when you sign up to a prepayment tariff or plan, we operate under the Boost brand and for all other meters, tariffs and plans, under the OVO Energy brand.
1.9 Unless stated otherwise, when we refer to OVO in these terms and conditions we mean OVO Energy or Boost.
2. Your obligations
2.1 You will not be eligible for the VCharge service unless:
(a) you have an electricity supply contract with OVO;
(b) you are aged 18 years or older;
(c) you either own or live in the property;
(d) you are allowed to sign up to this contract for the property. If you do not own your property (for example, you live in social housing or have a lease with a landlord), you may need your landlord, local council or authority’s permission to carry out the work required to install the equipment for your VCharge service. Unless you tell us otherwise, we will assume that you have this permission. We won’t be responsible if we carry out work and you don’t have the necessary permissions. You’ll be responsible for any losses we suffer as a result of you failing to get the right permissions and any termination fees and charges as set out in your contract letter; and
(e) the property is connected to mains electricity.
2.2 You are responsible for maintaining any equipment that is relevant to the VCharge Services which you own and/or is not installed by us (for example, storage heaters).
2.3 You will keep your contact details (including email address and mobile phone number) up to date. We will use these details to contact you with information about your VCharge service.
2.4 You agree to contact our customer services team immediately regarding any loss or damage to our equipment. You will be responsible for loss of or damage to the equipment, regardless of how it happens.
2.5 In order for us to provide the VCharge service to you, you’ll need:
(a) a mains electricity supply;
(b) a smart meter which OVO can support and for which you have agreed to provide half hourly meter readings during the VCharge service signup process (for more information on what this means, see here);
(c) a domestic broadband connection which is active and stable for our use at all material times, with a spare Ethernet port connection and electrical socket; and
(d) two or more electrical storage heaters, which you use to heat your home and if you have an electrical water heater we can also include this as part of the VCharge service. You must use your storage heaters as the main method of heating your home.
3. Installation and access to your property
3.1 You agree to provide access to your property for one of our engineers or subcontractors to install the equipment and set up the VCharge services, at a date and time agreed between us and you.
3.2 You must ensure we are able to safely access your property on the agreed day and time and that either you, or someone on your behalf (aged 18 years or over), is at the property and can show us where we need to install the equipment and give us instructions on any issues that arise during the appointment.
3.3 If any of the following occur on two or more occasions, we may charge extra for the installation or terminate the VCharge contract:
(a) we aren’t able to access the property at the agreed time on the agreed day;
(b) we can't access the property safely;
(c) a responsible person is not present; or
(d) we believe there’s a health and safety risk to our engineers.
3.4 In relation to clause 3.3 above, if you have paid us upfront, we will refund any amounts paid by you but deduct any reasonable costs incurred by us. If you are paying for VCharge by monthly payments, you will receive a bill for the charges in accordance with clause 7.3:
3.5 We may need to carry out a survey of your property to check we are able to install the equipment. If our survey shows that we won’t be able to install the equipment, can’t support your smart meter type, if your internet connection does not meet our minimum requirements, it is not practical to carry out the installation of the equipment for any reason or if a non-standard installation is required, we may cancel your installation and terminate the VCharge contract. If we need to do this, we’ll notify you as soon as possible and will refund any payments you have already made to us under the VCharge contract.
3.6 Our standard installation assumes that we are able to install the VCharge equipment on your equipment (eg your storage heaters) in line with our usual fitting procedure, and that we do not need to carry out additional work, such as additional electric or internet wiring or the removal of any fixtures at your property.
3.7 If a non-standard installation is required or if you request changes or additional work, you may have to pay an additional fee. If additional work is required, we’ll explain the reason and provide an estimate of the additional fee, so you can decide if you’d like to go ahead. If you’d like to go ahead with your installation still, we’ll may need to book a further appointment with you. If you decide not to go ahead due to the additional work and charges, please inform us prior to us commencing work, we will then cancel the installation and refund any fees.
3.8 We may also have to change the installation time or date agreed with you. If we need to do this, we’ll try to notify you as soon as possible, however we aren’t responsible for any delays in installation caused by circumstances beyond our control.
3.9 We won’t pay any compensation if we can’t complete installation of your equipment during the appointment. However, we’ll make another appointment with you for an appropriate time to complete the work, at no extra cost (except under the circumstances set out in clause 3.3).
3.10 We’ll take reasonable care to carry out the installation without causing unnecessary damage to the property. We’ll fix any damage that is directly caused by our negligence. The installation (including removing or dismantling existing fixtures and fittings) may cause some incidental damage (for example, small damage to the surrounding plaster). We will not be responsible for fixing this incidental damage.
