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Switching back to OVO from Octopus Energy with an EV (electric vehicle) - need some advice

  • 15 February 2021
  • 19 replies
  • 183 views

We have an EV and are considering switching back to Ovo from Octopus Energy because:

  1. I remember Ovo being good at replying to customer messages and requests (I’m hoping this is still the case and would love to hear from current Ovo customers if this is still the case). Octopus Energy has been pretty dire in this respect.
  2. We have an EV and would like to consider using the home to grid option that Ovo is trialling at the moment


Referring to the above, I’d love to know from Ovo and others about the following:

 

  • can we still get a free home smart charger for our car?
  • if so, which option has proved best for other users? There are three options.
  • if it’s no longer free, will Ovo install it if we do not have off street parking?
  • we are currently (comprehensively) renovating our home and am interested to know if Ovo or others can provide us with advice on whether to install the charger during the renovation or afterwards (ie: could our electricians do it or does installation require a dedicated Ovo electrician?
  • The renovation includes installing wet underfloor heating in our home which will be fuelled by gas and electricity, design to make better use of the sun’s heat and shade for cooling, and heavy insulation for energy efficiency.

 

Given the above, which tariff would be best for us? Economy 7 seems to be the one to go for, for those of us with EVs, to give us access to cheaper overnight tariffs. Would this be right? What is EV Everywhere - is that another tariff or plan?

Looking forward to hearing your advice

icon

Best answer by Blastoise186 15 February 2021, 17:47

Welcome @lauratulloch !

I can try to answer all these for you. Just so you know, I am indeed a customer myself, but I’m also a forum volunteer here. I’m not an OVO employee however! But I do know a certain @Tim_OVO who is. :sunglasses:

 

So, let’s see what I can do here…

 

  1. I remember Ovo being good at replying to customer messages and requests (I’m hoping this is still the case and would love to hear from current Ovo customers if this is still the case). Octopus Energy has been pretty dire in this respect

 

I’ve found OVO to be excellent myself, but you also have the advantage of this forum with volunteers like me who can offer advice. I can't access your account or make any changes, but I can often point you in the right direction.

 

  1. We have an EV and would like to consider using the home to grid option that Ovo is trialling at the moment

 

I’m really sorry to say that the Vehicle To Grid trial isn’t taking on new applicants right now. But I hope you're OK with me letting you know upfront. However, the Smart Charger offer and the OVO Drive Anytime or EV Everywhere tariff might be of interest. I recommend choosing carefully however, as that tariff isn’t always the best option!

 

  • can we still get a free home smart charger for our car?

 

I’m not aware of any offers to get a free charger right now. But OVO does do deals and discounts on a few options under the Smart Chargers.

 

  • if so, which option has proved best for other users? There are three options.

 

I don’t own an EV myself, so I’m not the best member to ask. But there’s a few members such as @Jequinlan who might be able to answer this one.

 

  • if it’s no longer free, will Ovo install it if we do not have off street parking?
  • we are currently (comprehensively) renovating our home and am interested to know if Ovo or others can provide us with advice on whether to install the charger during the renovation or afterwards (ie: could our electricians do it or does installation require a dedicated Ovo electrician?
  • The renovation includes installing wet underfloor heating in our home which will be fuelled by gas and electricity, design to make better use of the sun’s heat and shade for cooling, and heavy insulation for energy efficiency.

 

That’s pretty cool to see that you’ve got some neat upgrades on the way. I’m not sure if you’d be able to install a charger without off-street parking of some kind, but I’m not the expert there.

 

Given the above, which tariff would be best for us? Economy 7 seems to be the one to go for, for those of us with EVs, to give us access to cheaper overnight tariffs. Would this be right? What is EV Everywhere - is that another tariff or plan?
 

 

This is a really tricky one to answer accurately, as it very much depends on circumstances. But you are correct in that Economy 7 does give cheaper night rates - but you have to  compromise by the day rates being more expensive than the standard tariff. Economy 7 can be added to all the tariffs OVO does though.

 

EV Everywhere might be a good option, but feel free to check out the Better Energy and the 2 year deal as well, just in case.

 

If there's anything else, feel free to drop a reply and we’ll help you out.

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19 replies

Userlevel 7
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Welcome @lauratulloch !

