Pinned Solved

Why are OVO disabling the real-time smart usage features!?


Userlevel 4
I have had an email today to tell me that OVO are now discontinuing the real time usage data collected by the smart gateway. I have been using this (via the api) to feed into OpenHAB and allow my smart-home to make decisions based on the current usage so am extremely disappointed at this decision.

However, i'm hoping that there is a way forward using the smart gateway. Looking more closely at the device it seems to be a fairly standard telegesis zigbee data collector. It has a web based management interface but I do not have the username/password for this. Does anyone know what it is? If I can get into the config then the sever that it posts to could be changed to my own one and then OVO can switch off whatever they like!

TLDR; Does anyone know the username/password for the smart gateway management interface?
icon

Best answer by Emma_OVO 15 May 2018, 16:16

Hey everyone,

I thought I'd jump in here!

As you've all heard, unfortunately we've made the difficult decision to remove this feature as we're aware that there's been ongoing issues with it.

Rather than provide a poor service which results in a poor customer experience and customer contact - we’re going to stop providing the features to focus on other technology that will provide a better customer experience.

This doesn't stop you from being able to see any usage information as you can still access this on your In Home Displays (IHDs).

You'll need to disconnect your Chameleon IHD from your Wi-Fi and (if you have one) turn off your Smart Gateway. Your IHD will continue to work as a display unit but won't send us data anymore - we'll get this directly from your smart meter.

If you have a Smart Gateway, it can simply be unplugged and recycled as an electrical device. If you have a Wi-Fi connected IHD, it can continue as an In-Home Display by following these steps:

1. Tap 'OK' once to enter the menu.
2. Navigate to 'Adjust settings'; then tap 'OK' to enter the submenu.
3. Navigate to 'Wi-Fi options'; then tap 'OK' to enter the submenu.
4. The device will say 'Leave network'; tap 'OK' to leave the Wi-Fi network.
5. Your device will now function as a normal IHD.

If you have a Smart Gateway and don't have a Pipit or Chameleon IHD, send us a PM on Facebook with your full name, DoB and account number so we can get one posted out to you.

https://www.facebook.com/ovoenergy

Cheers,
Emma

View original

64 replies

Userlevel 2
I just received the mail titled "We're turning off your real-time smart usage features "
is this some kind of late April fool joke ?

This is surely one of the key benefits of a smart meter over a dumb meter - to allow the user to review and compare their usage over different time periods as well as see live data ?
The IHD is not portable so I use my phone to see what affect turning on/off devices has on usage. I cant run back to the kitchen every time !

How is this progress ? Yes, the features are not reliable lately but surely the response is to spend some effort fix them rather than disabling them completely !

what next then
- submit your meter readings online because the smart meter cant communicate reliably ?
- Send round a meter reading human because your website no longer works reliably ?!

:@
Userlevel 4
Here's a copy of an email I have just sent to OVO regarding this issue. I am really disappointed!

Thank you for the email explaining that you are turning off my real-time
smart usage features .

I have to say that I am very disappointed that this is going to happen as I always found the live usage data and daily usage displayed in My Ovo extremely useful.
I have solar panels and it is most beneficial to be able to see how much energy is being exported to the grid and make decisions about using high energy consuming equipment (dish washer/washing machine etc) in the home depending on the amount being exported at any particular moment.

I made the decision to remain with OVO after my last contract with you expired because of the Smart gateway features even though there were several cheaper suppliers available. The extra money seemed reasonable for the features which the Smart gateway offered.
I am on a panel of volunteers who report levels of satisfaction with energy suppliers to Which magazine and have always given first rate feedback about OVO. I will be reporting my dissatisfaction to Which regarding this issue.

I notice you write that you "have decided it's better to turn these features off until we can offer you something better." Better for whom please? I certainly do not regard this as an improvement to the level of service you offer me.

Perhaps you can explain when the "something better" might occur? Can you please assure me that I will be given the opportunity to partake in "something better" as soon as it is available or is this promise merely to placate annoyed customers?

In the meantime can you please arrange for me to have an IHD as i do not currently have one?

Thank you for your attention.

I look forward to your response to my questions.
Userlevel 2
This was one of the reasons I switched to OVO. I can't believe they don't have the resources to fix this, after all it works most/some of the time and is really useful - surely a couple of decent software engineers and a couple of weeks should be enough (I manage a software team developing web applications so have some knowledge of this type of product).

I suspect there is some other reason: privacy concerns? Security? Cost?

