Ovo Energy is reportedly contemplating cutting up to a quarter of its workforce, as the world’s accelerating wholesale gas crisis bites into its biggest British retailer yet.
Britain’s third-biggest supplier now with over 700,000 accounts, was reported today by Sky News to be on the brink of shedding up to 1,700 roles.
Yesterday the company informed staff it was seeking the cuts in the form of voluntary redundancies, as it seeks consolidate offices in London, Bristol and Glasgow. The latter are a legacy of the supplier’s purchase in 2019 of SSE’s home energy business
Raising pay to a minimum of £12 per hour, and bringing back to the UK all customer-facing roles were among further parts reported in Ovo’s retrenchment.
Unions reacted with anger. GMB national energy officer Simon Coop said his union had voiced concerns at the time of the SSE acquisition, alleging that up to £ 5 million had been extracted by directors.
Ovo launched in Bristol in 2009, initially as an energy trader, dedicated to 100% renewables.
Earlier this week, the supplier was forced to withdraw an insensitive advice blog on energy efficiency. With heating bills set to rocket, Ovo’s customer advice team suggested customers cuddling pets to keep warm at home, and doing star jumps.
Ovo founder Stephen Fitzpatrick yesterday called for the Government to cut green levies and social costs in energy bills, and instead to use taxes to tide energy suppliers over as they grapple with wholesale gas at unprecedented heights.