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 7
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Thanks. Based on this, it looks like your meter has passed the Creep Test and that rules out any obvious meter faults. Creep Tests aren’t quite as accurate, powerful or in-depth as a full Meter Accuracy Test, but they are quicker to do and you don’t have to pay the £150 to do one. In this case, I think it’s safe to say that you probably won’t need a MAT.

However… Something does seem weird and the puzzle remains unsolved. If your meters weren’t currently being migrated to DCC, it may have been possible to flip them to Half-Hourly Mode and then used the data to try and locate the culprit more easily. But that’s not possible right now if your meters haven’t yet reconnected and this seems like an awful lot of eco juice being recorded as passing through the meter.

And if your meters aren’t currently talking to OVO, this technically eliminates any bugs in OVO’s platform as being the culprit.

If it’s not a meter fault that’s causing such high usage and you’re absolutely certain that you’re not using all this energy, the possibility of energy theft on the basis of someone else leeching/tapping into your supply to steal electricity from the grid and make you pay for it does become a little more likely. I’ll see if @Tim_OVO and @Jess_OVO can think of any other possible reasons to explain this one, but I think you’ll almost certainly want to chat with the Support Team again and ask for help with investigating the issue.

For your safety, please don’t touch any wires, cables or anything else related to your supply or meter in the meantime. It’s possible that an engineer might need to visit to see if they’re able to solve this puzzle, but I can’t think of any other obvious solutions right now.

I hope that’s OK with you.

Userlevel 7
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(my bad - the reply that I thought had got lost is here, on a new page in the thread. Competence? I’ve heard of it...)

Userlevel 3

Latest meter read after a normal day with 2ppl both WFH

Time -16:05:56 = 57903.1 that means usage of 19.1 in 22 hours so just under 21units in a 24 hour period

Userlevel 7
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WOAH!!! Hold on a second…

2.3 kWh?!?!?! That’s like… a small factory… There’s practically no way that you could gobble up that much power in an average home. @fatbloke88 could you ask the Support Team to arrange a Meter Accuracy Test please? It might be worthwhile after all.

I will admit that it’s not cheap, but something doesn’t seem right and the Creep Test alone is only one possible indicator. £150 is nothing compared to an even bigger bill. And if OVO agrees that the meter is faulty, you’ll not only get the £150 back, but you’ll also get re-billed and OVO will try to figure out how much energy you actually used and refund the rest. On top of that, the meter will also be replaced for free because once a meter is confirmed as inaccurate, it cannot be left in service.

I don’t think you’ve got much to lose at this rate.

Userlevel 7
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No worries.

The only other possible factor that would make sense is whether you’ve got Storage Heaters or Air-Conditioning going overtime, but I’m pretty sure you’d notice because your house would almost certainly become the Sahara Desert or the North Pole if that was the case.

But I have one last theory that I am not particular confident about, but I guess I may as well play this Joker Card anyway.

What sort of spec are your computers and what sort of programs do you run on them? In particular, do you have really powerful hardware and do you use it for things like cryptocurrency mining? I won’t judge you if you do, this is just to see if I can figure out some clues here. And my other question… What Anti-Virus do you use on those computers? I know this sounds like a really weird question, but I’ll explain why later. And there really is a method to my madness… :)

Also, do you run anything that’s kinda distributed computing related? Such as:

  • BOINC
  • SETI @ Home
  • Folding @ Home
  • Archive Team Warrior
  • Anything related to these sorts of projects

Don’t worry if you can’t tell me the exact details, especially if the workloads are private for some reason. I just want to see if there’s anything about your computers that could potentially be gobbling up tons of super green eco juice. Even a rough idea will definitely help there.

Userlevel 7

 

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.

 

Sorry to hear this ones still not been fully resolved, @fatbloke88.

 

In this case it’s worth responding to the email you’ve received requesting that your complaint is escalated. If our Support Team aren’t able to reach a resolution that you’re happy with, the next stage of our Complaints procedure would be to escalate this to our dedicated Complaints team. At this point your complaint would be assigned to a complaint agent who would be the nominated point of contact as you describe.

 

I hope this information is helpful in getting the matter sorted. :slight_smile:

Userlevel 7
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Oh wow! Based on the current data, the spikes are going to make your meter record roughly 220.8kWh p/d too… That’s just impossible!

Even Norton Crypto surely isn’t that CPU/GPU intensive to be gorging on 200+ kWh a day… Right? Norton is a terrible Anti-Virus product anyway and either Bitdefender or Kaspersky are way better (and they’re also completely against including cryptomining in their products) but unless you’ve got a bunch of PC’s with Norton products installed and mining away like crazy (for literally no benefit!), that still wouldn’t fully explain the spikes.

