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Big discrepancy between the usage graphs and the actual meter readings


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According to the online dashboard, the usage for yesterday is triple to what it was according to the smart meter.

The online dashboard suggests we have used 31kWh yesterday, but the IHD says 11kWh.

Any idea what is going on?

The online portal also suggests we should increase the direct by almost 3 times, but this is not reflected in the actual usage.

 

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Best answer by Jess_OVO 29 April 2021, 18:01

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That’s weird.

I’d recommend checking the meter readings themselves, to see if they match up. We’ll see what we can do from there.

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Yes, they do match. For a comparison, this is the last three days from MiHome Whole House Power Monitor. 26th does not look any different to 27th or 25th. In fact, it looks even a bit lower than 25th:

 

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Hi @gmmarcin some nice bug hunting here. 

 

@Simon1D I have searched high and low for your thread, where it was proven that the daily usage section aligns with the daily charges showing on the online account. Can you remember what this one was called?

 

@gmmarcin in the meantime if we say that with a smart meter correctly set up, sending usage info at least daily, with no communication issues, your Daily usage section should align with the meter readings used in your daily charges, and the IHD. 

 

In your case it’s not. This tells me it might be related to a communication issue with the meters, with missing usage on the previous days being lumped together. Thoughts from our other bug hunters welcome...

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Hi @gmmarcin some nice bug hunting here. 

 

@Simon1D I have searched high and low for your thread, where it was proven that the daily usage section aligns with the daily charges showing on the online account. Can you remember what this one was called?

Ha - I’m glad I’m not the only one who struggles to find old posts on here. Fortunately, I do remember the essential points:

I was able to reconcile the HH usage and daily readings exactly, but only for gas. For electricity there is this frustrating gap between the midnight readings used for billing and the ones either side of midnight which are implicit in the HH usage data. (That word “apportionment” was used by your colleagues for the process of sharing out the HH usage around midnight between the day before and the day after).

I hope that helps…

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It’s done it again, exactly 31kWh. It’s clearly not the real usage.

Anyway, I got to the bottom of this with the OVO support. Apparently, the meter has been provisioned to send monthly data rather than half-hourly as requested when ordering the installation. This means, that ALL of the data points between readings are just simply made up.  I would understand if the monthly readings were equally divided by days between readings, but they are not, making a false impression that they are real readings. Why is there a dip on the 13th or why does the system think that the usage was higher on the 18th than 19th if it has no data to back it up? If the resolution is monthly, it cannot be made into daily readings.

If there are comms issues or any other problems that make the portal estimate data, this should be clearly noted or even charts disabled, greyed out, or made half-transparent to make it clear that this is not the real data.

What worries me more is that the portal is now saying that we should increase the DD by 2.5 times to cover the potential (non-existent) shortfall. This is really worrying guys as I have no idea what to expect when the bill comes.

 

 

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Thanks!

Your DD suggestions will be fixed up once the meter starts sending more regular readings. Usage data alone isn’t the only factor for calculating them. Even if the system tries to actually change your payments, you have the option to dispute the changes and have it manually reviewed. So if a second opinion identified that your current payments are fine, the Support Team can override the system and force your payments to be left as-is.

I believe the system relies more on meter readings than usage data however. So even if usage data is acting up, this shouldn’t affect anything else.

They should be able to change the settings to Daily or Half-Hourly too. Feel free to let the team know and they’ll get it sent off. It may take a few days for the update to apply but the changes will then stick properly.

With that being said, I do like your idea as well. It would definitely be handy to make it more transparent about which data is actual and which is estimated.

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If there are comms issues or any other problems that make the portal estimate data, this should be clearly noted or even charts disabled, greyed out, or made half-transparent to make it clear that this is not the real data.

 

I think this is a very valid point, @gmmarcin and it’s something I’ve raised to the team to see if this is something we could improve. 