Poor show OVO.
Userlevel 4
Part of reply from OVO

The reason that we have decided to remove this feature was due to it giving incorrect information to too many of our customers. As a business we would like our customers to be receiving correct information. This feature has been taken away so we can work on offering our customers a better experience. You are still able to see your usage on your historic and half hourly usage feature.
So removing the feature is in OVO's opinion a "better experience". How does that work?
It really is a poor show!
Userlevel 2
I have to say I am gutted after reading the ovo email explaining that you are turning off my real-time
smart usage features .
This is one of the reasons I signed up with OVO again.
So as I used the home gateway device. What do i do now ? I do not have an IHD.
Very disappointed with this OVO.
Userlevel 2
I have had the smart gateway for a very long time, and it has worked perfectly apart from a short period at the start. I am extremely disappointed with the latest news as an IHD is not portable. I check on my laptop at my convenience not when I remember to look at the IHD.The gateway and the interest payments from OVO are a big factor in choosing my supplier. I look forward to seeing what better solution OVO can come up with, and lets hope it is not too far in the future.
Userlevel 4
I'm disappointed to, it completely goes against the idea of smart metering. Chameleon market the IHD3 as a portable unit, but the one OVO provide isn't, and has to remain plugged in. It also doesn't give realtime gas consumption, unlike the realtime data provided.

This is also going to have a severe knock on effect to my central heating, which I use realtime consumption figures to dynamically adjust heating requirements to help keep the costs down even more.

I used to use Loop Energy devices prior to the move to a Smart Meter, which gave a somewhat accurate realtime feed which I could use for my heating system, but the Loop devices are incompatible with the smart meters due to the display, so it's not like I can even go back to that.

My only other option is to either get OVO to open up the HAN and allow us to pair our own CAD devices, or request the smart meters are ripped out & put standard units back in place... Either way, the whole reason for me joining OVO was for the real time data feed, so now what's the point in remaining?
Userlevel 3
I expect that they significantly underestimated the number of people wanting "Real Time" rather than the 30 minute option. Their scaling of the data repository and analytics capability for reporting over that amount of data would be quite significant.

Unfortunately they have probably been a victim of their success, but if the team running this element state that they did not see this coming then they really are amateur. There should have been proper capacity and scalability planning in place and identified the appropriate vendors both from a storage and analytics perspective who could cater for their customers needs.

Unfortunately I worry that the statement "it's better to turn these features off until we can offer you something better" will morph into "we have turned these features off and hope you forget that you ever had them"..........
Userlevel 3
Oh, and the OVO statement "(we) have decided it's better to turn these features off until we can offer you something better" may turn into "I have decided to leave OVO until you can offer you something better."
Userlevel 4
See, the only issue I can see is that the aggregated data for a set period is unavailable, real time usage data is still available and working just fine:

code:

Getting readings for GAS meter with mpan 75******04:
Estimated Annual Usage is 7144 M3
Current Demand : 0.0 KW
Current Cost/Hour : 0.0
Past 10 Minutes of Data:
[2018-05-15 14:39:00] No Data Available
[2018-05-15 14:40:00] No Data Available
[2018-05-15 14:41:00] No Data Available
[2018-05-15 14:42:00] No Data Available
[2018-05-15 14:43:00] No Data Available
[2018-05-15 14:44:00] No Data Available
[2018-05-15 14:45:00] No Data Available
[2018-05-15 14:46:00] No Data Available
[2018-05-15 14:47:00] No Data Available
[2018-05-15 14:48:00] No Data Available
Getting readings for ELECTRICITY meter with mpan 16*********43:
Estimated Annual Usage is 6475.7 KWH
Current Demand : 0.316 KW
Current Cost/Hour : 0.0444928
Past 10 Minutes of Data:
[2018-05-15 14:39:00] No Data Available
[2018-05-15 14:40:00] No Data Available
[2018-05-15 14:41:00] No Data Available
[2018-05-15 14:42:00] No Data Available
[2018-05-15 14:43:00] No Data Available
[2018-05-15 14:44:00] No Data Available
[2018-05-15 14:45:00] No Data Available
[2018-05-15 14:46:00] No Data Available
[2018-05-15 14:47:00] No Data Available
[2018-05-15 14:48:00] No Data Available



The feed for current realtime values, and estimated usage amounts is still present, which is more than enough. Why turn *all* of this of, instead of just still allowing realtime data to be fed in & viewed? At least then this gives us *something* to go on for those who still rely on realtime metrics.
Userlevel 5
Badge +2
Hey everyone,

I thought I'd jump in here!