I’m also pretty sure almost all household devices and appliances would never really gobble up that much power, since they’d probably break down if they did.

Userlevel 3

I’m talking to the support team and whilst I am can anyone else share consumption values or shed light on this pattern;

It looks very random to me, the overnight consumption goes down 10Kwh from one night to the next, is there something I should be looking at?

 

TIA

 

FB

Userlevel 3

Thanks @Jess_OVO I will consider that as a next step, just to update you and the latest reads suggest consumption between 08:15 - 16:29 today of only 3.5Kwh..:thinking:

The total consumption since the last official value on my account page on 14/7/21 suggests a total consumption of 33.9 Kwh over virtually 8 days.

Can anyone suggest any kind of reason behind this seemingly random consumption values and the wildl fluctuations I started this thread with?

@Jess_OVO do you think there’s any point in the meter test with these values? I have contacted the customer team, sent the email with a load of read data and photographs of the latest meter reads.

There’s a delay in responding from them atm so I’ll keep you guys appraised of any developments.

I really am very confused by this and I dont know what to trust or in all honesty who to talk to. Thanks for reading.

 

FB

Userlevel 3

last read for today suggests 11.3Kwh since 08:16… includes a correction for earlier when I missed a read:smirk::thinking:

Userlevel 3

overnight consumption 4.1Kwh, does that sound normal?

Userlevel 3

hello All

Particular thanks to @Blastoise186@Transparent@Simon1D and of course to @Jess_OVO  thanks for your support throughout all of this, it’s certainly been interesting! Latest: after switching to HH on the 16 Oct, we now have a good few days of readings to look at. I started looking and got confused (not difficult)

 

Bear with me here..

1submit a new manual reading and review the HH data each day on MyOvo - not helpful as I can’t discern a consistent pattern

2 copy a bunch HH readings from MyOvo and paste into Excel spreadsheet

3 strip out unnecessary data (duplicated time fields).

4 pull out actual read value from xxkWh field

5 convert the above from text to numbers data type

6 amalgamate all of resulting data into one table

7 sum up all readings from above on a daily basis to give daily total

8 create bar chart from above data (excluding daily totals) - is this the best type of chart for this?

9 pull in daily consumption values from MyOvo

10 Notice discrepancies 21.43 kWh /13days - is this just because of roundings and simple summarising via Ovo?

11 pull in my own daily readings from the same period still shows a discrepancy of 16.86 (possibly 30.75)kWh/13days.

Points to consider:

Ovo HH readings are I believe consistent in time of day taken

The usage chart is not what is used for billing

Personal readings are not always taken at same time of day

I may have created an error in my data manipulation/analysis

Questions:

Why does the Ovo consuption chart not reflect accurately the HH reading/consumption values

Does the slight time difference between my daily readings affect any of the above

Why is there such a difference between the consumption values

Is there something going adrift within the Ovo consumption calculation system

I enclose below the summary table of data that I have used for this analysis.

 

Any thoughtrs or comments particularly in relation to my analysis/technique or choices would be appreciated

Userlevel 7
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That does sound more realistic.

To give you some more context that might help you though, I can offer some extra advice. My smart meter is called Raichu, which is the nickname I gave my S2 Aclara SGM1411-B. It’s a long story that Tim might explain. :)

Anyway, as part of the feature set, Raichu is capable of running a whole bunch of self-diagnostics on a constant basis and performs self-calibration checks periodically to verify that the calibration is still in line with that which the Aclara SGM1400 Series has been approved for. It will also attempt to self-recover if a problem is detected and it’s able to do so by itself - and will also alert OVO if this happens.

In effect, the self-calibration is a bit like a “Mini Meter Accuracy Test” and it’s a common feature in most Smart Meters. It’s not a perfect thing as it can sometimes go wrong, but it’s a lot better than traditional ,meters where you had absolutely no self-diagnostic, no self-calibration and no self-recovery at all.

Userlevel 3

Thank you @Transparent the data logger add on might be an idea for the future and knowing what “normal” looks like would also be useful. From the chart you’ve provided am i right in thinking that is the output from the “PowerVault Storage Battery “ and that the image of the smart meter for your eV is separate to the standard “smart mete” as its sitting adjacent to your main distribution board?

Userlevel 7
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Yes to both of those @fatbloke88.

I’m a participant on the current PowerVault Battery Trial which OVO are running. But the more I became aware of what they want to deliver, I realised that they  don’t have enough incoming data to understand the effect of operating that battery.

