I think my meter is clocking too fast - How can I test if my high usage is due to a faulty meter?

I think my meter is clocking too fast - How can I test if my high usage is due to a faulty meter?

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Userlevel 2

Confused again after literally typing out that last message and checking consumption and on the 12/11 this is what the usage shows;

HH 15.73 kWh V Daily 35kWh :thinking::thinking: and there is no data showing for the daily consumption on 12 & 14/11 yet there are HH consumption values…

 

Why it leads me to wonder about the integrity of the systems, is it just me @Simon1D :thinking:

 

Userlevel 7
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I apologise if I have provided an inaccurate précis of those historical billing events. The full details of the financial penalty are downloadable from Ofgem. The events date back as far as 2013 and were created when the earlier 3rd-party software was in use.

The issues referred to by Ofgem were no longer evident in accounts that used the new Billing System…. until @fatbloke88 started this topic.

I’ve described how two of us on the Forum have tried to go back through usage figures produced by the new Billing System in order to better understand how the estimated readings are being handled. I’ve found this impossibly complex, but @Simon1D is persisting.

The difference now is that @fatbloke88 has described a situation in which erroneous meter readings have indeed impacted actual bills.

Like @Tim_OVO suggested above, I had largely dismissed the possibility of such errors occurring with the new Billing System, written in-house. My assumption was based on meters yielding cumulative readings, thereby cancelling out previous erroneous estimates.

Based on what @fatbloke88 has now told us, my assumption wasn’t well founded. The errors in this case have resulted in actual bills higher that they should be, and also an amount just shy of £500 requested as a settlement for months of underpayment.

We don’t yet know why FatBloke’s meter readings jumped jumped 2500Kwh in just 6 days, nor if this could be accounted for by the tariff being incorrectly configured as a dual-rate meter.

Yes, Simon and I have been referring to visualised usage figures. But FatBloke’s fault-description in this topic is about actual billing and possible faulty metering.

We are still trying to get to the bottom of this.

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14/03/21 - 02/04/21 it shows an average DAILY read of 51kWh/pd

Is that for electricity, gas or both?

Let’s remember that OVO’s figures should reflect what the meter readings are. They do not rule out a faulty meter.

Userlevel 7
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Well I’m not confident that the meter has provided accurate readings. 51kWh/pd is far too high.

That’s the sort of consumption which would get me investigating the neighbours to see if they’ve tapped into my supply to run a cannabis farm in their garage!

 

Solar panels…. start here

then go here for more details of what is entailed in the installation

After that you can look at a PV Diverter option or a Storage Battery.

 

just when you thought you were past being set homework!

Userlevel 7
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Well I’m not confident that the meter has provided accurate readings. 51kWh/pd is far too high.

I agree. I would bring an outsider’s perspective to this. 2kW is a high rate of electricity consumption and frankly, I don’t think it could hide itself easily.

This is one time that the independent measurement of what is being supplied would be enormously helpful. A shame that the OEM setup isn’t quite as straightforward to set up as it could be. Nor available to rent for a short time… we need something as straightforward to use as those 13A adaptors monitor the consumption of whatever is plugged in, but which has a current transformer and plugs into a 13A socket. A bare-bones version of EmonTx, as already described by @Transparent elsewhere in the forum, as a possible school project...

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Ah ha, bingo!

That’ll be the reason then. Nice work! It looks like the current readings are estimated right now. Please make sure to submit manual readings for the time being and OVO will aim to get your smart meters up and running once they’ve been migrated to DCC and reconnected. I recommend doing a manual reading at least once a week if possible, since this helps the system keep your account on track more easily. But you can even do daily readings if you wish.

We’ve also got this forum guide as well, which I like to think gets kept a little more updated than the other one. Not least because forum volunteers such as myself also contribute to it. :)

I also have some more good news as well for you @fatbloke88 . Once your meters are migrated to DCC, you’ll be able to get yourself a shiny new IHD. You’ll probably want a Chameleon IHD6-CAD-PPMID-S1 if they’re available by then, alternatively a Chameleon IHD3-CAD-PPMID as a fallback.

