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Why is the OVO Drive plan only available to EV owners who have a gas supply as dual fuel?

  • 30 August 2021
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Well after months of trying its drawn a blank. 

I am upset that my OVO journey and V2G comes to a end here, after 2 years of supporting the community and running various online groups I feel penalised because I DONT HAVE GAS?

Whats the connection ? well I cannot switch to OVO drive and as such I am penalised with a whopping increase in my tariff from 14p to 19p !!! increasing my EV charging costs by around £400 a year !!!! 

understandably I am a little annoyed, but I also feel that this should be mentioned and not swept under the carpet, I feel that because I live RURAL and do not actually have Access to GAS that I am not allowed to join any beneficial tariff and indeed have to “ pay through the nose “  while almost all other companies such as OCTOPUS EON EDF to mention a few ALL offer dynamic EV tariff to me on a single fuel contract. 

BAD SHOW from OVO “ sustainability and environmental impact “ are not the driving factors here as its a Clear case of money and share holders very disappointing from OVO. 

In closing I would encourage all OVO customers to really look at OVO and the credentials moving forward and ask this question “ Is OVO environmentally green or is the the colour of money ?” 

I have Helped support and encourage all they have done yet here I am telling my truth and my story of how OVO have let me down. 

 

@Ash_OVO @Transparent 

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Best answer by Jess_OVO 1 September 2021, 16:57

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Bouncing off the back of this, I would even pose a question “ Is V2G even viable “ looking at the big picture yes it does work but lets be honest who's going to pay ££££ for the unit then be on single rate tariffs that almost mirror ingoing and outgoings when they can be on a dynamic Tariff and save a fortune ? 

OVO state “ we need the customer to take both fuels with us to make the tariff work” well I say stop the greed for the share holders and actual put your money were your mouth is and “ support your mission to sustainable energy”   can I re-write it to “ support our share holder mission “ …….

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That is just so frustrating @D10hul 

The standing charge on my (rural) gas supply is about £100 for the year. So if I actually used zero gas, I’d still qualify for OVO Drive… which would create what revenue for OVO?

£20 maybe?

So even if the reason for OVO only offering the Drive tariff to dual-fuel customers is for profit, then it doesn’t take too much effort to find a way to spread that cost across other customers/tariffs. That would then enable off-gas-grid customers to be eligible for Drive.

 

Whilst I’m on the subject of silly maths…

I assume you are aware that there is a concept of Independent Gas Distribution Network (IGDN) companies?

The legislation also allows community groups to set themselves up as Energy Aggregators. They can combine the imports and exports of energy from their members and handle their billing; - normally operating as a CIC Community Interest Company, which may or may not be ‘for profit’, according to its M&A.

So in theory you could create a CIC amongst like-minded end-users in your area. You run polyethylene pipes to your houses through which you send fresh-air. Get yourselves certified as an IGDN. After all you should easily pass the safety checks!

That enables you to put certified ‘gas’ meters on your properties, which in turn means you have an MPRN for your house on Xoserve, the national gas meter database.

 

Et voilà - you are now a dual-fuel customer!

Moreover your self-owned Energy Aggregator CIC will now be able to invoice OVO each year for the network system charge.

 

Yes, I realise it’s a stupid idea… but I had a conversation with @Tim_OVO and @Jess_OVO last week about the need for ‘lighter topics’ here on the Forum. So I think this might appeal to their sense of humour.

Better still, let’s ask them to send an internal-memo to the tariff-creators at OVO so that they are aware of how us customers view the rules for OVO Drive:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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I had actually thought about the exact same Gas thing !! I wonder if I could actually pull it off ?

 

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Do you know what really grinds my gears even more ….. I have now been approached by several OVO customers on V2G electric only and they have been switched to OVO Drive, infuriating really isn't it. 

 

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You’re grinding gears?

… in an EV? :thinking:

Are you telling us that those other customers are electric-only and yet they have been able to switch to the Drive tariff?

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You’re grinding gears?

… in an EV? :thinking:

Are you telling us that those other customers are electric-only and yet they have been able to switch to the Drive tariff?

100% I have had a few members of a group I run come forward and tell me this is the case !!!

Now how 2 faced are OVO !!! unbelievable 

PSB

 

Plan - Drive Fixed for 12 months For this plan, we think your Direct Debit would be around £69.80 a month. Prices stay fixed for 12 months (that’s for both unit rates and standing charges) 100% renewable electricity - and a tree planted every year Electricity unit rate: 15.9p per kWH Electricity standing charge: 28.6p per day Exit fee: £30 All rates exclude VAT Usage projection 4360.777 kwh Plan - OVO Member Special
 

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Have you instigated the Complaints Procedure?

