Online account daily usage feature change - share your feedback and a picture!

  • 24 September 2020
  • 67 replies
  • 910 views

Userlevel 7

This topic is about your Online account usage section. If you have questions about this online account, we have a whole forum area dedicated to it!

 

We want you to share your thoughts and feedback with us, as we tweak and improve this feature.

 

The latest daily usage chart (changed as of the 23rd September 2020) looks like this:

 

 

What do you think of the removal of the line graph comparison? 

 

Share your pic, feedback, report any bugs whilst you’re at it!

 

Please see this topic if you have usage graph issues with a smart meter: a summary of a common issue is that smart meter half hourly meter readings when missed (due to communication drop outs with your smart meter) can cause the chart to look different. The usage data is sent to us x number of hours or days later, and the usage for that period is averaged out. 

 

See this topic if you have consistent communication issues with your SMETS2 Aclara or Honeywell smart meter. See this topic if you have communication issues with your Secure smart meter. 


67 replies

Userlevel 1

@Tim_OVO  thanks for the effort you are putting into this.

Bug: Half hourly gas readings have not been available on the web portal since 20th August, so nearly 6 weeks now.  As an aside my half hourly electricity data wasn’t available for Sunday 27th September, but full day usage was.  It is available for 28th so one day only.  A glitch perhaps, but with so many people having no data available issues it shows the unreliability of the smart meter technology (I include any server software used by OVO in this).

Annoyance: Why does the half hourly show the kWh usage readings to 3 decimal places but full day usage to only 2  places, particularly as the data is stored to at least 3 places.  The answer will probably be along the lines of, “We use the same table fomat as the cost which of course is only to 2 places, so it is truncated at the second decimal.” 

Request: I’ve made this before via the feed back, but can the half hourly usage data be made available in a simple csv or tab separated ASCII format for download or an export option be included on the partcular page on the portal?

 

Thanks

Userlevel 7
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@Tim_OVO- as you’re not a programmer, can I point out that a crucial part of how such data might be exported in a CSV file is to decide what to do when a piece of data is

  • missing
  • estimated
  • interpolated

You obviously can’t just report zero for missing data because that is itself a valid entry.

It is sometimes the case that programmers insert -1  but negatives may need to be reserved for use when corrections are required to previous over-estimates.

Even that is tricky because it assumes that OVO will always report electricity Exports separately rather than a negative number.

There is no absolutely correct answer, and it needs discussion (here) rather than just being imposed on us by a staff member on a Friday afternoon!

Userlevel 6
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@Transparent not to mention null is not equal to empty and not equal to 0.

Userlevel 7
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Just to clarify:- the (massive) screenshots that @Jequinlan has just posted from the App are the opposite of what I’m reporting.

John can see the day-total, even when there are no HH readings to be displayed on the graph.

That is correct.

Userlevel 7

 

2 - Will customers with 2 elec or gas meters be able to see multiple usage sections when on the new online account? Will this apply if they have 1 smart and 1 traditional smart meter Status: question asked

 

2 - Still pending @TomThumb 

 

 

@TomThumb as I’m a dutiful, dedicated and hard working individual, I’m still working on getting an answer to this. 

 

But our devs are asking questions of your set up. Do you have two separate gas supplies? Each with their own MPRN?

Userlevel 4

 

@TomThumb and @Transparent as you’re on different billing platforms it might complicate things to try and find the same diagnosis. 

 

To apply a different thought process,

Given that 2 different billing platforms are involved, yet the displayed data is surprisingly similar, 
It is therefore plausible that any issues with missing data & is not purely down to the new billing system.

 

Tom...

 

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@Tim_OVO  as a new OvO customer lot of averaging in my usage history.

The actuals started appearing from 10th September when energy switch was on 28th June, so it took over 2.5 months for the data to be sent from SMETS to my online account.

This is from an android device.

 

Userlevel 6
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Question 1: why allow a half hourly gas button on graph if there is no data to display.

Userlevel 4

@Tim_OVO  Not quite on topic but relevant.

In the current state of play, I have 1 usage graph for gas, but I have 2 gas meters. (1 smart, 1 dumb) & I am also still on the old billing system.

If or when my account gets migrated over to the new system, will the usage section incorporate a separate view of my 2 gas meters, a basic month to month history for the dumb meter along with all the smart meter data?

Because currently I have no usage data relating to my 2nd gas supply, 


Tom...