I can try to answer all these for you. Just so you know, I am indeed a customer myself, but I’m also a forum volunteer here. I’m not an OVO employee however! But I do know a certain @Tim_OVO who is. :sunglasses:

 

So, let’s see what I can do here…

 

  1. I remember Ovo being good at replying to customer messages and requests (I’m hoping this is still the case and would love to hear from current Ovo customers if this is still the case). Octopus Energy has been pretty dire in this respect

 

I’ve found OVO to be excellent myself, but you also have the advantage of this forum with volunteers like me who can offer advice. I can't access your account or make any changes, but I can often point you in the right direction.

 

  1. We have an EV and would like to consider using the home to grid option that Ovo is trialling at the moment

 

I’m really sorry to say that the Vehicle To Grid trial isn’t taking on new applicants right now. But I hope you're OK with me letting you know upfront. However, the Smart Charger offer and the OVO Drive Anytime or EV Everywhere tariff might be of interest. I recommend choosing carefully however, as that tariff isn’t always the best option!

 

  • can we still get a free home smart charger for our car?

 

I’m not aware of any offers to get a free charger right now. But OVO does do deals and discounts on a few options under the Smart Chargers.

 

  • if so, which option has proved best for other users? There are three options.

 

I don’t own an EV myself, so I’m not the best member to ask. But there’s a few members such as @Jequinlan who might be able to answer this one.

 

  • if it’s no longer free, will Ovo install it if we do not have off street parking?
  • we are currently (comprehensively) renovating our home and am interested to know if Ovo or others can provide us with advice on whether to install the charger during the renovation or afterwards (ie: could our electricians do it or does installation require a dedicated Ovo electrician?
  • The renovation includes installing wet underfloor heating in our home which will be fuelled by gas and electricity, design to make better use of the sun’s heat and shade for cooling, and heavy insulation for energy efficiency.

 

That’s pretty cool to see that you’ve got some neat upgrades on the way. I’m not sure if you’d be able to install a charger without off-street parking of some kind, but I’m not the expert there.

 

Given the above, which tariff would be best for us? Economy 7 seems to be the one to go for, for those of us with EVs, to give us access to cheaper overnight tariffs. Would this be right? What is EV Everywhere - is that another tariff or plan?
 

 

This is a really tricky one to answer accurately, as it very much depends on circumstances. But you are correct in that Economy 7 does give cheaper night rates - but you have to  compromise by the day rates being more expensive than the standard tariff. Economy 7 can be added to all the tariffs OVO does though.

 

EV Everywhere might be a good option, but feel free to check out the Better Energy and the 2 year deal as well, just in case.

 

If there's anything else, feel free to drop a reply and we’ll help you out.

Userlevel 7

Hi @lauratulloch a brilliant set of questions, which will now be available to help any Octopus supplied EV owner today, tomorrow and beyond - thanks for posting!

 

A great set of answers from @Blastoise186 - I’ve added in a link and mention in that answer, to plug our new and exciting OVO Drive Anytime - it’s definitely worth checking that out as it’s the worlds first ‘type of use’ tariff aimed at EV owners. You could be making a saving by choosing that tariff, @lauratulloch!

 

Lastly, the latest release (hot off the press as of 15/02/21) on the Vehicle to Grid (V2G) trial, is here.

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Badge +3

There’s actually another bit of advice as well, which I forgot to mention in my previous reply. I don’t like to mark questions as solved until all of the original questions have a good answer though, so I’ll leave this one open for now.

In terms of migrating Smart Meters between OVO and Octopus, there’s some more good news here too. Since both sides used to install Secure branded meters back when SMETS1 meters were around, this means you can freely switch between both suppliers and your smart meters will remain smart, regardless of whether they were installed by OVO or Octopus. You don’t need to worry about them going offline.

If your meters are still running as SMETS1 when you switch in either direction, this won’t disrupt any upgrades or migrations. These will still carry on in the background as usual. :sunglasses:

In addition, if you’ve got SMETS2 meters from any supplier or you’ve got SMETS1 meters that have been fully upgraded to SMETS2 and migrated to DCC, you should also be good to go.

Userlevel 7

How are you doing, @lauratulloch - any follow up questions on the advice above? 

 

Would you be OK if I assigned Blaster’s first reply as the solution to this topic? And finally, the big question, what option (if any) are you thinking of going for?!

