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Is it possible to get sight of the 'unnecessary emails' research conducted in November 2019 by Censuswide?

  • 25 January 2021
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TLDR

 

See topic title :D

 

Long Story Not So Short

 

Hi :)

I’m a newcomer here, this is my first post. Be kind to me: I did search the forum in the hope of finding an answer to my question, but I wasn’t successful.

Now, I’m sometimes an impatient sort. The following could easily be abbreviated, but (in my opinion) the result would be less worthwhile. I’ll let you decide...

I recently discovered the ‘Think Before You Thank’ press release on OVO Energy’s website.

As someone who is an ardent advocate of action to counter anthropogenic climate change, I’m intrigued by this news, and am writing a post about it for my blog (‘Wibble’).

I think it’s always best to try to get information ‘from the horse’s mouth’, and so I always try to offer my audience links to research when reference is made to it. Unfortunately, the OVO Energy press release doesn’t provide a link to the research. And I can’t find a ‘contact us’ link on OVO’s website to ask them directly. Nor can I find a phone number to call them on….

The press release says that the research was commissioned by OVO but actually carried out by ‘Censuswide’. A quick search led me to what appeared to be their website, which does feature a contact form. I filled it in appropriately, pressed ‘SUBMIT’, was presented with an unfriendly message in red saying ‘Google reCAPTCHA verification failed, please try again later’, and, knowing that ‘trying again later’ would almost certainly have the same result, I took a moment out to breathe so as not to punch the wall in frustration while recalling one of my favourite quotes:

The Internet: facilitating miscommunication at the speed of light since the late twentieth century. -- Me

Fortunately, Censuswide’s website features one of those ‘telephone number’ things. I availed myself of it. A nice lady answered the phone immediately, listened politely to my request for access to the research results, and explained that she couldn’t provide me with these as the research was commissioned by OVO. She kindly volunteered to pass my request on to OVO,

I mentioned that I’m sometimes an impatient sort, yes? Well, this is one of those times. I scoured the OVO website again for a way to ask for this information directly; all I found was this forum. And though it meant signing up for yet another ‘account’ -- thank goodness for my trusty password manager! -- I jumped through the hoops required, and here I am! :)

I should point out that if I can get a link to this research, I’d want to put that link on my blog. This may (or may not) affect OVO’s decision whether to allow me access to it. And of course I’d be happy to give OVO sight of my draft blog post before I publish that, if they feel that’s necessary (I have a tiny audience, I don’t think that my words spread all that far).

So there we have it. And now, it’s time to press that inviting green ‘Create’ button below. But judging by how this project has gone up to this point, I fully expect that it will come up with some sort of error (probably ‘Too much text, shorten it’ or some such).

Hmm… think I’ll copy-paste this tome to Notepad first… done.

OK.

Deep breath (wish me luck!)

Here, we, go....

 

icon

Best answer by Tim_OVO 3 February 2021, 13:12

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Welcome @pendantry .

I will admit that this is a really unusual question and I think I’d need to ask for help on this. Please bear with me and I’ll try to ask @Tim_OVO for some thoughts on what to do.

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Welcome @pendantry .

I will admit that this is a really unusual question and I think I’d need to ask for help on this. Please bear with me and I’ll try to ask @Tim_OVO for some thoughts on what to do.


Thanks, Blastoise186! I look forward to hearing what you discover :)

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You’re welcome :sunglasses:

We do get quite a lot of spam on this forum and your post nearly got me for a moment! But I recognised that your post didn’t match up to the kinds of things forum spammers usually post. I’ve made sure the mods know to not whip out the banhammer just to be safe.

Chances are someone will know where to look, but as the forums are volunteer led I don’t have access myself.

What I can say however, is that we can help you to close and anonymise your account after your question is resolved, if you don’t plan to keep it afterwards. If you’d like Tim to do that after we’ve solved this thread, feel free to ping an email to forum@ovoenergy.com and he’ll sort that out for you.

Userlevel 7

Hi @pendantry and a very big welcome to the OVO Forum!

 

I can see you’ve met our content inspector in chief, @Blastoise186

 

I’ve passed on this question of yours to a colleague within the sustainability team, and I’ll be back here with the latest when I hear. On this particular investigation, you’ve come to the right place and I’ll take it from here! 

 

In the meantime, have a look at our Plan Zero area dedicated to cutting carbon… I bet there’s something you would find of value there. Maybe you could share something yourself to help any other members looking….

 

Anyway I’ll be back! 

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Hi @Tim_OVO ! Thank you for your response.

 

 

In the meantime, have a look at our Plan Zero area dedicated to cutting carbon… I bet there’s something you would find of value there. Maybe you could share something yourself to help any other members looking….

 

 

I’ll do that :)

 

Hi @pendantry

I’ve passed on this question of yours to a colleague within the sustainability team, and I’ll be back here with the latest when I hear. On this particular investigation, you’ve come to the right place and I’ll take it from here!

 

 

I eagerly await your update. Thanks again!

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Hi @pendantry - just a very quick message to let you know that I haven’t forgotten about this. 