If you can show me some photos of your meters in your next reply, I can take a look and identify what you’ve got and hopefully give you a rough estimate of when they might get migrated to DCC. If you can also tell me which supplier installed the meters as well, that helps a lot. I can’t promise that my estimate will be perfect, but I can definitely give you a rough idea based on the data that I’ve currently got. :)

Userlevel 2

it appears from a chat with ovo directly this is linked to a smart meter upgrade programme they have advised that;

“Understood, let me tell you what has happened in the past 5 days and this is also the reason we cannot give you a in home reader just yet for these meters, your meters are currently not working because there is a government led update of all smart meters in the country so that they will work with all energy suppliers, some point in the next week or so your meters will return to working normally and you will get refunded anything you have been overcharged on the current estimates. Is this acceptable?”

taken directly from chat 19/07/21

I was provided the following link to an Ovo page about it;

https://www.ovoenergy.com/help/national-update-of-smets1-meters

 

hopefully this will help other users who may have been confused by (apparent) increased usage

 

FB

 

Userlevel 2

these are my consumption values in july so far for E;

consumption values E 01/07 -18/07 inc

my question is why is this spike happening?

Userlevel 7
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No worries, these are both easy to do.

If you need a new In-Home Display, please let the Support Team know and they can pop one in the post for you. You can also ask the team to change your Smart Meters to Half-Hourly Mode at the same time.

On average, IHDs are usually delivered within 28 days of the request - but are generally much faster. Changes to the meter config generally takes roughly five working days, but in some cases you may see it go through within 24 hours. It may take a few days for usage data to start coming in once the meters are reconfigured.

If you complete the Creep Test and the results indicate that the electric meter is misbehaving, getting this resolved may take longer but OVO has a process in place to help with these issues. A Meter Accuracy Test is one of them - but I recommend the Creep Test first to help avoid wasting £150 on an on-site job unnecessarily.

Userlevel 2

how do i change to half hourly please?

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Thanks for the update @fatbloke88 . This is definitely beginning to sound very much like either a meter fault or someone else leeching off your supply. Please follow my instructions carefully and precisely - this is very important to follow accurately, as it will help me figure out what’s going on so I can advise you best.

Firstly, when you take meter readings, please ignore everything after the decimal point - this part is irrelevant and will be ignored by the system, so you should avoid including it. 9 is the correct button as well, as long as you’re not on Economy 7.

I need to ask you to do a Creep Test. This will help to identify whether there’s a meter fault that’s causing it to clock too quickly or slowly. Before you do this test, please shut down everything in your house properly - especially electronics like computers, TV’s, Sky Box, your Wi-Fi Router, Printers and basically anything else that could be affected.

Once that’s done, please follow these steps.

  • Take a reading from your electricity meter - including the decimal point (you don’t need to submit this to OVO, simply note it down)
  • Turn off the power to your entire house at your fuse box and immediately check the meter reading again and note this down
  • Wait for five minutes. Don’t power up again just yet
  • Check your electricity meter reading again - if it’s changed from what the second reading was - especially significantly - you may have a faulty meter
  • Keep an eye on the meter for a bit to see if it is still clocking usage despite the power being off - continued clocking is a sure sign something’s up
  • Power back up when you’re ready

Please let me know how you get on. I’ll be able to advise once I know the results. I highly doubt that you’ve actually been using 370kWh of eco juice a day, so I really want to see if I can solve this puzzle!

Userlevel 2

latest update, I’ve sent 2 formal complaint mails to Ovo and both have been responded to in general terms and one with a promise of a 45 day response…. :thinking::thinking:

 

I looked back at the consumption since I rejoined Ovo in April 2020 and have made the following observations and wonder if any of you guys can assist with understanding.

 

consumption between 01/04/20 - 30/03/21 = 13526.51:tired_face::scream::scream:

The read values omn a daily basis are weird fluctuating from “-254.89, yes minus” to a staggering 2526.1 on a single day!!! All of that within not much more than a week!

When I look more closely at the data I noticed that there is a difference in formatting of the date stamp, (remember this is taken from My OVO). Specifically during the period in question you can see that the date format coding is different on the negative consumption days, see below;

 

Is this in any way relevant, does it suggest a change of software on OVO’s part for reasons unknown, does it suggest a change of hardware or other change. It seems more than curious or coincidental..Thoughts:thinking: ?