 

 

What worries me more is that the portal is now saying that we should increase the DD by 2.5 times to cover the potential (non-existent) shortfall. This is really worrying guys as I have no idea what to expect when the bill comes.

 

It sounds like this direct debit calculation may be based on the same over-estimated usage showing on the usage graphs. In which case this should work itself out once we receive more regular readings from the meter. Did you submit a manual reading when you spoke to the Support team?

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Yes, I did submit manual reading.

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That’s good to hear, @gmmarcin. Hopefully we should have your reading schedule updated soon but in the meantime, the more manual readings you supply the more accurate both your usage graphs and direct debit calculations will be.

 

There was also a promising response from the development team, to your suggestion the usage graphs could be clearer in terms of showing when the data is estimated -

 

We’re looking to improve the usage graph in the future, so this is very helpful feedback.:slight_smile:

 

Keep up the good work of catching bugs and providing feedback! !t really is so valuable to make sure we improve our online tools, making it easier for you to track and reduce your usage. 

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I just had an email that you will be raising my DD from next month. I have made a complaint already but seems to have been ignored. Who do I need to speak to as this seems a bit out of control now? the calculations are based on your very inaccurate estimates that seem to be double of what the actual usage is. Every time I submit the reading manually the usage goes to the normal level but it goes back up the next day. The system also does not allow me to send manual readings too often as it says the meter does it automatically.

 

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It sounds as if you might be confusing the system by sending manual readings alongside smart meter readings. This isn’t recommended as it can throw MyOVO off track. I’d recommend making sure your meter is set to either Daily or Half-Hourly Mode to help resolve this more easily.

If you check the OVO Energy app though, you can see a full meter reading history including what type of reading each one is.

I’ll keep crunching theories on this one though, just in case.

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Also, summoning @Jess_OVO for further advice.

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The meter was meant to be sending HH, this was requested from day 1 and subsequently re-requested via the chat. It still does it monthly. I keep getting reminders to submit manual readings, so I do. If I do not submit readings the system is telling me that I use 2x the electricity.

In short, I do everything your system is telling me to do yet get really terrible experience. 

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Thanks. I’ve let Jess know about this thread and asked her to take a look.

It is known that some smart meters can be a little stubborn at times about changing the schedule. Raichu was definitely one of them for a while, but the S2 Team eventually managed to use some clever tricks to force Raichu to switch to Half-Hourly Mode. It sounds as if the same tricks could work for you. The Support Team can submit a request like this to the S2 Team if needed. It’s generally part of the workflow as well. If the meter refuses to switch the setting within a reasonable period after sending the command, the request gets escalated for further investigation.

You may want to ping the team by phone this time as certain things are easier by phone than chat. However, I’m told your previous feedback has definitely reached the tech team and they agree that it’s something that qualifies for being added to the ideas board.

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I just had an email that you will be raising my DD from next month. I have made a complaint already but seems to have been ignored. Who do I need to speak to as this seems a bit out of control now? the calculations are based on your very inaccurate estimates that seem to be double of what the actual usage is. Every time I submit the reading manually the usage goes to the normal level but it goes back up the next day.

 

That does sound really frustrating, @gmmarcin - sorry to hear that the Smart Meter’s still not sending us half-hourly readings.

 

As you’ve previously raised a complaint and the issues still not fixed, you can re-open the complaint at any point by contacting our Support Team. It might be worth mentioning the increased Direct Debit suggestions, as they will also be able to over-ride these suggestions whilst we sort out the Smart Meter reading schedule.

 

Hope the team can get this sorted out quickly for you.

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Guess what, we are back to square one. I just had another email about DD being raised to £128 now, but in June, You wanted to raise it to £165, which I persuaded you not to, which is also now proven that it would have been unjustified.

I just spoke to various teams over the phone, and no one can explain this.


