Ovo is an independent energy company based in Bristol. It is now the second-biggest energy firm after British Gas, supplying five million customers across England, Scotland and Wales.
Ovo Energy split off its pay-as-you-go, or prepayment meter, business into a separate supplier called Boost Energy. It also took on the customers of failed supplier Spark Energy in 2018, but maintained the separate brand.
It’s investing in smart technology and services, too, including making electric storage heaters smart, creating Electric Vehicle chargers which charge your car when electricity is cheaper or in less demand, and selling home energy storage devices.
Ovo offers a small number of tariffs, all backed by 50% renewable electricity. Plus you can choose to buy 100% renewable electricity for £5 extra a month (scroll down to find out more about where Ovo sources its energy).
It also sells a smart meter tariff, which gives customers 100% carbon neutral gas, and a tariff for electric vehicle owners, which includes a free smart charger.
In January 2020, it agreed with energy regulator Ofgem to pay £8.9m to make up for communications and billing issues. It says it has now resolved these.
Ovo Energy customer score
Ovo Energy came joint-ninth, along with and , out of 35 energy companies rated by 7,355 members of the public in the annual Which? customer survey. A couple of years ago it was the top-scoring supplier.
Ovo Energy score breakdown
Scroll down to read the full Which? verdict on Ovo Energy, plus how its prices compare with other energy suppliers.
Which? verdict on Ovo Energy
Customers are still enthusiastic about Ovo, but it’s no longer the top-rated supplier.
The clarity of its bills and its value for money are on a par with the top-scoring firms. It also achieves a respectable four stars out of five for the accuracy of its bills, customer service and handling complaints – although other firms score the full five.
Customers switch to Ovo Energy primarily for lower prices, but also for its good reputation, according to our analysis of Which? energy customer satisfaction survey data. In fact, 44% of its customers said its good reputation was one of the top reasons for choosing it – far higher than the 31% average across suppliers.
However, 18% said they switched to it for a greener or more environmentally friendly tariff. That’s lower than the 21% average across suppliers and despite Ovo’s recent marketing campaign around cutting carbon emissions.
Although Ovo’s tariffs are rarely the cheapest on the market, it pays customers between 3-5% interest on their credit balances (the rate depends how long they have been a customer).
Customers are generally positive about the customer service it provides and, when there’s trouble, Ovo is rated well for resolving complaints. In fact, Ovo has one of the best records for resolving complaints within eight weeks, according to data from the regulator Ofgem. It managed more than 99% for the first six months of 2019. The worst firms only manage to solve 70% in that time.
Ovo’s weakest area, according to customers in our survey, is its digital tools, earning a reasonable three stars out of five. While no firms achieved the full five stars, six earned four.
Ovo took 6mins and 7secs to put us through to a human, on average. But it was far quicker than the slowest firm which took more than 21mins, on average.
Pros: Pays interest on accounts which are in credit, solves almost all complaints within eight weeks
Cons: Digital tools aren’t rated as highly as other suppliers’