News

Want to help shape our new products and services?

  • 6 September 2019
  • 16 replies
  • 915 views
Want to help shape our new products and services?
Userlevel 7
OVO Energy and OVO HomePlan

We’ve just launched OVO HomePlan which is our boiler and home emergency insurance, exclusively for OVO customers.You can find out more information here https://www.ovoenergy.com/ovo-home-plan including our £4 a month offer on the Essentials boiler and home emergency cover plan.

We are looking at options to combine OVO HomePlan within an OVO Energy plan and need your help.

Could you let us know...
1: Assume your monthly energy costs are £100/month and OVO HomePlan Essentials cover is £13 a month, what percentage discount would you expect on OVO HomePlan if you were to buy them together as a bundle.

2: Assuming this bundle gives an overall competitive discount, is the inclusion of OVO HomePlan a strong enough reason to sign up to the bundle?

3: Let’s assume OVO HomePlan is included in the energy plan completely free for one year - would you mind having a DD for your energy and a DD for your insurance set up when you sign up so you don’t have to do it later?

4:Let’s assume that OVO HomePlan is free for Year 1 and goes to full price in Year 2 - would you be put off by having two separate direct debits from that point? One for insurance and one for energy?

Please give us your feedback on the above. We want your views and opinions to help shape these future plans and packages!

Look forward to reading all of your comments. How about @ITGeek123, @Transparent and @Steve587 kick us off.

Darran

16 replies

Userlevel 6
Badge
More detail is required, there is no information on what parts of the sysrtem are incuded, for example does it cover radiators, header tank, electrics etc. etc

As an example, the BG plan shows a picture of the house showing every part covered or not covered depending on what option you choose.
Peter
Userlevel 3
This bundle would be useless to me. I rent and my landlord is responsible for the boiler. I think same stands for anyone who rents.
Userlevel 4
What exactly would be covered? Since having a new boiler installed I've cancelled my BG breakdown and service contract because I realised I could have bought a new boiler three times over with what I'd spent on service contracts. Now I put the same amount of money aside in a savings account, to pay for any boiler or c/h repairs. The prices mentioned above sound quite reasonable compared to BG but guessing cover is not like for like.
If it was a good deal I'd probably be happier to have one monthly DD than two though.
Userlevel 4
Anyone responding needs to click through the links provided to get the information on what is included, plus the restrictions and excesses applicable.

I would need to sit down and do a like for like comparison with the likes of British Gas or Homeserve to determine the pro's and con's of the bundles, although it seems that the OVO essentials package is already being promoted for £4 per month!!

To try and answer your questions;-
(1) I'd presumably want the discount that already seems available, i.e. £9 less than the £13 = £4.
(2) I'm not sure if you're implying this is for new customers only - "to sign up to the bundle" implies you haven't already got an OVO energy account. However, £4 a month is relatively attractive.
(3) and (4) I'd rather have separate DDs, as it potentially makes it easier to cancel, if necessary.

Personally, I have Home Emergency cover added to my Buildings and Contents insurance, which for me is preferable to the OVO (and many other commercial provider options) due to the age of my boiler - it's over 10 years, but that is OK with the cover I've got for £39.60 a year.
Userlevel 4
We've had these kind of contracts in the past and there are pros and cons.

It turned out to be excellent value at one point as despite the house only being 4 years old when we moved in, we had persistent problems for a while over about 2 years, and with younger children at the time, the priority appointments were valuable and in fact we saved by having the contract. However, we had covered the whole system and it was the motorised pump that was replaced twice in that time, as well as a boiler incident. Had we only covered the boiler, we would have still needed to pay for the pump.

Other than that probably rather unlucky time period, we would have been paying more than we'd get back, year on year. So when we got a new boiler some years later we didn't continue with a contract, and researched and bought a reliable brand (vaillant). 1 issue under warranty (faulty circuit board), then it's been fine ever since, with an annual service.

Having said this, we have now got a full system contract for my recently widowed mother who is in her 80's, simply because there are times in life when it's worth paying for peace of mind and speedier appointments.

