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



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Userlevel 3
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.


This may be of use:

https://epr.ofgem.gov.uk/Content/Documents/Gas%20Supply%20Standard%20Licence%20Conditions%20Consolidated%20-%20Current%20Version.pdf

This quotation stands out to me:

Condition 34. Provision of an In-Home Display
The general duty
34.1 The licensee must, where it installs or arranges for the installation of a Smart Metering
System at any Domestic Premises on or after the Smart Metering Designated Date,
ensure that it:
(a) provides to the Domestic Customer at the premises complete and accurate
information, which does not mislead the Domestic Customer, concerning the
availability and benefits of an In-Home Display;
(b) communicates that information in plain and intelligible language;
(c) offers the Domestic Customer the opportunity to have an In-Home Display
provided at the Domestic Premises on or after the HAN Date;
(d) where the Domestic Customer accepts the offer, provides at the premises on or
as soon as reasonably practicable after the HAN date, an In-Home Display; and
(e) where it provides an In-Home Display pursuant to sub-paragraph (d), provides
an In-Home Display that is of a type that is capable of being connected, through
the HAN to the Smart Metering System at the premises, at the Specified
Frequency Band, unless it would be technically impracticable for an In-Home
Display provided at the premises to be so connected (and for the purposes of this
sub-paragraph (e) it shall be considered to be technically impracticable for an InHome
Display provided at the premises to be so connected where any such
connection cannot be made without the installation of additional equipment or
the relocation of any part of the Smart Metering System at the premises).


Considering the IHD does *not* provide real time data in relation to the Gas consumption, as well as the fact that the costs figure on the IHD is also never accurate (I've seen posts where the tarrif amount on the IHD is different to that on the bills) to be they are in breach of the licensing requirements set out by ofgem? The data is not accurate, and is most definitely misleading...

As for the 2 exceptions

34.5 The licensee is not required to comply with paragraph 34.1 if a device has been
provided by any person at the Domestic Premises which on the date on which the Smart
Metering System is installed at the Domestic Premises constitutes an In-Home Display.


Well they don't let us use our own CAD device, so this doesn't apply...

34.9 Where the Secretary of State gives a direction to the licensee under paragraph 34.10,
the licensee:
(a) is not required to comply with paragraphs 34.1 and 34.6 to such extent and
subject to such conditions as specified in the direction; and
(b) must submit to the Secretary of State the evidence specified in the direction by
the Relevant Date.


Have ovo had this exception from the Sec of State?
Userlevel 3
Unfortunately I suspect this thread will continue to be ignored by OVO while it still has a solved tag on it! Maybe making lots of individual threads will get their attention faster...
I have to share my similar disappointment at the switching off of the online smart usage meters, which I agree was surely one of the most useful elements of the service provided. I haven't even had an email or any form of contact regarding the removal of this service. The pipit IHD is of no use whatsoever as it never seems to reset itself after the issuing of a bill / statement so can't be used to monitor daily usage at all. Once my contract is up I shall be looking to move away to another provider that can provide a service more in line with the whole purpose of having had a smart meter fitted.
Hi there I'm new here and totally confused. I am not technical so please excuse any mistakes I may make. I joined Ovo in October when my fixed rate deal with British Gas finished. Ove were not the cheapest but it was important that I had a smart meter as I'd been using them from BG for a while and liked them. I called Ovo before my switch and they confirmed I would be getting the same service from BG although I'd have to switch meters which I did.

I check my readings via the usage graph every morning and evaluate the previous day's use, if I've used a lot of gas I look to turn my boiler down a touch if it is not too cold, I am not only helping my purse but the environment too. I don't quiet understand the email about the changes, will I still be able to do this because over the past week my readings have been missing or are all the same so presumably wrong. I joined Ovo for this feature and if they are not providing this surely I can be released from my fixed term contract? I hope I have understood all this correctly :s.
Hi there I'm new here and totally confused. I am not technical so please excuse any mistakes I may make. I joined Ovo in October when my fixed rate deal with British Gas finished. Ove were not the cheapest but it was important that I had a smart meter as I'd been using them from BG for a while and liked them. I called Ovo before my switch and they confirmed I would be getting the same service from BG although I'd have to switch meters which I did.

I check my readings via the usage graph every morning and evaluate the previous day's use, if I've used a lot of gas I look to turn my boiler down a touch if it is not too cold, I am not only helping my purse but the environment too. I don't quiet understand the email about the changes, will I still be able to do this because over the past week my readings have been missing or are all the same so presumably wrong. I joined Ovo for this feature and if they are not providing this surely I can be released from my fixed term contract? I hope I have understood all this correctly :s.
The loss of this feature has really annoyed me, with price increases, it was the only reason I stayed with OVO but now they have removed the USP.

Shocking customer service, reinstate or say goodbye to loyal customers!

