Solved

We have been OVO customers for over 3 years, why are our annual consumption figures wrong?

  • 12 August 2019
  • 10 replies
  • 502 views

We have been OVO customers for over 3 years and even in the early days my estimate of our annual gas and electricity consumption differed from OVO's estimate. However after the first year both we and OVO had actual figures to use but OVO still got them wrong so I asked how hard was it to add two columns of figures up for 12 consecutive months and get them right? I got an apology and a promise that it had been referred to the tech department. I heard nothing more.

Two years on and we approach the end of our current contract and OVO has offered us a deal based on our "annual consumption". It appears that the tech department is still struggling with the arithmetical function "add" in old numbers or SUM in modern spreadsheets because they still cannot seem to add the numbers up correctly.

How can I have confidence in OVO if a simple thing like that seems to defeat them?
icon

Best answer by Transparent 14 August 2019, 20:34

Points well made @ElectricTV

During that 2 years, OVO has ceased their contract with an external provider of their billing software and have developed their own. The programming team are based at their London Offices.

You may well be one of the first customers on a 2-year contract who has required these annual-usage figures to be calculated. I do wonder if this is simply a piece of code which has slipped through the quality-checks because no one has yet realised that it's wrong. It could be a trivial fix.

@Amy_OVO can you DM the Product Manager and send him the link to this Topic so he can read what @ElectricTV has reported? Thanks.
View original

10 replies

Userlevel 6
Badge
Sorry to hear the change wasn't processed upon your initial request, @ElectricTV. I've changed the title of your post to help other users with the same query locate this post.

You're right by now our annual consumption estimates for electricity EAC (Estimated Annual Consumption) and for gas AQ (Annual Quantity), should mirror up with your usage.

I'd recommend getting in touch with our team, we may need to look at recalculating your EAC and AQ.

You can send us a message on Facebook, Twitter or email the team on hello@ovoenergy.com, or give them a call. You can reach our Customer Care team 9-5 Monday-Friday on 0330 303 5063.

Thanks!
Hi Amy

I used the forum to comment because the issue almost certainly affects all OVO customers. It is not just a problem for me.

On the monthly statements there is an estimate of our annual consumption. This was incorrect over 2 years ago but I was advised at the time that it was early days; the Government insisted on such advice (as if this was a reason for getting it wrong) and the IT dept. would soon get it right. The so-called “estimate” at the time could have been computed from 12 months’ actual bills but it was pretty much guesswork instead.

More recently as our subsequent 2 year fix is ending we were written to with an offer to re-contract based on our “actual annual consumption”. Indeed I received a second reminder earlier today. The figures are still wrong. It is simply a matter of adding up the kWh for electricity and gas for the past 12 months. It is junior school arithmetic and yet OVO still get it wrong. OVO generates the information based on the meter readings I give punctually each month. So there are 12 months’ worth of statements to use. What’s the problem?

In general I am happy to buy from OVO but it astonishes me that this issue still seems to defeat you. If I used your figures to compare with other suppliers I would get the wrong comparisons. Maybe that’s the intention?
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
Points well made @ElectricTV

During that 2 years, OVO has ceased their contract with an external provider of their billing software and have developed their own. The programming team are based at their London Offices.

You may well be one of the first customers on a 2-year contract who has required these annual-usage figures to be calculated. I do wonder if this is simply a piece of code which has slipped through the quality-checks because no one has yet realised that it's wrong. It could be a trivial fix.

@Amy_OVO can you DM the Product Manager and send him the link to this Topic so he can read what @ElectricTV has reported? Thanks.
Thank you for taking this issue seriously and for the background.

On a point of information I did not ask for the annual consumption figures if that's what your second paragraph is suggesting. They are supplied as part of the extensive and mainly helpful/accurate statements and annual summaries provided by OVO as well as at contract expiry time. I was told a couple of years ago by OVO that they are required to be supplied by the watchdog.

I have a pre-retirement background which included energy procurement and management during which time I was accustomed to collecting lots of data on consumption in large commercial buildings and looking for anomalies that might indicate incorrect billing or problems with our equipment. So keeping figures on our private domestic consumption and being able to add up 12 numbers is something I still like to do and compare with what my supplier tells me is the case. I may be an old nerd but I can still add up!

It is now several months since I started this post complaining that OVO can’t add up and yet here we are again with the same problem. I just received emails from OVO including summaries of our annual consumption of gas and electricity. Both are wrong as they were last time. Progress ay! Who needs it? Not OVO that’s for sure.

I keep a spreadsheet of our consumption so it is junior school arithmetic to add a column of 12 figures together and of course the spreadsheet does it accurately for me. Why in that case does OVO find it so hard to do? The summaries don’t even use the right dates. Our billing date is 4th of a month so effectively the reading period is 5th to 4th of each month or arguably 4th to 3rd of each month. So it cannot be 6th to 5th as the summary states. In fact because we have an old smart meter that doesn’t talk to OVO and therefore submit our readings online each 4th day OVO doesn’t even know what the meter reads on 6th of any month.

Not impressed, although ultimately I don’t need OVO to tell me what we’ve used over the last 12 months.

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

Ah… that’s interesting @ElectricTV . Another customer had a very similar issue in the past month. Have a look at our discussion over here on another Topic.

I still think that the most likely cause of the errors is an incorrect algorithm in the new Billing System which OVO have been creating in-house.

Let’s tag another Moderator (@Nancy_OVO ?) and see if she can get a manager on that programming team to have a look at what you’re reporting.

Thank you. As you saw, I first raised this after my last annual statements so it seems that even after at least 12 months OVO hasn’t been able to crack the problem. I suspect that they are trying to make it too complicated. It ought to be simple to extract the starting and ending figures from our monthly statements which I imagine are stored somehow on OVO hardware but If they choose to use arbitrary dates as well as not being able to add up they’re bound to get it wrong. 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

You may well be right that it’s the choice of start/end dates which cause the problem. There’s obviously going to be an opportunity for error if these don’t coincide with the Billing dates.

This could be due to a requirement to abide by Ofgem regulations on how Annual Consumption is calculated and presented. OVO have a Compliance Team who may need to look into this.

We’ll have to wait until tomorrow when the Moderators are back. @Nancy_OVO ?

Userlevel 5
Badge +1

I have a spreadsheet of my readings.  I use linear interpolation to estimate consumption between data points.  (I'm not happy with OVO’s graphs but mine are not “right” yet either)

OVO annual electricity usage 10th April 2018 to 9th April 2019 is 5849kWh

My spreadsheet for the same period gives 5846.6kWh

I would have hoped for a slightly smaller discrepancy of <2kWh but 2.4kWh isn't excessive. It amounts to 4 hours of use.

Note that to get my figures I must not use 9th April 2019 as my end date as that guarantees a one day error.

I haven't checked the gas yet, but as my meter units are in hundred  cu ft, The rounding errors are much larger that the kWh electricity readings.

Userlevel 5
Badge +1

Annual Electricity figures from my spreadsheet altering start date

 

06 April 2018 -> 2019 : 5868.1 kWh
07 April 2018 -> 2019 : 5862.8 kWh
08 April 2018 -> 2019 : 5857.6 kWh
09 April 2018 -> 2019 : 5852.1 kWh
10 April 2018 -> 2019 : 5846.6 kWh
11 April 2018 -> 2019 : 5845.5 kWh

OVO's 5849 kWh sits neatly in the middle of the 9th April and 10th April start dates. A not unreasonable choice to make given that payment is in arrears.

Reply