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Why have I lost smart half hourly usage data on Daily usage section of online account?



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Welcome to the forums @RichH !

Could you fill out your profile for us please? That will help speed things up for us in the future. :)

I’m more than happy to double check what meters you have. Would you be OK to snap a photo of both your electric meter and gas meter for me? Please make sure you can get the entire meter in and that the text on it is clear. I can then check what you’ve got.

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As for the issues with getting the usage data to show up on the account. I’m afraid there’s not been any official updates on that issue yet, but it’s something I will definitely try to get Tim to chase up when he’s free.

If your In-Home Display (IHD) is working correctly, you might also be able to pull the half-hourly readings from there as well, since it’s connected directly to your meter via the Home Area Network (HAN). But please be aware that your gas meter won’t be pushing updates through as often as your electricity meter, since it needs to conserve the battery for as long as it can.

Userlevel 7
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Howdy @RichH ,

I just wanted to check in with you and see how things are going? Did you still need help with your query?

If you do, please feel free to give us a shout here and we’ll catch up with you as soon as we can.

Thanks

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Still not had any update from the support team. Any updates from anyone on here? 

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Welcome back @SianiAnni .

I’ve not heard anything myself, but this is on my list of threads to ask Tim to chase up as soon as he’s able to. Sorry to have kept you waiting.

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Hi @Blastoise186 

 

Here are a couple of pictures of my meters. I haven’t been home long…

I’ve also put some screenshots of my app … just in case. It looks like something broke on the 20th between 00:30 & 01:00 🙄

 

@Tim_OVO and @Blastoise186 any ideas on how this might get fixed. 
 

I miss my information on my smart-home thermostat graphs!!

 

 

Userlevel 2

If anyone’s interested- this is what I used to get on my thermostat 

 

Userlevel 7
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Gotcha, thanks @RichH !

Let me quickly answer your question too about the meters you have.

It definitely looks like your electricity meter is a Secure Liberty 100 Series meter, which was a SMETS1 meter when first installed. Your gas meter is a Secure Liberty EG4v 10 which will also have been a SMETS1 when first installed.

From my understanding, Secure branded meters are either currently being upgraded to SMETS2 or have already gotten the firmware upgrade by now. I think the August date seems interesting too actually. Because that’s roughly the time when Secure branded meters started to get the SMETS2 upgrade.

I begin to wonder if your gas meters have finished downloading that firmware upgrade correctly yet, or whether the gas meter downloaded the code but somehow corrupted itself while attempting to upgrade. I wouldn’t have thought so though!

But either way, this is useful info so thanks for sharing it. If the Kaluza devs can pull up server logs from around that time, they might get lucky.

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@Blastoise186 

That would ‘fit’ - a shame it seems to be a long-winded exercise to get to the bottom of it because I’m genuinely impressed with it all when it works. 
 

Sorry to harp on about it but I am missing the half hourly readings so much. The graphs showing my heating set temperature, actual temperature and the consumption give a really good flavour how much work the boiler is putting in (and when the bath is run too!) 
 

Thank you again for your helpful responses. It’s been a long time since I’ve joined in on one of these forums and this clearly is a ‘good one’!!

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You’re welcome. I’ve only recently joined this forum, but I’m glad to be of assistance.

And yep, these sorts of issues are just some of the things that the forums are perfect for! Not only does it make it easier to know if someone else has had similar issues, but it also takes the pressure off the support team in some cases.

For example, if it’s something that’s to do with the OVO website, it’s probably more efficient for Tim to flag down someone from that team directly than it is for customer services to try. :)

Attempting to figure out the root causes of these gas meter issues is also a hot topic here too, if you pardon the pun. :relaxed:  It’s definitely something that we’ve been trying to figure out with a few different theories and I can definitely say we’re not short of ideas! If you had any idea how many bugs I’ve recently been flagging up, you’d be amazed… Hehehe

I’m really glad you like the forums though. Tim has said that he’s planning to do some more magic with them soon to help improve the experience. If you have any ideas, suggestions, bug reports or the like, you’re in the right place to report them.

