Last Updated: 27th October 2023
Octopus Energy and OVO are the two fastest-growing energy suppliers in the UK. If you are looking to switch suppliers, you will likely come across both of these companies as reasonable choices to move to. Is one better than the other though?
In this guide, we’ll compare the two across a range of categories, such as tariff options, monthly prices, customer reviews and customer service. Hopefully, by the end of this, you will have a better idea of which supplier is the best one for you.
Who are OVO Energy?
OVO has been trading since 2009 and has over 5 million domestic customers across the UK. They focus on providing greener energy to customers. They also take part in other green initiatives, like planting over 1 million trees per year.
They are proud of being the first energy supplier in the UK to remove coal and nuclear from their fuel mix.
Over the last five years, they have won several awards, including the USwitch Supplier of the Year award in 2017 and 2019.
Who are Octopus Energy?
Octopus has been supplying energy since 2015 and, in that short time, has built up a customer base of over 5 million customers in the UK.
Similar to OVO, Octopus have put their focus on providing greener energy. 100% of their electricity supply comes from renewable sources such as the sun, sea and air. They also have a strong focus on technology and innovation, with a range of different smart tariffs.
OVO vs Octopus: What’s the difference in tariff options?
First, we’ll start by looking at how each supplier compares when it comes to the tariffs they have available for you to choose from. Both Octopus and OVO offer similar different tariff options but there are quite a few differences between their offerings, as you can see below.
OVO offers 4 tariffs, 3 fixed-term options and one standard variable tariff. The different tariffs on offer are as follows:
1 or 2-Year Fixed
- Fixed unit rate plan for 12 or 24 months.
- £75 exit fee per fuel if you choose to leave early.
1 Year Fixed + Greener Energy
- Fixed unit rates for 12 months
- 100% renewable electricity
- 10% green gas and 90% carbon offset gas
- £20 contribution to support new renewable generators
- £75 exit fee per fuel
- Standard variable tariff.
- Flexible plan where prices can go up and down over time
- No exit fees
Octopus has one less tariff available for the majority of customers. They do have a range of smart tariffs, which we have not included here, as their suitability is very dependent on your individual situation. You can see more details on Octopus’ tariffs below:
– Offers 100% renewable electricity
– No exit fees
Loyal Octopus 12M Fixed September 2023
– Offers 100% renewable electricity
– Exit fees of £75 per fuel
– Only available to existing customers
– 100% renewable electricity
– No exit fees
– Only available with a smart meter
– Not available on initial sign-up – see below for more details
– Unit rate is capped at 100p/kWh for electricity and 30p/kWh for gas (including VAT)
OVO vs Octopus: What’s the difference in price?
The most important factor for many people when choosing any energy supplier is price. For this section, we requested a quote from each supplier using the exact same details to see how they compare. These are the details we used:
- Dual fuel supply
- Standard Meter
- Payment by Direct Debit
- 2,900 kWh of electricity and 12,000 kWh of gas (Medium usage – 3 bedroom house occupied by a family of 4)
- Postcode in the East Midlands
These are the results we got from OVO:
|Tariff Name||Tariff Description||Monthly Cost|
|Simpler Energy||Variable tariff. Prices can either go up or down with no minimum term. No exit fees.||£157|
|1-Year Fixed||A fixed-rate contract for 12 months. £75 exit fee per fuel.||£167|
|2-Year Fixed||Rates are locked in for 24 months. £95 exit fee per fuel.||£167|
|1 Year Fixed + Greener Energy||Fixed-rate for 1 year. £75 exit fee per fuel. Green addons.||£175|
As you can see, OVO’s variable tariff is currently £10 per month a year cheaper than their fixes (£120 a year) and comes without exit fees. It however could increase if energy prices go up. With OVO you also have to pay an extra £8 per month (£96 per year) to get their greener tariff.
These were the prices we got from Octopus:
|Tariff Name||Tariff Description||Monthly Cost|
|Tracker Tariff||Smart tariff where prices change daily. Smart meter required. No contract. No exit fees. Renewable electricity.*||£92.99|
|Flexible Octopus||Flexible tariff where prices go up and down with the market. No contract. Renewable electricity.||£155.47|
|Loyal Octopus 12M Fixed September 2023||12 month, fixed rate contract. £75 exit fee per fuel. Renewable electricity.**||£155.47|
Octopus offer the same prices for both their fixed and variable tariff. There are no exit fees with their variable tariff, however. If you have a smart meter, their Tracker Tariff could work out to be significantly cheaper than the other options.
Octopus vs OVO: Who offers the greenest energy?
