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Does OVO offer an accessible In-Home Display (AIHD)?

  • 15 February 2022
  • 11 replies
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Does anyone out there know if there is a smart IHD available that will link with Amazon Alexa so that I can ask Alexa by voice to read out my energy consumption information. I'm disabled and this would help.

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Best answer by Jess_OVO 25 May 2022, 12:29

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Userlevel 7
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Hiya @Rick H !

Unfortunately, no such IHD exists and at this time there are no Alexa Skills that I’ve found which will do a similar job either. However, I do know of an alternative option called an Accessible In-Home Display. I’m not sure if OVO can get hold of one, so let me ask @Tim_OVO and @Jess_OVO to check that for you. But here’s what I know about them.

The only AIHD I know of right now is the Geo Trio Accessible. As well as tactile buttons with braille markings, it has a slightly larger display than usual and also comes with Speech-To-Text features built-in and is similar to what you're looking for. It’s not the same voice of course, but it’s usually good enough for the use case. If OVO can get you one, I think it’ll be free for you to have it sent out in the post.

Hope this helps.

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Hi Blastoise 186,

Really appreciate the good news that there is at least one AIHD out there that will do something similar in support of disabled individuals. Alexa, Google and Siri are now the established three standards for voice control and have been for a long long time. I'm surprised and a little bit dismayed that apparently none of the big six or even some of the smaller energy providers (those still in 

business) have not chosen to add value to their energy offerings because, all things being equal, there are an awful lot of disabled people that might consider this a deal maker when it comes to choosing their energy provider. Many thanks for passing on my request that OVO might be able to supply the next best thing to being able to voice request energy consumption statistics and get a voice reply from any room containing a linked smart device with relevant skill installed or indeed, anywhere in the world via smart phone. I believe smart voice controlled home appliance is a useful add on within any home but I suggest would be an essential add on within the home of a disabled individual, particularly those that are blind. I currently have voice control over lighting, security and yes... even heating temperature control for each room and no... I and not concerned about any aspect of software security and that's because I would only purchase smart appliances certified by Amazon Alexa, in my case. 

Userlevel 6
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I’m not aware of any device that can give live consumption via Alexa. The closest that I have is the Octopus Alexa skill which can say the electricity price now or at a specific time and gives your electricity consumption for either yesterday, this week or this month in kWh. However, this doesn’t work for gas, if you have it.

I’m sure the OVO boffins are working on similar features and theoretically it should be possible to give your historic consumption in £ if your tariff and kWh usage is known. The next step is getting something that can pull live information if you need current consumption information.

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Thanks nealmurphy,

It beggars belief that not only OVO but apparently all energy providers are so out of date with IHD or perhaps I should say, AIHD technology. As mentioned in my last forum post, smart device voice integration within a smart home system would be useful to most people but I still suggest an important and essential aid to those of us that are disabled and, as also implied within my last post, the business cost investment should quickly be recovered and then improve the bottom line because it would likely be a deal maker when individuals, disabled or otherwise, come to switch energy suppliers. In summary "¶¶ last to the technical bar, is a three legged crow, set em up OVO set it up OVO set it up O... ¶¶" paraphrased from the film musical, Calamity Jane. So OVO, " ¶¶ whip crack away, whip crack away, whip crack away¶¶ ".

 

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Following on from by last post were I paraphrased songs for the musical Calamity Jane in a light-hearted attempt to get my serious point across about service provision for disabled individuals. Below is the latest of many responses straight from the horses mouth (OVO) so... ¶¶ whip crack away whip crack away whip crack away.¶¶

 

Hi OVO,

Yep you are right, OVO and apparently all other energy providers do not offer a AIHD that will voice interface with Amazon Alexa or indeed Google and Siri devices. I know this because I used your forum to ask the question and still find that answer hard to believe. 

In my view a profitable opportunity has been missed and just as importantly, the opportunity to add more credibility in support of your service offering for disabled individuals. For cogent argument in favour of a AIHD, take a look at my posts.

