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Our first OVO Forum VIP day is done!

Our first OVO Forum VIP day is done!
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Massive thanks to @PeterR1947 @tony1tf @NoPoke @aaronr @Leo Moran @UC Bear @Transparent for joining us at our Bristol HQ. We appreciate you all making the journey to spend time with us.

It was a full on day with lots of focus group style sessions with several of our Product teams.


We covered everything from Smart Meters to EV's and chargers, to an overview of Sustainability and a Forum feedback session with the Mods and myself so we can continue to make the forum better for everyone!

We also had some fun with lots of coffee and cake, and of course a few runs on the slide via the Treehouse! 😁


We hope you all enjoyed it, please share any feedback on the day below. We'd love to do another one, so would be great to get your comments on what you enjoyed, and what we could do more of or do better next time. This will help us learn from this experience and make the next one even better!

Darran


20 replies

Userlevel 4
I would like to thank everyone at OVO for making it a really interesting and enjoyable day. I was impressed by both your working environment and the enthusiasm shown by all the people I met.

I enjoyed the tour of the building and especially your quirky themed meeting rooms!

I think the open discussions worked well although it was a pity some discussions had to be curtailed due to time constraints.

I learnt a whole bunch of new stuff from both OVO and guests and appreciated the openness of the discussions.

I would have liked an overview of how companies such as yours actually buy and sell energy as I'm sure it must be more complicated than I imagine it to be.

All in all a grand day out!
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@UC Bear Glad you enjoyed the day, we did too!! Was great to meet you all.

Yes lots to take away, we did pack a lot in and it was impossible to cover everything, and you are a chatty bunch (which was fantastic by the way), so time ran against us a little bit! All good learning for the next one 😁

We may well make some new forum content out of some of the areas that you would have liked more info on, so you don't have to wait until next time to find that out. Look out for those coming soon.

Hope the journey back was ok?

Darran
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Yes journey back was uneventful apart from encountering a cyclist in outside lane on slip road from m4 onto m25 !
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@Darran_OVO @tony1tf@NoPoke@aaronr@Leo Moran@U C Bear@Transparent

I think pretty much echoing what @UC Bear has said.

I particularly thought your working environment was exceptional! Made my (former GEC) from the 1930's environment look like a workhouse!

The comment on the sessions running out of time was valid, maybe in future build in a 10 min coffee break between sessions just in case, this could then be used for an overrun.

Thanks for the ability to charge the car, I managed to make it home without another charge although I crawled the last few miles at 50mph just to make the battery last out, the low battery light came on 200 yards from home!

it would have been good to have a session with the moderators, not with any particular agenda but to introduce each other and chat about what we all do.

All in all, a brilliant day, glad I could make it and thats to all your team for giving up your time for us all, it is much appreciated.

Looking forward to hearing good news from @tony1tf on 4 July!
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Hi all

Since this seems to be the thread for comments on the VIP day, I've reposted here. It emphasises what I was saying about the perceived difficulty of putting posts under the right heading.

A few points about yesterday:
I have only just realised that the map of how to get to OVO HQ was posted in another thread - not where I was looking. This explains why I couldn't find it on my phone when lost in Bristol😂
Secondly, apologies to Darran for regularly calling him Tim!
Thirdly, thanks for allowing us to see the test lab. It made me realise that it really isn't just us users doing the testing, even though it feels like that. Here is the picture I took there https://photos.app.goo.gl/3LyesM3aPYsszkHdA
Thanks to all of you at OVO for hosting us for the day.
Tony
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Darran,

Arriving back home at 1.40am, 4 hours sleep and another nap in the afternoon meant I didn't have a lot of time to find where to post this response (endorsing Tony's comments) but I too would like to thank all those involved and those who attended, all of whom managed to educate me more, some of which I liked and some of which I didn't ( regarding money and electricity being wasted rather than stored...thanks again Transparent...even if you do walk around with a roll of wallpaper under your arm). With regards to future agendas perhaps looking at the make up of those who attend and running your days to suit. Just get those attending to fill in a questionnaire before they arrive so you know their backgrounds, interests and what it is they are after.....I fully understand 6 anoraks with engineering backgrounds staring at a wall of gas and electric meters for 30 minutes....it's just not my cup of tea. EVs and Energy production and distribution however is a different kettle of fish..that said one out of seven isn't a bad success rate so I was happy to listen to all the "oohs and Aahs" from the corridor outside.