I doubt that OVO would let this get as far as the Energy Ombudsman… especially if you could identify even one other single-fuel customer who’s been accepted onto the Drive tariff.

 

And whilst I know you’re around - do have an answer to this question about EVs:blush:

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What the EV question I had a look but it looks like panels 

 

As for ombudsman I shouldn’t need to go that far !!

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The link did indeed take you to a topic about solar panels, @D10hul … but specifically to a particular post therein:

 

And no, you shouldn’t need to go as far as the Ombudsman. Nor do I think you will. But unless you’ve actually started with step-1 of the Complaints Procedure, then the higher echelons within Customer Services remain unaware of the issue.

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@Transparent technically yes in most cases but due to the way the motors are set up no. They are actually set up to be most powerful and efficient rotating in one direction and are limited to around 20mph in reverse 

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Electricity unit rate: 15.9p per kWH Electricity standing charge: 28.6p per day Exit fee: £30 All rates exclude VAT  Plan - OVO Member Special

 

What EV benefits do you get with this tariff? Is there a cheap time period?  

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None really, it’s pretty poor, just the option for Drive + and other bolt ons should the happen. 
At the moment all that’s happening is I am getting hit with a thick end of a high unit rate to charge my EV I would be locked into a tariff that has no recognition for EVs 

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Why has the Title been changed ?? 
 

I STAND BY THE THE STATEMENT

 

”Rural communities are discriminated against “

Just because we don’t have gas shouldn’t hinder our access to tariffs, I suspect the Ombudsman would agree  

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This thread was renamed by a moderator because the new title is considered more helpful to other members than the original. This is only done in cases where there’s a valid reason. I don’t possess that ability myself because I don’t have permissions to edit someone else’s posts.

It’s something that happens mainly when needed - but it can also be done on request if the OP would like the title to be changed.

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I do wonder if many of the EV electricity rates offering electricity around 5p are actually loss making for some suppliers or at best marginal compared to their other rates. 

We also have the issue of road pricing in some form that is going to have to get loaded onto EVs in a few years.

Be interesting to see what the cost per mile settles down to in a few years.

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@D10hul- you can ask a Moderator to re-insert the words ”Rural communities are discriminated against “ at the top of your opening post as a Heading.

But I can also see what @Blastoise186 means, in that many more people are likely to find the topic if it contains the words “OVO Drive plan” within the title.

This subject will continue to gain views over the months as new EV owners are looking around for a tariff which best suits their usage. The Forum gets 60,000 views per month. Most members never post anything, and there’s a high proportion of views from non-members… possibly employees of rival companies.

I suspect that many of these are directed via an online search rather than using the Forum’s internal search facility. I often use Google because it’s actually better at finding key phrases than the internal search algorithm.

I also find graphics are a useful tool, drawing attention to the point I’m making:

 

Rural communities face discrimination due to scarcity of gas supplies

 

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I do wonder if many of the EV electricity rates offering electricity around 5p are actually loss making for some suppliers or at best marginal compared to their other rates. 

We also have the issue of road pricing in some form that is going to have to get loaded onto EVs in a few years.

Be interesting to see what the cost per mile settles down to in a few years.

The 5p/kWh rate is extremely cheap regardless of how you cut the cake and I don’t think there’s been any electricity tariff that’s offered such a cheap rate in years if you put these new EV ones aside. Admittedly, maybe there is/was some kind of exotic legacy tariff that had ultra cheap rates between certain hours or for certain purposes, but they were usually combined with having much higher rates for everything else. And most of those tariffs were really restrictive in various ways, such as making it almost impossible to switch supplier or having equally exotic meters that resulted in very complicated setups - with even more complicated upgrade/migration paths.

It is true that night rates are generally cheaper than day rates anyway - even for suppliers - and I guess this can probably offset some of the potential losses but that assumes everyone only charges up overnight. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the long-term.

And yeah… I wouldn’t be surprised if EV’s eventually do have to start paying things like road tax and congestion charge. Just like I wouldn’t really be very surprised if the current EV Grants and Discounts from the government are eventually retired or withdrawn.

