Solved

Can I remain on a variable (price-capped) plan and move to a fixed plan in the future?

  • 25 October 2021
  • 6 replies
  • 359 views

Userlevel 2

Hi all, 

 

I have been an Ovo customer for over 7 years now. With energy prices being so crazy right now, my renewal quote for a new 1yr / 2yr / 3yr fixed rate tariff has just come through as my current fixed rate tariff is expiring soon. The new fixed rate tariff quotes are all understandably very high compared to the current price-capped variable rate.

 

For the first time in my adult life, I am considering allowing my duel fuel account to temporarily move on to the variable rate tariff (as it is significantly cheaper than any of the fixed rate tariffs I am being offered). If I go ahead and do this, can I move back on to a fixed rate tariff with Ovo in the future if the fixed rate deals become more attractive? Will it give me the option to do this online or by using the app a few months after my current tariff has expired and whilst I'm on the variable rate tariff?

 

Thanks in advance for your guidance good people 👍🏻

 

icon

Best answer by Jess_OVO 26 October 2021, 12:35

View original

6 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

Evening @Wilson02 !

You've reached the OVO Forum Out Of Hours Community Hotline. How may I be of assistance? XD

Nah, I'm just joking. This forum never closes - I just tend to do a quick final check in before heading to bed every night.

I'm impressed with your seven years though. You're probably now among some of the longest standing OVO members on record. :)

Anyway, to answer your question I think you're probably doing the smartest move you can right now, but I definitely recommend keeping an eye on the rates and be ready to jump back to fixed rate before March 2022. I don't know if self service would work, but you could definitely go in by phone and do it that way if needed. I'll try to find out more if I can though. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

Ok, after a bit of clever trickery, I’ve figured out that you can access the renewals page at anytime within MyOVO if you’re on the new billing platform. You’ll know you are because you’ll see either smartpaym.ovoenergy.com or account.ovoenergy.com in the address bar at the top of the screen when you’re logged in. If you see paym.ovoenergy.com instead, you’re on the legacy one and this won’t work at all.

Once you’re logged in, head over to https://account.ovoenergy.com/renewal and you’ll get to the page where you can renew the contract. If you’re eligible to do a self-service renewal, you’ll see your options listed there and you can go ahead and pick any of them that you fancy. However, if you see an error like the one below instead, you won’t be able to renew right now via this tool.

I’m not sure how it works if you’re on Simpler Energy though. Feel free to give it a try and see what happens! If you do find out whether it works, please could you let us know too?

Thanks!

Userlevel 7

Updated on 03/05/22 by Jess_OVO

 

A really important question this one and it’s something that other members have been discussing here previously.

 

 

As you’ve asked about fixing in at a later date, it’s worth mentioning that you’ll always see the option to ‘View fixed-rates plans’ on the Homepage of your online account or OVO app (download for Android or iOS) when you’re on our Simpler Variable plan.

 

Exact appearance may vary

 

This should make keeping an eye on the current fixed plans offers a little easier. There’s also more advice on renewing online (whenever you decide to fix in) on this great guide.

 

We’d also recommend checking out our FAQs on the price cap, which includes links to extra support if you need it. 

Userlevel 2

Hi @Blastoise186 and @Jess_OVO 

I just wanted to say thank you so much for the support, advice and guidance. It is genuinely appreciated. These are difficult times for everyone and having clarity on this matter has really helped put my mind at rest.

 

I have been an Ovo customer since July 2014 and I have always made sure we are on the best fixed rate tariff. This will be the first time I've ever considered going on a variable tariff once my fixed rate expires.

 

Overall I have always been really happy with Ovo (hence the reason I've been a customer so long). However, not everything has been plain sailing. We had smets1 smart meters installed in November 2014. These now seem to have lost all connectivity although my account seems to show that a "smart meter" reading is being taken on the last day of every month. This is coupled with the fact that I still have to press "6" four times to get my electric reading due to the meter still holding the total balance (day/night) of my historical Economy7 plan. I haven't been on an Economy7 plan since around January 2015! If I press "9" it gives me the wrong meter reading as it has lumped the day/night reading together even though I'm no longer on an Economy 7 tariff. This always worries me. I just have visions of someone coming to do a meter reading and taking the wrong reading thus resulting in a huge error in our electric bill. So, I submit a manual gas and electric reading on the same day (14th) of every month. 

 

I wish I could get the smart meter and this legacy Economy7 reading resolved once and for all. We have completed the relevant checks and an engineer has visited, no joy with resolving the smart meter issues at all and as a consequence the Economy7 reading by pressing number "9" has never gone away. I'm not sure if the old Economy7 reading can ever be removed to be honest. I'm also unsure why my account seems to show a "smart" meter reading once a month. All very strange and totally beyond my knowledge base. I genuinely wish an experienced tech person could resolve it all. I do worry that a generic engineer turning up at the house wouldn't understand these two issues. I don't really know who to turn to.

 

Anyway, it's just a big huge thank you from me for helping with the tariff query. I think I'm going to let my account slide on to a variable rate for the time being and then if the situation improves, lock myself back in to a fixed rate tariff at a future date - I just wasn't sure if this was possible. Thanks for putting my mind at ease both.

