Lasted Updated: 25th October 2023
We’ve looked at as much publicly available data as possible including customer reviews, complaints data, customer service scores and prices. We’ve also looked at other important factors, like their green energy credentials and the usability of their websites and apps.
By the end of this comparison, hopefully, you’ll have a better idea of which supplier is the right one for you.
Who are OVO Energy?
OVO was established in 2009 and currently has over 5 million domestic energy customers across the country. As an energy name, OVO became a much bigger player after taking over SSE’s domestic customers in 2020. They are a proud provider of renewable energy as a standard and was the first energy name in the U.K. to completely remove nuclear and coal from its fuel mix. Over the past 5 years, OVO has grown in popularity having won numerous awards inclusive of the USwitch Supplier of the Year award in both 2017 and 2019.
Who is British Gas?
British Gas is the oldest energy supplier in the U.K. and was founded way back in 1812. The energy name has grown to be the most recognised in the country and proudly boasts a huge customer list. Despite challenges from newer suppliers, like OVO, British Gas are still the UK’s biggest supplier with over 20% of the market. Over more recent years, the energy company has expanded its services to offer customers boiler installation, maintenance of boilers, central heating and smart home solutions.
OVO vs British Gas: What’s the difference in tariff options?
Most suppliers will offer a variable tariff and at least one fixed tariff. Some will offer more tariff options, however, and generally, when you look into the details of each tariff there are normally some differences between suppliers. Here we’ve taken a dive into the details of each supplier’s available tariffs:
OVO offers a pretty standard variable tariff and a pretty standard fixed tariff. The variable tariff has no exit fees, but prices can change over time. Their fixed tariff comes with the option of being fixed for 1 or 2 years with a £75 exit fee. They also offer a 1-year fix with greener energy, which you can see all the details of below:
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
British Gas also offers its customers a variable tariff and a 1-year fix. You can see the details below:
Fixed Energy Tariff
- A fixed tariff rate for 12 months
- If energy prices increase, the tariff price stays the same
- £100 exit fees per fuel
- Optional sign up for PeakSave, a scheme that rewards customers for mindful energy usage
- Ofgem caps don’t apply
Standard Variable Tariff
- Available to customers who pay via direct debit.
- No end date for the tariff, you can leave with no exit fees
- Variable tariffs that go up and down
- Choose to sign up for PeakSave, a scheme that rewards customers for mindful energy usage.
- Ofgem caps apply
Both suppliers offer 1-year fixes and a variable tariff. There is very little difference between their variable tariffs. There are quite a few differences when it comes to their fixed options, however.
OVO offer another option with a 2-year fix. They also offer a greener energy tariff giving you the option to get both renewable electricity and greener gas (mostly with carbon offset). They also have lower exit fees at £75 per fuel.
British Gas on the other hand offers 100% renewable electricity as standard on their fixed tariff and they have higher exit fees.
OVO vs British Gas: What’s the difference in price?
To compare prices fairly, we went to each supplier directly and got an online quote based on these very specific details:
- Dual fuel supply
- Standard Meter
- Medium usage (3-bedroom house occupied by a family of 4)
- 2,900 kWh of electricity and 12,000 kWh of gas
- Postcode in East Midlands
Note: By changing one of the factors above, you are likely to get a different price. So please just use these as an indication of costs.
Here is a detailed breakdown of the results we received for each of the OVO tariffs mentioned in the section above:
|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 per month|
|1-Year Fixed||A fixed-rate contract for 12 months. £75 exit fee per fuel.||£167 per month|
|2-Year Fixed||Rates are locked in for 24 months. £95 exit fee per fuel.||£167 per month|
|1 Year Fixed + Greener Energy||Fixed-rate for 1 year. £75 exit fee per fuel. Green addons.||£175 per month|
Here are the results of our quotes from British Gas:
|Tariff Name||Tariff Description||Monthly Cost|
|Safeguard PAYG||A tariff for prepayment customers. No exit fees.||£156.74 per month|
|Standard Variable Tariff v14||Variable tariff. Rates and charges that may fluctuate over time, within the Ofgem Price Cap||£156.74 per month|
|The Fixed One v25||This is a 12-month fixed tariff at a rate with an exit fee of £100 per fuel.||£167.18 per month|
British Gas vs OVO: Who offers the greenest energy?
Let’s look at how both energy suppliers are committing to being green. With more energy suppliers than ever being conscious of their environmental impact, it will be interesting to see how British Gas and OVO compare in this category.