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Hi @SianiAnni and @RichH - just letting you know that your reports of Missing Data errors commencing 19th August came up in discussion between @Tim_OVO and I earlier today.

We’re trying to find a way in which OVO Engineers can undertake a strategy to identify which errors are caused by common sources. Before anything can be fixed, we need to find out which symptoms belong to which error. So your two sites are of interest!

This is very tricky because Customer Services have been applying interim remedies to sites which get identified to them. This fixes that individual site (at least in the short-term), but also loses all the diagnostics and fault patterns which have been carefully reported!

After 9 months of Missing Data faults, we clearly need to try a better strategy, working in partnership with OVO.

Being unable to reliably obtain Smart Meter data threatens to derail further site-based tests of the Flex Platform, so Kaluza also have an obvious interest in this series of faults being identified.

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@Transparent 

thank you for the update - potentially good news for your comment is that I’m not aware of any steps that have been taken since my fault was reported with customer services (unless they have been tried behind the scenes without informing me). 
 

There are SO MANY moving parts so to speak it’s a bit “unreal”. I’d love to know why the communication seems to have broken down between the gas meter and the system (but only the half hourly side). Anything more you or your colleagues/counterparts need please feel free to ask…. I’m slightly confused with who works with which part of the puzzle if I’m honest

 

thanks again. 
 

Rich

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@Tim_OVO & I are also puzzled as to why the half-hourly gas meter data is treated as it is, @RichH.

About six weeks ago we had a theory that the reading for the entire day would only be used by OVO’s new Billing System if the final HH-reading of the day was successfully transferred to the Communications Hub.

However if you look at the histograms I’ve uploaded here on the Topic about Online Gas Usage, then you’ll see that I’ve now had days where the 48th reading of the day was received by OVO, but the day-reading wasn’t shown on the Month-histogram. So that’s one hypothesis we’ve had to abandon.

 

You correctly state that it’s tricky to know who works on which bits of the puzzle. Some of the issues are on-site and could be due to the meter manufacturer or the code which OVO’s engineers add to that base firmware.

At the other end of the scale, the App and the new Billing System (which creates the  data for our online usage graphs) are still in development by software specialists working for Kaluza in London.

We need all parties to agree a common reporting strategy under the direction of a Manager acceptable to them all.

Even then, we also need Customer Services to not fix Missing Data faults independently if they fall into the categories being investigated by that Manager. But CS is a massive department spread across several sites with most of its staff working from home due to Coronavirus restrictions.

The Forum is a crucial part of the required analysis. Here we’ve amassed a rich history of faults which now need checking. It would be great if CS could encourage more customers with a Missing Data fault to report it here. But that’s a big ask!

Userlevel 7

I can’t really add anything new that @Transparent and @Blastoise186 haven’t already outlined. 

 

Just that it’s very valuable to have this info, @RichH and @SianiAnni and we’re grateful for your time getting this added to the thread. 

 

I am meeting with colleagues within the S2 team next week (Tuesday) where I will raise these points, and your accounts specifically. @RichH in your case, I do need you to confirm you’ve completed the Smart Meter Health Check. This check for your SMETS1 Secure Liberty smart meters is here.

 

As well as learning the latest on issues being reported from our customers in general (so not just via this community) next week, I want to try and understand the variables from members here, allowing trends to appear (or not appear). Maybe I could lean on some community-powered problem solvers to confirm the best way to do this. 

 

Maybe a flow chart, which ends at a location which allows pots of members with the same issue to form? 

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I’m adding another Tool which might help us to track down where we have missing data within the Usage graphs in the new Billing System, Orion.

In conversation earlier today, I heard from @MikeE, who is now with Octopus.

One of their engineers told him he could use an App called Bright (from Hildebrand) to view the data from his SMETS2 Smart Meter.

So I got it downloaded onto my Android phone, and it does all that Mike suggests.

It checked my postcode and email address during the registration process. I then followed the onscreen instructions and entered the GUID from my IHD. At that point it displayed the MPAN and MPRN for my electricity and gas meters respectively!

