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New V2G trialler and my installation experience - how much have trialists actually saved on bills from this setup?

  • 1 August 2020
  • 36 replies
  • 1156 views
New V2G trialler and my installation experience - how much have trialists actually saved on bills from this setup?
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Hi, I finally had my V2G installed yesterday after over 6 months of delays (half due to Covid).  I got my Nissan Leaf specifically having being accepted provisionally on to the trial.

I did not expect the unlooping work to be carried out by Western Power, much less the lockdown.  My 3pin through the window never once made it without cutting out every hour or so which on a 13 hr full charge (or any proportion thereof) is annoying at best. So I've been left with using my local Asda when shopping to keep her going.

Looking forward to finding out how much people have actually saved on bills from this setup, and if anyone knows, how does the government benefit from this as it seems quite a lot to sponsor these chargers and related groundwork in my case(?) 

Took 3 engineers to fit it* to between 930-2200hrs with a 4th coming to fit an isolator.  App didn't work straight away as they couldn't commission my charger as it was too late and staff at the ranch had gone home; was all sorted next morning however. 

*Two came to support as their jobs had finished/aborted and the work didn't really start until midday when the isolator chap had finished up.

Ibrahim

 


36 replies

Userlevel 7
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Hi @IbrahimEV and thanks for posting here on the Forum.

Could you clarify what you mean by “I did not expect the unlooping work to be carried out by Western Power”?

Not all installations are identical because houses have different distribution boards, and may or may not already have Smart meters present.

Did your house have a feed shared with an adjacent property?

And could you also complete your Forum Profile page? As we’re fellow customers, we look there for basic information about you and your site.

Thanks.

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Hi,

Bit of background: I was already an OVO customer for 5 years and had a smart meter installed a couple of years ago by OVO.  My house was, as you correctly noted, connected to the adjoining property which appeared rare for my road as per the bod who came out with the streets plans - apparently there is no way of knowing beforehand until something like this comes along. 

The work involved digging a trench from my house to the end of my drive and another large hole on the pavement, which blocked off access to pedestrians for over a week until it was fully reinstated but was largely hassle free for me, aside from having to move one of my cars on to a neighbour's drive for the duration. 

I joined the forum last night; didn't realise there was a profile page tbh but now addressed 👍

Ty

 

Userlevel 7
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Thanks @IbrahimEV - I’m assuming that your Smart meter was already a SMETS1, so it didn’t require “down-grading” from a SMETS2.

I’ve been looking into the Looped Supply situation recently for another reason. We’ve got a Discussion Topic here about Who Owns What on the Distribution Board in your house. There I referred to a document called Cut-out Types & Ratings Guidance which is used to identify devices when there isn’t actually fault with the installation. The Looped Supply issue is Item-6 (page 10).

The reason that we’re generally interested in the installation process for these V2G chargers from Kaluza, is that it turned out to be far more onerous and expensive than had been supposed.

Indeed the costs have been so significant that the V2G Trial Applications have been ceased, and it will now continue with only half the number of test sites originally expected.

There are clearly some lessons to be learned from this. In effect the charger is costing twice as much as it should… and if it were being provided as a costed service, then it would have a longer ROI (Return of Investment) and a resultant lower market share.

There’s a special Topic here where we can ask whatever we want from members of Kaluza staff. I think this point of installation complexity needs to be raised there so we can discuss what should happen in future.

 

And, incidentally, I do happen to have access to Western Power’s network maps, through which I’m beginning to understand how old and out-of-spec are sections of the network. I’ve quite easily been able to find other houses with looped supplies, so they’re not that rare.

Ofgem is currently developing the list of targets which the Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) must achieve under the forthcoming RIIO-ED2 revenue-constraint process. I fully expect the inspection and upgrading of domestic distribution boards to feature in this next phase of the process.

Userlevel 7

Hi @IbrahimEV and welcome to the OVO forum and the Vehicle to Grid (V2G) trial!

