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Top tips and tricks with OVO Greenlight

Top tips and tricks with OVO Greenlight
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You may have heard recently that OVO Greenlight launched. But if you’re unsure what it’s about or how to use it, here’s some of my own top tips and tricks! :slight_smile:

Seven seems to be a really popular number recently, so I’ve got eight tips instead. :sunglasses:

 

It’s free to all OVO Members

 

OVO Greenlight is not only free, but it also makes some of the previously paid features free too. Features previously known as ‘Energy Spotlights’ and the ‘Carbon Tracker’ no longer require you to have OVO Beyond. But if you were using them via OVO Beyond, everything has been migrated over.

 

You can find tips and advice

 

As well as insights into your energy usage, OVO Greenlight is also designed to offer tips and advice that can help to reduce your usage and save you a little bit of cash. You won’t see all the tips all of the time, so check back every so often for more!

 

A smart meter isn’t required

 

To make full use of Greenlight, a working smart meter in Half-Hourly mode is needed. However, even without one you can still use Greenlight - it just won’t be quite as powerful. You can still get tips and advice along with seeing the Carbon Tracker regardless of your meter. :)

 

OVO Greenlight takes time to learn

 

To get more accurate data from OVO Greenlight, it helps to fill out your home profile and allow a month’s worth of half-hourly mode smart meter data to be submitted. OVO Greenlight might still provide data in the meantime, but it won’t be as accurate at first. Hang in there for a while and it should improve!

 

You can find OVO Greenlight in the OVO Energy apps too!

 

Yup! It was initially released on Earth Day to the apps as well, but had to be turned off temporarily at the time, possibly because I broke it. Sorry! But it’s now back and better than before! If you don’t see it yet, I have some solutions that might help.

 

The monthly emails are optional

 

Only smart meter members who’ve opted in to communications from OVO will get a monthly OVO Greenlight email.  While some members such as myself find the email newsletters useful, not everyone does. If you’d rather not get them though, that’s totally cool with OVO. You can always opt-in or opt-out at anytime.

 

OVO Greenlight data updates every 24 hours

 

Smart meters in Half-Hourly mode submit your readings and usage data overnight on a daily basis, usually sometime around midnight and 2am. It also takes a few minutes for the number crunching to go through. If you’re looking for today’s data, it will be available tomorrow morning by the time you wake up. Any changes you make to your Home Profile today will also be reflected from tomorrow onwards.

 

You can share your experiences here on the forum

 

As a brand new feature, OVO Greenlight is still a little bit experimental and not always perfect. But that doesn’t mean it won’t get better over time. If you spot anything that doesn’t look right, have any ideas for improvements or come across any bugs, feel free to let us know right here on the forum! There’s a few magic tricks that might happen from here as a result…

 

Newly installed smart meters won’t show in OVO Greenlight straight away!

 

Ok, this is technically a ninth tip, but it’s an important one. If you’ve only recently had a smart meter installed, it won’t usually be ready to submit Smart Readings until around six weeks after the install and it won’t be in Half-Hourly mode unless you specifically request it. OVO’s Support Team can change the settings on request though. But if your smart meter is brand new, please hang in there for a bit before reporting any usage data issues. :)


35 replies

Userlevel 7

Great post, @Blastoise186 - here’s a 60 second video we made about OVO Greenlight

 

 

Userlevel 7

It’s nearly been 4 month’s since OVO launched OVO Greenlight to all members. I’m keen to hear from our community members about how they’ve found it. 

 

Today it’s a blustery day in Bristol where I am. I’d imagine wind turbines in the South West are generating lots of energy. The Carbon Intensity indicator is recommending:

 

 

Have you used this Carbon Intensity feature or any of the others on Greenlight to help you make decisions regarding your energy use? 

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I would quite like to see some actual figures for gas and electric on this graph in the future on greenlight, both co2 and kwh. 

 

 

Userlevel 7

I would quite like to see some actual figures for gas and electric on this graph in the future on greenlight, both co2 and kwh. 

 

Good feedback, @Jeffus - we’ll pass this on to the carbon insights team. I’ve found this online tool (seems like a good site overall), that allows the conversion of kg CO2e into kWh. Using this, I’ve got a figure of 13296.732 kWh. Interesting, how does that sound as a ball park? *I’ve made a mistake there, with this one. This is carbon dioxide rather then just carbon! this has got me thinking now, @Jeffus. Whilst I’m not sure on how this carbon estimate is produced, it’s likely using some kind of usage figure, in kWh. So is there much value in visualizing the carbon, converted back into kWh? 