 

Userlevel 7
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OK. So I’m spotting a number of erroneous “features” in the Usage reporting this month, particularly on Gas. Here’s my Sept histogram:

 

1: The daily total was not collected on 11 days (incl last night, 28th), resulting in the usage being evenly apportioned across those days (red lined).

2: The days when I appear to have been exporting to the National Gas Network immediately follow periods where there is missing data. This may just be a coincidence.

3: A day reported as a net gas export does still contain HH data:

 

4: A day for which the Daily Total has not been collected does still contain HH data:

 

5:   In the light of increased costs, I will be raising the price per kWh of my gas export contribution your Carbon Zero target. :wink:

Userlevel 7
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I don’t like the current method of displaying a comparison with a previous month/year.

The use of horizontal bars doesn’t provide an intuitive measure of the usage, which is actually the area beneath the “curve”.

I would prefer the current reading to remain static (shown as a histogram) and the previous reading being compared with to appear as a lighter solid area behind it, thus:

comparing gas usage in May (histogram) against April, in the background

 

Userlevel 6
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@Tim_OVO the api program i am working on with a friend will deliver exactly this!

Userlevel 7

Questions (working progress):

 

1 - How can I tell why I can’t see any half hourly gas usage data on my online account usage section? Will it always be due to smart comm drop outs? Status: Known issue

 

1 - This has been raised as an issue for several accounts which have gas meters fully in communication with half hourly readings, and was raised earlier in the year. As of yesterday it was diagnosed as a data issue ‘upstream’ of the usage display. A fix is being worked on. 

 

2 - Will customers with 2 elec or gas meters be able to see multiple usage sections when on the new online account? Will this apply if they have 1 smart and 1 traditional smart meter Status: question asked

 

 

2 - Still pending @TomThumb 

 

3 - Why do I see identical daily gas usage amounts (indicating missing usage data being averaged out) when I can see half hourly usage data for those days? Same issue for days incorrectly showing negative usage, these days have intra-day usage available?  Status: solved

 

 

3 - I’ve confirmed that there might be scenarios where the daily readings do not make it onto the usage section, despite HH readings being available for that day. Although they’ve not seen an example of this yet, they’ve seen the opposite, with HH data missing but the daily reading being sent. 

 

However they advise that they would need to look at this on an individual basis to make sure. Can you raise this with the web chat team here?

 

4 - Why does the half hourly show the kWh usage readings to 3 decimal places but daily usage to only 2  places? Status: solved

 

 

4 - More granularity is provided at a HHly level as the energy use is much smaller than at a daily or monthly level. The feedback is that most customers aren't interested in this level of detail when looking at their usage data across days or months.

 

5 - Can the half hourly usage data be made available in a simple csv or tab separated ASCII format for download or an export option be included on the particular page on the portal? Status: solved

 

5 - We have this feature (downloads of usage data) planned and in our ‘road map’, but working on other feature improvements first. In the meantime there is a customer-led initiative to allow this. See this topic for more info! 

 

6 - Why do horizontal bars usage comparison now show? Status: solved

 

6 - This was a visual design change that was implemented last week, following advice about line/bar chart customer feedback. We’re collecting feedback on these changes

Userlevel 7

Thanks @Transparent 

 

I’ve already made our Kaluza billing platform team know about this very popular API topic, and as of the start of September, it was going to be raised as a team discussion before an update is posted on this community. It fits with their team vision of allowing people to ‘build products’ on the platform. They have also mentioned reaching out to some of you for direct feedback and research.  

 

I’ve chased them up for an update on this now, so let’s see where we get to next week. Not bad for a Friday afternoon I’d say 

 

:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::rolling_eyes::thunder_cloud_rain::cloud_rain::thunder_cloud_rain::cloud_rain::cloud_snow:

 

 

Userlevel 6
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Doesn't seem right at all

 

Userlevel 7
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@Tim wrote:

Can you do us another check when you get a chance, T? Can we look back a few weeks?

 

We already have looked back a few weeks @Tim_OVO and I posted the results here, earlier in this same discussion!

It is almost always the case that when your new Billing System is apportioning gas-usage over previous days (because the month-histogram failed to display readings) that the HH readings were indeed present on the day-graph, and could’ve been used.

To me it seems obvious that the correct strategy is for the Month-graph to populate the usage for that day from the last available HH figure.

The meter readings are always cumulative. There’s no harm in using the last avail reading because missed readings aren’t a major issue (yet). The invoice can still use the latest meter reading, whether it was obtained at 19:30 from a HH reading, or at midnight from the official “24-hour total”.

