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My switch away was rejected as I have a 'profile class 0' (commercial) supply - how do I get database updated?

  • 12 October 2018
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56 replies

Userlevel 1

Yep as @Transparent mentioned, a bad background story/experience for you @HelsTC 

 

If we can find some kind of trace to suggest that you flagged this to us earlier then the few weeks ago that you mentioned, I’m sure the agent, or their manager, would be able to consider this in a resolution. Having worked in the ‘Complaints’ team for years, I would suggest (assuming we can confirm evidence of you contacting us about this issue last year) that we could look to cover any difference in prices from the supplier of your choice at the time.  

 

One bit of defense for OVO here: it’s the new supplier that has rejected this switch. It’s their prerogative to reach out. But even if they did, you’d need to restart the switch directly with them. 

 

Hope this gets resolved quickly. Feel free to send the URL of this topic to any agent you speak to on the web chat team

 

Thank you for you're response @Tim_OVO

 

Apologies for the slow response Tim: family emergency ongoing here, so I'll stick to the key point: I can send the communications from last August but it wouldn't be helpful to post them here for various reasons so please do let me know where to email them.

Of interest: New provider has stated my application will go on hold whilst the meter record is sorted out by ECOES.

Much appreciated. 

 

Userlevel 7

Good to hear this is getting sorted, @HelsTC 

 

If you email us on hello@ovoenergy.com, link to this topic, and advise or the request you made for this change to happen last year. Hopefully the agent will be able to find the notes from this and update you on actions they’re taking. They might reach out to by phone.. 

 

 

Userlevel 6
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So, I seem to be in the same boat now, and after prodding support a few times, I have now been given a resolution time frame of 45 working days (or 9 ½ weeks). That seems distinctly excessive to me, even if there are external factors involved. 

Does anybody know how this problem was created? Was the profile class wrong when I switched to OVO already, or did that happen with the installation of the smart meter?

Since this is a rather significant mistake, and I now feel held hostage by OVO, I would like to see some answers. I guess a complaint would be the only way to do that? 

Userlevel 7

I’m so sorry to hear of the issues you’ve had when contacting our Support Team to request a change to your profile class, @MrPuds.

 

As outlined in the ‘Best Answer’ above:

 

 

 What’s likely is  your property has smart meters, which send the readings to the energy industry every half hour. This makes sure we’re able to anticipate your energy demand more efficiently and is an important part of de-carbonising the grid on our journey to Plan Zero

This ‘half hourly settlement’ is listed on the national database as a profile class 0, which up until 2019 was only for business listings. This is an industry wide change so all suppliers should be aware of this update and able to onboard a customer. However, there are a lot of suppliers who still don’t have this functionality.

 

We can change the way your meters are listed on the national database so that it’s not half hourly, in order to avoid confusion from another supplier. Reach out to our Support Team to request this update. Once requested it takes around 2 - 4 weeks for the listing to be updated.

 

As you mention being advised of a much longer than expected timeframe to get this resolved, I’d like to take a look at your account to make sure this request has been raised correctly.

 

We’ve previously contacted you via a Private Message here, if you could respond to this message confirming your account details, I can investigate this further for you.

 

I hope this helps get things sorted.

 

Userlevel 6
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Following up to this, can anybody point to first hand evidence of OVO’s interpretation of Profile Class 0? I have looked extensively at the communication and documentation from ECOCS and Elexon, and I have also asked several electricity providers. 

OVO claims that the use of Profile Class 0 is industry standard for elective half-hourly settlement (elective HHS). 

Nobody else seems to share that interpretation. And any information I can find says that Profile Class 0 is reserved for industrial supplies > 100kW which are on mandatory half-hourly settlement (HHS), a completely different process from elective HHS. 

Clearly somebody must be right, and somebody most be wrong. 

Userlevel 7
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Sounds to me as if a bunch of those other suppliers are still going off of the old rules, despite the changes that were made. There’s no way for you to access ECOES because you need a login for that and self registration is basically disabled. In actual fact, the homepage for it is also extremely basic with little more than said login page and a couple of links.