 

@juliamc @Simon1D I can see you called out the carbon intensity forecast as showing lots of days of ‘Moderate’ carbon intensity when this was first launched, over on this thread. Has your Greenlight shown any days of low carbon intensity recently like mine has?  

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The 3.1 tonnes i assume may be my estimated total for the year when i signed up so will have to wait and see what a year really is.

Showing carbon and kwh consistently at the same time throughout greenlight would be good. Here we just see Kwh. 

Carbon can be somewhat controversial due to offsetting so I personally think it's good to be able to see both carbon and kwh. I don't know how the graph is handling offsetting. Perhaps it should ignore offsetting to give a harder message? Ovo uses more gas in its electric energy mix than the national average, but also more renewables so it is a mixed picture like all suppliers. I never know how renewables is split with ovo, e.g. the percentage of energy from biomass etc if any vs wind/solar. 

Do people with 100% electric see zero carbon? 

 

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Yes, low carbon until 6pm today. @Tim_OVO does the forecast vary across the country? 

It really is unnecessary to have to scroll so far down the window to get to see the carbon intensity. Currently I have to go past: 2 window’s full on the Home page + 5 window’s full on the Greenlight page + 2 on the carbon forecast page. Then only 4 hours at a time are visible as they’re displayed left to right. Please ask the app developer to reduce the amount of wasted space and logos en route to the actual information, and see if the hours could be displayed vertically on the screen.

Another section of Greenlight really needs attention, I’m told 89% of my gas use is for water heating, whereas it’s actually 100% for cooking as I use electricity for heating the water (Air Source Heat Pump). The home profile has a meaningless question Do you have a Water Heater? Well, yes I do (I pity anyone who doesn’t) but whatever I answer I still get this incorrect result !!! I have sent ‘Feedback’ but nothing’s changed.

You did ask !!!

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In Greenlight, does "Your energy’s yearly carbon footprint" figure change if you use a higher proportion of your energy when the carbon intensity of the grid is low?

Am not sure how dynamic the carbon figure is. 

Userlevel 7

Good insight into your Greenlight experience, carbon catchers: keep it coming!

 

Yes, low carbon until 6pm today. @Tim_OVO does the forecast vary across the country? 

 

 

Good question this, @juliamc - currently the carbon intensity only gets the national intensity, meaning it doesn't vary from region to region. But I’m told this is something we will look into in the future. 

 

It really is unnecessary to have to scroll so far down the window to get to see the carbon intensity. Currently I have to go past: 2 window’s full on the Home page + 5 window’s full on the Greenlight page + 2 on the carbon forecast page. Then only 4 hours at a time are visible as they’re displayed left to right. Please ask the app developer to reduce the amount of wasted space and logos en route to the actual information, and see if the hours could be displayed vertically on the screen.

 

 

The Carbon Insights, team have confirmed they’re aware of the issue for the excessive scrolling for carbon intensity and are currently thinking about idea's to reduce this.

 

The home profile has a meaningless question Do you have a Water Heater? Well, yes I do (I pity anyone who doesn’t) but whatever I answer I still get this incorrect result !!! I have sent ‘Feedback’ but nothing’s changed.

 

Well spotted, @juliamc - I’m told that this has actually been changed already in the web version (not yet the app, that’s incoming) of the online account, to specify that it’s referencing an electricity water heater. 

 

I don't know how the graph is handling offsetting. Perhaps it should ignore offsetting to give a harder message? Ovo uses more gas in its electric energy mix than the national average, but also more renewables so it is a mixed picture like all suppliers. I never know how renewables is split with ovo, e.g. the percentage of energy from biomass etc if any vs wind/solar. 

 

 

Do people with 100% electric see zero carbon? 

 

Don’t forget, @Jeffus, OVO provides 100% renewable electricity for all their members, but we do show a small carbon footprint for electricity in OVO Greenlight to reflect the carbon cost of things like building wind turbines or solar panels

 

For the web version (not yet the app) the carbon produced figures will factor in gas offsetting for OVO Beyond members.

 

It’s pretty complicated all of this, when you get down into the detail. The Carbon Insights team, Kaluza in general, all of OVO: we’re doing our best to make these things as simple as possible, and to bring people along on their own zero carbon living journey. OVO Greenlight is there for everyone to see the impact they could have, starting at home. I can’t wait to see this evolve over time!

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OVO Greenlight has definitely improved over the last few months - especially considering my account is one of those weird edge cases which managed to completely throw OVO Greenlight right off the trail for a while. I would say that it’s now getting a much more realistic picture of my energy usage that is definitely a lot more accurate than before. Mind you, having Raichu has probably helped with that! XD

The Carbon Tracker seems to be a little confused in my case though, but to be fair I don’t use much eco juice anyway and so I can’t blame it there. I’ll definitely think about the Carbon Intensity tracker before I comment there. :)

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I'd looked at Greenlight before but felt that the suggestions didn't apply. It showed we used far less energy overall than similar households. I'm back because @Jess_OVO has suggested I comment.

