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Are OVO charging me more than the price cap set by Ofgem?

  • 8 March 2022
  • 7 replies
  • 443 views

Userlevel 2

I’m on a simpler energy economy 7 tariff from SSE.

 

My current fee is 28p a day charge.

The price cap is 45p a day charge

Ovo have emailed to tell me they will charge me 50p a day.

Isnt this illegal?

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Best answer by Jess_OVO 8 March 2022, 15:54

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Userlevel 7
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Hi,

Nope, not illegal at all. The only case it would break the rules would be if OVO was to charge above the price cap for your area. The most visible one however, is the national average. It sounds to me like the price cap where you are is higher than the national average however, and therefore OVO would be perfectly within their rights to charge you the 50p a day.

OVO - just like any supplier - would be very unlikely to deliberately try to breach the cap as they’d be caught out by Ofgem almost immediately and forced to correct it. By staying within the caps for each area, OVO is complying with the rules and Ofgem would likely just come back and say they’re not interested in doing anything.

Userlevel 2

“unlikely”. Not the same as “not doing it”.

They also tried to “remove an additional amount of” £300 a month off me and I had to publicly show evidence before they retracted and reset my bills.

But yes, “unlikely” for sure ;)

Userlevel 7
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I worded my comment to primarily aim it at the entire market, not just OVO or any specific supplier. While it is indeed true that OVO would never deliberately break through the cap, it’s not impossible for a supplier to accidentally and/or unintentionally do so. In such cases, I’m confident that once said supplier realises, they’d immediately do a rates correction and issue bulk refunds to everyone affected.

I do not comment on individual accounts, because I almost never have the full story to go by. As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m an OVO member and a forum volunteer, rather than a paid staff member. I do not have access to anyone’s accounts other than my own, nor can I make any changes to them.

As for my forum rank. I will say this. What’s in a name? The name of the rank is less important than what it does. If you’re interested, the Plan Zero Hero rank is a trusted user rank that allows me to bypass almost all automatic moderation, the spam filter and other protections that apply to everyone else, on the basis that I’m obviously not a spammer and can be trusted with such exemptions. It also allows me to mark any Question as solved at my discretion, which does sometimes come in useful but I don’t use that permission much these days.

There is one other permission that comes with the rank. The ability to access a private forum category shared between myself, other users with Plan Zero Hero and the moderators. It’s a way of saying thanks for helping out but the contents are private. All I’ll say is that I often use it as a drafting space for my forum guides, as it works very nicely for that purpose.

If you wish to seek access, you’ll have to earn it. The criteria to rank up is a closely guarded secret and you really have to earn it. All I’ll say is that very few members will ever achieve it, but one of my goals is to help at least one user get there this year.

Userlevel 7

Updated on 26/08/22 by Tim_OVO:

 

Price rises: we're here to support you

 

Ofgem have just announced another significant rise to the energy price cap from 1 October. Here’s everything we know – including the support available from the government and from us – to help you prepare for this winter. This doesn’t go into effect until 1 October, and your bills will not change until then. 

 

We understand this is a worrying time, and you might have lots of questions. We want you to know we're here to support you. 

 

What’s causing energy prices to rise?

 

Global supply shortages and the end of lockdowns caused initial increases in wholesale energy prices. But energy bills are now skyrocketing because of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The war has caused gas and electricity prices to surge to unprecedented levels. And they’re likely to continue rising in the coming months as the war continues.

 

Unfortunately, in October these wholesale price rises will impact the price the majority of customers pay for energy.

 

Energy producers and energy suppliers are different

 

You may have read about fossil fuel companies and electricity generators making large profits at the moment. These companies are energy producers - they either extract energy from the ground, like oil and gas, or operate electricity generation assets like power stations or wind farms.

 

We don’t produce or generate any energy. In fact, we’re the only major energy supplier that has no energy generation assets at all. This means we’re not benefitting from the increase in energy prices.

 

What OVO's doing to help

 

If you’re struggling financially or you’re worried about your energy bills, we’re here to support you. Find out about the different ways we can help here.

 

But the scale of this issue demands new and significant Government support. OVO’s been working together with industry and the Government on a solution that would freeze energy prices and help costs to be spread over a longer period. We’ll keep you updated as our discussions with the Government progress.

 

Accessing the Government Discount: The Energy Bill Support Scheme

 

The EBSS is an £11.7 billion scheme which forms part of the government’s cost of living assistance package for consumers over winter 2022 to 2023. We’ve this page with more info.

 

 

We’ve created a page with lots of frequently asked questions that we recommend you have a look at here

 

We’d like to take this opportunity, once again, to thank our most dedicated OVO forum member, @Blastoise186 - A well deserved ‘Plan zero Hero’ in our eyes, who’s always on hand to offer helpful advice to other forum users and is diligent in seeking out the right answer, even if that might not be the one you were hoping for.

 

As we’ve previously warned, any comments which are disrespectful towards other users will be removed and repeated breaches of our community guidelines may result in a ban from our community.

 

 

OVO - just like any supplier - would be very unlikely to deliberately try to breach the cap as they’d be caught out by Ofgem almost immediately and forced to correct it. By staying within the caps for each area, OVO is complying with the rules and Ofgem would likely just come back and say they’re not interested in doing anything.

 

Tip-top advice here. We’re strictly monitored by Ofgem to make sure our Variable plan adheres to the Price cap which applies to your area, you can read more about this on the Ofgem website

 

We appreciate the latest increase to the price cap and our Simpler Energy plan is worrying for a lot of our members which is why we’ve put together some FAQs and resources to help.

Hi I have just had an email telling me my tariff comes to an end in June my direct debit will go from £74-£140 this is violating Ofcom is 56% cap can I challenge this please or is it just tough luck thanks

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Hi @Karen1971 ,

OVO is compliant with the Ofgem Default Tariff Cap - Ofgem would come down on OVO like a ton of bricks otherwise - but chances are you’re in a more expensive area than what the National Average rates show,. The most widely advertised one is the National Average and is really more of either (I think) a mean or median average of all the various price caps in effect. It’s also worth bearing in mind that the price caps do NOT apply to fixed rate deals of any kind. Because you explicitly get to choose your tariff for fixed rate deals, OVO can charge whatever they wish for them. Price caps only exist for cases where you had no say.

The last point to note is that only the tariff rates are controlled by the price cap. Your payments and bills are out of scope of the price cap and OVO is entitled to raise your payments beyond the cap if it is deemed necessary to keep your account on track.

However, if you still think there’s a problem, you are of course entitled to challenge it. Please discuss this with the Support Team and they’ll take a look in due course.

Userlevel 7

Hi @Karen1971 and welcome to the OVO online community,

 

Sorry to hear of the confusion caused by the higher than expected increase to your prices. Worth mentioning here that the 54% increase advised by Ofgem applied to the Variable Price Cap, which covers our Simpler variable tariff. If you’ve previously been on one of our fixed plans the prices on this plan may have been lower than the Simpler Energy prices which means a higher price change when this plan ends.

 

We appreciate the worry these price changes may cause so would encourage you to check out the additional advice and support we’ve put together to help over here.

 

I hope this helps explain your renewal options.

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