An important factor for many people is how green the energy they are supplied is and the impact their supplier is having on the planet. Here we look at the two suppliers’ green credentials:
Octopus does a lot when it comes to green energy. From the supply side, they operate £3.4 billion worth of renewable generation (enough to power 2 million homes). They have also committed £5 million to open a research lab for researching a low-carbon energy system and invested £10 million to build a low-carbon R&D centre.
For customers, they offer 100% renewable electricity across all their tariffs as standard. They used to have a tariff that carbon offsets your gas usage too, but this is no longer available.
OVO also has a big focus on green initiatives. They aim to be a zero-carbon company by 2035 and have a sustainability plan to reach this goal called Plan Zero. They also plant 1 million trees a year in the UK through schools and communities.
For customers, they don’t offer renewable electricity as standard but they do offer a ‘Greener’ upgrade to some of their tariffs for an additional cost, as noted above. This means you receive 100% renewable electricity, 10% green gas with the remaining 90% carbon offset and OVO make a £20 contribution to support new, UK generators.
Octopus vs OVO: Who has better customer reviews?
Customer reviews are a great way of seeing how an energy supplier is treating its existing customers from their own perspective. Here we have compared OVO and Octopus to see which company performs better on Trustpilot.
Here are their scores as of October 2023:
- OVO scores 4.2 out of 5 based on over 121,000 reviews
- Octopus scored 4.8 out of 5 based on over 180,000 reviews
Octopus scores much more favourably than OVO when it comes to the overall rating from customer reviews.
89% of those customers who left a review for Octopus rated them excellent compared to only 69% for OVO.
Both companies actively ask their customers to leave reviews to capture both the positive and negative.
Octopus has replied to 83% of their negative reviews, whereas OVO have responded to 99%
When customers do have issues in both cases, smart meter installation seems to be an issue for both suppliers and pricing errors appear to be a more common complaint for OVO customers.
Octopus vs OVO: Who has the better website and app?
Both suppliers have an app available for their customers to manage their accounts from their mobile devices. This is a great way for customers to access their accounts at the touch of a button and now likely gets more use than supplier’s websites.
Both apps are designed to allow customers to update their details, view tariffs, submit meter readings and view their usage. But how do the two suppliers’ apps compare?
OVO’s app is rated 4.8 out of 5 on the app store, which is no easy feat! They have created a functional, easy-to-use app for their customers that improves the customer experience.
In comparison, Octopus’ app also does very well at 4.8 out of 5 stars. Lots of positives for this app too, making it easy to add meter readings and see energy usage.
Both suppliers have websites that function well on desktop and mobile devices too. They are easy to use and navigate. We didn’t struggle with either to find what was needed.
Octopus vs OVO: Who has the better customer service?
For accurate and unbiased customer service data, we consulted the Citizens Advice website as they offer the best independent customer service comparison for all suppliers. Here you can see how each supplier compares on key metrics:
|Average call centre wait time||03:44||01:39|
|Emails responded to with 2 days||56.8%||62.30%|
|% customers with accurate bill||97.8%||95.50%|
|Switches completed < 15 days||98.1%||100.00%|
|Opening hours||9 am – 5 pm (4 pm Friday)||9 am – 8 pm (6 pm on Fridays)|
9 am – 5 pm on Saturdays
|Contact via Phone||Yes||Yes|
|Contact via Email||Yes||Yes|
|Contact via Webchat||No||Yes|
Both perform reasonably well overall.
Octopus vs OVO: Who has fewer complaints?
The number of complaints a supplier receives is a good indication of how often things go wrong. When things do go wrong, it is also important to know how quickly these things are resolved.
Luckily, energy suppliers have to publish this every quarter, so we have included the data for each below:
|Complaints per 100k customers||1,126||1,489|
|Resolved per 100k customers||1,157||1,213|
|Resolved next working day||71%||83.3%|
|Resolved in 8 weeks||90%||96.8%|
Octopus vs OVO: What are the main differences between the two?
Below we have quickly summarised everything we have covered in the sections above:
|Tariff Options||Both offer different tariff options. Octopus are more innovative but OVO provides more fixed options.||Draw|
|Price||Octopus are cheaper for their fixed tariff and variable tariffs. Their Tracker tariff is much cheaper.||Octopus|
|Greenest Energy||Both suppliers are doing their bit to be green. Octopus are doing more though, and importantly offer renewable electricity as standard.||Octopus|
|Customer Reviews||Octopus has a higher overall score, with a much higher percentage giving them 5 star reviews.||Octopus|
|Website/App||Both suppliers offer well-rated apps and modern, smooth websites.||Draw|
|Customer Service||OVO perform better across most metrics here, including call centre waiting times.||OVO|
|Complaints||This is close, OVO respond better to complaints but Octopus receive less in the first place.||Octopus|
Who is the best?
They are the cheapest, have better customer reviews and have fewer complaints.
OVO perform well when it comes to customer service however and overall there is not too much between them.