Ovo Energy

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Type: Utility company
Founded: 2009
Key people: Stephen Fitzpatrick (Director)
Products: Gas and Electricity
Headquarters: Redcliffe, Bristol,
Website: www.OvoEnergy.com

Ovo Energy is an energy supply company based in Bristol, England. Ovo was founded by Stephen Fitzpatrick, and began trading energy in September 2009, buying and selling electricity and gas to supply domestic properties throughout the UK. It is one of the smaller energy companies as opposed to the Big Six which dominate the market.

Overview

The company sources its energy from various suppliers throughout the UK and from further afield as outlined below. Ovo Energy's headquarters are based in Bristol. Ovo Energy is an independent supplier and is British-owned and privately backed.

Ovo Energy had been supplying gas and electricity to domestic customers since 2009, until April 2013, when the company also decided to enter the business energy market.[1] This sector of the UK economy is dominated by a number of larger companies such as the Big Six Energy Suppliers (UK).[2]

Electricity

The electricity Ovo Energy sources comes from various generators. Its two tariffs include 33% green electricity, (Ovo Better Energy-previously 15% green) and 100% green electricity (Ovo Greener Energy), coming from sources including wind farms in Gloucestershire and North Wales and electricity generated from the burning of landfill gas.

Gas

Ovo Energy sources its gas from the national grid.[3] The majority of the UK's gas is sourced from the North Sea; the rest comes from Norway, Continental Europe and some from further afield. Increasingly, gas is imported as liquefied natural gas (LNG), natural gas cooled to about −165 °C and compressed to make it easier to transport.

Controversy

The entry of Ovo into the UK supply market in 2009 was welcomed as it increased competition in a market that had been criticised for high prices.[4][5]

In October 2013 Managing Director Stephen Fitzpatrick appeared at a Parliamentary Select Committee in front of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee (ECCC), to justify recent gas and electricity price rises. Fitzpatrick courted controversy, explaining to the committee that the 'wholesale gas price had actually got cheaper', contrary to the Big Six Energy Suppliers' assertions that international global prices of gas and electricity had consistently risen.[6]

Awards

Ovo Energy was voted 'Top Energy Provider' in the 2011 Which? Switch consumer survey,[7] receiving high scores across the board. With consumers providing the company with five stars for customer service, bill clarity and accuracy, and value for money, Ovo Energy received top marks with a total of 77%.[8] This score has now dropped to 74% with the scores dropping from five stars to four stars across the board. The company has also dropped in rank to fifth place on the 2013 Which? customer service survey.[9] By 2015, [10] however the company did manage a one place rise back to fourth.

References

  1. Mason, Rowena (7 July 2011). "Energy Secretary to help new suppliers break into market dominated by Big Six". The Daily Telegraph. London.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/10/new-questions-big-six-mean-milibands-price-freeze-will-continue-dominate
  3. http://www.ovoenergy.com/our-energy/where-our-energy-comes-from.html
  4. "Martin Hickman: Suppliers run rings around regulators". The Independent. London. 7 October 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/business/4704693.Newcomers_try_to_shake_up_the_energy_market/
  6. "Ovo Energy boss 'confused' by larger firms' price rises". BBC News. London. 29 October 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Which? names the best and worst energy companies". Which?. 24 January 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Which? Customer satisfaction survey". Retrieved 22 September 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Which? Consumer survey". Retrieved 22 September 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Which? Consumer survey". Retrieved 1 March 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links