Smart meters not worth the pain?



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Userlevel 7
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I'm with you @Andrewmk

My first ESME (that's the correct title for a SMETS2 Electricity Meter) which was installed 11th March, worked fine.

When OVO arrived to correct a problem with my SMETS2 Gas Meter, 10th June, the engineer said he'd been instructed to also replace the operational ESME.

This replacement unit operated for a few days, and successfully sent two readings to DCC, which appeared on my "My OVO" page. Then it simply ceased to send readings across the WAN. It is still working because it's sending readings to my IHD on the HAN.

I know a fair bit about what happens to commission a SMETS2 meter post-installation, and I don't think these faults are connected to that process.

I'm about to send an email to CS with my monthly (manual) readings, so I'll be giving them a timeline of the faults. Hopefully they'll be able to compare that against the transaction record of what communications have been sent to my meter(s).

@Nancy_OVO - is Ben still reading these Forum Topics?

Any chance we could be given a whole lot more feedback on the stuff we're busy reporting please?
Userlevel 6
Badge +4
Try to be reasonable, @Nancy_OVO . We know that electronic systems don't have time constants measured in months! If you want to stick to this argument, then you must treat us with some intelligence, and list what steps the system has to go through, and where the bottlenecks are that result in customers having to wait 3 months to receive the information they signed up with OVO to obtain.

Hi @tony1tf ,

Certainly don't want to make anyone feel they're not being treated with intelligence. I don't work for the Smart team myself, so I'm not well versed in what steps the meters go through during this waiting phase, but I can certainly try to find out. It may be the case that we simply monitor the comms to keep an eye on what's going on. Equally, meters that have been in comms with us for years can suddenly drop. We'd follow the same process to see if we regain them, or if we might need to intervene.

Not necessarily, @Andrewmk. If it worked for a couple of weeks and suddenly dropped, it may come back. We need to wait a significant enough length of time to be sure that comms aren't coming back before we jump in.

Cheers
Userlevel 1
I don’t understand the logic. If I bought a toaster that stopped working after 2 weeks, I don’t expect to be told to wait 3 months just in case it started working again. I mean, sure — it might. But almost certainly it won’t . Anyway the second meter you put in earlier this year exhibited the exact same fault and that one didn’t start working again, so I don’t think this one will either.

andrew
Userlevel 6
Badge +4
Hey @Andrewmk - it's not quite the same. A more appropriate analogy might be: if your laptop was connected to your home wifi, and then signal dropped, this doesn't mean it won't ever reconnect. It's a communications issue, not a mechanical issue.
Userlevel 1
Hi @Nancy_OVO

yeah you you are right —- it was a lousy analogy. I’ll give you that one 😋

But I am really really fed up with the whole thing and I’m seriously tempted to move companies because of it. You have to understand that this has been going on since October 2018, and there is no resolution in sight. It has not been without consequence, as aside from my time, it has screwed up my billing.

Ovo alas is one of these companies where you never speak to the same person twice and no-one takes ownership of a problem to its conclusion. I don’t *know* what the problem is and I don’t *know* what the solution is, but then I don’t work for Ovo. I only know that your only answer is to wait for 3 months to what — see what happens ??? So you guys do nothing but leave the customer with the problem, well — just in case. ?? How can that ever be an answer ? I no longer want thee damn things but you won’t even take them back without charging me. Can you begin to see why I am not happy ?

Andrew
Userlevel 6
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Hi @Andrewmk,

I can absolutely appreciate how frustrating this issue must be. At this stage, it might be worth dropping us a message on Facebook so we can take a closer look at this issue - there's only so much guesswork we can do via the Forum. We'd really need to access your account and read through what's happened to give you any more specific advice.

Thanks
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
Hi @Andrewmk - This is just to let you know that Forum Feedback was one of the major subjects we raised with staff when some of us visited OVO a month ago.

The Forum is a greatly under-used resource, and we discussed why OVO weren't making better use of the wide range of skill-sets available from Members here.

The number-1 issue was that we are getting hardly any feedback to the Forum in return for the amount of information that we fed into OVO. That significantly dampens our willingness to engage in discussion here.