It seems that we now use more electricity than "similar households"  which is a bit surprising but probably because we both use laptops and Internet with powerline networking to an always on standby youview box. There's not a lot of scope for improvement. 

We'll improve a tiny bit when we change our fridge/freezer. Greenlight thinks we use around 6kWh per week implying about 300kWh pa. A new A++ rated fridge freezer (best I've found) would use 250kWh pa by manufacturer's estimate. That's 1kWh per week, or 15p. Beyond that, it's hard to see anything else. 

Smart sockets that monitored usage of the device connected might show if that was the case, but with an annual electrical bill at £350 of which only £264 was usage, it does not seem worth spending a lot on. Years ago I tried a device that wrapped a sensor round the cable but it didn't really work. 

Could OVO compare my categorised usage to the averages?  

If the average total electricity for 2 people in a 4 bed house with gas central heating is around 17kWh pw, that's only 850kWh pa which is well under £150 of electrical USAGE cost before standing charge. There's little incentive to reduce that. 

Greenlight's advice that my (all LED) lights are using around 3kW per week is probably wrong as they're hardly on at present. 

 

 

Here's an amazing fact. 

We use 100% less gas, but not zero! That's a mistaken calculation and a bug. 

It is summer and Greenlight is suggesting that we turn the heating down! Perhaps some customers are cold blooded? None of the suggestions apply. 

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@EverythingNeedsAUserName be a bit careful with the energy efficient ratings

A++ is the old rating system so it is an older model potentially

The new rating is A  to G

https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/efficiency-ratings-1765-commercial.html

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@EverythingNeedsAUserName those similar ovo home figures for electricity look a bit strange.

These are the averages that ovo have written amount from BEIS and ofgem

https://www.ovoenergy.com/guides/energy-guides/how-much-electricity-does-a-home-use

The figure looks very low. 

Also there are only two of us and the similar ovo home figures for electricity are completely different in the screen shot I posted. 

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Also there are only two of us and the similar ovo home figures for electricity are completely different in the screen shot I posted. 

Are your two homes similar to each other though ? @Jeffus @EverythingNeedsAUserName ?

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@EverythingNeedsAUserName be a bit careful with the energy efficient ratings

A++ is the old rating system so it is an older model potentially

The new rating is A  to G

https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/efficiency-ratings-1765-commercial.html

 

How do they expect people to cope? I was getting my information from the Curry's Web site and product information. Their filter only allows the old system with the +, and has no suggestion of A to G. 

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Currys is a terrible retailer for ripping you off and deliberately pulling the rug from under your feet like this. Clearly, they haven’t bothered to actually update their systems properly yet with the new ratings. If it were me, I’d have done it ages ago to be ready.

I also checked to see if there’s any obvious signs of the new system existing, but there aren’t any. It seems they just haven’t done it even in the page source yet.

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Also there are only two of us and the similar ovo home figures for electricity are completely different in the screen shot I posted. 

Are your two homes similar to each other though ? @Jeffus @EverythingNeedsAUserName ?

 

Now there's a question. 

 

1988 4 bedroomed detached house. Radiators with TRVs, small bore upstairs. Condensing boiler new 2006. UPVC double glazing 1995. cavity wall insulation 2021. 2 smallest bedrooms used as home offices. 

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One way to check is to look at the rating on the manufacturers website for a particular model of appliance and see what they say. 

For example MIELE KFN37432iD says A++ on the currys website which is the old rating but F on the manufacturers website which is the new rating. 

SAMSUNG BRB26705DWW is rated D on the currys website based on the new rating. This is estimated to use 185kw so less than the A++ rated MIELE. 

The new ratings don't use the + symbol. 

Userlevel 7
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One way to check is to look at the rating on the manufacturers website for a particular model of appliance and see what they say. 

For example MIELE KFN37432iD says A++ on the currys website which is the old rating but F on the manufacturers website which is the new rating. 

SAMSUNG BRB26705DWW is rated D on the currys website based on the new rating. This is estimated to use 185kw so less than the A++ rated MIELE. 

The new ratings don't use the + symbol. 

:rofl:

That’s hilarious, especially how a former A++ can plummet down to F just like that.

Userlevel 6
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One way to check is to look at the rating on the manufacturers website for a particular model of appliance and see what they say. 

For example MIELE KFN37432iD says A++ on the currys website which is the old rating but F on the manufacturers website which is the new rating. 