The below screenshot is our usage for 2021 from the smart meter and all up to date, but the person at OVO said the actual usage for this period is 9326kWh - so 2.5 times more to what the portal is saying at 3579.90kWh and what our bills are showing. (This would also explain why you wanted to raise the DD 2.5 times back in June)

They then took the 9326 and divided by 8 months (we have been with OVO since February so its 9 months now, not 8) and got 1165kWh per month but our actual usage, according to the meter is approx 500kWh per month as below.

Now, if that’s the case, I no wonder you are making incorrect estimates and charging people more than you should.

 As of today, we are actually £85 in credit:

but according to your “internal” numbers that no one can explain to me, we are in debt - hence the demand to increase the DD. It jsut does not make any sense and causes us a lot of stress.


Can you please pass this internally on to someone who can actually sort this out and give me a call, because your Customer Services cannot help?

 

 

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It’s done it again, exactly 31kWh. It’s clearly not the real usage.

Anyway, I got to the bottom of this with the OVO support. Apparently, the meter has been provisioned to send monthly data rather than half-hourly as requested when ordering the installation. This means, that ALL of the data points between readings are just simply made up.  I would understand if the monthly readings were equally divided by days between readings, but they are not, making a false impression that they are real readings. Why is there a dip on the 13th or why does the system think that the usage was higher on the 18th than 19th if it has no data to back it up? If the resolution is monthly, it cannot be made into daily readings.

If there are comms issues or any other problems that make the portal estimate data, this should be clearly noted or even charts disabled, greyed out, or made half-transparent to make it clear that this is not the real data.

What worries me more is that the portal is now saying that we should increase the DD by 2.5 times to cover the potential (non-existent) shortfall. This is really worrying guys as I have no idea what to expect when the bill comes.

...

I went back to see why my attention was being drawn to this thread (I commented, that’s why). But in refreshing my memory, I found this comment from the OP, 6 months ago. (My emphasis.)

I agree with their comments 100%.

Without further delay, I’m off to see how the API data look these days...

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And that all I got from yourself after an hour long telephone chat to try to get to the bottom of it. I have cancelled the DD and asked to be moved to “pay on receipt”because I’m not happy with you just taking unjustified amounts as you please, and this is all I got.

 

Really, you can’t do better?

 

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Sorry to hear of the trouble, but you’ll need to either reinstate your Direct Debit or set up alternative payment arrangements as soon as possible, as you might otherwise breach contract with OVO - and that’s a really, really bad thing to happen. OVO will probably contact you to ask why you’ve disabled the Direct Debit within the next week or two. Please work with them to sort this out.

In the meantime, I’d suggest raising a complaint about your bills. Someone will get back to you ASAP once it’s lodged.

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Sorry to hear of the trouble, but you’ll need to either reinstate your Direct Debit or set up alternative payment arrangements as soon as possible, as you might otherwise breach contract with OVO - and that’s a really, really bad thing to happen. OVO will probably contact you to ask why you’ve disabled the Direct Debit within the next week or two. Please work with them to sort this out.

In the meantime, I’d suggest raising a complaint about your bills. Someone will get back to you ASAP once it’s lodged.

Well, IANAL, of course, and I can only go by what’s reported here, but I think that Ovo might be the ones potentially in trouble here. That comes remarkably close to harassment, I suspect. I wouldn’t like to be on Ovo’s side (assuming that things are as they are being presented, of course) if this becomes a little more, um, formal.

 

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Sorry to hear of the trouble, but you’ll need to either reinstate your Direct Debit or set up alternative payment arrangements as soon as possible, as you might otherwise breach contract with OVO - and that’s a really, really bad thing to happen. OVO will probably contact you to ask why you’ve disabled the Direct Debit within the next week or two. Please work with them to sort this out.

In the meantime, I’d suggest raising a complaint about your bills. Someone will get back to you ASAP once it’s lodged.


The contract is for OVO to deliver electricity and for me to pay for it. I never said I won’t pay. I just said I won’t allow for OVO to take money off my account as they please with no justification. I spoke to collections today and agreed I will be paying each month for what we use via “account top-up”.