I was saddened to hear about Tony's lack of success with Smart Meters which appears to have tainted his view that they are useful and a waste of money. I was also surprised at his dismissal of my suggestion we educate children not to plug in their mobile phones and lap tops at peak period saying that 8 million school children's mobile devices equates to one kettle....so I thought I'd let him have a look at how I use my smart meter.

Below you'll find the print out of electricity usage for the day I was at OVO headquarters, 24 hours when no one was in my house and it was just ticking over. The house used 3 kW of power costing 43p after standing charge was removed. You can also see when the fridge freezer kicked in, more so during the warm day. On the right it shows a summary of what I used in categories for the previous month (It would be nice if I could see the daily use as well). This was the first time I'd been able to see 24 hours uninterrupted usage with the house just ticking over and now has allowed me to see what I should switch off when I go away, like TVs on standby, trickle chargers, fridge freezers, boilers (1.6p for the pilot light alone). In fact if I switch off everything unnecessary I can save 42 kW of electricity for an annual 2 week holiday...that's a full charge for the car or 160 miles worth of electricity, wasted.....or 21 kettles running for one hour......or 168 million schoolchildren plugging in their mobile phones....depending on your point of view (See Tony, I've even taken a positive from your negativity).....perhaps this is a good advert not only for Smart Meter Education but also Electricity conservation. If all the country managed to save 42 kW when they were on holiday, how much carbon dioxide could we reduce?

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Hi Leo
How wonderful if I had the same plots as you from OVO. Here's what I get - after many months with them. I used to plot the readings from my Wattson energy meter - had to download up to a months worth to a computer, but it gets too tedious eventually. I am I impressed with your base load - we use around 320 Watts costing £1.25 per day, though offset by the solar panels most of the year. Apologies if I annoyed you with the my vigorous arguments about small storage batteries for mobile phone charging. In fact by using recycled batteries from supermarket battery bins, and cheap Chinese Li-on cell dc- dc converters to get 5V out you can make a unit for under £5 with as much capacity as you like. Just need to control the charging circuit from a system which gets power at the best rate, and bobs your uncle. It really does have to be available cheaply though, to be cost effective, because the electricity costs are so low for small devices. You can also link cheap solar garden lights (£1 each) to recharge such a storage system.

Here's hoping to get smart readings again on July 4th, and another plea to OVO to get my previous manual and a few automatic reads into the usage database. It really isn't good enough!

Tony

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Tony, No apology needed. We need the bad days to make the good days good and I've been in seminars where everyone has a positive attitude. It's oppressively over the top with everyone brown nosing each other. Your polar opposite to my views generated a healthy discussion and helped to make the great day what it was. Thanks again.

Yes, saddened to see you don't have the experience I have. I can monitor where I'm wasting energy, where I can save it and how I can adjust my finances.....I can also see how much I have in "the bank" and how much interest I'm making from that as well...4% from August. Good luck in July and hope you get sorted......as for the geeky stuff...thanks but it went straight over my head....again.
Userlevel 4
Darran, prompted by the comments with the V2G team and Tony's last entry I'm wondering something here. My car has 40kW of power and the house ticks over at 3 kWs per day. If OVO are not going to compensate me for when the car powers my house and just for the amount I feed the grid then the level in the car battery will fall by up to 3 kW per day. That means if I go away on holiday for 2 weeks the car battery will be completely discharged when I get back....or am I missing something here?
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What a great day guys! I thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone, showing you around and joining in with some of the sessions.

It was great to get some honest feedback on the Forum and some of OVO's other products. There was certainly a lot we all took away from these sessions.

Thanks to all for taking the time out of your schedules to travel all the way to Bristol and getting involved - I don't think we could have hoped for a better turnout :)

Nancy
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Secondly, apologies to Darran for regularly calling him Tim!

😂🤣

Gutted I missed this, I wanted to meet our top users, EV experts and ninjas, but I was having a great time in Berlin so that's OK.

Looks like it was a really good day, we'll take away that feedback about longer sessions with breaks in between. Maybe we tried to fit in too much. Next time (and there will be a next time right @Darran_OVO ) we'll allow more time for organic discussions to flow.

@Leo Moran glad you made it back just about. It's a long way back home.

