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New feature: OVO Greenlight

New feature: OVO Greenlight
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OVO Greenlight has landed

 

We’re celebrating Earth Day by introducing OVO Greenlight: our new carbon-cutting, money-saving product packed with ways to help members on the journey to Plan Zero

 

It’s available now to every OVO member at no extra cost, and will be waiting in your account menu next time you log in. Please check this out when you can, and come back here to tell the community what you think!

 

 

You can use it to see your home energy carbon footprint (and how it compares to similar homes), the carbon forecast (when in the next 48 hours are the best/worst times to use energy in terms of carbon output), and to see a weekly breakdown of your energy use, all backed with tips and advice to help reduce waste, cut carbon and save money.

 

(Note: Some of the features may require an eligible smart meter and/or to ensure that meter is reporting to us half-hourly.)

 

OVO Greenlight also exists as a monthly email packed with info and tips, which, starting today, will be sent to all members with smart meters that have opted in to receive emails like this. Go to this section of your online account to change your email opt in settings and start getting these! 

 

I’m looking forward to hearing member feedback on this, leave a comment below to tell us what you think!


32 replies

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Hi everyone, who’s had a chance to check this out yet? 

 

It’s a feature that works best with smart meters sending usage info every half an hour: @Jequinlan@Simon1D and @Transparent I’m pretty sure that includes you 3…..

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Its not on my app yet and no update on app store!

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Thanks for spotting that, @Jequinlan.

 

I’ve checked in with the App team who have advised that the there were some slight issues when launching the App version of the Greenlight feature so they’re currently working to get these resolved. You should be able to see the feature on the browser version of your online account for the time being and we’ll update everyone when the App version gets re-launched. :slight_smile:

 

Has anyone explored the feature on their online account yet? Would be great to hear how you’ve found it...

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Watch out there @Jequinlan ! If you keep up like this, I’m gonna run out of bugs to play with! :rofl:

But yep, I can verify that one. This particular type of change can actually be delivered via CodePush, without needing a full app update. I’ll probably write up something about the way it all works one of these days…

It seems as if OVO Greenlight shares similarities with how Energy Spotlights and Carbon Tracker used to work. So Any previous bugs might still be valid.

If you have any that you’ve been holding onto, please go ahead and double check if you can still reproduce them. You guys have a head start because I won’t be able to do any OVO Greenlight ones for at least a couple of weeks. :sunglasses:

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So…. Greenlight.

 

Here are my results, 

 

However, in that time my Electric vehicle consumption was actually: 135KWh (even ignoring the reversals,

So, something is wrong, 

 

@Tim_OVO @Jess_OVO @Blastoise186 @sylm_2000 

 

HELP!

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Oh, and the “make more accurate” 

  1. Already done (twice) it won’t  dissappear after
  2. It asks how many fridges I have BUT microwaves only a tickbox not a quantity!
  3. Also doesn’t ask if you have air con!!!

Feedback : @Jess_OVO , @Tim_OVO 

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Thanks for the feedback, @Jequinlan.

 

 

 

However, in that time my Electric vehicle consumption was actually: 135KWh (even ignoring the reversals,

So, something is wrong, 

 

We’ve passed this on to the development team who have advised that as they don’t have access to the exact EV charging data currently, the figure used on Greenlight is estimated. They are hoping to have this data integrated in future  and really welcomed you raising this as having examples will help to improve the way they calculate the estimated figure.

 

Oh, and the “make more accurate” 

  1. Already done (twice) it won’t  dissappear after
  2. It asks how many fridges I have BUT microwaves only a tickbox not a quantity!
  3. Also doesn’t ask if you have air con!!!

 

And once again, some excellent points raised. They are aware of the first bug and looking to get that fixed (at the moment it only updates after 24 hours apparently). 

 

Looks like you’ve given them things to think about for future updates as well -


“Microwaves is interesting- we’re interested in number of fridges because they’re on all the time, whereas for microwaves we’re more interested in how long you use them for.
Air con is interesting too - perhaps one for us to think of adding”

 

Anyone else had a chance to check this feature out? Love to know your thoughts! @juliamc, @NinjaGeek, @Simon1D ?

 

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Oh, and computing is way too low. Even at 30% power usage, my computing (ignoring entertainment) usage is 10kwh of power supplies, meaning about 3kwh (round down) actual usage x 40hrs for a week is 120kwh. Think i found the majority of the miscalculation!!!