 

One of our forum mods will be looking at your comments today or tomorrow, and if need be can get some more info to you from the Kaluza / OVO Smart Home team (who would be the team on hand to support you if you emailed).

 

I love @Transparent’s reply above. Loads of info there, and the link to the Kaluza Ask me Anything topic is the pick of the bunch for something you should have a click at and a read/post. 

 

Also, to answer your question on which V2G trialists have made a saving, and more info on how they’ve found the charger a year on, this topic is a must read! Thanks to @Mikeyoung and @jp1 for their detailed posts sharing the stats!!! I’m also expecting a monthly blog post from @D10hul - see the last one for April/May/June here

 

Last thing to you, Ibahim, I did tweak this topic title and made it into a blog, making it easier for others to find. 

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Hi,

Thanks for the updates and links.  I find the cost saving element the most interesting on a personal level (but still curious how it works on a corporate/governmental level having worked within Finance for a major electricity corporation) so these stats do get me excited!

I’m still trying to get my EV Everywhere updated and following another phone call today, I need to wait 10 days for the system to revert back to ‘old-world’ before I can have my account updated to EV Everywhere as the new system doesn’t allow it - that’s technical level of the summary I was provided with.

I did a bit of searching on this forum and it seems the export credits appear separately?  I hope this is the case as my usage presumably will increase as my vehicle has been plugged in nonstop since 31 Jul.  Do I need to be on the EV Everywhere in order to receive credits or is that just an additional option?

In terms of looped supplies, this was not known by the surveying engineering so perhaps would be good if they could come armed with this information beforehand so as to not have surprise communication post-survey that this additional delay/work will be required first.  That said, as I understood from one of the engineers who was on his penultimate day the trial is ending soon for new installations(?)

Userlevel 4

I did a bit of searching on this forum and it seems the export credits appear separately?  I hope this is the case as my usage presumably will increase as my vehicle has been plugged in nonstop since 31 Jul.  Do I need to be on the EV Everywhere in order to receive credits or is that just an additional option?

Hi @IbrahimEV, I can confirm that the V2G Trial and EV Everywhere are separate, as such, this delay in joining EV Everywhere will not affect your export credits at all. Exports are calculated on the last day of the month and typically added within the first five working days of the month. 

 

I hope this helps. 

Userlevel 7
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May I just ask for clarification @IbrahimEV ?

Are you saying that your site received a pre-installation visit from an OVO/Kaluza engineer, and yet he did not pick up the Looped Supply issue?

If so, that’s very odd.

Not only would I have expected such a visit to be based on the guidance in the Cut-out Types & Ratings Guidance document, but also you would think that he/she would have accessed the same Western Power mapping system which I’ve got. It uses different shades of blue line to identify the number of phases connecting to houses. So a looped supply is relatively easy to spot.

@Ash_OVO are you able to comment on this, or is it another query to add to the Kaluza Ask me Anything topic?

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@Ash_OVO Thanks; that's a relief.

@Transparent Yes, this was my experience.  After the engineer had completed the survey and reported back to HQ with photos etc of my property, I received communication (I can't recall whether email or call) a few days later to inform me of this looped issue. 

It may well have been the case the surveying engineer knew of it but did not mention it to me. 

Ibrahim

Userlevel 7
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Oh, that’s OK @IbrahimEV - I thought you meant that they’d actually turned up to install the charger before realising it was a looped supply!

I imagine the engineer did what was right. Having done the on-site bit, he then checked Western Power’s maps.

Userlevel 6
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I have now had my v2g a couple of months and last month managed to export 299.99kwh! Having had UKpowernetworks have to adjust the voltage at the local transformer, it has now been stable, reliable and great! My long range leaf certainly appreciates it. I have yet to work out what that means in money (due to billing complications) but @Kaluza have been fantastic in all thier support. It only took 8 engineers about 1 working day each to get mine up and running but i have had a lot of complications (all perfectly acceptable in a trial) and the DNO visited 6 times too!!! I think every engineer locally now knows where i live!