 

I’ve chased up my colleague today and I’ll be checking back daily until we get you that update. 

 

Thanks,

Tim

Userlevel 3

Hi @pendantry - just a very quick message to let you know that I haven’t forgotten about this. 

 

I’ve chased up my colleague today and I’ll be checking back daily until we get you that update. 

 

Thanks,

Tim


I look forward to hearing from you further!

Userlevel 7

Hi again, @pendantry 

 

Having heard back from the team, I can confirm we're still using some of the results contained in the research for work that's not yet been released (we included various other questions in the research, including those around types & frequency of emails).

 

So we're not able to share the actual source file with the results from the questions in unfortunately. However for the moment we’d be able to take any specific questions you have, such as how the research was conducted, who it covered, when it was run etc?

 

Let me know how we can help. :blush:

Userlevel 3

Hi again, @pendantry 

[...]

So we're not able to share the actual source file with the results from the questions in [...]

 

Let me know how we can help. :blush:

 

Thanks for coming back to me on this, @Tim_OVO :)

Well, that’s a tad disappointing. I guess I’ll just have to complete my blog post with a note to say that the research results are currently unavailable, and to contact OVO for them.

Userlevel 7

Yep that’s a good shout, @pendantry - feel free to link to this topic, so your readers can post their questions here which I can forward on and get an answer to. 

 

Likewise when we do publish the details I’ll make sure to come back here to update you this thread! 

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Hello again!

I thought I’d drop by to let you know that I’ve just published my blog post in response to your ‘Think Before You Thank’ campaign. Unfortunately, I don’t think you’re going to like it much. However, my audience is minuscule, so it won’t matter :)

Here’s a link to it: Think before you thank?

I think the important point is to put the stress on the ‘think’. Acting without proper consideration of the relevant issues is what got us into this mess in the first place.

Finally, @Tim_OVO -- I very much appreciate your persistence in pursuing my request for the research information. With absolutely no irony intended: thank you!

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Hehehe, nice one @pendantry !

No doubt Tim will have a shock when he stops by tomorrow morning. We’ve actually got a new moderator starting tomorrow as well, who’s still learning the ropes. I’ll make sure they know to give you a free pass on this thread, since I trust ya.

Fun fact actually. Tim and the other mods generally trust my judgement as well. Anything I recognise as not being spam almost always escapes being zapped. :wink:

Userlevel 7

I thought I’d drop by to let you know that I’ve just published my blog post in response to your ‘Think Before You Thank’ campaign. Unfortunately, I don’t think you’re going to like it much. However, my audience is minuscule, so it won’t matter :)

Here’s a link to it: Think before you thank?

 

 

Thanks for coming back here with the link to this, @pendantry - a good read, and some great points made. It made be realise that my Facebook and Instagram accounts (which don’t get used much) are linked to an email address I never log in to. I really hope I’m not being spammed by these platforms as it would be a total waste of carbon. It does make you think. It makes me think that a carbon tax would help! As does the OVO Group CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick, see his Zero Carbon Campaign for more info.  

 

I highly recommend giving this blog a read community members! 

 

Finally, @Tim_OVO -- I very much appreciate your persistence in pursuing my request for the research information. With absolutely no irony intended: thank you!

 

I’m asking for an update on this research data and I’ll get back to you. :)

Userlevel 3

[...] It does make you think. It makes me think that a carbon tax would help! As does the OVO Group CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick, see his Zero Carbon Campaign for more info. 

 

Thanks for that link (and for your kind words about my post). It led me almost directly to the ‘Introduce charges on carbon emissions to tackle climate crisis and air pollution’ petition, which I’ve just signed. I’ve also emailed my MP to let him know I’ve done that.

Working backwards from a six-month deadline of 17Aug2021 indicates that the petition was initiated in February (why they don’t just show that up front on petition.parliament.uk is beyond me, I reckon there must be a hidden tax on joined-up thinking somewhere); the number of signatures to date is a pitiful 20,796. Removing my socks to do the sums, I figure that’s just over 10k per month so far, and if it continues to build at that sluggish rate it has the proverbial snowball in hell’s chance of reaching the 100k required for ‘consideration for Parliament debate’. I’ll put up a post about it on ‘Wibble’ on the grounds that an ocean is a multitude of drops

… and, on that note, please do check that email address you never log into to see if there are any ‘unnecessary thank-you emails’ awaiting you….

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You know what’s even better? The huge amount of carbon that’s kinda generated wastefully as a result of all those emails you never read (or delete!), which fills up valuable storage space on the servers and forces server admins to deploy yet more SSDs (or HDDs in some cases) to try and keep up with the ever growing storage demands - and pulls more energy as a result.

So yup, one way to reduce your carbon emissions? Maybe think about cleaning up your digital vaults every so often! :rofl:

Userlevel 7

[...] It does make you think. It makes me think that a carbon tax would help! As does the OVO Group CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick, see his Zero Carbon Campaign for more info. 

 

Thanks for that link (and for your kind words about my post). It led me almost directly to the ‘Introduce charges on carbon emissions to tackle climate crisis and air pollution’ petition, which I’ve just signed. I’ve also emailed my MP to let him know I’ve done that.