So my personal thoughts on having a contract (boiler only or full system) are that if you have vulnerable people in the house, e.g. young children, elderly, or sick, then the peace of mind a contract provides, can be worth the money. But we are not in those life phases, so we "self insure" with a household contingency fund savings pot.

Therefore, unless a contract was less than £5 a month for boiler and pump, we wouldn't be interested. Our boiler is now 8 yrs old so attracts a higher fee, so rather than keep paying for insurance, we are at the stage of putting additional money aside for a new one when it becomes necessary.

So, in conclusion, at our stage of life we are unlikely to take a contract, special offer or otherwise, but there are people who might like the piece of mind.

Re the second year and on going. Why not keep a good price all the time to reward loyalty? Can't it be like Sky? Add on Netflix and make one inclusive payment a month, it saves money, and the price is ongoing, no special intro, the price is always going to save money. And this is the crucial bit, sky pricing is very negotiable. Get on the phone and get the best price every year - 18 months. Can't do that with fuel ☹️.

I now have a quandary. Ovo 2 yr fix ending soon. I really like our smart ev charger. Would love if it could work with the solar generation, but still love it anyway. But here's the problem, if we leave ovo, it's just a charger, no smart functions, but if we stay, ovo are £400-500 a year more an some others, including British Gas and E. On. So right now, a loyalty incentive price would be much much more important than an up sell offer. I'm really stuck with this, is that smart charger facility worth that much a year? Cheapest isn't always best, but £500? That's a lot! Loyalty incentives please.
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
I tend to agree with others here. I think it's a mistake to promote a scheme like this based on pricing/savings.

The crunch issue is whether the service being offered actually matches the sort of maintenance and fault repairs which I'm most likely to require.

In my case the answer is "unlikely".

I have a very simple gas System-Boiler. The centre of my DHW and heating is my thermal store. This has two other inputs to it (24v renewable generation dump-load and solar-thermal). Given that we're also on a well, I can foresee far too many reasons why a heating engineer supplied by Corgi will say that my system falls outside the level of cover provided.
Userlevel 3
I can't really respond to the questions asked because I have little faith in these products and services.

I have previously had boiler care, service cover and the like but they were next to useless. Previous energy companies just sub contracted out to engineers who failed to turn up on time or did a poor job.

My local engineer who I now use takes 2 hours to fully service my heating system. British Gas Home Care took less than 20 minutes and spent more time trying to sell me cover I did not want.

The small print of some of the contracts was not in my interest. Not covering for parts when the boiler was over an age limit was well hidden away.

For some emergency home cover you may already be covered by your home insurance policy. If your boiler is fairly new you are likely to still be covered by a manufacturer warranty.

My last concerns are that OVO is going to expand their business too quickly without an adequate customer support team in place to cope with the extra workload. Plus OVO tariffs are no longer competitive.
Userlevel 2
I’m with @Barnabee and @Transparent on this one.

This is is very much based on an individual’s approach to maintenance, their financial position and the system setup they have.

i might suggest that the people you have responding on this forum are not “normal” (I include myself on that) from the simple fact that we are participating actively.

as a group we probably think about our energy system more than average, know more and manage it more actively.

From my personal perspective, we pay to keep it well maintained, Notice quickly when things are playing up / odd and fix them quickly. We are fortunate enough to be able to replace them when necessary.

so for this would be an unnecessary level of insurance that we don’t really need.

however, I can definitely see the value for large parts of the demographic assuming you can address the valid concerns about getting high quality engineers delivering it that actually add value and fault investigate and don’t just play “change on spec bingo” in the hope of a lucky win. Similarly customer service and response time in the case of stressful “heating broken, winter, old people/children in house” emergencies is a hard business that takes no prisoners.

Get it wrong with the wrong in-house or out-sourced team and the Ovo brand gets dragged through the mud.

like I said, suspect we might be the wrong group to ask about this kind of initiative (unless of course you wanted the red teaming and slightly cynical view😂)
I agree with most of what the previous people said - household contingency fund etc + reliable boiler is better than paying for more insurances, so I would not be interested in this. If I couldn't easily remove the insurance (even if it's free) from my energy bundle that would even put me off from signing up for the energy supply.

to answer your questions:

1: can't comment
2: no
3: I'd prefer the extra step of needing to setup the direct debit at the time, although I appreciate that will give you a lower conversion rate. I wouldn't be overly put off by it, but a direct debit that shows up as unused in my online banking may well get cancelled (automatically or by me cleaning up).
4: No, on the contrary, I'd be put off if it was bundled into one direct debit.