Next issue, as I review the readings I see consumption values of identical or near identical use across multiple days, this appears to be the case right from the start of the account  e.g.

 

Although the actual consumption value has altered across periods, the values across continuous days are identical or very close, again see below;

This pattern is repeated across multiple periods with variations in the actual consumption value noted agin see below;

Does this look in any way normal? Previous posts will indicate that our daily usage does vary between 13 - 18kWh/pd. I’m willing to accept a rise through the winter months but again a closer look at the values and patterns of usage below seems strange;

The consistency of consumption values just doesn’t seem correct. Can I ask what are your thoughts on this so far?

 

When I was advised about about the dual fuel tariff mix up, I was also advised that my meter had been sending readings consistently throughout all of this period, now that I’ve looked at it I’m honestly not convinced. @Blastoise186@Transparent  Is this worth raising to OFGEM at this point or am I missing something?

@Tim_OVO@Jess_OVO I realise you cant comment in detail on a public forum so I’d like to ask that you get your seniors to review your processes in relation to dealing with issues that are not fully resolved at the point of origin. Might be worth considering a single point of contact, a dedicated number (pref direct dial) to the nominated point of contact. may be worth aligning processes and staff to respond within 24 hours to info requests from said point of contact and having the ability to “pull” knowledgeable resources into the conversation and solution at short notice.

TIA

 

FB88

Userlevel 2

Hello @Blastoise186 

readings as follows

09:20:09 = 57898.8 power on

09:34:08 = 57898.9 power on

09:36:06 = 57899.0 power turned off

09:51:51 = 57899.0 power turned on

10:17:43 = 57899.2 power on

 

Some how I used 14Kwh overnight… only additional item in use a fan

Thoughts and sugestions welcome

 

Userlevel 7
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...

I looked back at the consumption since I rejoined Ovo in April 2020 and have made the following observations and wonder if any of you guys can assist with understanding.

 

consumption between 01/04/20 - 30/03/21 = 13526.51:tired_face::scream::scream:

The read values omn a daily basis are weird fluctuating from “-254.89, yes minus” to a staggering 2526.1 on a single day!!! All of that within not much more than a week!

When I look more closely at the data I noticed that there is a difference in formatting of the date stamp, (remember this is taken from My OVO). Specifically during the period in question you can see that the date format coding is different on the negative consumption days, see below;

<image snipped>

Is this in any way relevant, does it suggest a change of software on OVO’s part for reasons unknown, does it suggest a change of hardware or other change. It seems more than curious or coincidental..Thoughts:thinking: ?

Next issue, as I review the readings I see consumption values of identical or near identical use across multiple days, this appears to be the case right from the start of the account  e.g.

<image snipped>

Although the actual consumption value has altered across periods, the values across continuous days are identical or very close, again see below;

<image snipped>

This pattern is repeated across multiple periods with variations in the actual consumption value noted agin see below;

<image snipped>

Does this look in any way normal? Previous posts will indicate that our daily usage does vary between 13 - 18kWh/pd. I’m willing to accept a rise through the winter months but again a closer look at the values and patterns of usage below seems strange;

<image snipped>

The consistency of consumption values just doesn’t seem correct. Can I ask what are your thoughts on this so far?

 

When I was advised about about the dual fuel tariff mix up, I was also advised that my meter had been sending readings consistently throughout all of this period, now that I’ve looked at it I’m honestly not convinced. @Blastoise186@Transparent  Is this worth raising to OFGEM at this point or am I missing something?

@Tim_OVO@Jess_OVOI realise you cant comment in detail on a public forum so I’d like to ask that you get your seniors to review your processes in relation to dealing with issues that are not fully resolved at the point of origin. Might be worth considering a single point of contact, a dedicated number (pref direct dial) to the nominated point of contact. may be worth aligning processes and staff to respond within 24 hours to info requests from said point of contact and having the ability to “pull” knowledgeable resources into the conversation and solution at short notice.

TIA

 

FB88

Fascinating.

(I’ve only snipped the screenshots to bring your comments together.)