British Gas is certainly committed to being green. All of its fixed tariffs are powered using 100% renewable electricity for the long-term goal of achieving a net-zero carbon footprint. British Gas also has a Green Future Tariff, which isn’t currently available, but places emphasis on green energy for the customer. The Green Future Tariff ensures that carbon emissions from gas usage are offset using carbon-cutting initiatives. Finally, for every year a customer stays with the energy supplier, five trees are safeguarded (Source: British Gas).
OVO also ensures a big focus on being green. Though the energy supplier doesn’t currently offer its customers green energy as standard, green extra can be added to ensure carbon-neutral energy. This incurs an additional monthly fee (as shown above), so do be aware of extra costs. Like British Gas, OVO also plant trees for every year that you stay with them and they are involved with multiple carbon offsetting projects across the U.K.
British Gas vs OVO: Who has better customer reviews?
Now, onto the topic of customer reviews. These are a great way to see how customers actually feel about their supplier and how you might fare if you were to join them. We used Trustpilot to compare how both suppliers are rated, you can see their overall ratings below:
- British Gas scores 3.9 out of 5 based on over 164,000 reviews
- OVO scores 4.2 out of 5 based on over 120,000 reviews
50% of the reviews left for British Gas by customers were 5 stars and 69% of OVO’s ratings were 5 stars. This indicates that customers are generally happier at OVO than they are at British Gas.
With this said, both energy companies boast plenty of positive feedback. British Gas is commended for its great engineers and virtual assistants.
OVO receives praise for its ability to provide quick and helpful services to customers. One customer even said the energy supplier organised a same-day visit to fix a gas supply!
British Gas replied to 98% of its negative reviews whilst OVO has responded to 99% and most reviews on the first page were positive for both.
British Gas vs OVO: Who has the better website and app?
OVO’s app is doing really well with a 4.8-star rating on the app store – quite an achievement! They’ve designed a user-friendly, super practical app that makes customer experience even better.
The developers over at OVO also take the time to respond to feedback left by customers to identify where more improvements can be made. OVO could very well be on the way to a 5-star mobile app.
In comparison, British Gas’ app scores just 2.5 out of 5. This is rather low when compared to OVO. It seems that customers don’t find the app very easy to navigate and often encounter bugs.
Both energy suppliers have good, responsive websites. It’s easy to find the information you need and also submit meter readings.
British Gas vs OVO: Who has the better customer service?
To get the inside scoop on customer service, we referred to the Citizens Advice website. They’re the go-to source for an accurate breakdown.
|Average call centre wait time||03:26:00||02:46:00|
|% emails responded to within 2 days||91.4%||50.3%|
|% customers with accurate bill||93.8%||91.5%|
|Switches completed < 15 days||99.4%||99.7%|
|Opening hours||9 am – 5 pm||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|
Apart from email response time, the two energy suppliers score very similarly. OVO offers longer operating hours which is beneficial for those who can’t call during the working day. They also on average leave you waiting for 40 seconds less when calling them.
British Gas vs OVO: Who has fewer complaints?
All suppliers have to publicly display their complaints data per quarter. This is a good way of getting an understanding of how many customers complain about each supplier and how quickly they resolve these complaints. We have compared these two suppliers below:
|Complaints per 100k customers||1,786||1,489|
|Resolved per 100k customers||1,817||1,213|
|Resolved the next working day||61.6%||83.3%|
|Resolved in 8 weeks||87.6%||96.8%|
British Gas vs OVO: What are the main differences between the two?
So you’ve seen the detail of how each supplier compares, side-by-side. Below we have put together a summary of everything discussed to help you decide which is the right supplier for you.
|Tariff Options||Though it’s clear that OVO and British Gas both work hard to resolve complaints, OVO receives fewer complaints and tends to resolve them faster.||OVO|
|Price||Both suppliers offer similar tariff options but OVO’s additional green tariff and lower exit fees give them the win here.||Draw|
|Greenest Energy||British Gas and OVO do their bit to be green. However, British Gas is doing that little bit more and therefore offers the greenest energy.||British Gas|
|Customer Reviews||OVO outshined British Gas in the customer reviews department with a higher score on Trustpilot.||OVO|
|Website/App||OVO’s app is almost a 5/5 for many customers. They also boast an excellent website too.||OVO|
|Customer Service||Both energy names offer good customer service but British Gas tends to respond to emails faster, just giving them the edge here.||British Gas|
|Complaints||OVO’s app is almost a 5/5 for many customers. They also boast an excellent website.||OVO|
Who is the best?
Other comparisons of these two suppliers