As you've all heard, unfortunately we've made the difficult decision to remove this feature as we're aware that there's been ongoing issues with it.

Rather than provide a poor service which results in a poor customer experience and customer contact - we’re going to stop providing the features to focus on other technology that will provide a better customer experience.

This doesn't stop you from being able to see any usage information as you can still access this on your In Home Displays (IHDs).

You'll need to disconnect your Chameleon IHD from your Wi-Fi and (if you have one) turn off your Smart Gateway. Your IHD will continue to work as a display unit but won't send us data anymore - we'll get this directly from your smart meter.

If you have a Smart Gateway, it can simply be unplugged and recycled as an electrical device. If you have a Wi-Fi connected IHD, it can continue as an In-Home Display by following these steps:

1. Tap 'OK' once to enter the menu.
2. Navigate to 'Adjust settings'; then tap 'OK' to enter the submenu.
3. Navigate to 'Wi-Fi options'; then tap 'OK' to enter the submenu.
4. The device will say 'Leave network'; tap 'OK' to leave the Wi-Fi network.
5. Your device will now function as a normal IHD.

If you have a Smart Gateway and don't have a Pipit or Chameleon IHD, send us a PM on Facebook with your full name, DoB and account number so we can get one posted out to you.

https://www.facebook.com/ovoenergy

Cheers,
Emma
Userlevel 4
Emma_OVO wrote:

Rather than provide a poor service which results in a poor customer experience and customer contact - we’re going to stop providing the features to focus on other technology that will provide a better customer experience.



Are you able to say what this 'other technology' is? Is it something which will replace the current realtime display, so provide us with this data still? Or actually allow us to connect our own CAD to get this data from it?

Emma_OVO wrote:

This doesn't stop you from being able to see any usage information as you can still access this on your In Home Displays (IHDs).



No I'm afraid it does. I don't want to keep having to go to the kitchen just to see usage, or wait 24 hours to see the previous days usage, especially as the IHD does not provide realtime gas consumption, and considering this is readily available in the online realtime information, I doubt this will be enabled at any point on the IHD, thus rendering it useless.

Emma_OVO wrote:

You'll need to disconnect your Chameleon IHD from your Wi-Fi and (if you have one) turn off your Smart Gateway. Your IHD will continue to work as a display unit but won't send us data anymore - we'll get this directly from your smart meter.



To be fair, it would be more useful to just turn it off...
Userlevel 4
Like I said in my original post. If you can give us access to the smart gateway (which is already paired to the meter) then we could collect the usage stats ourselves. When you turn your services off the smart gateway isn't going to stop collecting data, it just won't have anywhere to send the data!

I could always brute force it I suppose...
Userlevel 3
Emma_OVO wrote:

Hey everyone,
This doesn't stop you from being able to see any usage information as you can still access this on your In Home Displays (IHDs).



Emma, a couple of points :

- For Real Time Electricity I don't have an IHD, will you be offering me a free IHD to cater for the degradation of service ? Thank you !
- Like ErTnEc I access the Real Time Usage Statistics when out of the property to understand the in day effects of different items and process I run during the day. Can you please provide me with a free security camera I can point at the free IHD please.
- Like ErTnEc I need Real Time Gas Usage and I believe that this is not offered therefore your free IHD would not match your current service

Await your response.
Userlevel 3
I run HMO's and have been a long term customer of Ovo. The live functionality is critical for me to monitor usage remotely. IHD will not cut it for my properties. It has even alerted me to when someone has fiddled with boiler controls and switched heating or hot water generation off and I have fixed the fault before being alerted. Get rid of all the new features a put it back to basics and we will all be happy. It use to be 100% reliable went downhill with the stupid analytical stuff that is not required. How do we lodge a formal objection?
Userlevel 3
@chrissfoot please keep us updated of your progress :-)
Userlevel 2
I've got nothing new to say:- I'm just adding my message to show that there's another dissatisfied user. I will be writing a complaint (not that I expect it to make much difference - but at least no-one in Ovo could say that they switched this of and nobody noticed - or cared).

The data I get from this has been invaluable in getting my central heating running efficiently, optimising the charging of my electric car, telling me when my fridge needs defrosting, even telling me when my security lights have tripped.
The IHD is almost useless (and deeply flawed *Pippit 500*).

I want access to *my* consumption data. The Ovo web page *was* better than nothing - I would really prefer to log my data directly.