FWIW, my professional opinion of the negative usage values is that they are simply wrong, they’re based on a failure to understand the nature of the data being processed. They’re estimates, yes, but they’re stupid estimates. Sorry to be so blunt, Ovo.

The formatting of the date stamp is surely a sign of something. Are these screenshots of the app, or of the My Ovo web page? [edit - sorry, I’ve only just realised you already say they’re from My Ovo] Or of something else (perhaps the result of copy-pasting into a spreadsheet of yours)? I’ve looked at my usage for dates in that period, and on the web page, the date format has the month spelled out all the way through:

while my version of the android app now has day number and day of the week. the month is only in the heading.

FWIW, I noticed that the app has been updated as of this morning, mine is the android one, and it says App version 13.0.1 under Account, Account details, App details

I simply don’t know what the previous App version was, or when this version was pushed onto my phone. (Not sure I’m entirely happy with “code push”, but I’ll let it go for now...)

I believe those small random variations from day to day, combined with step changes from one billing month to the next, are artifacts of the bizarre choice by Ovo to make up such variations to no useful purpose whatsoever. If they have no evidence for how usage varied within the billing month, then leave it as the simplest option, a constant (based on the opening and closing readings for the month).

Ovo can say they only report negative usages when they are applying a credit, following previous over-estimates, to ensure that the customer is not overcharged (text in the new version of the app that shows negative usage in green), but to be honest, that’s nonsense. There is no excuse for having made a negative estimate in the first place. And if they’ve got an estimate wrong, on the usage pages, they can just correct it. It’s not like they’ve charged the user for it. Have they?

(I’m being careful to distinguish the case where Ovo help themselves to too much in the form of a direct debit that has been set unreasonably high, and the case where Ovo actually issue a statement of account in which the the balance on the account needs a credit because it reflects an overestimated usage. They sound similar but, I suspect they’re different, so long as Ovo have different software for reporting usage and for preparing their billing/statements of account.)

Thanks for the update @fatbloke88 and, if my questions for clarification make sense, thanks in anticipation for anything you can offer.

BW

Userlevel 7

Hi @fatbloke88,

 

Good news is those creep test results don’t suggest a faulty meter, although if you’ve explored all other possible factors and do want to get your meter checked it’s worth popping these  over to the Support Team who can advise on the next steps to get a charged Meter Accuracy Test appointment booked in.

 

There could be many factors behind an increase in your usage (are there any new appliances recently installed or potentially faulty appliances that could be using more energy than usual)? If you haven’t already I’d really advise checking out the advice given in this topic -

 

 

Sometimes a bit of detective work is required, maybe taking a reading then testing out the difference with certain appliances unplugged? As ever let us know how you get on - we’re happy to help here where we can. :slight_smile:

Userlevel 7
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...

2: Repeating identical values within the Billing System usually indicate that there have been days of missing readings. When the next actual reading occurs, the usage is apportioned equally across the preceding days.

Note that this is not the same concept as an ‘estimate’. This is simply the mechanism used to assign genuine usage.

...

Yes, and it’d be nice if things were as simple as that (I mean, nice if Ovo’s usage software actually achieved this but, these days, it doesn’t - as you point out).

As this is Electricity usage, there is no variation in the rate charged from day to day and there is no need to apportion usage across the days in any way other than the simplest (which would be exactly flat, no made up small random variations). Frankly I find it bizarre that Ovo try. There is nothing like that on the PDF statements we get that are the definitive version of how much we owe them (or vice versa). There is just a monthly total, charged at a single rate. There is no Time of Use tariff (yet).

Gas is very slightly different, what with CV variations, but even there, I can’t complain about the bills that I get when some readings are missing. (See an earlier post, somewhere.)

I won’t repeat my views on needless negative estimates and how they can be avoided ;-)

Best wishes, and enjoy the weekend ;-)

Userlevel 2

Stranger and stranger,

Meter TypeSecure liberty 100

I noticed that the light to the right of the buttons was flashing very quickly and the WAN light in the centre of the group of 3 is flashing about 1x p/s

The read in the last few mins has risen to

16:21:33  = 57905.4 and yet nothing additional has been turned on, except this PC monitor. 2.3Kwh in 15mins can not be normal consumption can it?