Pathetic doesn’t cover the excuses offered!
Hmm, as I was referred to Ovo via the MSE Energy club I guess it may be worth contacting them here as I've had no reply from Ovo

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Another disappointed customer. Feel really let down by Ovo. Promised several years ago that they were working on customer access to data (not displays but numbers). Now my patience has pretty much run out.
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I haven't been notified by email, although I've just found a conversation begun 6 days ago by @chrissfoot, who has received such a notification, as have many of the people who commented on his post.
Why didn't I get an email?
Userlevel 1
If the organisation that you work for relies on digital data (like OVO does) and a "tech problem" arose - how long would it be allowed to go on before somebody got a kicking?

In the organisation that I worked in - it would have been counted in hours.

Why has the "tech problem" with usage data at OVO been going on for months now???
Poor form Ovo
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I've emailed Ovo and had a swift response, for which I am grateful. I still think the guys answering the emails and manning the forums are trying to be helpful, but they are just not coming up with good enough answers so we are all left guessing what is actually going on within the software development team at Ovo. Rumours abound - there are security issues ahead of the May 25 deadline, they've run out of storage etc, and my twopennorth is that they may be having resourcing issues and can no longer afford to support a feature that only a minority, albeit a very enthusiastic minority, really use. But given that some of this enthusiastic minority are capable of writing software that would allow us to get our own personal usage data from the smart gateways, I fail to understand why Ovo's advice is to recycle the gateways, rather than giving us the information needed to access them directly.
Userlevel 3
So they've now turned it off, and my Gas history or costing isn't working at all, the only 'historical' values I can see relate to Electricity, I can't get anything back for Gas.

To me, they're now in breach of Ofgem licensing as mentioned earlier, specifically Condition 34.
I have taken Ovo at my London Home, my Suffolk holiday cottage and for my father in North London. This remote capacity is vital to me. I took Ovo because I liked the UK call centres and I loved the live portal. Yes it has started to get a bit hiccougyh but rather than give up, fix it. I have accepted that I may not be paying least but I am getting service.

I'm afraid that at the end of the year, I will look much more seriously at the offerings of other companies.

Please consider changing your mind. I have enjoyed the Ovo experience.
Userlevel 2
Hi everyone,

Thanks for all of your feedback. I’m the Head of Product for OVO Energy and I wanted to take the opportunity to respond directly and give a bit more context to our decision to turn off OVO’s real-time smart usage service.

We’ve been getting complaints about the service being incorrect or unreliable for a while now. You’re absolutely right; in the normal course of events we’d fix it rather than turning it off. However, there are other factors that influenced our decision. We’re in the process of building a new online experience for customers to manage their energy, and our aim is to roll this out to all smart meter customers before the end of the year. The existing OVO Live data service is incompatible with this, and it has built up what’s known in software development as technical debt. Additionally, it would have needed considerable extra work to be compatible with both SMETS1 and the new SMETS2 meters that are going to be installed starting later this year.

I appreciate that it is frustrating to receive the message that we’re turning this off “to bring you something better”, when we’re removing a service that you find useful and not immediately replacing it with anything else. Although OVO Live customers make up fewer than 1% of our users, you are some of our most engaged customers, and we did not take the decision to turn off this service lightly.

With that in mind, I’d like to ask for your help in shaping the product that we’re currently building. In the next couple of months, we’re looking for early adopters to try out the new online experience - which will provide an up-to-date view of your energy charges - and provide feedback. If you’re interested in this, please let me know either by PM or by commenting on this thread.

However, if the real-time service was the reason you chose OVO and you don’t want to stay with us without it, we’ll be sad to see you go, but we understand. We’ll gladly waive your exit fees and we hope that you may consider coming back to us when we have rebuilt the features that you value.

Finally, I’ve seen one or two comments from customers on this thread that have a Smart Gateway but don’t have a Pipit or Chameleon IHD. We’ll send you one free of charge if you send us a PM on Facebook with your full name, DoB and account number.

Thanks,

Cassie
Userlevel 3
Thanks Cassie,

I appreciate you taking the time to respond and I understand how it would not be cost effective to continue running the current service when it won't work with the newer meters anyway.

I would however, ask you to respond to the original question about re-using the smart gateways that we already have linked to our existing smart meters (I assume you won't be replacing existing smart meters in the short term?). It would seem fair to let us use these for our own local monitoring before your new product is available. If nothing else this could save them from going into landfill! I would not be expecting any support in getting this up and running, simply the username and password for the admin interface.

Chris
Userlevel 2
Hi @chrissfoot,

Your question about re-using the smart gateways is an interesting one. I'm investigating - I'll respond here when I have a definitive answer.

Thanks

Cassie
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@Cassie_OVO, thanks for taking the time to explain the decision.

With that in mind, I’d like to ask for your help in shaping the product that we’re currently building. In the next couple of months, we’re looking for early adopters to try out the new online experience - which will provide an up-to-date view of your energy charges - and provide feedback. If you’re interested in this, please let me know either by PM or by commenting on this thread.