Userlevel 7

I have now had my v2g a couple of months and last month managed to export 299.99kwh! 

:clap::raised_hands::sunglasses:

 

Wow, Milkybars are on you then! 

 

@Kaluza have been fantastic in all thier support. It only took 8 engineers about 1 working day each to get mine up and running but i have had a lot of complications (all perfectly acceptable in a trial) 

 

Well done team, @Ash_OVO @Bobby_OVO pass this on to your engineers if you can!

 

@Jequinlan did you know we have a Kaluza ‘Ask me anything (AMA)’ topic event live right now? Get your questions in to two product managers if you haven’t already here

Userlevel 6
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This is how July ended! Its strange it doesnt export more given my energy usage! It sits most of the day fully charged.

Userlevel 7
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@Jequinlan- can I just ask you to expand on your comment about asking UKPN to “adjust the voltage at the local transformer”?

As you’re in a very small village, I guess not too many people were affected by this. But a feed from a typical ground-based sub-station transformer would supply power to around 120-170 homes.

The guideline voltage for GB is 230v -6% / +10%, which equates to 216-253v.

What was your voltage before and after adjustment?

How wide was the voltage fluctuation over a typical 24hrs (or was this not monitored)?

Was it the Kaluza engineers who diagnosed the issue?

Userlevel 6
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Hi. So.. i have some geeky graphs to accompany this. Basically the kaluza team identified my matte device connected to the v2g was tripping at 255V (above 253 limit) regularly. UKPN then sent 2 engineers on 2 occasions to measure using kit, then, decided as it looked high at most times, to install a monitor for nearly a week (visit 3), removing it (visit 4) and downloading the data which took measurements every few milliseconds,  it was clear the kaluza team were spot on. The substation when they checked was unusually on "tap3" and most of the uks substations apparently are on "tap2" this sets voltage apparently to the premises  

 

Thankfully its now all awesome. 

 

Images attached showing it really was happening far too often!!

 

 

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@Jequinlan My 4 engineers seems a light touch now compared to your 8 

Has anyone had any issues with the kaluza app not updating scheduling times or charge range amendments? The only thing I can actually get the app to do is Boost, aside from that none of the changes  I make actual stick and the scheduling/range remain as they were when I first set up at the end of July.

Any of you have any experience resolving this?@Tim_OVO @Ash_OVO @Jequinlan 

Thanks

 

Userlevel 6
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@IbrahimEV Mine (android) has always worked perfectly as an app. I don't know where to set the min and max charge levels on it, but as an app it has been flawless for me...

Userlevel 4

Hello @Transparent,

 

Whilst I cannot comment on individual accounts, I can confirm that unfortunately, we are not always able to identify a looped supply just by photographs of the fuse/cutout or even visiting the site. This is for a number of different reasons. Firstly, whilst a supply may be looped, the property could be the last of a set of loops and would, therefore, appear 'unlooped' to anyone looking at it. In addition, the loop may not be accessible in the property. If visiting the site, we can scan the ground to identify the chances of a supply being looped. However, the Distribution Network Operator is best placed to confirm the type of supply. Once we have applied for an EV charge point connection, the DNO will confirm the type of supply and what works can be carried out to proceed with the installation

 

@IbrahimEV, could you please confirm what browser & device you are using to access the web app? We recommend using Chrome Browser as this has the best compatibility. If you’re still experiencing issues, please clear your Cache/Cookies and log in again. Please note, it can take up to 24 hours for a schedule change to take effect. 

 

I hope this helps.

Userlevel 7
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I agree @Ash_OVO - I had hoped/expected that you would have access to the DNOs maps. Looped supplies are shown there, so you could see that before the site visit.

However, if you’re actually contacting the DNO anyway, do they clarify the earthing arrangement for that locality at the same time? That’s a subject which has popped up here on the Forum from several householders with V2G chargers.

