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Why is my renewal quote so high this year?

  • 7 January 2019
  • 38 replies
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We have been with OVO for nearly a year, no complaints and would like to stay. However, our renewal is up and our quote says we’ll have to pay £140 per month from Feb 2019. We currently pay £116 and are £240 in credit??
We have been on comparison websites and have quotes for £119 per month. Can OVO match this monthly payment or shall we take our credit and switch to another company? Thank you.
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Best answer by Nancy_OVO 9 January 2019, 13:02

Hi @Raq

The figure you're seeing is a suggested monthly payment amount. This is based on your average consumption and the new prices. If you click the relevant 'renew' button online, your Direct Debit won't be increased. It will remain at the current amount for the time being. If you have a credit balance on your account at the moment, you can use this to offset any difference in unit rates should you choose to renew.

You can monitor your account balance by giving regular meter readings and checking your credit on future statements. If you notice your credit is decreasing, you can always increase the Direct Debit accordingly in the 'Payments' section of your online profile.

Hope this helps,
Nancy
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Hey @Phil_H,

We feel we price fairly, we’re constantly watching wholesale prices to ensure we are inline with the industry, this results in changes that may differ in frequency to other suppliers, more info here.

We detail historic price change information the website.

Thanks!
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OVO Prices Update

It looks like OVO have reduced the price of their fixed rate tariffs today.

There is a new Better Energy 18/09/19 tariff where the unit price of electricity and gas is around 15% lower than the 06/09/19 tariff and brings OVO's prices back down and close to those offered in August.

So - some good news - thank you OVO. Maybe someone is listening????

However I still have some questions why are OVO's fixed rate tariffs changed so often? That's 4 changes in 3 months. Many companies offer the same tariff for several months? Octopus are still using their April 2019 tariffs.

Does OVO announce these price changes somewhere on the website? I can only find this info on price comparison sites?
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We appreciate that price is a deciding factor for a lot of people, @John W. We're not offering rock bottom prices, and we stand by that. We've got long some pretty big long term ambitions, and we need to make sure business is sustainable in order to achieve them, and bring our customers with us on the journey.

Don't forget that we offer a whole host of other products that customers can take advantage of. If you drive an EV, we want to know and can offer you an EV plan, with free PolarPlus subscription or smart charger installation. We're working with CORGI to offer OVO customers great prices on boiler cover, or money off a brand new one (and a free smart thermostat).

We also offer Green electricity and gas upgrades on any tariff. It's also worth mentioning other bonuses for being part of OVO, like the £75 refer a friend voucher (there’s no limit to how many people you can refer), the interest reward where you can earn up to 5% interest on credit balances, and join loads of our customers in getting a free smart meter installed (if you don't already have one).

We want to continue shaking up the energy industry, and need our customers to join us! Let’s work together to build a better future for our planet.


Hi @Nancy_OVO

@Darran_OVO highlighted your post in his blog and having read it, I felt I should respond.

As I mentioned in my post above, the price increase on 06/09/19 was significant at around 15% more than the tariff it replaced and much higher than the fixed price tariffs that are currently ending. You state that OVO do not offer “rock bottom” prices – there is no chance of that, if you compare prices at the moment OVO are not even in the middle their prices are at the top end of the range of deals being offered. Its hard to find OVO on a price comparison because you have to scroll through several pages as the prices are that high.

I may be cynical but this price increase came in a week before the confirmation of the take over of SSE, and if you compare the total cost of energy for a year on these price comparison sites OVO’s prices are very close to those of SSE- so much for competition…

Also OVO need to find the £500 million to pay SSE for its retail division- I guess the price increase will help pay for this. Is the take over of SSE the “pretty big long term ambitions” you mention?

Yes OVO offer a range of products for EV owners but the majority of your customers who don't have an EV should not be subsidising those who do.

The corgi offer may appeal to some but it is no different to deals that other energy suppliers offer on boiler or central heating cover- it does not make OVO stand out over the competition.

As regards green energy, a wide range of companies offer this now, many as standard.

The 5% interest is a good offer but assuming I maintain a credit balance of at least £500 over a whole year that's £25- a lot less than the increase in the tariffs.

So you need to do much more to convince me to stay. Bulb, Octopus and others are doing great things as well at a much lower prices – why should I pay OVO significantly more?
I worked out over the 2 years its @ £480 extra, I understand the pressure to build up reserves and factor in future costs for OVO of green electricity and gas but unfortunately for me it means I’m not able to soak up the higher costs involved in the increases.
Glad to see I'm not the only one to be finding this. I'm expecting OVO could lose a lot of customers due to the higher prices.