 

Missing readings only become an issue once you want to offer a Time Of Use tariff. That’s why OVO should be Trialing one asap in order to build algorithms which are tolerant of missing readings.

Userlevel 4

@Tim_OVO  Thank you for not giving up.

I can confirm 2 separate gas meters, each with there own mprn,  1 smart & 1 dumb,  

 

As it stands at the moment, on the web / app I can view usage statistics relating to my gas smart meter, but nowhere can I view usage stats from my dumb gas meter. (nothing to even suggest I have 2 gas meters via the usage section) not forgetting my usage data via the app started reporting incorrect data about the same time as Ovo updated the way usage data is displayed)

The Ovo app / meters tab has my dumb meter listed,  but all meter readings are from my smart meter.

Slightly better via my Ovo on the web / meter readings, has a drop down tab, so I can switch between my 2 gas meters, so I can at least view my dumb gas meter reading history, but again no indication in the usage tab that I have 2 gas meters. I know my dumb meter would  only display a basic usage tally per month, but at the moment, I don’t even get that data.

 

If you can do a little digging Tim, As I am still on the old billing platform, will I have usage stats for both gas meters after I migrate to the new billing system?

Or is it that my 2 gas meters + 1 electric are preventing the move onto the new system?

(off topic, I’m sure my billing issues are because of my 3 meters)

 

 

For reference, I have 2 large gas heating boilers, In the past it was deemed that the combined draw on both boilers would be to high for a single meter, hence the 2 meters. The large distance between the dumb meter & the comms unit is the reason I am not able to upgrade it to a smart meter.

 

Tom...

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… see what this graph looks like for the rest of the week

Sure. Here’s today’s update.

There is no additional bar on the Month graph for Tues 6th.

However the Day graph has some readings, until it gave up at 04:30

I have a new hypothesis:

Perhaps the Month graph only shows a histogram bar if the SMETS_read command returns a value for the last HH period of the day, ending midnight.

Userlevel 7
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Update on Fri 09oct20:

The Month-histogram shows no readings successfully collected for electricity or gas for the past two nights:

 

The HH chart for Electricity has just one reading for 7th.

This demonstrates that it is possible to have HH readings for either Electricity or Gas despite no data being shown on the Month-charts which are being used for Billing.

There is no data shown for the Gas HH charts of 7th & 8th, and no HH data for Electricity on 8th.

Userlevel 4

Although my usage stats are not as bad these days.

I thought I would share a snippet from my stats, viewed by Day / Week / Month from the 7th July, with close to a 40% difference in kWh of reported usage.

The 4th - 11th on the monthly view are identical, but the 4th - 11th on the daily view are varied & looks like it could be actual usage.

Taken from a timeframe when my smart meters were actually being smart & supplying data to ovo.

 

 

Userlevel 6
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Learned a few things (that need confirming @Tim_OVO ) , logged with support, and am confused!

 

Userlevel 7

@Ash_OVO do you know the relationship between EV Everywhere customers on V2G trial, green add on and OVO Beyond? I would’ve thought @Jequinlan would’ve been upgraded on the 1st October when we went 100% renewable…..

 

@TomThumb that would conflict with @Transparent’s theory of it being software related. Unless they both have the same issue simply as a coincidence….

Userlevel 7
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@Tim_OVOwrote:

that would conflict with @Transparent’s theory of it being software related.

 

No it wouldn’t!

There are three locations where our data is affected by software apart from the Billing System:

  1. Code sent to our sites by OVO; either within the Comms Hub, or one of the meters
  2. The sanity-checks and encryption processes used within DCC. Perhaps not all of OVO’s commands are within an acceptable format, or the protocols aren’t being properly implemented.
  3. The uSmart software which OVO uses as the interface between the Billing suites and DCC; once again, is uSmart rejecting commands or data-packets which are improperly formed and no re-try attempt is being made? Are error messages being correctly handled?

Us customers don’t know enough about these systems to investigate further. But in light of the extensive feedback we’re providing, I would hope that the S2 Engineers can home in on the likely areas of suspicious code.

 

Userlevel 4

Hi @Tim_OVO & @Jequinlan  

 

I can confirm that the free upgrade to OVO Beyond was only applicable to accounts where members were previously paying for the Green Energy add-on. Members who were receiving the Green Energy add-on for free as part of EV Everywhere will not receive the free upgrade to OVO Beyond.

Userlevel 6
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This is how mine looks:

 

 

 

 

It is quite a noticeable rise year on year!

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