Has my Smart Meter or IHD developed a problem overnight......suddenly seeing a red usage light

Userlevel 2

Just switched to Ovo from SEB, but have had a type2 smart meter / IHD for about a year. Im on Economy 10 and Ive got very used to what Im normally charged at various times of the day.

Got up for a pee at around 1:30am today (not a spring chicken any more) and was surprised to see the red usage light on. Normally its amber as the off peak heating comes on.

Upon checking my IHD I saw was racking up £1.29 per k/wh when Im normally at around £0.84 when the overnight heating is charging up. To check, I turned off the off peak switch and it dropped to £0.14

I also checked the ‘boost’ switch in my cupboard to make sure I hadnt turned it on by mistake and no it was off

I think I may have found the possible issue. When I checked the tariff readings on my IHD, it said I was being charged peak rate at 2am in the morning, and it would revert to off peak at 6am. This puts it out of sync with my storage heaters / immersion cylinder and would explain the red usage light

I have literally just switched from SEB on 09.08.23

I understand there can be switchover problems, but this is going to waste me money just for using my hot water. Do you think its a) an IHD fault or b) someone at Ovo has not put me on the correct Economy 10 hours?

If I am right, who/how do I contact at Ovo to get this looked at asap? I dont want to be racking up an excess bill, then having to fight to get money back through no fault of my own. I would prefer a contact other than general customer services as my experience with SEB was truly horrific in that regard (waiting up to an hour to get answered, then speaking to pretty clueless staff).

Would really appreciate some help….thank you in advance




Best answer by Emmanuelle_OVO 18 August 2023, 11:55

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48 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Ah - didn’t realise you were starting another thread on this. Yes, the IHD doesn’t set the rate you are charged. That’s all based on your plan and account so as long as that’s set ok then there shouldn’t be a problem.
The IHD might need an update command sent from the support team to get things back in sync for you to monitor but that’s all it is .. a monitor. 

Userlevel 2

Well the Economy 10 times tariff times shown on the website certainly dont match those displayed on my IHD

Wouldnt normally bother about something like this, but ive never had the red high usage light before, and as of 10am my daily shown is almost 50% higher than normal. I know I should really let this run for a few days, but as I said I dont want to be running up an excessive bill then trying to get my money back

Due to just having switched, whilst my online account is showing readings coming in, the usage and current bill are not updating, so I cant cross check against the IHD figures


Userlevel 7

Hey @MikeMilf,


I’d advise contacting the Support Team and following the advice given by BPLightlog, they should be able to do an update command to get the rates to align with the ones on your plan. 


Don’t worry the IHD doesn’t affect your billing, the readings are send across from your smart meter and you’ll be charged the rates that you can see in your Welcome Pack and on your Online Account

Userlevel 2

Hi there….yes I will do that tomorrow

Ive just realised, having written down all the tariff times from my IHD that they are all reversed (what should be peak hours are off-peak and vice versa). This would explain the red usage lights when my off peak circuits come on

I appreciate your assurance that the IHD doesnt affect billing, but currently my billing is not being updated, despite my online account confirming ovo are getting my smart meter readings. Once I can see that my daily spend hasnt been affected I can let the matter rest


Userlevel 2

Well thats three hours of my life wasted…..I can see these chat sessions are an utter waste of time

Three times start a chat session, three times answering security, then three times on hold supposedly at position 1 in the queue, for over 45 minutes while absolutely nothing happended.

Customer service on the same level as SEB it seems

Since being moved to OVO from SSE recently I noticed my smart meter is in the red quite a lot. When I was with SSE it never went into the red even when we had showers, used the washing machine, drier or dishwasher. We have an Aga so I'm not using an electric cooker for cooking. Can someone from OVO please tell me why this is happening. Even turning the hot water tap on to wash my hands can cause the smart meter to shoot into the red. I am very concerned that this is going to cause my bills to increase.I pay a fixed monthly direct debit rate of £131 at the moment but worry that this will rise because of the smart meter going in the red more often. 


Userlevel 2

On your IHD (if its the same as mine) there will be menu option to look at your tariffs and times

Im having the same issue as you. Im told on here that it wont affect my bill but I really dont like seeing red usage lights that I never saw when I was with SEB

My tariffs (on Economy 10) seem to be completely the reverse of what they should be. If I can ever get hold of someone at Ovo I will let you know the outcome


Many thanks. I did look at the tariff but afraid it doesn't mean much to me. Good luck trying to get hold of someone at OVO!

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

As I said earlier in this thread, the IHD settings do not alter your tariff rates. It has been seen previously for the thresholds on the IHD (colour levels) to change on switching. 
On your tariff page you should see a cost per kWh for your power usage

Userlevel 2

Forgive me yes I do know that….