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It’s also worth bearing in mind that the calculations are not an exact science, because OVO doesn’t have psychic powers and can’t see exactly what’s pulling eco juice from the grid.

However, feedback like this may well help to improve the algorithms over time. For example, my UniFi kit takes up maybe 65W combined at most, but only ever shows up as part of “Always On and Standby”. Hehehe. I don’t think that’s the right category! XD

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Yes, but they could ask more to be more accurate.  Being a data geek by trade my pet peev is making assumptions.  Either get enough data to be statistically valid, or don't do it at all. Half assed attempts irk me 

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Actually, the only reason OVO Greenlight is quirky for me, is because of my massively edge case usage patterns.

Good luck figuring out basically anything from this example! :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah… Not much to work with there!

Hehehe

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To be fair on OVO, most of my power usage really is from stuff that’s basically “Always On” somehow. Don’t forget that I’m running a crazy overpowered network setup that’s got enough horsepower to run an office.

I suspect that because I use laptops rather than desktops and basically ALL my stuff is really low power, it’s almost impossible for OVO Greenlight to identify any of it. But to be fair, I don’t exactly ever turn any of it off either…

Plus the fact I only pull an average of 25kWh of eco juice a week, which is 1/3 of the average member in similar circumstances. Hehehe

 

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To be fair on OVO, most of my power usage really is from stuff that’s basically “Always On” somehow. Don’t forget that I’m running a crazy overpowered network setup that’s got enough horsepower to run an office.

I suspect that because I use laptops rather than desktops and basically ALL my stuff is really low power, it’s almost impossible for OVO Greenlight to identify any of it. But to be fair, I don’t exactly ever turn any of it off either…

Plus the fact I only pull an average of 25kWh of eco juice a week, which is 1/3 of the average member in similar circumstances. Hehehe

 

Lol, I am almost the opposite, I have a rack of desktops always on, AC running to keep the office temperature right for the servers,  most of my units are high power (including the high usage in summer pool heater) so I burn a lot of electricity...

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Hehehe. Total opposite of me then!

I like to be kinda lightweight about my stuff. While I mentioned that my UniFi kit can pull up to 65W max, it never really does so in reality. I’m able to track how much juice Whismur pulls from Rotom via Power over Ethernet for example, and it only tends to average three watts out of the 15 watt PoE Budget that it could pull from.

So yeah. Most of my stuff is pretty overpowered in what it’s capable of, but is definitely not overpowered in how much it yanks from the national grid. :)

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@Blastoise186 

I do a load of data calculation using Tensorflow and GPU computing so there is no mobile or low power option to crunch numbers/data like that. It’s power hungry work AI…

 

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Anyone else had a chance to check this feature out? Love to know your thoughts! @juliamc@NinjaGeek@Simon1D ?

Well, I’ve had a quick look and, since you ask, I’ll offer a few screenshots and comments…

(If you’re hoping for encouragement, better to stop reading now.)

 

Perhaps I could set a timer, yes. Then again, what on earth would be the point? I looked, and the carbon forecast is “Moderate” for every single slot over the next 48 hours. I’m not going to gamble on the carbon forecast being an overestimate when, presumably it is as likely to be an underestimate.

My advice: unless there’s a prospect of lower carbon intensity in the near future, _don’t_ bother making such a suggestion. Or refine the Low/Moderate/High information to a point where such a prospect becomes apparent: that might even allow some judgement to be made over whether the scope for a reduction in likely carbon emissions was enough to worry about.

 

I’m genuinely curious to know how the AI separates out fridges and freezers from “always on and standby”. That could be using some pretty subtle and well-informed statistical analysis of the distribution of HH usage values in quiet periods (when things that aren’t always on are off). Or, the AI has been trained on data that, well, they don’t come from my meter and who knows how relevant they might be to _my_ pattern of use.

The information presented by Ovo Greenlight has actually been validated has it?

I mean, the software runs without crashing, and makes assertions about how the energy has been consumed, but … is there any basis at all for claims that those assertions are valid?

Colour me unconvinced.

 

Unplugging the fridge that I don’t need constantly might seem like plausible advice on first reading. But is it? I’d want reassurance that running, not running, running, not running a fridge isn’t a pattern of use that leads to early failure.

 

The point on the left?

