OVO Better Energy
Energy supplier OVO introduced their 'Better Energy' tariff to make affordable green energy available to households. OVO Energy has a number of other tariffs including variable rate deals and 2 year fixed energy plans.
If you want to find out more about the company generally including how well they perform and if they are a good energy supplier with good value pricing then take a look at our review of OVO Energy.
We are going to focus on the OVO Better Energy tariff to explain exactly what it is and if it is a good deal for you.
What is OVO Better Energy?
'Better Energy' is the name of the 1 year fixed price energy tariff available from OVO Energy. The tariff is available if you have a smart meter, a standard meter or economy 7 meter. If you have a pay as you go meter then OVO will refer you to their prepayment website Boost. Better Energy is not available to pay as you go customers.
Their 1 year fixed tariff does not require you to get a smart meter installed, however they have a Better Smart tariff that offers a discount in exchange for having a meter installed. The 'Better Smart' tariff is essentially the same as Better Energy, the only difference being that it is about £3 a month cheaper for the average household which you get for agreeing to have an OVO smart meter installed.
Better Energy includes 100% renewable electricity
The main feature of the tariff is that you get 100% renewable energy. OVO purchases REGO certificates to cover any renewable energy they sell to you as they do not generate renewable energy themselves. It is not unusual for energy companies to do this as only a small number of suppliers actually generate renewable electricity.
OVO buys their REGO certificates from UK based suppliers. It is not the same as having a direct relationship with UK based renewable energy generators which supports new capacity being built but it does prove that the green energy was actually generated and fed into the grid.
Better Energy includes a tree planted in your name
The 12 month fixed price Better Energy tariff includes a tree that is planted as part of the deal. OVO partners with the Woodland Trust which plant a range of native trees in the UK which has a better benefit to nature compared to tree planting that concentrates on tree planting for agroforestry. A single tree absorbs about 60 kilograms of carbon. For comparison the average UK household emits around 17,100 kilograms of carbon a year.
Better Energy pays interest on credit balances
With the OVO Energy Better Energy tariff they pay you interest on any credit balance you hold with them. They also offer this with their other tariffs and you have to pay for your tariff by direct debit to qualify. For the first year you get 3%, if you remain with them for a second year you get 4% and then 5% for 3 or more years.
Paying interest on balances is not going to be a significant benefit to customers but it does show that OVO does not intend on hanging onto your money should you end up paying more per month than you actually use in gas and electricity.
Better Energy Exit Fees
Better Energy is a fixed price tariff for which most tariffs of this type include early early exit fees. For a dual fuel customer the Better Energy exit fees are £60, if you are a single fuel customer with either gas or electricity it is £30.
OVO Better Energy Review
What most people want to know is Better Energy a good value energy plan? For a typical UK household the average cost of this tariff for a dual fuel customer is £88 a month (February 2021 prices).
Comparing this deal with other similar offers that are fixed for a year and offer 100% renewable electricity there are around 40 cheaper deals ranging in cost from £79 a month.
In terms of price their tariff is not good value even if you include having a tree planted for you which you can get done separately for less than £15 or buy and plant a tree yourself for even less.
If we consider the energy reviews of OVO energy compared to other suppliers then People's Energy have slightly better customer reviews and currently off a similar 1 year fix with their Peoples Energy fixed tariff costing about £81 a month, that's about £7 a month cheaper or £84 a year less than Better Energy for more or less the same.
Another energy supplier with far better customer reviews is So Energy offering a similar 1 year fixed green energy deal for around £82 a month plus their exit fees are only £5 per fuel. So Energy offer cheaper exclusive deals through energy comparison sites.
Whilst OVO offer a unique and interesting tariff in Better Energy it is mostly just a gimmick. The additional tree planting and interest paid on credit balances is a nice touch but doesn't offer great value compared to other suppliers.
There are many UK energy suppliers now offering the same 100% renewable energy but at a much cheaper price. Most 100% renewable energy is based on the purchase of REGO certificates which all UK providers do anyway.
There are several cheaper and better rated suppliers offering green energy. OVO may be the UK's second largest utility but that isn't enough to warrant the higher price they are charging.