Last updated: October 2017
At OVO, we’re committed to our customers. As well as providing you with unbeatable value and an excellent service, we believe it’s important to protect your privacy.
We’ll collect certain personal information from you when you use our website, when you get in touch with us about becoming an OVO customer and, if you sign up, during your customer journey.
how and why we collect your personal information;
how we use and disclose your personal information (and to whom);
how we protect your personal information; and
how you can access your personal information.
3.1 Collecting your personal information
What will we collect?
The personal information we collect includes your name, email address, postal address, phone number, date of birth and any other relevant information we need in order to provide our services to you.
We’ll also track your use of our website through cookies – see section 4 below for more details.
When you’re an OVO customer, if you have a smart meter installed at your property we’ll also capture your energy consumption data – please see our FAQ on how we collect smart data here.
When will we collect it?
We (and our agents) collect certain personal from and about you during your sign-up journey to become an OVO customer, whenever you get in contact with us or use our website or as part of providing our services to you - for example, if you use our website to obtain a quote, or call us to enquire about your account. We may also monitor and record any communications we have with you, including phone calls and emails, to make sure we are providing an excellent service to our customers.
3.2 Using your personal information
We (and our agents) may use your personal information to:
provide our services to you;
contact you to see if you would like any help, if you’ve requested a quote from us or have started but not finished the sign-up journey;
provide you with incentives or run a loyalty scheme;
contact you for suggestions on how we can improve the way we provide our services to you (e.g., we may ask you to complete a survey);
help train our staff, including using your calls and emails as part of our quality monitoring and training processes;
create reports or profiles to analyse information for marketing purposes; and
help to detect and prevent fraud and debt.
We’ll always contact you in the way you’ve asked us to contact you. If you have chosen the online discount, we’ll contact you only by email and/or SMS.
When you first provide your personal information to OVO, we’ll give you the chance to choose whether you’d be happy for the OVO group to contact you with marketing information and if you have any preferences for the way you’d like to be contacted. This will include contacting you by post, email, phone, SMS, multimedia message or other forms of electronic communication, or we might visit you in person to do this.
If you choose to be contacted, we may tell you about exciting new products and services from OVO and our related businesses in the wider OVO group (or they may contact you directly) including for a reasonable period after you've left OVO.
The OVO group includes OVO’s related companies such as VCharge UK Ltd and other subsidiaries of OVO Group Limited from time to time.
We (and our agents or related companies) will use your personal information for marketing purposes only if you’ve told us we can.
If you’d prefer not to receive this sort of marketing information, or want to change how you receive it, you can always contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com at any time. We’ll occasionally remind you that you can update your preferences for receiving marketing information, or if you haven’t told us what your preferences are, we might get in touch to find out.
3.3 Disclosing your personal information
We may allow other organisations and people to use personal information we hold about you:
to provide any services you have asked for, including providing information to members of your family or household and anyone acting on your behalf (provided you’ve given your consent);
to provide you with information about our products and services or other products and services which may be of interest to you (provided you’ve given your consent);
to help manage any reward or loyalty schemes;
if we sell one or more of our businesses;
to help prevent and detect debt or fraud. We may give this information to a credit-reference or a debt collection agency. For more information on how we conduct credit checks, please see section 9 of our Core Terms and Conditions here and our guide to credit checks here.
if we have been asked (for example, by a regulatory authority such as Ofgem) to provide information for legal or regulatory purposes; and
as part of current or future legal action.
Disclosing information outside the EU
Sometimes these organisations or people may be outside the European Economic Area (EEA), so we may pass your personal information to countries that do not have the same standards or protection for personal information as the UK. If we, our agents or our service providers do this, we’ll always make sure that these organisations will secure your personal information.
We may also ask your previous energy supplier for personal information about you that will allow us to take over your supply (for example, information about your meter readings, meter technical details etc.). Similarly, if you switch away from OVO, we may provide similar information to your new supplier so they can begin supplying your energy.