My renewal quote works out on my usage to be over £100 a year (25% extra) more than if I switch to Bulb who also have a great reputation and have almost no customer complaints at all. Again, they also have just a single tariff for all customers.

I'd love to stay with OVO but I just don't see them as being competitive.


Oh, forgot to add - Bulb also claims to be 100% renewable energy!
We have been extremely happy with the service provided by OVO over the last 2 years and particularly like developments made on the OVOApp and interest on credit balances.
The circumstances of being on a fixed budget mean we have to carefully consider our expenditure but we may well return to OVO in the future.
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We appreciate that price is a deciding factor for a lot of people, @John W. We're not offering rock bottom prices, and we stand by that. We've got long some pretty big long term ambitions, and we need to make sure business is sustainable in order to achieve them, and bring our customers with us on the journey.

Don't forget that we offer a whole host of other products that customers can take advantage of. If you drive an EV, we want to know and can offer you an EV plan, with free PolarPlus subscription or smart charger installation. We're working with CORGI to offer OVO customers great prices on boiler cover, or money off a brand new one (and a free smart thermostat).

We also offer Green electricity and gas upgrades on any tariff. It's also worth mentioning other bonuses for being part of OVO, like the £75 refer a friend voucher (there’s no limit to how many people you can refer), the interest reward where you can earn up to 5% interest on credit balances, and join loads of our customers in getting a free smart meter installed (if you don't already have one).

We want to continue shaking up the energy industry, and need our customers to join us! Let’s work together to build a better future for our planet.
in the past I have used a number of the big six Energy suppliers, British Gas, EDF,EON and Scottish Power and found them pretty much the same in terms of customer service but will probably switch to one of these for 12 months and then see from there.
Its a shame OVO are not able to compete on prices this time. I know they offer interest on credit balances which reduces the bill slightly but in my case the tariff increase is the deciding factor in switching.
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I am keeping an eye on prices at the moment as my renewal is due later this year.

OVO raised their prices significantly last week on 06/09/19. The better energy 1 year fix increased the price of electricity and gas by around 15% compared to their previous 20/08/19 tariff.

In July OVO announced they were removing the self service reward (SSR) (which paid £60 per year) for new contracts and introducing a lower unit price for electricity and gas. This did not last long- less than 2 months. Based on my own usage the 06/09/19 tariff costs about £120 per year more than their 20/08/19 tariff and more than £200 more per year than I am paying now. Any benefit from removing the self service reward and lowering prices has been lost very quickly.

OVO are now significantly more expensive than a wide range of other suppliers both big and small. I recommend doing your research, comparing prices and thinking carefully before renewing.
My current OVO 2 year fix ends Oct 19 and I would have been happy to renew for a further 2 years but I’ve checked my renewal offer and the Direct Debit would increase by £20 a month £480 over the 2 years. My usage has decreased from when I first signed up to OVO and I am in credit, I would expect a reasonable increase with the new 2 year fix deal, but compared to EDF and British Gas which offer @ a £6 a month increase based on a fixed deal I feel my option will be to switch.
I may well return to OVO in the future but being on a fixed budget I am forced to choose another supplier unless OVO review their pricing structure very soon to compete with the other suppliers.
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Oh, and it needs to be much easier to check economy 7 prices. I can't find them anywhere. Self service? And over 24 hours later still no reply to my email enquiry. I'm at work the next 3 days, Monday and Tuesday are home admin days. I'd like an answer sooner rather than later. Please
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@Eva_OVO I'm talking about the annual cost based on my last 12 months of consumption data at OVO. At the moment I can't see it changing much. Both the daily charge and unit prices are a fair bit higher than both BG and E.ON. The monthly payment is irrelevant as far as I'm concerned, it's the total annual figure I work from, then divide by 12. We can pay up to just over £600 less a year with some companies. But even sticking to one of the big companies the saving is around £400 a year. Our consumption looks high, but that's because we have an electric car that charges almost totally at home. Around £2000 with BG or E.ON vs around £2400 with OVO. In other words we could make a 16.6% saving by moving from OVO, or alternatively you could say we will pay 20% more to stay with OVO. Whichever way you look at it that's a significant amount.