VERY IMPORTANT. One of your OVO colleagues responded to my post and informed that OVO do supply disabled individuals, like myself, with a slightly bigger semi smart IHD that can issue voice or some form of quaint text to voice notification and can also be used by the blind. He promised to facilitate the supply of one of these as a replacement for my faulty unit. Please confirm that this request has been placed on your records and that OVO will be sending this particular unit to me and, approximately when.

 

Stay safe.

 

Kindest regards

Userlevel 7

Hi @Rick H and welcome to the OVO online community,

 

Just wanted to step in here to clarify that the posts above have been made by fellow OVO members rather than OVO staff. I’ve taken your comments away to our smart metering team as you've raised some really important points about the need for accessible In-Home Displays, I’ll be back shortly to confirm exactly what we’re able to offer at the moment.

 

In the meantime I’d like to double-check the advice you’ve been given by our Support Team so have sent you a private message requesting some account details. You can access your forum inbox by heading to the menu in the top right-hand corner of any forum page. :slight_smile:

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To: Tim_OVO

Cc: Jess_OVO

 

I'm still looking forward to your feedback from my post on green energy and green living.

Jess (OVO) has picked up my serious concerns about assistive technology, in this case a smart IHD, in support of those if us that are disabled. Jess will instantly become a personal hero to me, and I suggest an awful lot of other disabled individuals, if she runs this up the greasy OVO technical and senior management flagpole and actually gets an immediate solution, rather than jam tomorrow platitudes. 

In my opinion there is a big difference between organisations that occasionally innovate, like OVO interest on energy accounts in credit, and organisations that positively disrupt within and outside of their market sector. 

Innovators tend to think sort term and cost projects accordingly. For example, take that OVO interest perk. That was a deal maker for me but now... unless OVO intend to up the current interest rate it's becoming less appealing because market saving interest rates are now increasing. 

A positive market disruptor on the other hand, tends to think more long term invests in infrastructure, vertical market integration for raw material (meaning to bring all essential production elements in house and/or having a controlling stake in those suppliers, where allowed under law). I suggest this would be difficult for even the bigger energy suppliers but not impossible, growing by absorbing other small providers a useful first step. There are also the larger private stakeholders or fund managers to consider, many of whom may prefer a stable and consistent return on investment, but again not impossible because a little extra risk can be promoted as facilitating a bigger return on investment over the medium and long-term.

Which brings me back to green energy and green living. I look forward to hearing back on the kinds of short term innovation investment or longer-term positive market disruptive investment plans OVO has coming down the line. Everyone is being encouraged to implement Green (sustainable) energy and green living solutions and so, what is OVO doing to go above and beyond what all other industries, including the energy sector, are already doing or striving with Government support to accelerate? and... within your response please confirm that OVO is NOT using any kind of non-renewable source within there energy supply strategy and this includes offsetting for any non-renewable source which is nolonger considered acceptable, except in times of national emergency, which might then affect external fuel supply sources and impact UK fuel reserves, already far to low. It might be worth adding that, for me, large scale nuclear fission energy, hopefully fusion in the not to distance future, should continue to play a substantive roll to ensure National energy security. Although, hoping for the best but planning for the worst introducing hundreds of underground micro reactors, perhaps thorium based, apart from being cheaper and quicker to build, would offer better energy security in the very worst case scenario. Now that's something I would consider a positive market disruption and, for the bean counters... a very lucrative medium to long term investment opportunity.

Kindest regards and stay safe.

Userlevel 7

Just wanted to pop back here to confirm that I’ve passed your details on to our smart metering team who should be getting in touch with you directly to discuss the provision of an Accessible IHD, @Rick H.

 

Interested to hear more about our the ways OVO is supporting greener living? There’s a great introduction over on our website here, you might also want to check out our Plan Zero report which covers the actions we’ve taken in 2020 with our aim to become a carbon neutral company by 2030.