The fact that I’ve just bought an EV makes matters worse. Whilst Flex will try to manage the PowerVault unit, it will be operating blind to the influence of my decisions on charging.

And that’s why I’ve started looking further into how the required algorithms can be created… without requiring every customer to use Modbus Metering of course!

It’s a bonus that the same techniques would also lend themselves to resolving incorrect meter readings for sites like yours. But that makes it all the more important for OVO to start collecting this data of course.

Userlevel 3

well I’ve done the test as @Jess_OVO sugested and no discernable difference when any switch was powered on, the meter halted with all power off as expected and barely registered any change as individual switches were thrown.

I realise I didn’t do each switch individually in isolation to the others, is that something I should try again?

I’m not sure that this type of test will demonstrate any real issue because I dont believe I have a faulty (high consumption item in the house). Anyone any thoughts on this before I turn the missus’s shower off again?

The consumption since the massive 2580kwh jump 14-20 July has been averaging 15Kwh p/d so I’m not convinced about a faulty meter consistently mis-reporting. I’m left wondering if anyone else going through this upgrade saw a similar spike in usage over the upgrade period?

There have been some strange spikes referrred to above again does anyone else have anything similar to report?

 

FB

Userlevel 3

I’m confused: Can anyone offer insights into this at all please? It looks totally random to me. Yes I can see usage spikes for cooking I can account for some variation with laundry days (washing and drying). Apart from that I cant see anyhing other than a weird suspension bridge! Is this the best kind of chart for this type of data.

Note: this is only from 12:00pm midday onwards for the period in question. The last day in the above sequence is missing 11:00 and 11:30PM readings for some reason @Tim_OVO 

 

This is the summary table data from the above chart and this is the bit that confuses me most;

The difference between the reads I take and submit and the HH reads allegedly given by the SM is astonishing. 34.59kWh units over 15 days!!

Am I doing something wrong in my collection and analysis or is there a fault somewhere in the Ovo system?

 

Thoughts and suggestions please, all welcome @Blastoise186@Simon1D@Transparent 

Userlevel 7
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I’m confused: Can anyone offer insights into this at all please? It looks totally random to me. Yes I can see usage spikes for cooking I can account for some variation with laundry days (washing and drying). Apart from that I cant see anyhing other than a weird suspension bridge! Is this the best kind of chart for this type of data.

Note: this is only from 12:00pm midday onwards for the period in question. The last day in the above sequence is missing 11:00 and 11:30PM readings for some reason @Tim_OVO 

 

This is the summary table data from the above chart and this is the bit that confuses me most;

The difference between the reads I take and submit and the HH reads allegedly given by the SM is astonishing. 34.59kWh units over 15 days!!

Am I doing something wrong in my collection and analysis or is there a fault somewhere in the Ovo system?

 

Thoughts and suggestions please, all welcome @Blastoise186@Simon1D@Transparent 

So, let me test my understanding by describing how you’ve processed the data, @fatbloke88 … (please put me straight where needed)

You’ve got 15 days’ worth of HH usage data (afternoon values only), copied and pasted (I assume) from the Electricity, Usage, Daily pages of My Ovo (the web portal) and stacked up in the plot so that we can see the total broken down not by day (as we’re more used to seeing) but by time of day.

The first thing to keep in mind is that the HH values are only ever kWh per half-hour. What you get when you read the meter is the accumulation of these since the meter was installed (or whenever it was reset to zero).

To relate the two, you have to take the difference between any two of your meter readings and that should be close to the sum of all the HH usage values between the times when you took your readings.

Somehow, to make sense of the comparison, you’d need to be taking readings at midday (and midnight, presumably) each day, to pin down how much of the daily usage is happening am, and how much pm.

My turn to pause, see if that makes sense to you, and allow you to correct any misunderstandings there might be on my side.

Cheers

PS It might be ok to just observe what your IHD says around midday, every day - it will show you the meter reading, and the usage “kWh so far today”. Just to save you the trouble of actually reading the meter at midnight, I mean. If you’ve got both numbers for each day, that should be helpful in making sense of things, going forwards from now, anyway.

PPS The missing values from yesterday evening are to do with the clocks being put back, and the web portal My Ovo does a really poor job in handling that. If you have the smartphone app, that is much better, and worth looking at for yesterday’s data, even though the copy/paste trick no longer works… (I’m not sure if you can see what’s in the Treehouse area, but I posted something on this earlier today, here)

Userlevel 3

@Jess_OVO@Blastoise186@Transparent@Tim_OVO 

Hi All been a while I know but I thought I’d keep this updated. The current situation is “the meter team are aware” (whatever that means) and my meter is clocking a average of 13.70 kwh pd for the past 40 days. I did try to register an up to date reading on the site and it flagged up a warning that the numebers didn’t look right and the today it just accepted it???