I can understand the necessity of taking discussions off the public Forum pages if there's a need to mention privileged information covered by GDPR rules. However, it would be beneficial to know if OVO engineers have now deduced what is the cause of an error, or if they still require detailed observations to be reported here.

That's why I posted above:
Any chance we could be given a whole lot more feedback on the stuff we're busy reporting please?

and why @tony1tf vented his frustration earlier today. (He was also present at Bristol when Forum-feedback was discussed).


Just so you know, one of the Ninjas (Super-users) has just posted an item onto our private area of the Forum which suggests a possible reason as to why we see so many Smart Meter failures. I'm investigating this further, and I've flagged it up to a particular engineer at OVO who can also take a look at it.

Please forgive us for not immediately making this point more widely known on the open Forum. It would be unwise to cause others to jump to conclusions which could yet turn out to be incorrect.
Userlevel 1
Hi @Transparent

thanks for your posting. — this offers a little hope I guess.

i know for my part there is no active engagement behind the scenes from Ovo with my issues. I have been told they will passively monitor what happens. That’s why I find the whole ‘wait 3 months and see’ response so unhelpful.

Intrigued about out your private forum area... how does one get in ? (I’m guessing the answer is —- one doesn’t 😋 ) !!

andrew
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
Hi @Andrewmk - The Private areas on the Forum are a feature intended to be used for pooling ideas, but without the risk of 3rd parties taking those ideas and turning them into products.

To date only two private areas have been set up. But we'd like to see other departments in OVO embrace the opportunity for discussions on particular aspects of OVO's strategy and product-range before they become public. We've dubbed this concept "Focus Groups", but none currently exist.

That's why I spent 8 minutes this morning trying to persuade Google to let me into a multi-party telephone discussion with OVO staff at their London Offices. Bah!

The advantages of using a Focus Group for such stuff is that information can be fed in (including photos and diagrams) by members who aren't all online simultaneously.

To get into the Superuser group, you have to become a Ninja ‼

That's the Forum status-badge you see next to our ID when we post submissions.

It's not so much the number of posts you make, but how active you become across a range of Topics arising on the Forum. Your posts thus far are only on this one Topic... hence no badges being offered to you yet!

However, if you branched wider into related Topics about SMETS meters like this one here, then the Moderators will notice. They may then alert you if someone else asks a relevant question on yet another Topic so that you can chip in and help.

Since your observations above are mostly accurate, and somewhat humourous, you should definitely spread your skills wider on the Forum. You'll fit in just fine 👍🏼

Don't worry too much about making mistakes... there are others here who can correct stuff.
Hi, had the smart meters installed a couple of months ago now. Electric worked after a few days and tells me how much is being used and the tariff. The gas one still doesn’t show any readings and my account online says the electric readings are being sent with the smart meter but the gas ones aren’t.
Hello

If your smart meters are SMETS2, there is an ongoing discussion from some of those affected here

You may wish to add something to this discussion - those involved may be able to give you some more advice.
Userlevel 1
Hi @Transparent

Thanks for the info re the private forums.

I must confess if it if it weren’t for my Smart meter issues, Ovo’s forums aren’t somewhere I’d be hanging out. A combo of it not being knowledgable enough and it just not being my ‘thing’ I guess. This is a friendlier place than most though — i have nightmares still about the flame wars on Sonos’s forum.

You hinted at a possible cause for the failing electricity meters. Are you able to give any more details?

Thanks
Andrew
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
It may not yet be apparent @Andrewmk, but the idea is that us customers should be generating most of the Forum content. It's not where OVO themselves make announcements, nor where customers should be posting complaints.

It's very much up to "us" what we want to discuss here... and there's even a section for stuff that's not energy-related!

You won't get flame wars here because there's a 7-strong Moderator Team, with one of them specifically assigned as "Mod of the Day". Today it's @Nancy_OVO and if there's the slightest glimmer of flame, she'll be brandishing her water-pistol. 😮

No, I'm not yet posting anything more about the possible cause of SMETS2 electricity meter failures. I'm in communication with the relevant OVO engineer, Ben, and I'm discussing it with other technical contacts in the energy industry.
Userlevel 6
Badge +4
Water pistol at the ready 💧💧

Let me know if there's anything I can help with @Andrewmk
Userlevel 3
This forum may be pleased to know that my IHD is still showing my electricity readings after the meter/firmware upgrade on 4th July 2019, and as from 18th July I can now see 1/2 hour readings on the OVO My Energy/usage website. I would still like someone with knowledge at OVO to explain the process which creates such a delay before the data is displayed - not guesses from people who don't work for the Smart Meter team.

