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Smart Meter- Increased electricity use this winter?

  • 13 March 2023
  • 26 replies
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I just got an email from Ovo which has suddenly landed me with a massive increase on my electricity usage.

I have gone from averaging 14kWh per day from Dec 21 to Oct 22 to 44kwh since then. In early Jan it was 73kwh per day!

I have gas heating and water - there is literally no reason why I could suddenly be using 3 + times more electricity. 

Any suggestions? Am not sure why I have only just had my bill adjusted either as the meter readings have been sent automatically each month.

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Best answer by Tim_OVO 14 March 2023, 13:06

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Have you checked on your account that actual meter readings are being used @perniente ?

They could be estimated 

Hi

yes they are the actual readings. i just took a new manual one and the usage in the last 10 days since the last Smart meter reading is still as high.

bit off that my bill has only been adjusted now to alert me to the fact that this has been going on since October. several hundred pounds later.

of more concern is that the meter is still ticking round

@BPLightlog i know i need to go through the recommended tests and check each circuit and appliance. anything else i should do? its just such a jump and so much money to be waiting around to figure it out.

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@BPLightlog i know i need to go through the recommended tests and check each circuit and appliance. anything else i should do? its just such a jump and so much money to be waiting around to figure it out.

The main point is if the kWh is actual or estimated. 
You could also check your readings more regularly to see if (or what) is using more power. For that sort of increase, if it’s actual it would be something significant like an immersion heater, electric heater or oven

@BPLightlog if its read off the meter (Liberty 100) then is it actual?

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@BPLightlog if its read off the meter (Liberty 100) then is it actual?

Yes, at that point in time but the readings on your account may be estimated 

@BPLightlog then the readings are actual and the usage according to the meter since october has more than trebled

i dont use the immersion and havent added anything of significance since October that would even come close to explaining the increase. we have had the oven for 18 months and it has gas rings. we rarely use the electric oven. we dont have electric heating.

i’m baffled/ worried

@BPLightlog 

Date    Reading    Av Daily KwH
13/03/2023    28151     44 
28-Feb-23    27576.95     43 
31-Jan-23    26385     73 
10-Jan-23    24845     41 
30-Nov-22    23183.35     36 
31-Oct-22    22115.45     20 
11-Oct-22    21711     14 
30-Sep-22    21559.85     12 
31-Aug-22    21205.15     9 
31-Jul-22    20925.15     9 
30-Jun-22    20635.6     11 
31-May-22    20311.95     13 
30-Apr-22    19919.05     13 
31-Mar-22    19525.3     15 
28-Feb-22    19048.65     14 
31-Jan-22    18665.95     22 
31-Dec-21    17971.1     20 
30-Nov-21    17365.6     18 
31-Oct-21    16829.5     12 
30-Sep-21    16470.65     10 
31-Aug-21    16174.25     9 
31-Jul-21    15889.95     9 
30-Jun-21    15606.7     10 
31-May-21    15294.2     13 
30-Apr-21    14902     15 
31-Mar-21    14444.55     15 
28-Feb-21    13990.25     16 
31-Jan-21    13534.45     19 

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If there’s no significant additional appliance use @perniente then theres the meter tests (check for readings with everything switched off for a while).

Also, not sure about your situation. Are there any other meters nearby? Could there be a meter mixup?

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@perniente Ask OVO to change your meter reading frequency to every 30min.

 

@BPLightlog  am testing with each circuit breaker off for 2 hours and checking readings. no meters nearby. 

I'm having a similar issue. Submitted a meter reading which had a similar usage to last month and noticed yesterday all my usage stats for the past year have dramatically increased. For example my usage for gas in December was £110 but now they say is used £1108! Same now for the last two months.

I almost fell to the ground….luckily I've have screen grabs going back the last few months (we were transferred from SSE last spring), but I can't understand why everything has all of a sudden exploded…..

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Updated on 22/11/23 by Abby_OVO

There’s some good advice in this thread, @JayJay:

 

  • Check that your online account has actual meter readings for the charges over both periods that you’re comparing
  • Consider changes in your household usage / weather during the times compared
  • Consider a creep test to see if your meter is clocking usage when nothing is drawing power
  • Consider a meter accuracy test as a last resort. We have a guide on this here:

 

Hi Tim

 

Thanks for the reply.  Just spoke with customer service and the app is displaying kwh and not pounds!