 

Our gas meter is sending accurate readings  and is immediately adjacent to our electicity meter.

 

Has anyone seen or heard anything that might why our meter jumped 2500Kwh in just 6 days (that’s why I came here) at all?

 

Does anyone know what the “Meter team are aware” actually means, what are they doing, how are they doing it, how do I know what they are doing is right and accurate?

 

We were given an excess usage bill (>£400) at year end and we’re deeply concerned now that this also was inaccurate but dont know how to challenge it. Anyone suggest anything?

 

Finally our DD is astrononmical (>£200mth) and I can’t seem to get it down which is concerning. “MY OVO” advises that I’m set to be £92appx in credit at year end and I can now reduce by a few £??? Yet I’m currently over £400 in credit!! ( yes I know we havent been through winter yet...)

 

update after inputting the meter read above it now tells me that I’m underpaying and I’ll be in deficit by £500 at year end and to increase DD to over £300pm!!!!

 

Thanks

 

 

Userlevel 3

I have now sent an updated email with the above data and questions to Ovo CS team in the hopes of resolving the issue to our mutual satisfaction. I wonder what the outcome of this latest missive will be?

Userlevel 3

EEEEEEEEEKkkkkkkkkkkk!!!!!

What is going on here?

 

Userlevel 3

currently waiting to speak to someone on CS I need to get a formal complaint registered about this and make sure I am not billed  for stuff I’m not using:fearful:

Userlevel 7

currently waiting to speak to someone on CS 

 

 

Thanks for the updates you posted today and over the weekend, @fatbloke88. Given the big numbers you’ve outlined, our Support Team will be very understanding of you wanting clarity. As they’ve mentioned this already being assigned to a team, there’s a chance you’ll need to give them some time to get to this, but yes a web chat should be able to confirm this. 

 

EEEEEEEEEKkkkkkkkkkkk!!!!!

What is going on here?

 

 

It does look like a spike in usage, @Simon1D - sorry for pointing out the obvious. For the sake of a comparison, what you were hitting for most of July is closer to what I am using now. So this jump that took place on the 27th July, has anything changed since then? You can refer to Jess’s guide at the topic for your options for diagnosing this. 

 

@Transparent the Direct Debit calculator does this pretty much, I mean, it’s pretty similar wouldn’t you say?:

 

 

You can visualize the payment amounts, split out per fuel or combined, you can see how that compares to payment amounts etc over time...

Userlevel 7
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EEEEEEEEEKkkkkkkkkkkk!!!!!

What is going on here?

 

 

It does look like a spike in usage, @Simon1D - sorry for pointing out the obvious.

There’s a lot going on at the moment, but I wonder if @Tim_OVO meant to tag in someone else here, rather than me? However ...

That repeating weekly pattern of small variations in daily usage looks ominously familiar to me. I saw such absolute nonsense for a while on a SMETS1 meter (I don’t live there anymore, so that account is closed and I can’t look up the old data so easily now - Edit: but I found this old post in the Tech Treehouse, a private area, that includes a screenshot ) in the period before it became SMETS1+ and registered usage daily instead of me having to submit manual readings monthly. But at least I never saw a step change like this.

I try to keep negative thoughts to myself, but the flood of problems currently being reported in the forum by Ovo users does make me wonder if I’ll still be with Ovo a couple of months from now.

That’ll be after a little more than 10 years :-|

Userlevel 7
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I understand. If you’re able to access MyOVO, it might be possible to reduce your payments a bit to match your actual usage. That would be the fastest solution to this issue.

Don’t forget that regardless of your payments, you’ll only ever be charged for what you actually use and the rest stays on your account for the future bills. It sounds to me as if the Estimated Annual Consumption (EAC) figures might be a bit out in your case, but this too can be fixed - especially once your smart meter starts talking to OVO. The Support Team can change this for you and they can also adjust your Direct Debits and issue a refund if needed.

Next time you contact them, please let the agent know you’ve been getting help from Blastoise186 on the forum and direct them to this thread. It will help a lot and I can assure you of that. Tim and Jess are both OVO Employees who monitor this forum every weekday, so they’ll be able to offer advice as well if needed.

I hope this helps. If you're unable to resolve this issue, I recommend using the Complaints Process which has a very high success rate and is usually pretty quick at getting a response. There’s a strong chance someone from the Complaints Team will respond within five working days if you go down this route. They’ll get you sorted out.

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