MSE News: Ofgem to investigate Ovo Energy

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Former_MSE_Megan_F
Former_MSE_Megan_F Posts: 418 Forumite
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edited 2 February 2018 at 11:38AM in Energy
The energy regulator is to investigate whether Ovo Energy gave some of its customers inaccurate usage figures...
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'Ofgem to investigate Ovo Energy'
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  • JSR
    JSR Posts: 187 Forumite
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    There's definitely something wrong with Ovo's annual statements. On my last annual statement in October they said my annual electricity consumption was 5189 kWh. My actual consumption for the previous year was 2818 kWh. I have a smart meter so there're no estimates to confuse things.
  • poppy10_2
    poppy10_2 Posts: 6,575 Forumite
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    Between Ovo "accidentally" increasing the amount of energy they say their customers have used, and Iresa "accidentally" increasing the money they are taking out of customers' direct debits, you have to wonder whether it is really worth switching to one of these newer energy companies. Lots of dodginess about.
    poppy10
  • Andy_WSM
    Andy_WSM Posts: 2,217 Forumite
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    poppy10 wrote: »
    Between Ovo "accidentally" increasing the amount of energy they say their customers have used, and Iresa "accidentally" increasing the money they are taking out of customers' direct debits, you have to wonder whether it is really worth switching to one of these newer energy companies. Lots of dodginess about.

    The older energy companies, with years of industry experience, are equally as incompetent! You don't have to look far in this forum for tales of woe about any one of them!
  • System
    System Posts: 178,102 Community Admin
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    As a general comment, I have found that frequent switching of suppliers (ie; 2 or 3 times a year) confuses the system. It shouldn't affect estimates but my experience is that it does which is why I just ignore what is stated under the 'Could You Pay Less' banner.

    I also believe that suppliers should state how future costs have been calculated. Most use the Ofgem Inflated Cost Methodology which is why there is often a suggestion that a switch to a new tariff could result in a saving. In truth, the new tariff is more expensive. The continuous churn of the same tariff name also doesn't help consumers.
  • matelodave
    matelodave Posts: 8,618 Forumite
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    I've always found that by recording my own consumption and therefore knowing how much energy I use I can can make my own estimates. Not only that it doesn't really take a maths genius to work out how much it should cost.

    I always use a comparison site (or two) to find a good tariff, I then do my own sums and then apply to a supplier, making sure that it's my estimate of consumption that's used and that their calculations of costs accord with mine.

    Likewise I always check my bills and statements to ensure that they are using my readings. I do not accept estimates, I get them corrected immediately. I also check that the tariff hasn't changed without my express consent (one supplier tried that a couple of years ago) and I make sure that my payments are on target to balance my account at the end of the contract.

    It's not difficult but it does ensure that I know what's going on and can take immediate and effective action if anything starts to go awry.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • kd99
    kd99 Posts: 10 Forumite
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    A customer for 21 months (2 year contract), i used to send OVO my readings every month, and have a little browse at my elec and gas consumption figures of previous months, often although i'd sent in my figures, there would be an estimate - it seemed to be if i was a couple of days earlier than their expected figure.. they'd shove in an estimate - but i let it pass ...After resisting a 'smart' meter for a while, there was a cash incentive offered, so in january it was installed. Now - there is NO HISTORY of my energy usage for this account prior to the smart meter, how absolutely useless my account data is now, especially as today they're asking to increase my direct debit, based upon their estimated usage of my remaining contract. Strange, how, reading about OFGEM to investigate OVO customer recordings this has happened - did someone, somewhere have a 'bright idea' to avoid the investigation (like the bright spark in reducing combustion figures in VW). I hope OFGEM do have the resources to investigate .. but maybe all the data (like mine) has strangely disappeared.
  • dggar
    dggar Posts: 670 Forumite
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    kd99 wrote: »
    A customer for 21 months (2 year contract), i used to send OVO my readings every month, and have a little browse at my elec and gas consumption figures of previous months, often although i'd sent in my figures, there would be an estimate - it seemed to be if i was a couple of days earlier than their expected figure.. they'd shove in an estimate - but i let it pass ...After resisting a 'smart' meter for a while, there was a cash incentive offered, so in january it was installed. Now - there is NO HISTORY of my energy usage for this account prior to the smart meter, how absolutely useless my account data is now, especially as today they're asking to increase my direct debit, based upon their estimated usage of my remaining contract. Strange, how, reading about OFGEM to investigate OVO customer recordings this has happened - did someone, somewhere have a 'bright idea' to avoid the investigation (like the bright spark in reducing combustion figures in VW). I hope OFGEM do have the resources to investigate .. but maybe all the data (like mine) has strangely disappeared.


    I submit readings on the 2nd of the month as I get a notification each month from OVO as this is the date they use for calculating their bills. The statements always correspond with the numbers I've sent them. I also record the readings on a spread sheet. My 2 yr contract ends at the end of August.
  • Lochmaben
    Lochmaben Posts: 27 Forumite
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    matelodave wrote: »
    I've always found that by recording my own consumption and therefore knowing how much energy I use I can can make my own estimates. Not only that it doesn't really take a maths genius to work out how much it should cost.

    I always use a comparison site (or two) to find a good tariff, I then do my own sums and then apply to a supplier, making sure that it's my estimate of consumption that's used and that their calculations of costs accord with mine.

    Likewise I always check my bills and statements to ensure that they are using my readings. I do not accept estimates, I get them corrected immediately. I also check that the tariff hasn't changed without my express consent (one supplier tried that a couple of years ago) and I make sure that my payments are on target to balance my account at the end of the contract.

    It's not difficult but it does ensure that I know what's going on and can take immediate and effective action if anything starts to go awry.
    I not only read my meters, but when I am switching companies, I also take photographs of each meter. I left a Economy Energy in October last year and fought for months for a refund for the overpayments. Once OVO took over, they decided I wasn’t owed as much as I stated (and as Economy Energy had agreed via email) only the photographs saved me, as they couldn’t argue with emails AND photographs!
  • Sterlingtimes
    Sterlingtimes Posts: 2,405 Forumite
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    edited 15 June 2019 at 2:48PM
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    I asked Ovo recently whether they would use my actual smart meter reading. They said, "no".

    They say that they can use any reading they like provided it is within a tolerance of 250 kWh or more.

    So even where a customer has a smart meter, Ovo may choose to ignore that and use an estimate instead entirely at Ovo's discretion.

    For a read dispute to be possible, there needs to be a big enough gap between the reading used and the reading you gave. This is called a ‘tolerance’. If the gap is too small, it’s known as being ‘within tolerance’.

    The tolerance for an electricity reading is 250 kWh or more.
    I have osteoarthritis in my hands so I speak my messages into a microphone using Dragon. Some people make "typos" but I often make "speakos".
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