Phew!

@BPLightlog @Tim_OVO i have taken readings all day and tried turning off various things. I turned the hot water tap back on and the use when through the roof  - it basically cost £1 to heat up which seems very high. there was a period this morning where the usage was also very high for several hours with nothing of note being used. i cant be sure but it feels like the meter is clocking fast. otherwise i cant explain why our usage has trebled. even the base level of usage is way higher than pre october. this is the graph showing our usage based on the readings (which are actual not estimates)

 

 

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@BPLightlog @Tim_OVO i have taken readings all day and tried turning off various things. I turned the hot water tap back on and the use when through the roof  - it basically cost £1 to heat up which seems very high. there was a period this morning where the usage was also very high for several hours with nothing of note being used. i cant be sure but it feels like the meter is clocking fast. otherwise i cant explain why our usage has trebled. even the base level of usage is way higher than pre october. this is the graph showing our usage based on the readings (which are actual not estimates)

 

 

Interesting graph. Certainly an upward trend and no sign of leveling off. I don't think we have seen something like that on the forum before. Also surprisingly smooth. That is a big jump from the start to the end of the graph. Quite surprising there is no seasonal trend, not even a slight one. 

I would recommend you get your smart meter setup for 30min readings. It will be a lot easier to see what is happening then, for example spikes or a steady underlying usage every 30min night and day over several weeks. You would have a lot more points on your graph then

We have seen issues with those tap heaters from other users. 

Other things have been pumps for central heating, electric showers, immersion heating, air recirculation systems etc.

Looks like getting the meter checked out is certainly worth considering 

 

@Jeffus thanks i will. Ovo suggested a creep test was needed before they would do a MAT test but I did that and the meter isnt running when everything is shut off. Its more likely something is drawing a lot of power or the meter is clocking fast. I did try switching various things off and checking the meter over 30mins intervals and i cant be sure but it seems anything significant (washing machine, hot tap) sends the meter running crazy. And none of these appliances are additional to our house since October. Hence why I feel like it’s the meter clocking fast. 

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That’s where the 30 min readings help @perniente as you can see where the high points are and check what was on at that time

@BPLightlog yeah i asked Ovo but the meter connection is intermittent and they said they cant switch it to 30mins or they couldnt at least when i was chatting with them. i had to to a Smart health check

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@BPLightlog yeah i asked Ovo but the meter connection is intermittent and they said they cant switch it to 30mins or they couldnt at least when i was chatting with them. i had to to a Smart health check

That is annoying. I would ask them to set it and see how many meter readings they capture. I think it is set to 1  a month which is terrible.... I can't see why they won't but perhaps they have a reason 

The Bright app is perhaps worth a look to see what frequency of readings they pickup if you haven't already tried. 

https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/bright/id1369989022

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.co.hildebrand.brightionic

They are authorised and regulated by the Energy Regulator OFGEM like a few others. In some ways it is more useful than the apps from many suppliers.

We have seen instances where they pick up 30min readings when for some strange reason ovo don't.

You could buy one of these and get very accurate data on the Bright app. You just need to check if you need the SMETS1 or SMETS2 version 

https://shop.glowmarkt.com/products/display-and-cad-combined-for-smart-meter-customers?variant=31079504248910

@BPLightlog is very knowledgeable in the Bright app and the glowmarkt device. 

@Jeffus thanks i’ll download that and also ask them again about the 30min setting

We moved in 2 years ago and dont have an IHD and they have told us none are available for the meter we have. which isnt much help

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@Jeffus thanks i’ll download that and also ask them again about the 30min setting

We moved in 2 years ago and dont have an IHD and they have told us none are available for the meter we have. which isnt much help

The glowmarkt one is probably worth investing in given your issues to get near real time data. Just need to make sure it is the right one for your meter. 

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See what this check shows

https://smartmetercheck.citizensadvice.org.uk/

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@Jeffus thanks i’ll download that and also ask them again about the 30min setting

We moved in 2 years ago and dont have an IHD and they have told us none are available for the meter we have. which isnt much help

The glowmarkt one is probably worth investing in given your issues to get near real time data. Just need to make sure it is the right one for your meter. 

Actually if you get the Bright app, they can match to your meters and match their IHD accordingly. Mine came pre-programmed so it was just a matter of plugging in and getting my Wi-Fi enabled for it

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