3.11 We won’t start or continue the installation at your property if we believe there’s a health and safety risk to our engineers, and we won’t return to complete the installation until that risk is resolved.
3.12 You agree to let us provide any maintenance services that we believe are necessary for the equipment to work properly and for us to provide the VCharge service to you. If necessary, we will make an appointment with you to carry out any maintenance services and it will be done at no cost to you.
3.13 We reserve the right to upgrade and update the equipment and the services from time to time and you agree that we may do so. If necessary, we will make an appointment with you to carry out any upgrading or updating and it will be done at no cost to you.
3.14 We may suspend any or all of the VCharge service immediately without notice if maintenance, repairs or improvements to any part of the equipment, the services, or the system need to be carried out.
3.15 We do not have to install the equipment at your home if your home is outside our service area as set out in your contract letter.
4. Your subscription to the VCharge service
4.1 You agree to us supplying you with the VCharge service from the start date for the minimum period that is stated in your contract letter.
4.2 The start date is the first date on which the VCharge service is available for you to use. You will start to receive the VCharge service once the we have installed the VCharge equipment and an OVO smart meter (if you don’t have one already).
4.3 Your subscription to the VCharge service lasts for the minimum period stated in your contract letter, unless you or we end it earlier in accordance with clause 9.
4.4 On expiry of the minimum term, we may offer you a maintenance or service contract to you to keep receiving the VCharge service, see clause 4.5.
4.5 Shortly before the minimum period has ended, we’ll be in touch to ask if you’d like to continue to use the VCharge service. We’ll make sure we give you all the relevant information and the applicable charges before you make your decision.
4.6 If you chose to leave OVO Energy or wish to end your VCharge contract, at any time, you will not be able to benefit from the VCharge service.
5. Using the equipment
5.1 To provide the VCharge service, the equipment must be connected to your storage heaters or other devices. We are not responsible for your equipment working properly. You will provide and pay for suitable facilities and all necessary electrical and other installations and fittings (including power sockets) for the equipment.
5.2 The equipment will remain our property (or another OVO group company) until the end of the minimum period, at which point it becomes your property to keep and all responsibility and liability for the equipment will transfer to you.
5.3 Unless we or you terminate the VCharge contract, we will have the right to use the equipment for the VCharge service at all times, even when ownership has transferred to you.
5.4 You are responsible for making sure that the equipment is safe and used properly at all times. To do this, you agree you will:
(a) follow the manufacturer’s instructions and any other instructions we give you;
(b) keep the equipment in your home and under your control (for example, you may not sell it, lend it or hire it out to anyone else, put it up as security for a loan or mortgage, or allow it to be seized under any legal process against you);
(c) not misuse, neglect or damage the equipment (including by tampering or disassembling it). This includes any accidental or deliberate damage; and
(d) take proper care at all times to prevent the loss or theft of the equipment.
5.5 You agree to tell us as soon as possible about any loss or damage to the equipment. You agree that you’re responsible for any loss or damage to the equipment, regardless of how it happens. We reserve the right to charge you for any loss or damage to the equipment, see the fees and charges section of your contract letter.
5.6 We are not liable if there are any interruptions or problems with the VCharge service which are beyond our reasonable control. You agree that you will tell us about any fault in the VCharge service and/or equipment by contacting our customer services team.
6.1 You will have received certain software in the equipment. We retain title and ownership of the software for the equipment we provide to you and all intellectual property rights in and on that software.
6.2 We may update the software and/or firmware on the equipment from time to time using your broadband internet connection. You don’t need to do anything except ensure that your equipment remains connected to your broadband router by the ethernet port.
6.3 You must not copy, distribute, attempt to disassemble, decompile, create derivative works of, reverse-engineer, modify, licence, change or tamper with the software in the equipment or allow anyone else to do so.
7. Paying for the VCharge services
7.1 You will pay the agreed charges as set out in your VCharge contract.
7.2 If at any point OVO stops supplying your electricity (whether at your request or otherwise), you must pay the charges stated in your VCharge contract for each month.
7.3 You will receive a bill for your charges. You must ensure that your payments are received by us by the due date for payment shown on your bill. We will bill you electronically via email, and you must provide us with a valid and current email account to which we will send your bills.
7.4 Payment may be taken by a 3rd party service, which we may change from time-to-time at our discretion.
7.5 You may choose to pay your bills by cash, credit or debit card, or by Direct Debit. You can decide how you’d like to pay if and when you are required to start paying charges.