I have already been through this in July and already spoke to senior complaint handlers who also offered me a compensation back in July and agreed OVO was at fault and promised not to raise the DD back the . But it’s happening again. Why would I accept it now? How much of my time do you think I should be spending dealing with this because it’s a never ending saga.

Why are you threatening me that I’m breaching the contract without knowing all the details of the contract?

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Sorry to hear of the trouble, but you’ll need to either reinstate your Direct Debit or set up alternative payment arrangements as soon as possible, as you might otherwise breach contract with OVO - and that’s a really, really bad thing to happen. OVO will probably contact you to ask why you’ve disabled the Direct Debit within the next week or two. Please work with them to sort this out.

In the meantime, I’d suggest raising a complaint about your bills. Someone will get back to you ASAP once it’s lodged.

Well, IANAL, of course, and I can only go by what’s reported here, but I think that Ovo might be the ones potentially in trouble here. That comes remarkably close to harassment, I suspect. I wouldn’t like to be on Ovo’s side (assuming that things are as they are being presented, of course) if this becomes a little more, um, formal.

 

That’s exactly how we feel. I’m even thinking that OVO will switch off our electricity now because they can probably do it remotely.

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Oh, this is awful @gmmarcin  :confounded:

As the Billing System is entirely automated, I’m also concerned that the same issue is affecting other customers. I’m struggling to think of any circumstances in which only one account could be producing erroneous figures at intermittent time intervals.

Having twice previously been in the situation where I’ve needed to take Energy Suppliers (not OVO) to the Ombudsman, I will pass onto you here the general advice which they gave me.

a: Try not to agree resolutions by telephone. Email is best because you retain a time/date-stamped copy of what was written and to who.

b: If you do discuss a complaint situation by phone, make a ‘copy of the conclusion’ and send it back by email. This overcomes any issue of a ‘misunderstanding’ allowing the Supplier to take actions which you don’t think you agreed to.

c: Try not to keep a long-term complex dialogue alive. The OVO Complaints Procedure only actually requires the customer to make contact twice. If it’s still unresolved 8 weeks after the second contact, then you can refer it to the Office of the Energy Ombudsman anyway.

d: If you have ‘additional information’ such as the discussion in this topic, then make sure you provide the URL in any communication with the Supplier or the Ombudsman.

e: If you are allocated a named Manager to handle your complaint, then stick with that person. A well-intentioned colleague can easily make a real mess of what the Named Contact is doing for you!

f: The Ombudsman route can take some time to investigate and reach a resolution. But remember that they are not there to provide compensation/fines or other redress. The whole point is that they pick up your case and investigate what has gone wrong. Unlike you, they can request access to internal documents and procedures.

The Ombudsman works off-site with data/information which they can require to be sent to them. They do not march into the Supplier’s offices and start holding meetings!

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Well, IANAL, of course, and I can only go by what’s reported here, but I think that Ovo might be the ones potentially in trouble here. That comes remarkably close to harassment, I suspect. I wouldn’t like to be on Ovo’s side (assuming that things are as they are being presented, of course) if this becomes a little more, um, formal.

That’s exactly how we feel. I’m even thinking that OVO will switch off our electricity now because they can probably do it remotely.

As an observer on the sidelines, all I can offer is the comment I found here a while back https://www.smartme.co.uk/how-they-work.html

which to me reads like “can, but won’t”

Good luck, however things develop.

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@gmmarcin wrote:

I’m even thinking that OVO will switch off our electricity now because they can probably do it remotely.

No they won’t!

That’s akin to having bailiff arrive at your door without warning and demand a payment. It just can’t happen out of the blue.

There would have to be A Decision properly communicated to you, stating that such action is to be taken.

And there would have to be a Letter Before Action in similar fashion to what the County Court requires before they will even accept a case!

I have never heard of a Supplier cutting off power remotely. It could be dangerous, depending on what devices are ‘live’.

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