Cotswold-based Ovo Energy company takes on more staff to cope with increase in customers

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Stephen Fitzpatrick and the team at Ovo Energy Stephen Fitzpatrick and the team at Ovo Energy

A COTSWOLD energy firm has had to take on more staff to cope with number of new customers that have switched to it in recent months.

Ovo Energy, which was founded in Kemble before moving to Bristol, confirmed that following a price hike by the Big Six in November its clientele had dramatically increased.

A spokesman for the firm told the Standard: “We’ve been able to employ nearly 100 new members of permanent staff in the local area to help us cope with the influx of new customers coming on board.”

The company, which still holds an office in Kemble, also said that the appearance of its managing director Stephen Fitzpatrick at a House of Common Select Committee in October also prompted customers to change their supplier.

Giving evidence to the committee, he criticised the Big Six for putting up their energy prices at the start of the cold winter months.

He said: “It looks to me like a lot of energy companies, a significant number of the Big Six, are changing the maximum price they feel they can get away with to the customers that they feel will not switch under any circumstances and then maintain the illusion of competitive pricing.”

Ovo had another reason to celebrate this week after coming fifth in the Which? annual list of best and worst energy companies.

The Cotswold firm made the top five beating the likes of British Gas and Npower which were ranked sixteenth and seventeenth, respectively.

Mr Fitzpatrick, who described the results as “fantastic”, said he hopes it goes a long way in getting people to change energy company.

He said: “There are still millions of people who are paying over the odds for their energy. Four in five people will not change their energy provider.

“The Which? survey has shown the public that there are plenty of options out there and consumers will be much better off for making the switch.”

Visit www.ovoenergy.com for further information.

Comments (5)

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3:12pm Sat 1 Feb 14

mr fleas says...

Is it me or are energy providers looking younger these days?
Is it me or are energy providers looking younger these days? mr fleas

1:03am Mon 3 Feb 14

anywherebuthere says...

Just unfortunate that youth and inexperience go hand in hand here. No boost for our local economy either from this company now that they've jumped ship to Bristol. Shame on them.
Just unfortunate that youth and inexperience go hand in hand here. No boost for our local economy either from this company now that they've jumped ship to Bristol. Shame on them. anywherebuthere

10:17am Mon 3 Feb 14

Iansky says...

Rather than complain about them moving from Kemble to Bristol, we should be looking at the larger picture and celebrating the fact that perhaps at last we are seeing the start of new energy companies that can at last break the monopoly of the bullies currently pushing prices higher.

I did hear that the kemble facility could not accommodate the increased headcount and that there was no viable alternative on site, they already had a facility in Bristol across from the main railway station to allow choice of travel for staff (something kemble could not do without laying on a bus service).

This is a company that looks after its staff and customers and anyone that can provide energy at "sensible" prices rather than exploiting the weak politicians and needy people is good in my books, there is nothing to stop interested local parties applying for jobs at the Bristol location.

They do look after their staff well and provide a free breakfast every day for all - I bet that is something the big 6 do not do!
Rather than complain about them moving from Kemble to Bristol, we should be looking at the larger picture and celebrating the fact that perhaps at last we are seeing the start of new energy companies that can at last break the monopoly of the bullies currently pushing prices higher. I did hear that the kemble facility could not accommodate the increased headcount and that there was no viable alternative on site, they already had a facility in Bristol across from the main railway station to allow choice of travel for staff (something kemble could not do without laying on a bus service). This is a company that looks after its staff and customers and anyone that can provide energy at "sensible" prices rather than exploiting the weak politicians and needy people is good in my books, there is nothing to stop interested local parties applying for jobs at the Bristol location. They do look after their staff well and provide a free breakfast every day for all - I bet that is something the big 6 do not do! Iansky

3:08pm Mon 3 Feb 14

bitemytounge says...

Ovo look after their staff? Have you actually seen results from the staff surveys? Ovo lied to their staff saying it wouldnt close at kemble...then they say oh we will close kemble leaving people with families and mortgages worried about their future. If free breakfast is the best thing about ovo then that just sums ovo up! They dont care about the staff or their customers....Stephen cares about himself that is all. Couldnt organise a p*ss up in a brewery!
Ovo look after their staff? Have you actually seen results from the staff surveys? Ovo lied to their staff saying it wouldnt close at kemble...then they say oh we will close kemble leaving people with families and mortgages worried about their future. If free breakfast is the best thing about ovo then that just sums ovo up! They dont care about the staff or their customers....Stephen cares about himself that is all. Couldnt organise a p*ss up in a brewery! bitemytounge

3:16pm Mon 3 Feb 14

anywherebuthere says...

The title of this article is misleading and gives the idea that this energy company are helping unemployment in and around Cirencester when in fact, they are not. There are no vacancies to be filled locally in this (previously) "Cotswold-based company". This thinly veiled press release orchestrated by Ovo's marketing company as a piece of 'news' is a self-indulgent waste of a webpage.

Ovo Energy are not one of the cheapest suppliers by any means, and they are definitely not unlike the rest of the energy companies in the market. Props to the marketing team at the company for encouraging people to buy into this belief with flashy campaigns and clever coverage of Mr Fitzpatrick's one-man quest in Parliament, however. Ovo Energy raise their prices like the Big 6 do - they just don't get the press coverage because their market share is 1% of the big picture.

The Kemble facility was more than adequate to house the workforce that was there. Ovo Energy would not be the first to have split-sites across a business. Unfortunately I have heard that the site and staff became neglected when the company began to expand and a number of the Kemble based staff were then made redundant if they were not able to make the move, or the 50-60 minute (each way) commute to Bristol.

I would encourage and support any new start-up business in the Cotswolds, especially within a difficult industry such as utilities. My point still stands that it is a massive shame that Ovo Energy sold up and shipped out as soon as they were in a position to help the local economy with employment etc.

I'd take great customer service and cheaper energy (which I get from my current supplier EDF) over free breakfast any day.
The title of this article is misleading and gives the idea that this energy company are helping unemployment in and around Cirencester when in fact, they are not. There are no vacancies to be filled locally in this (previously) "Cotswold-based company". This thinly veiled press release orchestrated by Ovo's marketing company as a piece of 'news' is a self-indulgent waste of a webpage. Ovo Energy are not one of the cheapest suppliers by any means, and they are definitely not unlike the rest of the energy companies in the market. Props to the marketing team at the company for encouraging people to buy into this belief with flashy campaigns and clever coverage of Mr Fitzpatrick's one-man quest in Parliament, however. Ovo Energy raise their prices like the Big 6 do - they just don't get the press coverage because their market share is 1% of the big picture. The Kemble facility was more than adequate to house the workforce that was there. Ovo Energy would not be the first to have split-sites across a business. Unfortunately I have heard that the site and staff became neglected when the company began to expand and a number of the Kemble based staff were then made redundant if they were not able to make the move, or the 50-60 minute (each way) commute to Bristol. I would encourage and support any new start-up business in the Cotswolds, especially within a difficult industry such as utilities. My point still stands that it is a massive shame that Ovo Energy sold up and shipped out as soon as they were in a position to help the local economy with employment etc. I'd take great customer service and cheaper energy (which I get from my current supplier EDF) over free breakfast any day. anywherebuthere

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