I'm incredibly sad to find myself in this situation and hubby is pushing for us to move, but im holding on for while, maybe OVO will rethink their pricing strategy. Maybe not, but I need time to think. It's so sad that we may have to pay so heavily for loyalty. Especially with a general move to nudge customers towards online only.

If there is no longer a penalty for picking up the phone,( since July 19?) can you please amend the welcome message on your phone line?

I like OVO, I really do. And I like the people who work there, I want to stay. But the price difference is really significant. This needs passing back to the team who set the prices. At this rate OVO will be losing a lot of customers, and there's that old wisdom, it costs a lot more to get new customers than it does to keep existing ones.
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As you've already got smart meters, @Gum168, you wouldn't be able to switch to Lumo - I'm sorry!

When you mention the increase are you looking at the Direct Debit amount? Or your unit rates? Your Direct Debit isn't increased when you renew with us, we suggest a higher amount but this doesn't take any current credit/debit balance into consideration. Your payment will stay the same, but it may need to be looked at if it doesn't cover your usage and you're getting into debt.

You can contact our Customer Care team anytime, if you can't find an answer to your question online you won't lose your SSR for getting in touch over the phone or by email.

When you renew the way SSR works will be changing find out more on this topic.
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The letter I have from Ovo talks about Lumo. For me personally, I want to keep our smart ev charger "smart". The trouble is, a £400 + difference is an awful lot. I'm trying to find out if Lumo, your sister company, will mean the smart charger still connects. I don't want to leave Ovo, I really really don't, but as I say, it's a £400 + annual difference. That's quite hard to swallow for what is effectively the same result at our end - it all comes down the same pipes and cables and runs our house. I'm really torn.

I've really enjoyed being part of the smart charger research trial, and I feel loyal to OVO, but that is a lot of money. Uk call centre isn't much good either when the tariff we've been on is online only. I'm still waiting on a reply to an email I sent this morning, asking about economy 7, I have to wait, I can't get a quick answer by phone.

I haven't decided what to do yet, it's not a done deal that we move away, and this is more of a moan and vent than a decision, but I'm sure you can understand where I'm coming from. Not asking for loss leader prices, that doesn't do anyone any good, but £400 a year, £34 a month - eek, it's a lot! And that's on E.ON and British Gas prices who have been around a lot longer than OVO.

Sorry, def not trying to be awkward, I genuinely do want to stay with OVO, but we have to be more canny with our money now as hubby is about to retire. Does OVO really offer £400 better value? That's what I keep asking myself. It's not the actual price I'm looking at, it's the value for money. What do we get extra for that £400 a year? Security of an established company (same for British gas and E. ON), customer service, (well yes and no, as in we save by staying online only, but that means less convenient and slower contact with customer service), great forum, yes, chance to help R&D, yes, smart ev charger, yes, but is it worth £400 a month going forward? Smart charger benefits the environment and the grid more than us, as it works at the moment. I suppose it's the cost of trying to live a greener life.

Hmm, as I typed that last bit I'll admit I was thinking, - we are lucky that we can afford to go a bit greener, and it's important to me. Maybe it's the drive for lowest possible prices that's contributing to accelerated climate change, cheap palm oil for example. Hmm, Cost or not, I may have just swayed myself towards staying. 😂😂😂😂

I'll have to sleep on this a lot more yet.
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@Gum168 @oakesaro we offer the best we can, prices wise. Every single penny on that unit rate and standing charge has been costed - believe me we want to be the cheapest!

What we're not prepared to do is offer something that's loss leading to new or renewing customers, and overcharge those on the variable tariff because they're not price savvy.

We treat all customers fairly, and offer the best prices we can to all. We also pride ourselves on service, and cutting edge technology, as this is also something our customers value. Have a look at those renewal prices, and consider the benefits of a new supplier vs a supplier like us. 😋
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Just read that British Gas are lowering prices. Hmmm. Come on Ovo.
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Same here I'm afraid. The difference is huge! And with an ev to feed, it affects our transport costs as well.?

Overall the annual difference comes to over £400 a year, £500 if we are prepared to go with an unknown new name. E.ON and British Gas can both offer annual savings of around £400.

Come on Ovo, either compete, or tell why you are worth that extra.
As an existing customer my current deal ends 02/10/2019 so why are OVO not trying harder to keep my custom ?