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Updated on 27/05/22 by Jess_OVO

 

Sorry for the edit to your original title, @D10hul

 

As our community volunteer @Blastoise186 has mentioned, we may alter topic headings to make the pages easier to find for anyone with a similar question. 

 

For more info on OVO Drive, it’s worth checking out the commonly asked OVO Drive questions on this thread:

 

“D10hul wrote:

 

we dont have gas, so why can't we apply ? 

 

@D10hul  - If you’re currently on our EV Everywhere plan, you’ll still be able to renew on to the OVO Drive plan, even as an electric-only member. Otherwise, OVO Drive is only available to dual fuel customers at the moment. This is to make sure the lower unit rate in the tariff is sustainable commercially. We welcome the feedback on this though and will, again, make sure it’s passed on to the team.”

 

I really appreciate that you may feel the limitation to this tariff unfairly affects those living in areas without a gas supply. However it’s worth mentioning that this is the only OVO tariff with a dual-fuel requirement and an exception to this condition has been made if you were previously on our EV Everywhere plan.

 

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So the crunch issue seems to be whether a customer was or was not already on the EV Everywhere tariff.

I still don’t see that the presence of a gas supply and a corresponding dual-fuel tariff makes such a huge difference to the standard Drive plan. I would understand better if the rule was that electricity-only customers couldn’t be offered the Anytime option, because that 5p/kWh is cutting the profit margin very finely.

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If you’re currently on our EV Everywhere plan, you’ll still be able to renew on to the OVO Drive plan, even as an electric-only member. Otherwise, OVO Drive is only available to dual fuel customers at the moment. This is to make sure the lower unit rate in the tariff is sustainable commercially. We welcome the feedback on this though and will, again, make sure it’s passed on to the team.”

 

I really appreciate that you may feel the limitation to this tariff unfairly affects those living in areas without a gas supply. However it’s worth mentioning that this is the only OVO tariff with a dual-fuel requirement and an exception to this condition has been made if you were previously on our EV Everywhere plan.

 

Is it not also worth noting that OVO drive a green energy tariff for the switch to green future, the users of green energy like myself that have no gas but biomass are penalised and shoved out. The irony of this so called green tariff you need to burn fossil fuel to access it ? Come on OVO stop pleasing the share holders and profiteering time OVO actually stepped up, OVO have no green mission at all with torrid like this purely profit. 

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@Transparent i question OVOs green credentials here with the drive tariff, only accepting customers if they burn fossil fuels ? Come on that’s worse than a hybrid car !! 

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Yes, I agree @D10hul 

Coincidentally I pointed out another anomaly on those green credentials just a week ago in the topic about Energy Transition.

OVO do at least have the possibility of progressing Flex Platform development to counter the carbon footprint of us customers. But we don’t really know much about the direction in which that R&D is heading.

It seems counter-intuitive to withdraw the Dynamo home-heating element of Flex at a time when we’d expect more tools to added to its armoury.

It’s also odd that the V2G charger trial ended with no ongoing product being launched into OVO’s tariff portfolio. After all, the reselling of the stored energy clearly demonstrated that there were huge profits to be made for investors in the project. So it seems viable not just for energy-balancing reasons.

I’m an 8 year OVO customer and have been happy with them for all this time, but as a new EV car owner I can not understand why I have to be a dual fuel customer to get OVO Drive. I live rurally we do a lot of miles, hence the switch to EV. I do not have access to GAS.  I’m also due to get free installation of a charger form POD POINT for my jaguar IPACE EV, it appears that is not a compatible charger ! Please OVO make this simpler and open to all. As things stand it looks like  I will be changing to octopus who do not have these barriers,

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Hi @jzk841 ,

I’m Blastoise186, one of the forum volunteers who helps out here on the OVO Forum. Just so you’re aware, I don’t work for OVO myself and can’t make any changes to anything directly.

From my understanding, OVO Drive is currently Dual-Fuel only because it was the only way to make it commercially viable, and at the time, only a handful of chargers were compatible. However, things are slowly changing.

OVO is exploring getting the required EV Charging data directly from vehicles in cases where a compatible charger isn’t available. This may resolve the compatibility issue as long as the EV manufacturer allows it - and it looks like several are on board already.

As for the dual-fuel rule? That’s so that OVO can at least make some reasonable profits off of the tariff - many of the offers from elsewhere are loss leaders and suppliers actually lose money e.g. Octopus Agile - which may not be sustainable in the long run.

I’ll ask @Tim_OVO and @Jess_OVO for an update.

Thankyou Blastoise186

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