 

FB

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I’m just going to jump in quickly to explain the CodePush stuff a bit more. At the time of writing this, the latest version of the OVO Energy app on both Android and iOS should be App Version 13.0.1 released on the 24th September 2021 (updated via the App Store/Google Play Store) and no CodePush Version at the moment, because everything in the latest version of the app is either equal to or newer than what CodePush would otherwise refresh to - CodePush refreshes and version updates are managed in-app. The most recent CodePush Version was v302 prior to the 13.0.1 app update (the previous App Version was 13.0.0 before this update iirc). It’ll be bumped again if any assets are updated before the next version of the app itself is released. While the CodePush Version is currently showing “-” indicating no refreshes have happened since the last app install/update (so it’s currently on the baseline), it only affects assets within the app like HTML, CSS and JS (the OVO Energy app is mainly built from these)

I did a blog on how it all works a few months ago, feel free to check it out.

While CodePush refreshes itself whenever you launch the app, the App Version only changes when the app itself is updated via the App Store/Google Play Store. If you have automatic updates turned on in there (which I definitely recommend doing anyway), apps may be updated when your device is idle to minimise disruption to the user - CodePush can’t interact with anything else on the device outside the OVO app itself for security reasons (as that would break sandboxing and would get blocked anyway).

Userlevel 2

@Blastoise186 yes I will contact them, but it wil probably have to be tomorrow now. That will give me a chance to check readings when I come back and in the morning before I contact them..

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thanks for the clarification, @Blastoise186 

Userlevel 2

Just an update;

Ive had the meter installed for 2379 days with an ave consumption of 24.34Kwh per day throughout that period and that includes the latest set of numbers above;

 

If I exclude that set and read from the last official value on my OVO readings page: it works out at 23.32Kwh p/d

 

Userlevel 7

Just a thought here - could your fridge or freezer be using more energy due to the current heatwave?

 

A good way to investigate this is by carrying out some circuit checks - 

 

  1. Leave the main breaker in.
  2. Turn off all individual circuits (on the fuse board, for example).
  3. The electric meter should stop clocking usage. If not, there could be a short in the fuse/breaker panel box or an appliance connected without fuse/breaker protection. An electrician will be needed to investigate this.
  4. Turn on one individual circuit.
  5. Watch to see if the electric meter starts to clock usage.
  6. Turn off that individual circuit and turn on another one. Again, watch to see if the electric meter is clocking.
  7. Repeat step 6 until all individual circuits have been checked.

You are looking for a circuit that causes the meter to clock a lot of usage, compared to the other circuits.
There could be a problem with an appliance or a connection on that circuit. An electrician will be needed to investigate this further.

 

Not sure if this is the cause but it’s always worth ruling out all other possibilities before deciding to book in a Meter Accuracy Test, as it’s very rare for the results of a MAT test to find a meter faulty, particularly if it’s a smart meter

 

Hope this helps get to the bottom of things - keep us updated with what you find...:slight_smile:

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I wish I could explain this one, but I’m stumped unfortunately. I’ll see if our secret weapon @Transparent can figure this puzzle out.

This forum is volunteer led and pretty much everyone except Tim and Jess are volunteers. It wouldn’t be fair to say that you should implicitly trust us by default as that would get you into some really tight spots if you’re not careful. But I like to think that we can try to help figure these issues out without causing too much hassle or cost.

Userlevel 2

Thanks @Blastoise186 any useful suggestions at all please  @Transparent ??

 

All suggestions welcome at this point.. I think that MAT test may be the answer but I’m concerned for they suggest that 80% of tests prove no fault. Obviously that means 1:5 are faulty so...

Userlevel 7

Yeah it can be a real puzzler - and unfortunately we can’t say for certain what might be causing the fluctuations in usage you’ve seen, @fatbloke88 .

 

The best advice would be to carry out as many checks as possible before determining that a Meter Accuracy Test is required. We can’t guarantee the results of the test until it’s been completed so it’s always best to rule out other possible causes first.

Have you carried out a circuit check yet? - This could really help isolate the usage down to a particular circuit or appliance which we’d then encourage you to get checked by an electrician. Let us know if this does explain things, we’d love to hear when you get to the bottom of things! :thumbsup:

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