Big thanks to @Hari_OVO and all of the other product leads, and Justin our CS director for making time for our forum users. 👏

What was the lunch like then?
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Ladies and gents, regarding the comments from Transparent re the lease finance, mine is through Nissan Finance. Just rung them and if the scheme is supported by Nissan then they have no problem with it. They've endorsed my file for the benefit of others...
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Darran, prompted by the comments with the V2G team and Tony's last entry I'm wondering something here. My car has 40kW of power and the house ticks over at 3 kWs per day. If OVO are not going to compensate me for when the car powers my house and just for the amount I feed the grid then the level in the car battery will fall by up to 3 kW per day. That means if I go away on holiday for 2 weeks the car battery will be completely discharged when I get back....or am I missing something here?

Leo, this is a question for @Hari_OVO. 😁

Thanks for all the great feedback so far. Plenty to learn from, its great! Onwards and upwards!

@tony1tf we are all looking forward to your update on the 4th and have everything crossed for you.

Darran
Userlevel 4

Secondly, apologies to Darran for regularly calling him Tim!😂🤣


Gutted I missed this, I wanted to meet our top users, EV experts and ninjas, but I was having a great time in Berlin so that's OK.

Looks like it was a really good day, we'll take away that feedback about longer sessions with breaks in between. Maybe we tried to fit in too much. Next time (and there will be a next time right @Darran_OVO ) we'll allow more time for organic discussions to flow.

@Leo Moran glad you made it back just about. It's a long way back home.

Big thanks to @Hari_OVO and all of the other product leads, and Justin our CS director for making time for our forum users. 👏


What was the lunch like then?

Thanks Tim and really enjoyed the run back thanks to Aaron doing most of the driving whilst I slept or watched the 90 minute light display....Autonomous driving is brilliant. Although I'm from further North, because Aaron is further East than me we both had about the same length journey. As for lunch....the tree huggers sustenance was surprisingly enjoyable thanks.
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Hey @Leo Moran - good to meet you (and everyone else!) on Monday.

It might be easier if I step through how the charger - and the Kaluza software - will operate while you're on the trial...

When you have your charger installed you'll also get access to the Kaluza app - through this you'll be able to set a 'minimum charge level' and a 'ready by' time.

The minimum charge level is the % of charge that you want in the battery at all times. So if you set it to 40%, we'll be sure to never export so that your state of charge falls below 40%. The ready by time is the time of day, each day, that you will need the car fully charged by. We'll be sure to stick to this.

Then, within those parameters, on a daily basis we will either be exporting, charging, or doing nothing. In export - we will be sending power back to your house and to the grid.

So, the first thing to note here is - while you're on holiday, as long as you've got a 'ready by' time set for the day you're due back - we'll make sure your car is fully charged for when you've told us you need it.

Secondly, the charger won't always be matching your house load. The car will only power your home when it is exporting. This is a tricky one to explain in message form but I'll do my best... The charger exports based on signals that we are getting from the grid. So if the grid is under pressure, we'll be exporting. If your house happens to be using power at this time, we'll use up a proportion of your car exports to power your home, and send the rest back to the grid.

However, this doesn't mean that for all the time your house is using power, your car battery will be discharging. If your house is using power when the grid is under low demand, it's likely that your house will be taking power from the grid, and your car may even be charging up too.

Hope that makes sense - think the key point that I'd be keen to emphasis here is that there are things in place that you can control to make sure your car battery is at the level you need it to be, when you need it.

Hari
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Thanks Hari, much appreciated and yes, it all makes sense now. I had assumed those were the facts but I worked in an industry where you never make an assumption without the facts...
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Just wanted to add my thanks to everyone on the OVO team involved in making Monday happen. It was really great to be able to meet you all for a thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening day -- I learned a huge amount!

I'd also like to thank all the other participants who made the journey too, it was really great to meet you all and hear such a varied range of experiences and perspectives on a variety of topics.

It was also great to get a sneak peek into some of OVO's future plans. The session with @Hari_OVO about the V2G chargers was of particular interest, and I am even more excited about (hopefully) getting involved with your V2G trial now that I've learned more about it how it will work.

I hope that OVO found it as useful to have us around to be able to provide some input along the way, and hope that OVO will continue to work with us to gain customer insight on various products and services going forward. (I think you may need to set up a new department just to handle the endless stream of great ideas that @Transparent has though! 😂)
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Any cake left for me? 😫
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It was lovely to meet you all on Monday, it was nice to finally put faces to names. 😊 How many of you went down the slide?

I can't wait for the next one - hopefully you'll be able to make it, @ITGeek123, I love cake though we may have to fight for a slice 😂
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@ITGeek123 and myself need to be at the next one. Can we do it soon please, I haven't got any trips away planned for a while! 😂🤣

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