StepChange and OVO Energy announce £2 million package of additional support

StepChange Debt Charity and OVO Energy are delighted to announce a new partnership that will provide a package of support to the charity worth up to £2 million over the course of 2022 to support people facing financial difficulty.

  • To help provide the immediate resource StepChange needs, OVO will be funding additional frontline services in 2022, worth £1m from April through to the end of the year.
  • OVO will double its current donations to StepChange from £200,000 to £400,000 per year.
  • OVO will licence its Payment Support platform and provide additional technical support to StepChange, to help support the charity’s aspiration to digitise and improve affordability processes and maximise efficiency. The platform has resulted in a significant reduction in the affordability assessment process for OVO.
  • OVO will set up a dedicated team to support vulnerable customers, providing energy advice, account health checks and sign-posting customers to appropriate specialist third parties.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, founder of OVO, said: “Millions of households are already facing financial hardship and the near doubling of bills will push millions more over the edge. All consumer debt charities are going to need more support over the next few years. This is a small start that will help StepChange get people the advice they need.”

Phil Andrew, CEO at StepChange Debt Charity, said: “We’re delighted and grateful for such practical support from OVO both for the StepChange service, and for energy customers experiencing price shocks and the risk of wider debt. We urge other energy providers to consider what they too can do.

“By working together, we will get more people to the advice they need. The year ahead is going to be a tough one for many. Working in partnership, we will be reaching and helping more people hit by the rising cost of living who find themselves sliding into problem debt.”