7.6 If you are paying for your VCharge by monthly payment and you don’t pay your bill on time:
(a) we can add the amount of your debt to your next bill;
(b) where you pay by Direct Debit, we can charge you for the first missed payment and for each missed payment after that;
(c) you must pay us any bank charges that we have to pay because of cancelled or failed payments;
(d) we can temporarily suspend or permanently disconnect your service; or
(e) we can charge you interest at 4% per year above the current Bank of England base rate, which will be charged on the overdue amount you owe until you pay the overdue amount plus interest.
7.7 We are entitled to carry out credit checks on you at any time. This may include us sharing personal information we have about you with credit reference agencies and/or fraud prevention agencies.
7.8 Information supplied to us may be used to:
(a) verify your identity;
(b) use scoring methods to assess your application and help us choose what plan and payment method is right for you;
(c) prevent crime, fraud and money laundering;
(d) check the operation of your credit-related accounts; or
(e) trace your whereabouts and recover debts that you owe.
7.9 This request will stay on your credit checking history (a footprint), whether you sign up to the VCharge service or not. It may also affect your credit rating.
7.10 Based on your credit check, we may request a security deposit at any time as security for the equipment and in case you do not pay your bills or return equipment provided to you. All or any part of this deposit may be used to pay any charges you owe under this contract.
7.11 If you fail to pay us any money you owe this information may be passed to credit reference agencies and/or fraud prevention agencies. The credit reference agencies keep records for six years after:
(a) your account has been closed;
(b) you pay the debt; or
(c) someone takes action against you to recover the debt.
7.12 Your data will not be used to create a blacklist.
7.13 You can contact the credit reference agencies currently operating in the UK – their current details are below. The information they hold may not be the same so it is worth contacting them all. They will charge you a small statutory fee:
(a) CallCredit, Consumer Services Team, PO Box 491, Leeds, LS3 1WZ or call 0870 0601414.
(c) Experian, Consumer Help Service, PO Box 8000, Nottingham NG80 7WF or call 0844 4818000 or log on to http://www.experian.co.uk.
8. Moving house
8.1 If you move to another address during the minimum period, you may ask us to provide the VCharge services to your new address. You must provide at least one month’s notice to do this, and we will do our best to accommodate your request but we cannot guarantee that we can provide you with the VCharge services at your new address.
8.2 If we can’t supply the VCharge services to you at your new address, you will be deemed to have cancelled your contract and clauses 9.3-9.7 will apply to you.
8.3 If we agree to provide the VCharge services to your new address, you may have to pay the cost of having new equipment installed at your new address, as well as any service transfer charges which may apply (see the list of charges in your VCharge contract).
8.4 We will also send you a new contract for the VCharge services at your new address. Your new contract will start on the date the equipment is installed at your new address and you will need to keep the VCharge services for the minimum period of that new contract or you may be charged an early disconnection fee (see clause 9.4 below).
9. Cancelling your subscription
During your cooling off period
9.1 You can cancel your contract for the VCharge services within 14 days (the cooling off period) from the date on which your contract starts.
After your cooling off period
9.2 In addition to your rights to cancel during the cooling off period, either you or we may end this contract at any time (including during or at the end of the minimum period) by giving the other 30 days’ notice.
9.3 If either you or we terminate this agreement prior to the end of the minimum period, we may remove the equipment from your property. You agree to provide access and reasonable assistance to enable us to remove the equipment.
9.4 If you ask us to end supply of the VCharge services during a minimum period (except when you cancel during the cooling off period as described above), you may have to pay an early disconnection fee. Payment of the early disconnection fee does not transfer ownership of the equipment to you and you may be required to return the equipment. You can find details of the early disconnection fee in your contract letter.
9.5 If any of the following events occur you can cancel this VCharge contract without paying any additional fees by giving us 30 days’ notice from the event occurring:
(a) we increase our monthly charges under this contract;
(b) there is a permanent loss of VCharge services; or
(c) you are entitled to terminate this contract because of any exercise of your legal rights.
9.6 We may stop supplying the VCharge services and end this contract:
(a) immediately by giving you notice if in our reasonable opinion it is necessary to do so for security, technical or operational reasons; or
(b) by giving you reasonable notice if we decide not to offer the VCharge services any longer.
9.7 If we or you end this contract or if you decide to disconnect from the VCharge service:
(a) we may permanently switch off the equipment we supplied to you to provide the VCharge service. If this occurs, you will no longer be able to use the equipment;
(b) on 30 days prior notice and at our discretion, you will allow us to access your property to uninstall and recover our equipment. If you fail to do this, and/or we aren’t able uninstall or recover our equipment due to your act or omission to act, we’re entitled to charge you for the replacement cost and reasonable recovery costs of the equipment set out in your VCharge contract.