 

Hope this helps. :earth_africa:  

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To: Tim_OVO

Cc: Jess_OVO

 

I have perused the OVO zero plan strategy and looked at the KPI report. I think your CEO hit the nail on the head. I paraphrase and add to his comments. OVO has conducted trial of various smart grid management and home technology but recognises there is a long way to go. Aspirational goals need team work from both inside and outside the energy sector and support from substantive up front Government subsidy to turn these aspirations into achievable goals which can unexpectedly be blown off course (pun intended) e.g. the pandemic. OVO has and will continue to contribute and influence for positive green energy and living outcome. 

Government Green policies already implemented and those still being formulated must be driven by cogent argument based on a  consensus of best practice collated from the plethora of organisations, think tanks and indeed individuals, including OVO members. It must be done now! No more trials for this or that. Build on the top two or three innovative ideas for each segment of the energy sector, national infrastructure, local area, individual industrial, private and public buildings. Then agree interface and interlinking standards. Then get the private and public sector bean counters to cost it all out, including a timetable for the inevitable profitable return on a likely eye-watering initial investment. Then produce the needed many thousands of PowerPoint presentation copies, with lots of positive words (mention profitable return on investment a lot), include some nice colourful pictures and graphs to back up the positives of green energy and living, again don't forget that big fat return on investment to facilitate the essential buy in from all parties. Then slap a copy of this presentation on every boardroom and Government department desk throughout the entire UK and also on every public media platform and then, keep pushing the Governments agreed and binding green agenda commitment made recently on the World stage.

Again I paraphrase your CEO and add my own comments... it's all about building trust. However, in this humongous national 'do or die' project (I mean that literally) a very large dollop of Political will and much more substantive initial investment will also be required to underpin that trust, in particular that needed by financial investment markets.

Now let's drag this medium and long term aspiration kicking and screaming back to the reality of the here and now. There are an awful lot and increasing number of people and families in desperate need for support NOW! Here I include myself. We all need to hear fewer words and see more action, not  just a bit of tinkering around the edges. Yes... there has been some positive schemes and incentives but, in my opinion, they will fizzle and die if we don't all work together as a team and for the benefit of ALL.

As forum reader's know, I already use smart devices extensively in our home, this includes smart thermostats (from the Company OVO is working with), solar panels, the house is insulated top to bottom and yet... I will still struggle to save enough money on energy to offset the ever increasing price of other essentials from a fixed income. The increase in the energy cap will push us dangerously close to the edge of a very deep financial precipice. Even if we don't get pushed over the edge by all of the tax and price increases we will just be subsisting and not living.

So... here is another question that both me and thousands of people in a similar situation will be asking... Can we trust anyone with influence or actually empowered to act, to facilitate immediate short term relief for those that need it most? This because, we sure can't live on platitudes and the promise of jam tomorrow. Incidentally, even the price of jam as shot up.

Quick postscript for Jess... Thanks for passing my Smart IHD request across to your technical boys and girls. I look forward to a positive and productive discussion that hopefully, doesn't include anything about jam.

 

Stay safe.

Kindest regards

RickH

 

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Hi Jess_OVO,

 

You suggest you should nab all the points for the best solution offered in support of my topic thread. Well... you would certainly deserve all points for exemplary customer service but not so sure about OVO AIHD (accessible in-home display). For me the jury is still out on this one because although my faulty IHD has been replaced with a newer model (thanks again for your help on that), I will need to contact your tech guys in order to get it paired to CAD. I thought it would pair automatically once, after repeated phone calls, OVO finally managed to get the thing to poll and sync with my meters. 

In any case, not much interested in points unless of cause it means prizes. If it does then... Game on and don't count, or claim, your chickens until they are hatched.

 

I currently assert... I have no way to validate your claim so please don't close this topic thread until I can.

 

Stay safe.

Kindest regards

Rick_H.

 

Userlevel 7

Just to pop back with an update on this one.

 

We’re now able to offer an Accessible IHD for newly installed smart meters. This should be requested at the point of arranging your installation with the Support Team as the engineer will need to make sure things are paired up when they attend.

 

I’ll be sure to provide an update once we know more about the process for requesting an accessible device for existing smart meter customers, like yourself, as soon as I know more,

 

Thanks for your patience.

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