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We have an EV and are considering switching back to Ovo from Octopus Energy because:

  1. I remember Ovo being good at replying to customer messages and requests (I’m hoping this is still the case and would love to hear from current Ovo customers if this is still the case). Octopus Energy has been pretty dire in this respect.
  2. We have an EV and would like to consider using the home to grid option that Ovo is trialling at the moment


Referring to the above, I’d love to know from Ovo and others about the following:

 

  • can we still get a free home smart charger for our car?
  • if so, which option has proved best for other users? There are three options.
  • if it’s no longer free, will Ovo install it if we do not have off street parking?
  • we are currently (comprehensively) renovating our home and am interested to know if Ovo or others can provide us with advice on whether to install the charger during the renovation or afterwards (ie: could our electricians do it or does installation require a dedicated Ovo electrician?
  • The renovation includes installing wet underfloor heating in our home which will be fuelled by gas and electricity, design to make better use of the sun’s heat and shade for cooling, and heavy insulation for energy efficiency.

 

Given the above, which tariff would be best for us? Economy 7 seems to be the one to go for, for those of us with EVs, to give us access to cheaper overnight tariffs. Would this be right? What is EV Everywhere - is that another tariff or plan?

Looking forward to hearing your advice

 

 

Hi great to hear, 

The V2G trial is over unfortunately, I would say hold off until the OVO Drive Tariff arrives. 

As for leaving Octopus I am not sure you can access any decent EV tariffs with OVO yet Octopus look to be market leading at the moment in that respect especially as even if you could access the OVO V2G unit you CANT be on any economy 7 or flex tariffs and that includes OVO Drive UNLESS you disable export payments from your property and that would include losing out on solar export payments. 

 

I think OVO will get there act together with respect to flex tariffs for EV charging but for now I would hold off, Besides switching at the moment is very expensive as we are seeing some of the highest rates from OVO ever for many, BUT its 100% renewable energy and thats a good thing. 

FEB 2021 

 

 

Hi @lauratulloch a brilliant set of questions, which will now be available to help any Octopus supplied EV owner today, tomorrow and beyond - thanks for posting!

 

A great set of answers from @Blastoise186 - I’ve added in a link and mention in that answer, to plug our new and exciting OVO Drive Anytime - it’s definitely worth checking that out as it’s the worlds first ‘type of use’ tariff aimed at EV owners. You could be making a saving by choosing that tariff, @lauratulloch!

 

Lastly, the latest release (hot off the press as of 15/02/21) on the Vehicle to Grid (V2G) trial, is here.

Thanks for letting me know about the new OVO Drive Anytime tariff - this sounds like something we might be able to use. I also like that it involves Kaluza which is the system that the Vehicle to Grid trial is running on.  This is what I’d like for us to get involved with after the Trial is finished and new users are invited to join so I’m presuming that using Kaluza tech already might aid us to moving to a V2G tariff if and when one becomes available.

Welcome @lauratulloch !

I can try to answer all these for you. Just so you know, I am indeed a customer myself, but I’m also a forum volunteer here. I’m not an OVO employee however! But I do know a certain @Tim_OVO who is. :sunglasses:

 

So, let’s see what I can do here…

 

  1. I remember Ovo being good at replying to customer messages and requests (I’m hoping this is still the case and would love to hear from current Ovo customers if this is still the case). Octopus Energy has been pretty dire in this respect

 

I’ve found OVO to be excellent myself, but you also have the advantage of this forum with volunteers like me who can offer advice. I can't access your account or make any changes, but I can often point you in the right direction.

 

  1. We have an EV and would like to consider using the home to grid option that Ovo is trialling at the moment

 

I’m really sorry to say that the Vehicle To Grid trial isn’t taking on new applicants right now. But I hope you're OK with me letting you know upfront. However, the Smart Charger offer and the OVO Drive Anytime or EV Everywhere tariff might be of interest. I recommend choosing carefully however, as that tariff isn’t always the best option!

 

  • can we still get a free home smart charger for our car?

 

I’m not aware of any offers to get a free charger right now. But OVO does do deals and discounts on a few options under the Smart Chargers.

 

  • if so, which option has proved best for other users? There are three options.

 

I don’t own an EV myself, so I’m not the best member to ask. But there’s a few members such as @Jequinlan who might be able to answer this one.

 

  • if it’s no longer free, will Ovo install it if we do not have off street parking?
  • we are currently (comprehensively) renovating our home and am interested to know if Ovo or others can provide us with advice on whether to install the charger during the renovation or afterwards (ie: could our electricians do it or does installation require a dedicated Ovo electrician?
  • The renovation includes installing wet underfloor heating in our home which will be fuelled by gas and electricity, design to make better use of the sun’s heat and shade for cooling, and heavy insulation for energy efficiency.