10. What happens at the end of your minimum period
10.1 We will send you notice that your contract is ending at least one month before the end of the minimum period, informing you of the options available to you. There maybe a new contract available for maintenance and there may be further charges for receiving the VCharge service.
10.2 If your current contract ends and you’ve asked us for a new contract with a fixed term, we’ll start a new contract with you on the date the old one ends. If you decide that you don’t want a new contract at the end of your old one, as set out in clause 5.2, you’ll own the equipment. However you will no longer be able to use or benefit from the VCharge service.
11. Our liability
11.1 We won’t be responsible for:
(a) the cost of repairing or replacing parts of your storage heaters (or other equipment) which later develops a fault, unless it’s due to work we carried out that caused the fault;
(b) any costs, loss or damage you suffer from any delay or failure in providing the VCharge service which is caused by events outside our reasonable control. Matters outside our reasonable control include severe weather conditions, epidemic, civil disorder, terrorist activity, war and government action;
(c) any costs, loss or damage you suffer as a result of not using the VCharge service in line with our instructions, including any user guides;
(d) any costs, loss or damage you suffer as a result of your broadband internet connection being insufficient in quality, capacity or speed (or if it fails) to support the VCharge service and/or your use of the VCharge services results in you exceeding the permitted data limit on your broadband; or
(e) for any loss or damage you suffer caused by us, our employees or agents to the extent such loss or damage results from any breach by you of these terms and conditions.
11.2 We aren’t liable for any loss or damage (including negligence and breach of statutory duty) that we couldn’t reasonably have expected would result from breach of this contract at the time you entered into it.
11.3 These terms and conditions will not affect our liability to you for death or personal injury as a result of our negligence, fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation.
11.4 Our liability (including for negligence and breach of statutory duty) is limited to £10,000 for each unconnected event that we’re directly responsible for, or £10,000 in total for any connected series of events that we are directly responsible for, and which has caused you loss or damage.
12. Using personal information
12.1 By using the VCharge services, you agree that:
(a) we may access any data or information generated, collected, processed or stored as part of the VCharge service; and
(b) we may also collect other information as set out in clause 12.2, about you and your energy usage as part of providing the VCharge service.
12.2 We may access and/or collect:
(a) data relating to your energy consumption;
(b) the room temperature in your property; and
(c) information about whether your heaters are switched on or off.
12.3 We use the information we access and/or collect to optimise your heating and comfort. We also anonymise your energy consumption data, combine it with consumption data from other customers and may share it with the government, regulators or industry partners as part of providing the VCharge services to you. For more information on how we use your data, please refer to the Welcome Booklet provided to you when your VCharge dynamos are installed.
13. Emergencies & safety
13.1 If you have an electricity emergency, you must report it to your local electricity distributor – their contact details are here: www.ovoenergy.com/emergency if you are an OVO customer, or here if you are a Boost customer https://www.boostpower.co.uk/terms/what-to-do-in-an-emergency
13.2 You must not use the VCharge equipment in any way that endangers people or property.
13.3 If you have an emergency relating to your storage or water heater, it should be switched off and you should contact us.
14. Our complaints procedure and your rights
14.1 You can submit a complaint in person, in writing or over the phone by:
(c) Writing to us or visiting us at: VCharge, 1 Rivergate, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6ED.
14.2 We will aim to respond to your complaint the same day we receive it. If you’re not happy with our response, you can ask for your complaint to be escalated to our internal complaints team, who will be in touch within five working days.
15. Other conditions
15.1 We can transfer any of our rights or obligations under this contract without your permission. However, you must not transfer your rights or obligations under this contract to anyone without our permission.
15.2 If we need to give you a notice in connection with this contract, we may deliver it by hand or use the postal address and/or email address you have given us most recently.
(a) If we post a notice to you, it will be assumed to have been delivered two working days after it was posted.
(b) If we deliver a notice to you by hand or by email, it will be assumed to have been delivered immediately when it was delivered or sent to the most recent address we have for you (as applicable).
15.3 These terms and conditions, and any documents explicitly referred to in them, are the entire contract between you and us.
15.4 Nothing in this contract affects our legal rights or powers. Nothing in this contract affects any of your statutory rights that can’t be excluded by law.
15.5 If any part of this contract is void or unenforceable, the rest of the contract will be unaffected.
15.6 This contract is governed by the laws of England and Wales if your property is in England or Wales, and in Scotland if your property is in Scotland. If there is any dispute between us, it will be dealt with by the courts of England and Wales if your property is England or Wales, and by the courts of Scotland if your property is in Scotland.
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