Within a minute my screen was showing today’s live data in half-hour blocks.

An hour and a half later, the Bright App had received all 37440 half-hour readings for my two meters over the last 13-months. :open_mouth:

 

In some ways Bright must be operating in similar fashion to the Carbon-Coop utility which was mentioned here earlier by @SianiAnni but I’m not yet sure if the data is being sucked back from the Data Communications Company (DCC). I rather think it’s being retrieved from the allocated memory locations within my Communications Hub.

So at this point I need to rattle the bars of @Jequinlan@Blastoise186 and @Tim_OVO because you’ll want to know that Bright also purports to have an API for downloading all this data!

 

The first (and only) test I’ve performed with the Bright App today was to check if it displayed the same gas data as is displayed by the Usage histograms from Orion.

It doesn’t !

Bright has data which OVO doesn’t know about :scream:

 

Today is 21st Dec 2020 and here’s the month-graph for my gas usage:

 

But if I select the bar for the last day on which gas usage is shown (18th), and then the forward arrow to move to the day-graph for the 19th, I can actually see gas usage data which has been received by OVO up until something went wrong at 7pm:

 

And here is what Bright retrieved for the same day (19dec20):

 

 

And suddenly I’m seeing a whole load more data which Orion isn’t successfully retrieving from my site.

So what’s going on?

The data is still “there” - wherever “there” is.

And it could still be retrieved if the relevant SMETS_command was sent to my Communications Hub.

Userlevel 5

I just wanted to say that within a few days of joining Octopus Energy they had sorted out my smart meters.

E.ON let me down by lying and saying I had to wait until 2022 for a firmware update so I switched but that's another story.

It is true about the Bright app being able to retrieve up to 13 months of electric and gas energy usage data as that is in the official SMETS2 specs although it can take up to 24 hours.

An Octopus customer service rep told me about it as it tends to work even when Octopus's TMA adaptor plays up (not that it has in my case yet touchwood)

I can access all my energy usage from back in November 2019 not long after I switched to OVO !

Hope everyone is OK on the OVO forum :)

 

p.s. the Bright app is very easy to use and just as well as I am not that technically minded lol

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That’s pretty interesting stuff there…

Personally though, the app permissions it requests seem a little bit excessive for the purpose.

However, it does seem capable of grabbing data from DCC somehow, which makes me wonder whether OVO/Kaluza could do the same trick. I’m not keen to grant any random company I’ve never heard of access, but I would be willing to trust my supplier to pull the data out based on the existing agreements.

This may well be one for Kaluza to work on some more.

Thanks for the insights @MikeE . 

Userlevel 5

That’s pretty interesting stuff there…

Personally though, the app permissions it requests seem a little bit excessive for the purpose.

Thanks for the insights @MikeE . 

Your welcome. 

I don't mind giving out my postcode but that's just me.

I have been visiting the OVO forum on a daily basis and seen your posts.

 

You know your stuff like @Transparent does ! :)

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Thanks :)

Some of the main things I do on the forums (besides answering questions) include hunting down as many bugs as possible across the entire platform, coming up with new ideas and sharing some blog posts and articles of my own. And also keeping an eye out for spammers… They seem to be drawn to this forum like a magnet, but never escape my notice.

In theory, there’s several different ways that OVO/Kaluza could allow you to export all known smart meter data, but I’d still argue that there really needs to be a more standardised process that works everywhere.

The 13 month retention is also present in SMETS1 as well, since my SMETS1 Aclara meter is capable of storing just as much data as any SMETS2 meter, but at least it’s now on the SMETS2 firmware.

Userlevel 5

@Blastoise186 Love your signature. !

I didn't know that spammers target this forum as I have not seen any spam on here.

I also didn't know that both SMETS1 and SMETS2 meters had enough memory for that amount of time - 13 months of half hourly readings for both electricity and gas.

 

That's over 40,000 data entries in total !

 

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Hehehe… When it comes to my signature… That’s a secret...

