Ovo Energy to pay customers up to £160 to cut energy use at peak times this winter

The Ovo Energy app on a mobile phone (image: Getty Images)

Ovo Energy customers could save up to £160 on bills this winter by using less electricity during peak times. Here’s how.

Households will be able to earn money off bills by taking part in both the National Grid’s Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) energy-saving scheme and Ovo’s ‘Power Move challenges’.

Both of these money saving efforts – known together as Power Move Plus – work by shifting energy use away from peak times to reduce pressure on the National Grid. Other suppliers are running similar versions of the scheme – such as, British Gas, EDF and Octopus Energy.

While you can save money through these schemes, the best way to lower your costs this winter is to cut your energy usage. You can compare the latest deals on the market in our energy comparison guide – although there are currently very few tariff options that are competitive with the Ofgem energy price cap. The energy regulator’s cap is set to increase 5% from 1 January 2024.

So, how does Ovo Power Move work – and how can you sign up? We’ve got everything you need to know.

Who is eligible for Ovo Power Move Plus?

To be able to take part in Power Move Plus, you will need to meet several criteria. These are:

  • Be an Ovo Energy customer
  • Pay for your energy monthly
  • Have a functional electricity smart meter
  • Opt in to half-hourly readings
  • Have an active email address and opt into email marketing.

You can sign up by clicking on the ‘path to zero’ tab in your online account, or in the app. When you’re enrolled, you will be alerted about National Grid ESO’s Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) events via email in advance of when they take place. You will be told the date and the timings for the session, with Ovo itself finding out about them at least a day in advance.

The supplier also requires you to opt in to each of these events at least 30 minutes before they start. You only need to opt into Power Move challenges on a quarterly basis.

How does Ovo Power Move Plus work and how much can I save?

Power Move Plus will give households the chance to earn credit on their bills for shifting their electricity use to off-peak times. Set to run from Wednesday 1 November until Friday 29 March 2024, these include DFS test and ‘live’ events, as well as Power Move challenge events.

Under the DFS, you’ll be given credit for every kilowatt hour (kWh) you save below your typical energy use. The amount of credit you could be in line for will vary depending on the number of events you take part in, how vital that event is for balancing the National Grid, as well as how much energy you’ve saved.

By taking part in the DFS sessions, you could earn up to £100 in credit over the five-month period by slashing your energy use at peak times. They will run on certain weekdays, usually for an hour or two between 4pm and 7pm.

Meanwhile, the Power Move challenges are running from 1 November until 31 December 2023, and then from 1 January until 31 March 2024. Each challenge will aim to get you to cut back on your electricity use from 4pm until 7pm every Monday to Friday. By doing so, you can earn up to £30 in credit in each challenge, meaning you could save £60 between now and next spring. You’ll be set a percentage target to cut your usage by and you’ll get money when you go below that percentage.

If both the DFS and challenge elements of Power Move Plus happen at the same time, Ovo says it will credit customers for both. It’s worth noting that if you don’t manage to save much or any electricity at these times, you will not be penalised – you just won’t receive any credit on your bills.

Ovo Power Move Plus money saving tips

Our energy saving guide will give you in-depth advice on how to slash your energy usage. But here are some quick tips that’ll maximise your savings through Ovo Power Move Plus:

  • Don’t use your washing machine: as one of the most power hungry appliances in your home, not using your washing machine could significantly cut your energy use during Power Move events. The same goes for your dishwasher and tumble dryer.
  • Batch cook at odd hours: if you can cook outside of peak hours (4pm to 7pm), you will save a lot of energy compared to your typical usage. Should you need to heat up a meal, use your hob or microwave rather than your oven.
  • Get a flask of tea ready: you can keep the cuppas flowing by boiling the kettle ahead of time and using an insulated flask.
  • Switch everything ‘off-off’: by off-off, we mean off at the plug – not on standby or in some other hibernation mode. By doing this you are likely to save at least some energy compared to your regular consumption.
  • Be strict with your timings: Ovo Power Move challenges require a commitment  to energy saving over a long period of time. If you want to earn credit, make sure you’re building your day around off-peak hours.