I have considered leaving Ovo for cheaper suppliers - but the gateway data and the enthusiasm of the company to look after its customers (even the geeks) always brought me back.

Now tell me why I should pay more to stay with Ovo when you no longer supply an exceptional service?
Userlevel 3
Exactly the same as MOF I reduced cycling of the boiler to nothing with the data that was visible. IHD not of any use to me as I dont live in the properties but pay the energy bills. Could even tell if someone was using an electric heater which is against the insurance policy of the properties. OVO you mush be able to leave it running for those that require it and perhaps throttle back on the useless extras that have been added. Can someone please explain what the better solution is or is that just snake oil for the uninitiated?
Userlevel 4
At this point it looks very much like this is a cost saving exercise! I hope they manage to save more than they lose from all the customers (like me and the others detailed on this thread) who will now switch to a cheaper supplier! I have always heralded OVO as different from all the other suppliers as they have always seemed to genuinely care about customer satisfaction. It seems this is no longer the case.

scoobydo wrote:

@chrissfoot please keep us updated of your progress :-)


No progress so far but the freeware i'm using is rate limited ;)

On a related note, is there any way to remove the "Solved" tag on this post since it clearly isn't solved and it probably means that no-one from OVO will look at it again while it remains "Solved"
Userlevel 3
Typical over moderated ITIL system. Maybe if we put a few swear words in it may get someones attention. Pish poor no consultation, this ran smooth for years and overtime standard stupid updates/security patches have been at the detriment of the end user (us). See it all the time "if it aint broke dont fix it" comes to mind.
Userlevel 3
Badge
Just to echo the posts of the other users on here, I'm extremely disappointed in this and have already provided my thoughts on it to OVO directly. I understand OVO want to protect users from incorrect information, but:

- no timescales on alternatives for something that many signed up with OVO as a unique selling point is unacceptable, especially when users like myself have just tied myself into a fixed term based on this facility.
- I don't get the OVO logic and misunderstanding of how customers use the service. You've provided an app and website that provides real time information. If your customers were happy to just use the IHD, you'd have no users of the live information and so you wouldn't need to worry about switching off the feed. That's obviously not the case and you know people use the live data outside of the home in the app and website, so how can you suggest using the IHD alone as satisfactory?

OVO was more expensive than my other green energy options, and having this feature was the main reason for me signing up for another 12 months. To have it removed within 2 months is a pain.

@OVO - please focus on fixing this asap or giving us information on what the alternatives will be and timescales. In the meantime try to appease your loyal advocates by looking into ways of letting people access the live data from the smart gateway.

Unfortunately without either of these, you'll find us slowly moving away - I'm only one customer so it's hardly threatening with an ultimatum. But the reality is, that if a company chooses to remove a USP, customers will simply revert back to supplier choice based on price, and you'll lose out based on that.
Userlevel 4
Once my current contract expires I will choose the cheapest supplier and say goodbye to OVO. I only stayed with OVO once prices went up because i like the Smart gateway Live data features.
I think this withdrawal of an important feature counts as breach of contract by OVO and I am looking into legal aspects of leaving immediately without penalty because of this.
Will keep you posted.
Userlevel 1
Another dissatisfied customer here. The real-time usage data was one of the big reasons why we stayed with OVO. Can't see that there's really much point now. @Scotty22 - if you make any progress on the contractual side, do please share it here!

I can't help wondering whether it's a coincidence that the real-time data is being switched off on exactly the same date that the new General Data Protection Regulations come into force. Is there some aspect of this related to privacy and data security, that OVO can't (or can't be bothered to) solve? @Emma_OVO - care to comment on that, please?
Userlevel 4
StewIris wrote:


I can't help wondering whether it's a coincidence that the real-time data is being switched off on exactly the same date that the new General Data Protection Regulations come into force. Is there some aspect of this related to privacy and data security, that OVO can't (or can't be bothered to) solve? @Emma_OVO - care to comment on that, please?



Maybe there's a big old data leak that they don't want to admit to...
Userlevel 4
StewIris wrote:

I can't help wondering whether it's a coincidence that the real-time data is being switched off on exactly the same date that the new General Data Protection Regulations come into force. Is there some aspect of this related to privacy and data security, that OVO can't (or can't be bothered to) solve? @Emma_OVO - care to comment on that, please?



You know, I was thinking the exact same thing...
Like most websites OVO Energy uses cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this site. Accept and Close