And yep, spammers absolutely love this forum but I make sure they don’t last long. One of the reasons you don’t see much spam is that some of us are very quick with the banhammer! I don’t have the ability to delete posts or ban users myself, but Tim trusts my judgement and he will kick them out on sight.

As for the thread itself… There’s an eventual limit as to how much can be stored, but the brochure for the Aclara SGM1300 Series gives you some idea as to what a SMETS1 meter is capable of. Ideally, you’d have a way to export all the data you need before the storage gets full, but at least there’s the ability to queue up pending submissions if the WAN signal dies for a few days. The meter should be able to simply keep track of usage in the meantime and bulk-submit everything later.

The idea that Bright does is an interesting concept, but I’d like to have that ability more natively for convenience. It’s a better user experience if I don’t have to download a separate app just for one task!

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@Blastoise186wrote:

it does seem capable of grabbing data from DCC somehow, which makes me wonder whether OVO/Kaluza could do the same trick

I’m not yet able to conclude that this is what’s happening.

As the link made by the Bright App is to my IHD, I think it more likely that it’s picking up data from the Communications Hub. But I can’t yet prove this either way.

The crucial news at the moment is that it strongly suggests the majority of the “missing data” issues being reported here on the Forum are due to errors being made by the new Billing System (Orion) or Utilita’s uSmart software. uSmart provides OVO with the Business Orchestration Layer (BOL) to interface to the Data Communications Company (DCC). This isn’t handled directly by Orion.

These errors may not be bugs in the code. They could just as easily be poorly formatted SMETS_commands.

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The crucial news at the moment is that it strongly suggests the majority of the “missing data” issues being reported here on the Forum are due to errors being made by the new Billing System (Orion) or Utilita’s uSmart software. uSmart provides OVO with the Business Orchestration Layer (BOL) to interface to the Data Communications Company (DCC). This isn’t handled directly by Orion.

These errors may not be bugs in the code. They could just as easily be poorly formatted SMETS_commands.

 

Yep this is the same key take away for me, from this fascinating back and forth. Thank you so much for sharing this news, @Transparent, good to hear from you again @MikeE and it's great to hear things have gone well since the move to Octopus. They really do seem to be nailing it atm. Good on them, It’s healthy to see we have competition in this industry for great service and products. Bring it on! BTW yes @Blastoise186 is an absolute titan and we’re lucky to have the likes of them and @Transparent sharing info and news like this Bright app. Speaking of which:

 

@Transparent just before I make our Orion usage developers aware of this topic thread’s latest comments, can you confirm this is your gas usage? Are you able to do a similar comparison for missing elec data? We are aware of a gas usage data issue on our new billing platform. 

 

This is so handy, as we work to improve (very slowly but surely) our issue reporting for smart meters and IHDs, it’s so good to have this Bright app as a comparison to go on. As you mention, we will know where to focus on if the online account isn’t showing data but the Bright app is. We can rule out the smart meter and IHD health checks that we’ve in the process of improving. 

 

This is one step closer to lifting the fog of mystery that surrounds these multiple usage issues…… that fog seems to have come over to Somerset today :fog:

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Yes @Tim_OVO, everything I’ve reported above was from my gas usage.

Sure, I’ll have a look at electricity. As we’ve now narrowed down where is the point that data goes missing, we should expect to see similar problems in electricity.

However I must also try to explain the difference between the readings within the SMETS2 Gas Meter itself, and those held in the “proxy gas meter”, which is a virtual component of the Communications Hub. That probably requires another diagram.

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OK… So just to confirm that I have no days with electricity meter “missing data” on the Online Usage pages. So I haven’t been able to see any difference between Bright and what OVO is retrieving from my Comms Hub.

I will try to find time to drill down and see if my Online Usage graphs have missing data for electricity at the HH-level. But that’s a great deal of data to look through and it will take a considerable time to check.

I simply don’t understand why OVO’s new Billing System isn’t picking up SMETS Notifications that show an “alert” when there’s data not being retrieved.

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