...
as a group we probably think about our energy system more than average, know more and manage it more actively.
...


I remember Ovo energy as one of the early smart meter pushers, which I suspect may result in having slightly more people from that "group" than perhaps some of the big name suppliers.
Userlevel 7
Thanks all for your input, feedback and honesty on this one! All good valuable insight into this, so appreciate you taking the time to share it!

Will keep you posted on progress and outputs of this, so thanks again!

Darran
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
Just chipping in again because @So much for subtlety wrote
Get it wrong with the wrong in-house or out-sourced team and the Ovo brand gets dragged through the mud.

I think there's a very real chance of this. Corgi is only an umbrella for an administration system that sends out pre-existing local tradesmen and takes a fee for doing so. In my region all the most competent tradesmen have no problem finding work anyway, because rural areas tend to use word-of-mouth recommendations. I doubt that they'd be interested in signing up with Corgi.

A less-knowledgeable second-tier heating engineer could do serious damage to the Corgi brand with relatively few incorrect diagnoses. You only have to view BBC Watchdog to see how this happens.

It would compound the problem if OVO were to try bundling a HomePlan contract with the sale of energy products. Many people (like most of us here) don't need or require such a contract. It feels very similar to PPI... and we all know where that led.
Userlevel 4
Badge

I’ve just found this thread.  

Several years ago, I had a combined gas & electric + boiler cover contract with another major supplier.  OFCOM made them stop combining both together. They had to split them, which meant more admin and more cost. That was when I left and came to OVO, which was reasonably priced with good service. 

If OFCOM have changed their rules again, that would be a surprise.

Userlevel 7

Hi @EverythingNeedsAUserName 

 

Thanks for posting this feedback - I do have some good news: OVO are able to offer you this (if eligible), as Corgi boiler cover is part of OVO Group! More info here 

 

You should be able to add this on via that page above or on your online account

 

I’m seeing this offer, which you might be interested in:

 

 

Userlevel 7

One last thing, @EverythingNeedsAUserName - can you share your experience of finding this boiler cover offer, and letting us know if you chose it or not? It would be really handy for anyone else thinking about a joint E+G+boiler plan. 

 

:sunglasses:

Userlevel 4
Badge

Hi Tim

I'm not sure that this is what you want to hear, but but no thanks.

Perhaps I'm lucky living in the North East that local tradespeople are good quality and reasonably priced. Were I to live in London like my sister does, I might have a different viewpoint. 

My actual experience of 3 different boiler cover firms over many years has been less than good, in different ways, which is why I was self insuring by getting help when needed. 

The previous supplier-bundled deal that I had through a different supplier was MUCH cheaper than a separate contract, but they weren't good at the annual check up timing, doing only 3 in 4 years. Other than that they were the best value. When they had to unbundle, the effective cost doubled, so I cancelled it. I kept a look out every so often. 

I looked at the corgi boiler cover when you launched your association years ago, and read the then reviews about corgi, which at the time was a separate commercial company, not part of Ovo and not the UK's registration authority for gas safety. I decided against. 

Instead , I found an excellent local plumber, and will stick with him. I'm helping the local community instead of some faceless shareholders.

If I were looking again now, then the fact that corgi homeplan has glowing reviews and 5 star ratings on Trustpilot, and that it is part of Ovo might sway me, but I'm loyal to my plumber . 

I worry about businesses growing too big and losing their focus on the customer. I worked for one that was too profit driven, that pushed every customer to buy additional products and services... until I left them because of that. Quality service and a green focus at reasonable prices is what keeps me with Ovo. Please don't drift from that. 

Userlevel 5

Thanks for the response here @EverythingNeedsAUserName, it’s a great insight into how you’ve gone about making this decision!

 

I can appreciate staying loyal to the local plumber, especially if you’ve already had great service from them. As they say: If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, and if it is broke, call the plumber!

Reply