SAMSUNG BRB26705DWW is rated D on the currys website based on the new rating. This is estimated to use 185kw so less than the A++ rated MIELE. 

The new ratings don't use the + symbol. 

:rofl:

That’s hilarious, especially how a former A++ can plummet down to F just like that.

Basically because the old ratings were so behind the times they were pointless and actually miss leading. Energy efficiency had completely overtaken the rating system hence the need to add the + in the old system many years ago. 

The new rating system is meant to act as an incentive to manufactures as it is a lot harder to get a high rating and gives them something to aim for going forward. 

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Yeah - and in fact this is a very good example of why you shouldn’t just implicitly trust what the retailer says. The manufacturer is required to be honest about these things, so I always prefer to cross-reference with them to be sure.

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Also there are only two of us and the similar ovo home figures for electricity are completely different in the screen shot I posted. 

Are your two homes similar to each other though ? @Jeffus @EverythingNeedsAUserName ?

Now there's a question. 

1988 4 bedroomed detached house. Radiators with TRVs, small bore upstairs. Condensing boiler new 2006. UPVC double glazing 1995. cavity wall insulation 2021. 2 smallest bedrooms used as home offices. 

 

Our homes are very different. Ours is over 100 years old in a conservation area. We use a lot more energy in winter than summer, especially during lockdown. My partner has only been into London to work 4 times since April 2020... She use to go in 4 to 5 days a week. 

Our electric usage in summer looks similar which is what i would expect but the comparison with the average is what i noticed. An average ovo 4 bed home only using 16kw of electricity sounded low, but perhaps that is correct. 

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Currys is a terrible retailer for ripping you off and deliberately pulling the rug from under your feet like this. Clearly, they haven’t bothered to actually update their systems properly yet with the new ratings. If it were me, I’d have done it ages ago to be ready.

I also checked to see if there’s any obvious signs of the new system existing, but there aren’t any. It seems they just haven’t done it even in the page source yet.

Agreed. I only looked quickly for an up-to-date figure.  I should have known better. 

I've had to send them corrections to the specifications when they've had it blatantly wrong. In-store I've had to explain to them that their shelf-front labels were absolute rubbish - completely wrong camera classifications between SLR, Bridge and Compact. And they have been known to sell a very slightly different model number so that it cannot be price matched. 

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The home profile has a meaningless question Do you have a Water Heater? Well, yes I do (I pity anyone who doesn’t) but whatever I answer I still get this incorrect result !!! I have sent ‘Feedback’ but nothing’s changed.

 

Well spotted, @juliamc - I’m told that this has actually been changed already in the web version (not yet the app, that’s incoming) of the online account, to specify that it’s referencing an electricity water heater. 

Sorry to say @Tim_OVO but Greenlight hasn’t changed for me ! I answered Yes to Electric water heater and still have all my (very small) gas usage logged as Water Heating.

The only week that my gas usage is all Cooking (which is all it ever is) was the week I was on holiday and used no gas at all. Unfortunately the Usage graph tells me I used 2 days worth while I was still away !!

It’s a bit of a first world problem, but if it’s going to tell me something it ought to be correct !

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Yeah - and in fact this is a very good example of why you shouldn’t just implicitly trust what the retailer says. The manufacturer is required to be honest about these things, so I always prefer to cross-reference with them to be sure.

Agreed. My wife gets frustrated at the spreadsheets I create before any purchase, trying to get comparable data off each manufacturer's Web site. 

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Also there are only two of us and the similar ovo home figures for electricity are completely different in the screen shot I posted. 

Are your two homes similar to each other though ? @Jeffus @EverythingNeedsAUserName ?

Now there's a question. 

1988 4 bedroomed detached house. Radiators with TRVs, small bore upstairs. Condensing boiler new 2006. UPVC double glazing 1995. cavity wall insulation 2021. 2 smallest bedrooms used as home offices. 

Our homes are very different. Ours is over 100 years old in a conservation area. We use a lot more energy in winter than summer, especially during lockdown. My partner has only been into London to work 4 times since April 2020... She use to go in 4 to 5 days a week. 

Our electric usage in summer looks similar which is what i would expect but the comparison with the average is what i noticed. An average ovo 4 bed home only using 16kw of electricity sounded low, but perhaps that is correct. 

 

Very different. I forgot the Solar PV which reduces our summer use. We are both retired since March 2020, and both use phone, tablet and computer very regularly. Our electricity usage hasn't changed significantly; if anything it has been lower this year! 

 

I was amazed at the low "average" electricity usage. Perhaps many are like my neighbour who has a TV and radio as her only technology, and a clothes washing machine but no dishwasher. 

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