Definitely, even if the point would be better made by saying something like: “It’s best to swap traditional bulbs with LEDs today, now, rather than to wait until the old ones go: the reduced energy consumption more than offsets the cost of the replacement.” Because that statement is true. Isn’t it? You’d say if it wasn’t true, wouldn’t you?

The point on the right?

Not so sure: turning the lights out made a lot of sense when they were tungsten bulbs. Not to be cynical or anything but, once you’ve swapped all your tungsten bulbs for LEDs, then to _continue_ turning off lights obsessively, if you’re going to be out of the room for only 2 minutes is, well, obsessive. By all means don’t rush to learn new lazy habits, leaving lights on etc, but don’t waste your breath nagging people to do things that will have an infinitesimal effect on their  overall carbon emissions. I know you can add this up across millions of consumers and get what seems like a significant number, but it’s still an insignificant %age of those consumers’ collective consumption. There are much more important aspects of people’s behaviours that need to change. (And if you didn’t literally *mean* “more than a minute” then don’t say that.)

Sorry, but I’m not impressed.

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Well, I’ve had a quick look and, since you ask, I’ll offer a few screenshots and comments

 

This is exactly what I was hoping for, after all how are we going to make things better if we don’t get this kind of in-depth constructive criticism! 

 

 

Perhaps I could set a timer, yes. Then again, what on earth would be the point? I looked, and the carbon forecast is “Moderate” for every single slot over the next 48 hours.

 

I fully take on board the point you made about this suggestion on the carbon forecast, (my washing machine timer only goes up to 12 hours!) so we may need to adapt the wording to fit these scenarios - although lets plan for a future where the isn’t this level of Carbon Intensity isn’t so constant.

 

 

Unplugging the fridge that I don’t need constantly might seem like plausible advice on first reading. But is it? I’d want reassurance that running, not running, running, not running a fridge isn’t a pattern of use that leads to early failure.

 

Which is why I think the wording on our energy-saving tips needs to inspire confidence in the best course of action and the most effective changes we can make as individuals. I have raised this to the team as I think this is really valuable feedback.

 

Dare I put my head above the parapet again to ask if anyone has any feelings on the energy saving tips?

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I won’t be able to make full use of OVO Greenlight or really push it to the limit with bug hunting for a few more weeks yet, as my new smart meter Raichu is undergoing commissioning. But I’ll definitely see what I can pull out of Greenlight in the meantime.

It’s worth noting that one of the things that OVO Greenlight does, is transitions a couple of the features out of OVO Beyond (where you had to pay to get them) and into the default free feature set, while also making them a little bit easier to play with.

As someone who’s used these features in both states, I’d be confident in saying they have improved a bit since being migrated. However, it would be great if the algorithm could be more optimised for weird edge cases like mine. It’s understandable if my ultra-low and extremely stable usage makes it difficult for Greenlight though - so perhaps some kind of explainer could be added if OVO Greenlight is having trouble due to edge cases. Nothing too fancy, just a thing that says something like Hmm… It doesn’t look like you use very much energy! We’ll try to run the numbers anyway, but we wanted to give you a heads up that we might not be able to give you a detailed breakdown. Or something along those lines. :wink:

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It’s worth noting that one of the things that OVO Greenlight does, is transitions a couple of the features out of OVO Beyond (where you had to pay to get them) and into the default free feature set, while also making them a little bit easier to play with.

As someone who’s used these features in both states, I’d be confident in saying they have improved a bit since being migrated. However, it would be great if the algorithm could be more optimised for weird edge cases like mine. It’s understandable if my ultra-low and extremely stable usage makes it difficult for Greenlight though - so perhaps some kind of explainer could be added if OVO Greenlight is having trouble due to edge cases. Nothing too fancy, just a thing that says something like Hmm… It doesn’t look like you use very much energy! We’ll try to run the numbers anyway, but we wanted to give you a heads up that we might not be able to give you a detailed breakdown. Or something along those lines. :wink:

 

This is a great suggestion, @Blastoise186 ! It would be really useful to hear how you find the new feature compared to what was previously offered with OVO Beyond, let us know your full thoughts as soon as Raichu is fully operational.

 

 

 

I’m genuinely curious to know how the AI separates out fridges and freezers from “always on and standby”. That could be using some pretty subtle and well-informed statistical analysis of the distribution of HH usage values in quiet periods (when things that aren’t always on are off). Or, the AI has been trained on data that, well, they don’t come from my meter and who knows how relevant they might be to _my_ pattern of use.