My current charges are 0.113p with a daily charge of 27p . Accepting of the fact costs will have increased I'm being offered 0.1722 to remain with a daily charge of 0.19p which suggests a move away

Any bright ideas ?
Agh! I just checked and the new recommended minimum direct debit amount is £280.00, a 122% increase! As others have pointed out I think there is something very wrong with your projection calculations. it's far too aggressive.
My current direct debit is £126 per month and now the Recommended minimum Direct Debit Amount is £255.00 which seems very high (a 102% increase!). I am willing to increase the direct debit a reasonable amount but your system won't allow me to do anything less than £255 per month. How do we increase the direct debit to say £175 which would be more reasonable?

Thanks.
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Great to hear we've been helpful, @jhk10006, I'll hopefully be able to offer some clarity on the situation.

We actively check Direct Debits on a monthly basis to make sure you're paying the right amount, to avoid debts later on in the contract.

The reviews are based on estimates of what you'll use over the course of a year, so sometimes we may recommend an increase even if in credit.This can be the case in the summer, when you are using less and building up a credit, but we anticipate the higher usage over the winter.

Effectively what this means is as long as you are paying a Direct Debit that covers your consumption, or have enough credit on the account to use up to offset the Direct Debit amount, your Direct Debit will remain the same.

We will always recommend a Direct Debit increase prior to us automatically increasing the payment.

I hope this helps!
Hi @Raq

The figure you're seeing is a suggested monthly payment amount. This is based on your average consumption and the new prices. If you click the relevant 'renew' button online, your Direct Debit won't be increased. It will remain at the current amount for the time being. If you have a credit balance on your account at the moment, you can use this to offset any difference in unit rates should you choose to renew.

You can monitor your account balance by giving regular meter readings and checking your credit on future statements. If you notice your credit is decreasing, you can always increase the Direct Debit accordingly in the 'Payments' section of your online profile.

Hope this helps,
Nancy

Hi Nancy, when you said it will not be increased and remain at the current amount for the time being when will it change? Will it be when my old contract is officially over or is it by my choice?
I am paying a comfortable DD at the moment but the renewal options are double what I have been paying so i am reluctant to change in case i am stuck with a high DD that will disrupt my budgeting.
I would love to get some clarity on this cause OVO was very helpful when i moved houses and was having issues with my economy 7 but the renewal rates are considerably high when there are big 6 companies offering half the DD charge...
Amy_OVO,
Thanks for the reply. I have also received an e-mail from Customer Services - you now have a happy customer 🙂 DD payment now £96 pm.

Looking at the questions about recommended DD payments there appear to be a lot of confusion as to how the levels are calculated. I have tried to follow some of the links supplied by Customer Services - many appear to be 'dead'. Mind you I did not check how old the original query was.
At the moment (Aug 2019) the following link is live - https://www.ovoenergy.com/help/direct-debit-review#calculating-your-new-direct-debit-amount

I realise OVO has to err on the side of caution when recommending DD payments. The average increase appears to be about 30% which far outstrips inflation, energy price increases, etc. I feel to algorithm used to calculate the recommended level needs tweaking.
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Hi @Raq

The figure you're seeing is a suggested monthly payment amount. This is based on your average consumption and the new prices. If you click the relevant 'renew' button online, your Direct Debit won't be increased. It will remain at the current amount for the time being. If you have a credit balance on your account at the moment, you can use this to offset any difference in unit rates should you choose to renew.

You can monitor your account balance by giving regular meter readings and checking your credit on future statements. If you notice your credit is decreasing, you can always increase the Direct Debit accordingly in the 'Payments' section of your online profile.

Hope this helps,
Nancy


Sorry to hear you feel this way, @Catbells, I've popped your post here, there's plenty of relevant info above.

Thanks!
I have just renewed my contract with OVO.
I was expecting an increase in the tariff I pay for gas and electricity.

OVO estimate my energy costs this year will be £1,148.05. They recommend a DD payment of £114 pm. I have been paying £94 pm without any issues re debt, etc. £114 pm represents an increase of 21.2% in the fee I pay. Did energy prices go up that much?????

£1148.05 / 12 = £95.67 pm I would be happy to pay £100 if it keeps OVO happy, but, the OVO site will not allow me to set a lower DD than £114 pm. It would appear your algorithm is taking the estimated yearly use of energy and dividing it by 10!

At the moment I regret renewing my contract to be treated shamefully, and like a child.

Yes, I know you will pay interest on monies in credit. The issue is I have had no choice in the matter.

Please could this be rectified?

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