 

That’s pretty cool to see that you’ve got some neat upgrades on the way. I’m not sure if you’d be able to install a charger without off-street parking of some kind, but I’m not the expert there.

 

Given the above, which tariff would be best for us? Economy 7 seems to be the one to go for, for those of us with EVs, to give us access to cheaper overnight tariffs. Would this be right? What is EV Everywhere - is that another tariff or plan?
 

 

This is a really tricky one to answer accurately, as it very much depends on circumstances. But you are correct in that Economy 7 does give cheaper night rates - but you have to  compromise by the day rates being more expensive than the standard tariff. Economy 7 can be added to all the tariffs OVO does though.

 

EV Everywhere might be a good option, but feel free to check out the Better Energy and the 2 year deal as well, just in case.

 

If there's anything else, feel free to drop a reply and we’ll help you out.

 

Thanks this is a good intro to Ovo’s offering.

There’s actually another bit of advice as well, which I forgot to mention in my previous reply. I don’t like to mark questions as solved until all of the original questions have a good answer though, so I’ll leave this one open for now.

In terms of migrating Smart Meters between OVO and Octopus, there’s some more good news here too. Since both sides used to install Secure branded meters back when SMETS1 meters were around, this means you can freely switch between both suppliers and your smart meters will remain smart, regardless of whether they were installed by OVO or Octopus. You don’t need to worry about them going offline.

If your meters are still running as SMETS1 when you switch in either direction, this won’t disrupt any upgrades or migrations. These will still carry on in the background as usual. :sunglasses:

In addition, if you’ve got SMETS2 meters from any supplier or you’ve got SMETS1 meters that have been fully upgraded to SMETS2 and migrated to DCC, you should also be good to go.

 

Thanks this is also super helpful to know

We have an EV and are considering switching back to Ovo from Octopus Energy because:

  1. I remember Ovo being good at replying to customer messages and requests (I’m hoping this is still the case and would love to hear from current Ovo customers if this is still the case). Octopus Energy has been pretty dire in this respect.
  2. We have an EV and would like to consider using the home to grid option that Ovo is trialling at the moment


Referring to the above, I’d love to know from Ovo and others about the following:

 

  • can we still get a free home smart charger for our car?
  • if so, which option has proved best for other users? There are three options.
  • if it’s no longer free, will Ovo install it if we do not have off street parking?
  • we are currently (comprehensively) renovating our home and am interested to know if Ovo or others can provide us with advice on whether to install the charger during the renovation or afterwards (ie: could our electricians do it or does installation require a dedicated Ovo electrician?
  • The renovation includes installing wet underfloor heating in our home which will be fuelled by gas and electricity, design to make better use of the sun’s heat and shade for cooling, and heavy insulation for energy efficiency.

 

Given the above, which tariff would be best for us? Economy 7 seems to be the one to go for, for those of us with EVs, to give us access to cheaper overnight tariffs. Would this be right? What is EV Everywhere - is that another tariff or plan?

Looking forward to hearing your advice

 

 

Hi great to hear, 

The V2G trial is over unfortunately, I would say hold off until the OVO Drive Tariff arrives. 

As for leaving Octopus I am not sure you can access any decent EV tariffs with OVO yet Octopus look to be market leading at the moment in that respect especially as even if you could access the OVO V2G unit you CANT be on any economy 7 or flex tariffs and that includes OVO Drive UNLESS you disable export payments from your property and that would include losing out on solar export payments. 

 

I think OVO will get there act together with respect to flex tariffs for EV charging but for now I would hold off, Besides switching at the moment is very expensive as we are seeing some of the highest rates from OVO ever for many, BUT its 100% renewable energy and thats a good thing. 

FEB 2021 

 

 

Thanks for this info. When you refer to the OVO Drive Tariff; have you seen the new  OVO Drive Anytime t  tariff that is mentioned by others in the thread above? This looks like a solution that would offer those with EVs a good charging rate during the day which is separate from the tariff you choose for your other electricity use. Given this new tariff do you think Ovo has a good enough offering to move from Octopus?

Also I’m confused about what you mean below - please could you explain a little further? “even if you could access the OVO V2G unit you CANT be on any economy 7 or flex tariffs and that includes OVO Drive UNLESS you disable export payments from your property and that would include losing out on solar export payments. “

Thanks in advance

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@lauratulloch 

 

I a. Round about quick round up lol 😂 

 

you can’t have any Grid export payments from the OVO V2G and be in a multi rate tariff, So if you were on say Octopus Agile you can still export and get paid and import on cheap tariffs. Unfortunately OVO won’t allow this you MUST buy the electric from them at a fixed rate. It’s unclear if you would allowed to be on OVO drive and have Solar export payments but I suspect yes but you cannot have a the OVO drive tariff and V2G even if you have the OVO drive tariff on the smart + unit only 

 

As for the drive tariff, it’s not out yet, back end of the year for that. 
 