 

Some interesting feedback from the development team in answer to this point you raised, @Simon1D  - 

 

The AI looks at the quietest periods in your usage to try and find Always on and Refrigeration, since both of these are on all the time, but refrigeration usually works in cycles - sometimes it is cooling and sometimes not. It is based on your specific usage rather than averages so should be relatively accurate.

 

 

The point on the left?

Definitely, even if the point would be better made by saying something like: “It’s best to swap traditional bulbs with LEDs today, now, rather than to wait until the old ones go: the reduced energy consumption more than offsets the cost of the replacement.” Because that statement is true. Isn’t it? You’d say if it wasn’t true, wouldn’t you?

 

 

You’re totally right about the energy saving offsetting the cost of replacing traditional bulbs as well, there’s some more information about the potential cost savings and how these are calculated on this Energy Saving Trust guide.

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I can definitely give some initial thoughts as I managed to get about three weeks of data from Energy Spotlights under OVO Beyond and just about managed to squeeze in one week of Energy Spotlights under OVO Greenlight before Pikachu got MEX’d out in the last week of April and replaced with Raichu. It took several months to get Pikachu (an S1+ Aclara SGM1311) to behave and submit enough proper smart readings/usage data to generate Energy Spotlights reports, so I’ve only got limited data to play with.

However, there’s some sekrit Amazing Magic Trickery being pulled off behind the scenes right now, which may allow Raichu to be fully commissioned and activated via a sort of special hyperspace button process, so I might start getting data flowing in again as early as next week.

But from what I’ve been able to gather so far, the accuracy of Energy Spotlights has improved somewhat since it transfer from being under OVO Beyond to OVO Greenlight. To be fair, it does seem to have made a seriously good attempt at calculating the Fridges and Freezers category in my case and I’m happy to call that one out as accurate.

Even though I’m temporarily limited in my bug hunting for Greenlight, I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for any bugs that I can flag… I’ve got some ideas already…

Oh, and to complement my previous screenshot, here’s the category breakdown from that same week.

You’re welcome. :wink:

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I have some good news.

OVO Greenlight has been reinstated in the OVO Energy apps and is now ready to go again.

To get it working, please make sure to update the app to version 12.2.0 from the App Store/Google Play Store and allow CodePush to Sync so that your CodePush Version gets up to v271 after updating the app via the app stores first! Once you do that, you’ll see OVO Greenlight appear on the app dashboard.

Enjoy!

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Well, it’s been a few weeks now since OVO Greenlight launched and Raichu has been submitting plenty of usage data to allow Greenlight to run the number crunching.

And I do now have some good news actually. It seems that Greenlight has decided that I’m actually not using 25kWh of eco juice a week on just the Fridges and Freezers and Always On and Standby categories after all and has now started to do a more realistic breakdown across a bunch of categories. Which is good to see.

There are one or two minor bugs I’ve spotted which I’ll write up shortly (all low impact, low priority) but overall I’m pretty happy with what I’m seeing now. It might not be perfect, but it’s definitely getting a LOT better than it was a few weeks ago!

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@Blastoise186 @Jess_OVO I’ve been using Greenlight for a couple of weeks since my account was migrated to the new billing system,  there are a few things that are odd:

I can’t get the daily gas usage graph - I get the error message ‘Looks like we couldn’t find some of your usage data’

My only gas appliance that’s used now is the gas hob, but the breakdown shows that most of my gas use is ‘water heating’.  Question 6 do I have a water heater? is misleading. I have but it’s part of the heat pump. Do I say Yes?

The daily usage graph for electricity seems to be one hour out, eg my hot water reheats at 14:00 but the peak on the graph is at 13:00 (poss GMT v BST?)

The Carbon Intensity Forecast is also an hour out, eg this is what’s shown today at 12:00… so it’s Moderate, despite the forecast showing Low from 11:30 ??? Which is it?

 

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Thanks for the heads up on this one! I’ll need a couple of days to try and trigger some of these but I’ll keep you posted. :)

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Great to hear you’ve been checking out OVO Greenlight, @juliamc,

 

Some well spotted inconsistencies there as well. I’m flagged these points up to the team behind this feature to see if we can get some clarification - bear with me as I’ll pop back once I’ve got an update. :slight_smile:

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