Tony
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
Great news @tony1tf glad to hear everything is now working for you 🤞 The power of the forum hey...!

Yeah it's a good point, trust me, no guesses from us, just passing on the details we've been advised to share with customers, so no need to be patronising! We are only here to try and help! 💪

Perhaps @BenS_OVO could help us on this one??

Darran
Userlevel 3
Hi @Darran_OVO - sorry, I didn't mean to be patronising, but it frustrating when we know you are unable to tell the full facts. The private forum that @Transparent has written about could be significant here, where we perhaps sign some sort of agreement. Then you won't get our skeptical comments in this public forum. BTW, I just downloaded the OVO app to my Samsung tablet and it won't show my 30min stats. So I looked at the website and they have gone from there as well. So many problems to be sorted with your IT structures!
Tony
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
No worries, just wanted to be clear that this forum and the content and replies we post are always with the best intentions to give you all as much information as we can.

As you're well aware the industry is ridiculously complicated and there are often a number of factors that could be causing issues, so we don't want to start saying it's this or that until we know for sure, hence sometimes we need to keep things simple until we have more info.

We will always try and find out info, and share what we can, we are not trying to hide anything!!

Not sure why the stats are not showing on there, again perhaps @BenS_OVO will be able to shed some light here?

Darran
Userlevel 3
Hi @Darran_OVO

Sill not back yet - getting the message below for yesterday's data which is the only date that the system will show me. I can get year, month and week data. Perhaps the heat is breaking servers?

[h5]Sorry, there is no data available for this period right now.[/h5]
[h5]Please check back again soon[/h5]


Tony
Userlevel 2
Hey @tony1tf

The delay from your live usage to them appearing on your OVO account is simply down to how we as a supplier receive your reads.

Although we are recording HH read data, it comes into us in 24h intervals and ten pushed into our read data repository twice a day. Meaning there will always be a bit of a delay with the reads showing up on customer accounts.

Good news is that once we build our CAD network (which connects your IHD to your WiFI), customers will receive live data in 10 second intervals - very exciting!

Let me know if you need any further info Tony.

Ben
Userlevel 3
Hi @BenS_OVO

Perhaps I didn't explain clearly enough - I already know from a conversation with @Transparent that the communication hub stores readings and sends them as a block of data once every 24 hours under normal circumstances. My post a few days ago said that at last I was getting the 30 minute readings I had asked for, and they started being available on the 18th July. Those sets of 30 min readings - ie 48/day have now disappeared from the OVO MyEnergy website, and I am back to only seeing annual, monthly or daily consumption.
Please let me know if you are doing some sort of upgrade which has temporarily lost the readings, or is it a fault I need to pursue.

Tony
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
Well, I'm pretty sure this isn't a SMETS2 issue @tony1tf. So don't be surprised if we don't hear from @BenS_OVO about this.

The online graphs in your My OVO page are generated after the data has been retrieved from DCC and sent to Billing.

I'd really like to have created a diagram showing how the data gets from Smart Meters to the My OVO page for each customer. Unfortunately, I'd be working somewhat blind, because I have never yet seen any usage histograms on my own My OVO page in the 4months since the meters were installed.

I'm not concerned about that, but it's a tad difficult drawing diagrams of stuff I haven't seen with my own eyes!
Userlevel 3
Hi @Transparent

The weekly display shows this, but the daily display tab which did allow selecting a day back to 18th July with readings every 30mins, only has yesterday's date available for clicking and throws up the "data not available message". So access to the data seems to have gone from the database.

Userlevel 3
More info for you @Transparent and @BenS_OVO . This is what access of the day page of 30 min readings looks like today (26th July) - still not working. The date selector only allows yesterday's date. I don't have a screendump of when it was working a few days ago.

Userlevel 7
Badge +3
There's not a lot I can say about these screenshots @tony1tf

except that these are errors which surely ought to be notified by email to Customer Support.

You are seeing far more data from your SMETS2 meters than I ever have.

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