I can see the current tariff in pence per kw/hr and the time that the next tariff change will occur and the subsequent cost per kw/hr

Having noted this down over the course of 24 hours, I can state quite categorically that my IHD has everything in reverse. What should be showing as off peak hours, do not and vice versa

Having turned off my hot water cylinder, I only turned it back on during the supposed next off peak cycle….Useage light instantly went red which NEVER happened with SEB

Id love to be proven paranoid, but at the moment whilst meter readings are showing on my account, useage and current bilings a unavailable. To my untrained eye, the peak readings do look heavy compared to my last SEB bill

On three separate occasions today I tried to navigate past the Ovo chatbots, three time i was left hanging whilst a service agent suposedly came to my session It is beyond frustrating

Someone please tell me how i can speak to technical support without having to navigate a bot or general switchboard. Pleaseeeeee! lol

Many Thanks

Userlevel 7
Badge +1 is self-service.

Userlevel 2

Appreciate the link - have filled in the form. 250 chars was…...challenging haha!

Will respond within 45 days??!!!??? flippin ell


Userlevel 7
Badge +1

45 days is pretty standard for most suppliers dealing with a tech issue - it gives them enough time to dig deeper and figure things out. That stuff is rarely an instantly fixable thing.

Userlevel 2

Okay will have to settle in for the long haul I guess - just hope they are quicker to credit my account if an error is discovered :)

Thank you for your responses recently…..much appreciated

Edit….just realised they havent acknowledged my submission with a ticket number or email auto-response. Are these guys good at dealing with these things because I have no obvious way of chasing them up

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

That tool generates a case internally and links it to the account if it detects something it can help with (obviously, it won’t if it detects everything is working fine). They’ll be in touch if they need to tell you anything.

Everything you do with OVO’s Support systems gets linked to your timeline. This forum is the only thing that doesn’t get linked up automatically - and that’s intentional. Otherwise my timeline on OVO’s support system would have over 7,000 random entries! :)

Userlevel 2

LOL sooner you than me then!

Just had a webchat who inform me there is also a 6 week validation period before my meter readings (which they are getting) actually update my online usage and current billing.

Hopefully my 1st bill will be inline with my old SEB spend, and I can let the matter drop


Thank you once again👍

Userlevel 7

@Adeline it might not be the same issue as Mike, with that In Home Display (IHD) showing in the red. 


As BPLightlog mentioned:


It has been seen previously for the thresholds on the IHD (colour levels) to change on switching. 


In other words your usage hasn’t changed but the goal posts for what the IHD considers to be high usage has since switching to OVO. If that’s the cause, this topic outlines how to change the settings for the Smart Energy Tracker (if you have another IHD mode let us know):



So Tim from OVO, can you please tell me why my meter is constantly going into the red. For instance I have been out all morning, came home, had to wash my hands and instantly the meter went straight into the orange! The hot water tap was on less than a minute. Why is that?

Userlevel 7

When you mention the smart meter I’m going to assume it’s the hand held In Home Display device (IHD). We’re suggesting @Adeline that the target for what the IHD thinks is high usage might have changed since joining OVO. e.g where once a boiled kettle kept you in the green, now it goes into orange. That’s what we’re guessing as it’s unlikely a usage change or smart meter clocking fault. Can you let us know what IHD you have or share a picture?

Hi Tim at OVO. Yes when I say me smart meter I mean this which I realise is an IHD. It has been since we changed over to OVO so why does it go into the orange/red so frequently now where it didn't before? Does it mean it's more expensive? If you could just explain to me the reasons I would really appreciate it and perhaps not panic when it does go into the red.

Userlevel 7

Hey @Adeline,


You’re billed based on the readings sent across from your smart meters themselves. So to see how much you are being charged you can check your Online Account:



It sounds like the budget/target for ‘high usage’ has changed when you’ve switched over to OVO. We’ve seen this happen to other Community Members. This webpage shows instructions for setting a budget for usage, this may help re-set the ‘high’ usage.


I believe what’s happened is your IHD is currently showing the color's based on an ‘average consumer’. After a while, your IHD will re-learn your habits and adjust everything on your energy use.


Hope this helps.

Hi Emmanuelle, thank you for your reply. I would love to believe that my IHD will eventually "re-learn our habits and adjust everything" but forgive me if I'm a little sceptical. I feel that since joining Ovo my electric costs will eventually rise due to my IHD going constantly into the red charging £1.00 per kw. at times. That 's my logic which I would love to think is flawed but I think OVO will benefit at the end of the day.

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

They won’t. Your IHD is only a guide and is not used for billing.

You probably just need to change the settings on it to adjust the usage level thresholds again.

Ok I will try that. So do I reset settings or data or all? 

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Neither. You just need to change one setting, not reset the device.