If the new online experience will include access to current/historic data in a format that I can use to perform my own analysis, visualisations etc (i.e. kWh numbers that I can feed into something else), then count me in. If all you're proposing is a 'view', then I won't bother thanks.
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This is also something I would be interested in.
Hi @chrissfoot,

Your question about re-using the smart gateways is an interesting one. I'm investigating - I'll respond here when I have a definitive answer.

Thanks

Cassie
Userlevel 1
In light of your explanation - my immediate response is WHY THE HELL DIDN'T YOU TELL US THAT SOONER??? It might have stopped my blood pressure going through the roof.

I now understand your rationale for the decision to turn off the real-time smart usage service and, in the future, would rather work with you than fight you.

Therefore, I'd like to know more about what becoming and early adopter would involve.

Barry
Userlevel 2
@Cassie_OVO So what are these other factors? Get rid of all the other stupid meanless algo's and put it back to what it was 3 years ago and everyone back happy. Cannot see anything to do with GDPR or maybe interpretation is all wrong. There must be a way to keep this. Oh hang on probably costs a small amount of money to run.
Userlevel 2
many thanks for your update Cassie. It was useful. As BazPraz says it would have saved an awful lot of anguish had ove come clean with this rational at the beginning

That said I am more than happy to work with ovo in "shaping the product that we’re currently building. In the next couple of months, we’re looking for early adopters to try out the new online experience - which will provide an up-to-date view of your energy charges - and provide feedback. If you’re interested in this, please let me know either by PM or by commenting on this thread"
Joss.
Userlevel 2
Have I missed something I have not read anything that makes me "understand" the decision other than the 1% statement (Scalability of numbers). Didnt even give us enough notice of the change. I am currently fine tuning new boiler logic that is now impossible to see the effect of my changes. Had around a weeks notice that was not long enough to finish up what I was doing especially when you dont live at the property.
Userlevel 7
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Looking around the responses to this issue on other Forum Threads, I think there was an email sent out giving 2 weeks notice of the intention to remove Live Usage Updates.

However, the email was sent to those Customers who OVO believed had Smart Gateways and IHD's with WiFi connections (in addition to the Zigbee link to the meter).

Those who had other IHD's weren't sent the email, even though they might have a particular need for that Live Usage stream.

That might be an over-simplification, but it largely fits the responses I've seen.
Received from OVO complaints Department 23rd May 2018.
I didn't formally complain, but this was escalated from their smart metering support team who at the time were poorly informed of the rationale behind the decision making process.
My contact with the company has been professional, responsive and readily acknowledges the anger and frustration that I expressed with the withdrawal of the live usage and Smart Gateway HUB. This is the response I received. I am pleased to see that they will waive early exit penalties. This loss of functionality is particularly galling as I re-signed up less than a month ago, so I was very annoyed at the short notice. As others have said the data is particularly useful in conjunction with open source smart home set ups like Open HAB and Samsung SmartThings. Without access to the Home Area Network, a login and password it is difficult to see how the Home Gateway Hub can be re-purposed and is a shocking waste of scarce rare minerals that it contains to simply end up as electrical scrap. Shame on OVO.
-----------------------------------------------------
Good morning Mr **********,



My name is David and I work in the complaints team at OVO Energy. Ryan is currently helping with another department today so I working your complaint in his absence.

I have tried to call you to discuss your complaint but unfortunately you were not available. I have left a voicemail message.

Ryan was in discussions with our Head of Product for some answers to why we have removed our OVO Live services. On the back of your complaint we have released a statement on our online forum. I have included the information below, but you can also visit our forum here.

“We’ve been getting complaints about the service being incorrect or unreliable for a while now. In the normal course of events we’d fix it rather than turning it off. However, there are other factors that influenced our decision. We’re in the process of building a new online experience for customers to manage their energy, and our aim is to roll this out to all smart meter customers before the end of the year. The existing OVO Live data service is incompatible with this, and it has built up what’s known in software development as technical debt. Additionally, it would have needed considerable extra work to be compatible with both SMETS1 and the new SMETS2 meters that are going to be installed starting later this year.

We appreciate that it is frustrating to receive the message that we’re turning this off “to bring you something better”, when we’re removing a service that you find useful and not immediately replacing it with anything else. Although OVO Live customers make up fewer than 1% of our users, you are some of our most engaged customers, and we did not take the decision to turn off this service lightly.“

This information has also been given to all our customer service agents so they have more information to be able to answer questions similarly to yours.

From your complaint notes I can see that you are looking to switch providers as a result of these services being removed. I am sorry this is how you feel. If this is still the case we will waive your exit fees to allow you to change provider without these charges as a resolution to your complaint.

If you are happy with this information and offer as a resolution to your complaint you do not have to do anything, we will close your complaint in 5 working days.

-----------------------------------
Hope this helps other forum users

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