OVO Energy, the UK’s only Which?-recommended energy provider, is today launching Great Britain’s first full-service smart pay as you go energy platform – Smart PAYG+ – ushering in a new era of simpler, cheaper energy for Britain’s 11 million pay as you go (pre-payment) customers.
OVO’s Smart PAYG+ app means customers can manage all elements of their energy supply, from topping up, to monitoring usage on one simple platform (app or desktop) anytime, anywhere.
The main features of OVO’s new Smart PAYG+ app*, platform and tariff include:
- The ability to top up from the comfort of your own home or on the go by app, text, online and phone so no more long journeys to the shop to top up keys or cards**
- A credit count down that updates every 24 hours, with optional alerts and auto top ups, bringing an end to inconvenient black outs
- A smart meter to help customers understand their energy usage to save both energy and money
- Cheapest rates in the market and an online-only discount
Justin Cockerill, MD of OVO Smart PAYG explains: “From being forced to make top-up trips at the most inconvenient times, to household emergencies due to energy suddenly running out, pre-payment energy customers have endured a rough ride from the industry.”
“We’re putting the power into the customers’ hands and giving them unprecedented control and convenience over the cheapest possible energy supply.”
OVO is also launching a new marketing campaign across the Midlands and the North of England on 7 April, to show consumers how they could save money and benefit from award winning customer service.
Labour politician and former Government adviser on poverty, Frank Field said: “I applaud OVO Energy for its efforts to act on the concerns we expressed in our cross-party inquiry on hunger. I hope this will be the first of many steps taken by the energy companies to ease some of the pressure on poor families relying on pay-as-you-go meters.”
Derek Lickorish, Chairman of National Energy Action said: “We welcome innovation like this that helps customers, especially those on pre-payment meters, to realise the benefits of Smart meters and bring an end to poor service. For too long these customers have been forgotten, well now it’s time to forget the out-dated technology and give these, often vulnerable, customers the service and experience they deserve.”
British-based OVO Energy has a proven track record for challenging the status quo of the energy market and being cost reflective, having dropped its prices, for new and renewing customers, 11 times in the past 18 months. It’s now turning its attention to the under-served and over-charged pay as you go market, by dropping its prices to more closely reflect wholesale prices and operational efficiencies achieved through the introduction of its new smart technology platforms.
Top up ‘nightmares’ our customers told us about include:
“Sometimes the machines don’t work at the shops and it takes ages to get to find another one. It happens quite a bit which is annoying.”
“I had a black out at about 10pm last year. I could barely sleep. I couldn’t find anywhere to top up so I had to go until the morning without electricity. I couldn’t turn on the TV or get online. I was worrying about the freezer defrosting.”
“I went out without the kids once to top up. There was no money in the house, so by the time I got to the local shop it was closed and I had to drive down to a place where they open late. I felt worried for the kids.”
“I have gone to work and came back and found a puddle by the freezer because the electricity had gone. When I went to work, it was fine. Luckily there wasn’t much food in there but it was spoiled.”
Case study – Mat Roberts, 35 years-old lives with his 13 year-old son in Doncaster, Yorkshire.
“Last year I upgraded my pre-payment meters to Smart ones as I got so fed up with being forced to use yesterday’s technology. Previously I had to trek to my local shop with my key or card, top it up and then come back and top up my meters manually. My meters are outside so this often involved me getting wet in the rain or cold in the snow. It was so frustrating.
“Now I don’t have to leave my sofa to top up as I can do it all using OVO’s Smart PAYG+ app. I have even used when I’ve been on holiday and my electricity was running low – so my security lights would still work.
“I was so glad to see the back of those keys – which didn’t work half the time anyway and were easy to lose the other half of the time! It’s about time someone brought this experience up-to-date and made it work for our convenience, rather than the energy companies.”
*The Smart PAYG+ app requires a smart meter to be installed in the home. A smart meter is included in the tariff for all PAYG customers and installation can be booked at point of sign up.
**Keys and cards are still available for those customers that wish to continue to use them.