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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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Look at you standing charges (rate per day) for each energy, and then what the rates are for both energies per unit, or kwh, make your decision on that not a pie in the sky amount they say you will pay per year.
I pay £85 pm which is spot on and the required payment to renew is £116, which seems OTT. I haven't yet clicked on the renew option as it's too expensive, but I'll check it out now if I can reduce the payment.
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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.
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.
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!
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.
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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’ve just today signed up for 2 year fixed payment, direct debit due 12th march, will the new payment start then
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Hi @Mac,

I've just moved your post over here. Are you talking about the suggested Direct Debit upon renewing? If so, more info above ^^

Cheers,
Nancy
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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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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!
Just started a new year again with OVO, perhaps rather foolishly.
The new contract gave prices and stated that we should continue to pay the same as last year for the time being. The next statement we received stated a requirement to increase our payments by 24% to cover price increases over the past year, as our payments were "far below the recommended minimum" despite the fact that it showed we were in credit.
NOTE My own calculation based on previous years payments show that the request is eccessive .
The latest statement indicates no change in payment has been made.
As far as I am aware the direct debit is controlled by OVO so why hasn't the payment increased?

As an observation I find it a disgrace (as do many of your customers) that if I had aproached OVO directly I would effectivly been charged a financial penalty payment for having the temerity for doing so, especially as the request for this response is viewed by me as confidential.
I await your answer on this one as there has not been any answer to this when several customers have asked the same question with no adequate response.

As for next year we will definitly move to another supplyer and writting to Which? (as we are members) to wonder why they show a good star rating for customer service when there is no service unless you wish to pay extra for it
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Hi @tonyp227 and @daveshamps

I've moved your posts over here where you can find more information about Direct Debit changes when you renew.

It's important to mention that the Self-Service Reward is a discount applied as a thank you to customers for managing their account themselves online. There are certain things that you won't be able to do online, and sometimes customers may not be able to find the information they need on our website FAQ or our Forum. In these instances, it's perfectly okay to give us a call or get in touch via email without any risk of losing your reward. More information about this here.

Hope this helps
OVO estimate my energy costs for this year at £1381. That's £115 a month.

They've just suggested that I raise my monthly payment from £171 to £226. Even with the £410 of debt I'm in, that seems like quite a wild leap.

I'm in this position having followed their advice at every stage as to what my monthly payment should be.

Would I be right in suggesting that OVO are not very good at any of these figures?

In the year from Feb 2018 to Feb 2019, my energy costs with OVO were £1089.

Now they are predicting that the cost for 2019/2020 will be £1328.

That''s a 31% rise.

Can someone please explain?

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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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!
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.
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...
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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!
Thank you Tufty. Appreciate your reply 😊
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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
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.
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.
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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.

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