 

Take care and keep safe. Thank you for everything you do to help people.

 

Kind regards

Malcolm Wilson & the Wilson Family 😊

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

No worries, you’re most welcome!

OVO used to use Secure back in the S1 days and I suspect you’ve got Secure Liberty meters. To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of those things - I’d much rather have Aclara and Flonidan any day! The only real advantage that Secure has over everyone else is really just the fact the numeric keypad on the meters themselves makes it a little easier to enter UTRN (Unique Top-Up Reference) codes if you’re on Pay As You Go and need to transfer a top-up to the meters manually. Otherwise, it’s a pretty useless feature - and even then, you can use your IHD for that task anyway which is often easier regardless.

The lingering Economy 7 stuff on your meter is a known issue and it’s something OVO is trying to work on a solution for in the future. In the meantime, OVO automatically figures out the correct meter readings when both the day and night readings are submitted together - for the time being your Day and Night rates are basically being charged at the same rates as well. It’s not a perfect workaround, but it definitely works well enough. Part of this issue is related to the meters however, and it’s something that I’d probably consider an unfixable design flaw on the part of Secure. If this ever does get fixed, you’ll probably notice it fairly quickly.

I think I can diagnose your meter issues though. It sounds to me as if they’re set to Monthly mode, which means they’ll only submit meter readings once a month just before your bill date. The fix for this is actually quite easy though. If you have a chat with the Support Team, they can reconfigure your meters to either Daily or Half-Hourly mode. Feel free to choose either one and they’ll lodge a request to the right team for you.

  • If you just want to get meter readings in more often, Daily mode is ideal. This makes it so that your meters will submit up to 31 meter readings every month and keeps your bills accurate - which also basically eliminates estimated bills as long as your meters are communicating properly. It’s especially useful if you’re on OVO’s new billing platform, since it runs in a more real-time basis than most.
  • If you’d like more insights into your energy usage however, Half-Hourly mode is great for that. In addition to daily meter readings, you’ll get to see half-hourly snapshots of your energy usage and have access to more features in OVO Greenlight.

You’re more than welcome to switch between Half-Hourly, Daily and Monthly mode anytime at no extra cost. Simply let OVO know and the team will make the arrangements - it may take a few days before the changes go through however.

Even with Smart Meters, OVO does still have to send a meter reader to visit every so often - usually around once a year - to take a manual reading as well. It’s mainly a formality more than anything else though. Any attempt to submit a reading that’s clearly invalid is almost certainly going to be rejected by the system even if it’s manually entered by a meter reader, so you don’t need to worry there. They’ll always identify themselves as well - and if you’re still unsure you have the right to refuse entry until you’ve been able to get verification. ALL visitors who are stopping by on OVO’s behalf always carry ID and explain the reason for the visit. OVO’s Support Team will be happy to verify any such visitors if you’re still not satisfied.

Otherwise, I’m really glad to hear you’re enjoying the experience. This forum is mainly volunteer led and the community includes OVO members alongside customers of other suppliers, as we like to open the doors to anyone who needs a hand. :)

Tim and Jess help to run the show from a moderation standpoint, but they’re also on hand to help out with certain more tricky puzzles. They’re also able to pass feedback to internal teams - things like bug reports in particular can definitely be flagged up here for example.

If you ever need a hand again, feel free to stop by. While we can’t access your account or make changes, we can definitely offer a lot of advice that can help you out! :)

Userlevel 7

Some tip-top advice as ever from our community volunteer, @Blastoise186:

 

 

I think I can diagnose your meter issues though. It sounds to me as if they’re set to Monthly mode, which means they’ll only submit meter readings once a month just before your bill date. The fix for this is actually quite easy though. If you have a chat with the Support Team, they can reconfigure your meters to either Daily or Half-Hourly mode. Feel free to choose either one and they’ll lodge a request to the right team for you.

 

Do pop back and let us know how you get on once you’ve been in touch with the Support Team to request that meter reading schedule update - sure that’ll get things sorted!

 

 

The lingering Economy 7 stuff on your meter is a known issue and it’s something OVO is trying to work on a solution for in the future. In the meantime, OVO automatically figures out the correct meter readings when both the day and night readings are submitted together - for the time being your Day and Night rates are basically being charged at the same rates as well. It’s not a perfect workaround, but it definitely works well enough. Part of this issue is related to the meters however, and it’s something that I’d probably consider an unfixable design flaw on the part of Secure. If this ever does get fixed, you’ll probably notice it fairly quickly.

 

I would say on this one - if your smart meter has ever been an Economy 7 meter it’ll always have two registers - one will be stopped when you change to a single rate plan and one will continue clocking. Here at OVO we charge your usage based on the register which continues to clock rather than the total reading which is why you’ll need to take the manual reading slightly differently. But as @Blastoise186 assures, this shouldn’t be an issue - any really out-of-line readings taken by you or a meter reader would be flagged anyway, and would be checked against the readings we receive automatically from the meter itself.

 

Hope this helps put your mind at ease! :slight_smile:

Reply