Userlevel 7

 

Has anyone had any issues with the kaluza app not updating scheduling times or charge range amendments? The only thing I can actually get the app to do is Boost, aside from that none of the changes  I make actual stick and the scheduling/range remain as they were when I first set up at the end of July.

Any of you have any experience resolving this?@Tim_OVO @Ash_OVO @Jequinlan 

 

@D10hul can you think of anyone that’s been effected by this scheduling time amendment issue?

 

@Mikeyoung ? @jp1 ?

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@IbrahimEV @Tim_OVO 

Not really seen the issue, however the most recent update in the app has seen it Lock, well certainly on my phone (iPhone XS) I had to restart the app, this can often happen when trying to make changes, you think they are done but the app has actually froze, best to log out and back in to check the amendments, and of course as ever report to @kaluza 

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@Tim_OVO I have only set it once since lock-down started, haven’t seen an issue but set it last week for a Wednesday morning and worked fine. 

Userlevel 2
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Thanks All

I did email Kaluza and was told it would take a while for the changes to be enacted etc. However, the problem I had was I couldn't even recall which days I had or hadn't changed and what charge % range I had requested or not because it would just return to what it was from day dot.  

I don't know if they did something to facilitate this but as of today I can make changes and they actually are visible on the app e.g. if I change my schedule time from 7am to 9am on Wednesday and click save, it now says 9am instantly and similarly if I change my max range from 45% to 85% it shows this - previously it would just stay as 7am and 45% despite saving the changes.

Ibrahim

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I am struggling to switch to EV Everywhere and this means Polar are also not providing the 2 year membership free.  I can't believe something so basic cannot be completed by OVO.  This is relevant to the V2G trial because it is the plan dedicated to the trial - I joined end of July and to date (including this afternoon) I have been fed the same excuse "we need to change the systems you are on before we can switch your plan". 

Surely it's not my issue they don't know how to use their computers? However it is my problem they don't inform Polar that I am on the plan, or at least with every intention of going on the plan since February, but with delays due to Covid and now system issues, Polar charge for the supposed 2 year free membership.

I would be embarrassed with this level of customer service if this were my business.  I tried to use the online chat today instead, having had little luck on the phone, but the agent just cut me off mid way and said bye whilst I was still typing. This was after informing me the systems change is still not reversed - whatever that means 🤔

 

Userlevel 7

So frustrating to hear about this experience, @IbrahimEV - I want to address as much of this as I can to help provide some context to you and anyone else with a similar issue:

 

 I have been fed the same excuse "we need to change the systems you are on before we can switch your plan". 

 

This is sadly accurate information: our new billing platform is very much being developed and improved on a weekly basis. One of the current limitations is the ability for members to upgrade to EV Everywhere. For this to be possible currently, they need to be downgraded to the old billing platform. 

 

  1. You can chase up progress of this request from our web chat team today via our Help Centre - they close at 1pm on Saturdays. 
  2. We should consider ensuring  a workaround for you (or put one that’s already in place into action) so that you can benefit from free Polar Plus charging. I will check with the OVO Smart Home team and they might comment here or let me know directly. 

 

 I tried to use the online chat today instead, having had little luck on the phone, but the agent just cut me off mid way and said bye whilst I was still typing. 

 

 

Shocking, this sounds like a technical issue with the tool, where the agent stops being able to see customer replies and so assumes they have left. You should’ve been given the option to get reconnected to another agent at the end, if you felt the chat had been disconnected prematurely (for this very reason). 

 

Please reach out to us and keep us all updated here. We are overdue in turning this around for you!

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The current situation is I used up the 3 months free trial with Polar which everyone gets anyway, an extra month holiday due to Covid, then was charged a month.  I then canceled and set up another card in the hope after 3 months trial OVO would surely have my account switched by then as the works had been booked in, but now even that 3 months is due to expire end of the month.  

This is all bearing in mind I took out my lease on my Nissan at the start of the year (as an existing OVO customer since 2015) 'in order to' to go on the V2G trial and have the Polar membership - these weren't just bonuses. 

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