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How can I help a friend understand the increase to their bills since their account was moved from SSE to OVO?

  • 16 June 2022
  • 4 replies
  • 120 views

Hi Forum,

I am trying to assist an elderly friend that is having issues with his SSE/OVO account.

He has a semi detached home built 30 years ago, three storage heater and general appliances but uses the later very little imo.

The property has an Alcara 1416-B smart meter fitted 18/5/21

His energy bills have gone up and currently a quarterly bill is £800+ which is not right imo.

I checked the readings and they are correct to the billing, however I told him to switch off the storage heaters for a week and the readings have come down to what I would say is fairly normal, still not great.

I understand that there has been an issue with the switchover from sse to ovo on economy seven.

How do we get this sorted, I am not an electrician but did switch the power off for the house and the meter did not record additional units, so guess that the meter is ok. He is elderly and is not computer literate

Any advice would be appreciated as this elderly gentleman is getting stressed out by the excessive bills.

I have advised him and he is paying the previous monthly amount so that at least he is paying.

 

Best

 

Cromer Crab

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Best answer by Jess_OVO 17 June 2022, 12:07

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Userlevel 7
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Hi Forum,

I am trying to assist an elderly friend that is having issues with his SSE/OVO account.

He has a semi detached home built 30 years ago, three storage heater and general appliances but uses the later very little imo.

The property has an Alcara 1416-B smart meter fitted 18/5/21

His energy bills have gone up and currently a quarterly bill is £800+ which is not right imo.

I checked the readings and they are correct to the billing, however I told him to switch off the storage heaters for a week and the readings have come down to what I would say is fairly normal, still not great.

I understand that there has been an issue with the switchover from sse to ovo on economy seven.

How do we get this sorted, I am not an electrician but did switch the power off for the house and the meter did not record additional units, so guess that the meter is ok. He is elderly and is not computer literate

Any advice would be appreciated as this elderly gentleman is getting stressed out by the excessive bills.

I have advised him and he is paying the previous monthly amount so that at least he is paying.

 

Best

 

Cromer Crab

@Jess_OVO @Tim_OVO 

Given this sounds like a vulnerable person, elderly, not computer literate etc. is this something an OVO employee could step in and help with?

I  am happy to try and diagnose if there are any obvious issues, but i think it may be more appropriate for an OVO employee to try and help from the start? 

Userlevel 7

Thanks for posting here, @Cromercrab and for highlight this to us, @Jeffus,

 

It sounds like a fairly sensitive topic so I’ll do my best to highlight some topics here which might include some helpful information. As it’s often easier to give tailored advice with full access to the account in question, it might be worth contacting the Support Team when you’re next with your friend. As long as he is able to confirm some security details and give permission for you to speak on his behalf, the Support Team should be able to check there’s no billing issues that have cropped up since his account joined us from SSE.

 

You mention hearing about an issue with some Economy 7 accounts, just to clarify this has now been resolved and all affected accounts have now been corrected, so this shouldn’t have an ongoing impact. Have you double-checked that the storage heaters are coming on at the correct times, to take advantage of the much cheaper over-night rates? There’s more info on how to check this over here

 

It sounds like you’ve already done some initial checks of the meter to make sure it’s clocking as it should be but I’ll leave a link to this topic, just in case there’s more detailed checks which might help locate the higher than expected consumption. 

 

It might also help to compare his current usage figure to previous years. Are you able to access this information, via his previous SSE bills perhaps? If the usage figures seem consistent it’s more likely that the recent Price Cap change might explain these higher costs. We’ve got some FAQs on this price change here and details of additional financial support available here

 

I hope this information is helpful. Do pop back if you need any more advice.

 

 

Hi Jess,

Many thanks for your excellent response. I have four statements from my friend,  and its probably best to deal with usage. He has not altered the storage heaters or their timers. Does this look right? 

18.AUG.2019 – 25.FEB.2019

Day 2658

Night 5366

 

Monthly

Day 443

Night 898

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

13.FEB.2020 – 24.AUG.2020

Day 2871

Night 3132

 

Monthly

Day 478

Night 522

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

21.MAY 2021 – 16.AUG.2021

Day 483

Night 1622

 

Monthly

Day 161

Night 540

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

18.FEB.2022 – 22.MAY.2022

Day 1294

Night 2434

 

Monthly

Day 431

Night 811

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

Best

Userlevel 7

Hi @Cromercrab,

 

Thanks for posting those usage figures. Looks like you’ve done some thorough calculations there. From what I can see there doesn’t seem to be a drastic increase in usage beyond expected seasonal variation. Do you know when his account was moved over from SSE to OVO?

 

I’d really recommend double-checking his final SSE bill and opening OVO bill to make sure the meter readings on both line-up. If there are any discrepancies between the two account, this would be something to raise directly to our Support Team. if you’re able to give us a call when you’re next with your friend, so he’s able to  give consent for you to discuss things on his behalf.

 

I’m not sure what type of plan you’re friend has taken out, but this might be another things to check. His prices won’t have changed due to the migration of his account, but may have increased with the Variable Price Change in April. There’s some constructive conversations happening here, on whether it might be sensible to consider a fixed plan to avoid further increases in October.

 

I hope this information is helpful.

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