 

 

Nice work, @pendantry!!!

 

Speaking of petitions, I can see you posted a blog referencing our tree planting petition earlier in the year. 

 

We're not able to share this research data in any more detail then what's been published, @pendantry, but as always, we're happy to answer any specific questions you or your readers have.

 

Thanks for linking to our community in that blog post, we enjoyed reading it!

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You know what’s even better? The huge amount of carbon that’s kinda generated wastefully as a result of all those emails you never read (or delete!), which fills up valuable storage space on the servers and forces server admins to deploy yet more SSDs (or HDDs in some cases) to try and keep up with the ever growing storage demands - and pulls more energy as a result.

So yup, one way to reduce your carbon emissions? Maybe think about cleaning up your digital vaults every so often! :rofl:


You are absolutely not wrong about that, @Blastoise186 ! I currently have no fewer than 4321 emails in my inbox (wow, that’s a really odd number to come up with at a random point in time).

No, wait… that just the number of UNREAD emails in my mailbox. I can’t remember when I set up the email account I use, but a quick search reveals emails going back as far as 2002. [Insert deity of choice here] alone knows how many thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of messages are in there in total. And that’s just my mailbox.

O.0

Maybe OVO Energy should commission Censuswide to investigate the carbon emissions from all that crap-that-I’ll-almost-certainly-never-need-but-have-always-retained-just-in-case?

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Think I could compete on the number of unread emails there, @pendantry, and it’s certainly a scary thought to think that all that spam is using energy somewhere.

 

I’ve recently heard about the energy consumption behind cryptocurrencies which seem to be another unmentioned energy guzzler, what are your thoughts on this? (sure you’ll have something to add to this one @Blastoise186!)

 

Thought I’d add as a fellow tree-hugger have you read our latest blog about the recent survey of UK woodlands?

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I’ve recently heard about the energy consumption behind cryptocurrencies which seem to be another unmentioned energy guzzler, what are your thoughts on this? (sure you’ll have to add to this one @Blastoise186!)

 

Peter Sinclair posted an article on this just a couple of days ago. Interesting read.

 

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So is it also a waste of energy to have digital messages with lots of white space at the end? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Does an LCD monitor use more electrons when creating the photons from which that white space is formed on my retina?

Does making such a comment in a Topic where @pendantry is lurking mean that I’m about to have some suitably pedantic comments thrown back in my direction? :scream:

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@Transparent duly noted and edited - Saving that extra scrolling energy for future readers! 

 

Great link, @pendantry - will give that a read now… :slight_smile:

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First thing I’m gonna say here… WE NEED support for AMOLED Dark Mode across EVERYTHING OVO does. That would make the online platforms very energy efficient when viewed on a device that has an AMOLED Display.

Secondly, yes. I do have opinions on cryptocurrency myself. I’m going to be honest upfront, I personally think cryptocurrencies are just a complete waste of time and resources. It’s gotten so bad that all the crypto-mining around the world is now guzzling the same amount of power juice every day that a small country uses in an entire year. And that’s waaaaaayyyyyyy too much!

Given the way it all works, you’ll practically never get to successfully mine anything out of most of them anyway - any miner that’s short of a supercomputer will now just get beaten instantly. So it’s not even worth the hassle of trying.

Plus, when there’s pointless products that come out like cryptocurrency mining panel heaters, cryptomining GPUs and even cryptocurrency mining Wi-Fi routers (that do a terrible job at both mining and blasting Wi-Fi anyway!)… Yeah… It’s gone too far. Trust me, Exploud alone is not only way less power hungry than all that junk, but it also puts the tiny amount of power it draws to far more useful purposes. Like helping me with smashing OVO’s platforms to oblivion and scoring bug reports. :stuck_out_tongue:

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So is it also a waste of energy to have digital messages with lots of white space at the end? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Does making such a comment in a Topic where @pendantry is lurking mean that I’m about to have some suitably pedantic comments thrown back in my direction? :scream:

The difference between a pedant and a pendant is that the latter is very aware of the possibility that he (or she) may be wrong. I’d be offended, but I forgive you as you weren’t to know that (since I coined the term ‘pendant’ myself years ago).

P.S Is ‘topic’ a proper noun? I don’t think so :P

P.P.S. While I can understand the desire to encourage participation in these forums, I have to admit that I’m finding the ‘Think Before You Thank’ campaign decidedly at odds with the mechanics of this forum, which sends me an email that can arguably described as ‘unnecessary’ Every. Single. Time. I. Get. Mentioned. In. A. Post. Here. Somewhat ironic.

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Ah yes. It seems you can’t turn that type of email alert off either.

I’ll go ahead and suggest that as a feature request to inSided if it’s not already been suggested. There’s some related stuff that I really hope gets implemented as well.

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[...] It does make you think. It makes me think that a carbon tax would help! As does the OVO Group CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick, see his Zero Carbon Campaign for more info.  [...]

Just dropping by to thank you again for that link, which has inspired my latest blog post, just published, that attempts to encourage participation in the ‘carbon charges’ petition.

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