Priority Services Register or special needs
If we believe that you (or a member of your household) need extra care (for example, because of your age, health, disability or financial circumstances), we may record and share this information with the following people to ensure your supply isn’t interrupted:
other energy suppliers if we believe you are considering changing supplier;
an outsourced service company that manages a wide range of energy industry data interactions on our behalf;
the electricity distributor; and
the relevant gas transporter, metering agents or network operator.
3.4 Protecting your personal information
We follow strict security procedures to protect your personal information. This includes following certain guidelines (for example, checking your identity when you phone us).
We strongly recommend that you do not disclose any OVO login details to anyone. Please always remember to logout of your account when you have finished using any of OVO’s websites (such as My OVO and My Boost)
From time to time, our website may provide hypertext links to sites which are created by individuals and companies outside of OVO. We do this if the site is relevant to the topic you’re reading about. Whilst we always try to check that the content of these sites is suitable, we cannot take any responsibility for the practices of the companies who publish the sites that we link to, or the accuracy or relevance of the content on them.
3.5 Accessing your personal information
You can contact us and ask for a description of any personal information we hold about you, what we’re using it for and who has access to that personal information.
You can also ask us to delete or correct personal information we hold about you if it’s wrong.
If you do contact us, we’ll need to verify your identity and we may in some circumstances also charge a fee (up to a maximum of £10) for responding to your request.
4.1 What are cookies?
A cookie is a piece of information stored in a small file which is sent to and from web pages. They can be used to identify that you’ve visited websites before and some will be stored on your computer by your web browser. They are anonymous, so they don’t store any personal information of any kind.
We use short-term cookies to recognise your PC as you move around our site and to remember any information you have entered into search boxes for next time you visit us.
Measuring web traffic
We use programs such as Google Analytics and Mixpanel to help us find out:
These insights help us understand how to improve our websites.
If you’d like to know more about Google Analytics click here
We also use third party analytics services like FullStory, which is similar to Google Analytics. Where Google Analytics identifies overall trends in people’s browsing habits, FullStory helps us work out ‘why’ those trends exist. Eg. why is everybody suddenly visiting a certain page? It allows us to:
We use tools such as ValueClick to place OVO ads on other websites you may visit. These tools may set cookies to track the performance of our advertising campaigns and allow us to tailor the advertising you might be interested in.
We also use products like Google Analytics Advertising, including remarketing with Google Analytics, Google Display Network Impression Reporting and Google Analytics Demographics and Interest Reporting features. These products help us understand what ads work best so we can more effectively promote our products and services to you.
We also use Google Adometry to track the way you interact with our ads before you come to our website. This lets us work out which ones are relevant to you and which ones aren’t.
We use Google Adwords Customer Match to help exclude our existing customers from seeing our ads, and to reach similar web users who could also be interested in joining OVO.
4.3 How can you manage cookies and where can you find further information?
You can also stop us collecting data through the following sources:
Mixpanel - download an opt-out browser add-on - the Mixpanel opt-out browser can be found here;
Google Analytics Advertising Features – visit www.google.com/setting/ads and adjust your personal settings as per their instructions; or
Adometry – follow this link to opt-out of the Adometry cookie: http://js.dmtry.com/optout/status.html; and
Google Doubleclick (for Google Adwords Customer Match) - follow the link to download a plugin so you can opt-out of Google's advertising cookie on Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer - https://www.google.com/settings/ads/plugin. Please note this does not opt you out of being served advertising. You may continue to receive generic ads from OVO.
However, it's important to remember that some of our cookies are essential for our websites to work properly, particularly our ‘Quote & Switch’ functionality and our account management website (such as My Ovo and My Boost).
The internet industry body, the Internet Advertising Bureau, has set up a website to provide information and advice on cookies, tags and behavioural advertising, you can click here to find out more about behavioural advertising. Another trusted source which gives information about how to delete and control cookies is http://www.aboutcookies.org/.