So in truth hold your horses before coming to OVO keep an eye on the tariffs but at the moment you could be financially better off staying with Octopus even if the customer service is a little off. 


 

 

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You’re welcome @lauratulloch . I’m glad we could help.

Whichever way you decide to go, you’ll always be welcome to ask for help on this forum for free anyway. We like to welcome anyone and everyone to ask for help here, even if you’re not with OVO (and you won’t get any marketing emails as a result of being on the forums!).

The V2G Charger isn’t compatible with the OVO Drive Anytime tariff - you’d need the Smart Charger instead for that one.

My personal advice is to ultimately do some number crunching and see what you get. If your calculations indicate that the costs are reasonably similar between OVO and Octopus and/or OVO works out as a better deal, then switching may be worthwhile for the customer service stuff.

Even if OVO is more expensive, it’s also worth considering whether you’re cool with paying the extra to get the service. “Officially" speaking, all Community Support on this forum is completely free of charge anyway. The only snag is that if you’re not with OVO, we might not be able to offer quite as much advice, but we’ll always try and get you on the right track.

There's also quite a lot of good answers on this thread now, which I hope will help you a lot. If there’s any particular one that you think best answers your question, feel free to tag it as the Best Answer which will solve the thread. Don’t worry if you can’t pick a particular one though! If you feel there’s more than one or if you’re unsure, feel free to give @Tim_OVO a shout and he can use some magic tricks to figure things out.

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I am moving back to OVO from green. I still have the smart meters OVO installed which I think is the 1st gen ones. When I move back, will I need to provide meter readings or will they just start working?

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Howdy @NinjaGeek !

My advice would always be to grab opening readings anyway, smart meters or not and submit them during the 10 day window. It takes time to get things moved over, so it’s worth playing it safe. But they should resume working once the transfer completes. :sunglasses:

And yes… I probably did just break the record for the fastest answer ever. :rofl:

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Howdy @NinjaGeek !

My advice would always be to grab opening readings anyway, smart meters or not and submit them during the 10 day window. It takes time to get things moved over, so it’s worth playing it safe. :sunglasses:

 

Hey @Blastoise186 

I have been naughty and didn’t provide a meter reading for a year. Completely forgot to provide them 🤣 I’m hoping moving back to OVO, my smart meters will kick back in 

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

Howdy @NinjaGeek !

My advice would always be to grab opening readings anyway, smart meters or not and submit them during the 10 day window. It takes time to get things moved over, so it’s worth playing it safe. :sunglasses:

Hey @Blastoise186 

I have been naughty and didn’t provide a meter reading for a year. Completely forgot to provide them 🤣 I’m hoping moving back to OVO, my smart meters will kick back in 

Woah! You’re a naughty ninja! I’m absolutely shocked by your admission! :astonished:

I guess I should probably try and help you out anyway, since you did come out of stealth mode… The ancient philosopher Timsonius (4th Century BC) made some changes to the forum profile stuff recently, so if you’re cool with filling out the new info, I guess I could forgive your forgetfulness.

Userlevel 7

Yeh @NinjaGeek you’re rocking the Secure smart elec meter if I’m not mistaken? Submit the opening reading within that 10 day window. 

 

Looking forward to having you back as an OVOite again! 

 

Yours,

Timsonius (4th Century BC)

Userlevel 7

@lauratulloch I’m just getting you the latest info on OVO Drive…. :blush:

@lauratulloch I’m just getting you the latest info on OVO Drive…. :blush:

Great, looking forward to hearing more. As it turns out, with the tariffs I’ve looked at at Ovo, I think it’s going to cost me too much to move back at this stage as my current tariff with octopus is cheaper (even though I’d prefer to be with Ovo as I’ve found Octopus’ customer service lacking)

Userlevel 7

Thanks for that update, @lauratulloch 

 

As @D10hul mentioned OVO Drive Anytime might well be the golden ticket, but it isn’t available till later this year. 

 

You can ‘register your interest’ in the plan via the OVO Drive Anytime page, here. I suggest this is what you do.

 

Hope this helped!

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