I did read a report somewhere that a small group of domestic customers have been moved to half-hourly settlement since 2019, but unfortunately I forgot where I found it and haven’t been able to find it since.

However, Ofgem seems to support the idea of using it more often:

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/energy-policy-and-regulation/policy-and-regulatory-programmes/electricity-settlement-reform

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/electricity-retail-market-wide-half-hourly-settlement-decision-and-full-business-case

It’s also worth bearing in mind that OVO has so far never offered services to non-domestic i.e. business customers, so under the old rules a profile class 00 would automatically block a switch to OVO by default on the basis of it being a non-domestic supply. My understanding is that you need to have a supply license that covers the right type of supplies in order to service them, but don’t count on that because I haven’t ever had the time to read absolutely everything in the license documentation.

To me, this suggests that profile class 00 is no longer restricted to non-domestic supplies, as OVO otherwise wouldn’t set any active accounts up this way. If it really is the case that OVO is correct, then the most likely explanation is that everyone who claims otherwise probably hasn’t caught up yet.

Userlevel 7

Hope @Blastoise186’s information helped explain the recent changes to how profile classes work, @MrPuds .

 

As offered previously we’d be happy to check your account to make sure the request to update your profile class has been raised correctly. Please respond to the private message from our Forum Support profile and we’ll take a look.

 

 

Userlevel 6
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Ok, it is time for an update. 

First of all, I am pretty convinced that OVO are wrong here. The internal OVO system has me as a profile class 1, but they put me down as profile class 0 on the national database. And it is my understanding that elective half-hourly settlement has nothing to do with my profile class. As I said, if you have evidence otherwise, please point to it. 

Secondly, I filed both a customer service request and a complaint about this. The first one was given a resolution time frame fo 45 working days, which is over 2 months. Wow! 

Today, I asked for an update. The first agent said this was resolved, which was not true. After talking to 5 service agents, I eventually found somebody who could look into it. They said my complaint had been logged with normal priority, so it would “always go to the back of the queue”. They have now set it to high priority, so somebody should actually look into it within the next few weeks. 

I can only assume that customer service at OVO is currently completely overwhelmed with the acquisition of SSE. But to call this experience shambolic is an understatement, unfortunately. It has just been a comedy of errors.  

Userlevel 7

I’m so sorry for the confusion, @MrPuds.

 

As we explained when you first raised this issue, the usual timeframe to update a profile class on the national database is around 2 - 4 weeks so it sounds like the agent you originally spoke to may have misadvised. As offered at that time I’d like to check your account and get this corrected if needed. We’ve requested some account details via a private message here so will follow this up with you directly.

 

Once again I’m so sorry for any inconvenience and will do my best to get this sorted for you as soon as possible.

Userlevel 7
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Hi. Not that i want to, but in case the new v2g offer isnt viable, i need mine resolving also. The question is, who is right. Ovo or others, happy tp take my fight anywhere, just need to get tge details spot on 1st. @Blastoise186 help!

Userlevel 7
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Sorry John, no can do in this instance.

My ability to pull data out of ECOES and Xoserve or make changes to those records is locked down to only supplies that I have direct control over, or those which I am associated with. I’m unable to request changes to your records on your behalf.

Sorry about that.

Userlevel 7
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@Blastoise186 this wasnt a request for you to change but can you help me find the answer to the key question:

 

Is OVOS use of profile class technically correct while other suppliers are wrong, or, are OVO incorrect and other suppliers correct. 

I.e. where is this officially documented (happy to read through a doc to find it) but who governs this, is this an ofgem thing?

Userlevel 7
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Oohh, Ok. That is something I can at least try to do.

Leave it with me...

Userlevel 7
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Well, I’ve got something to whet your appetite at least: https://www.elexon.co.uk/knowledgebase/profile-classes/

https://www.elexon.co.uk/knowledgebase/what-is-a-load-profile/

There is no reference to a class 0

Userlevel 7
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But otherwise, pretty much all public sources are outdated.

Sorry!

Userlevel 7
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But otherwise, pretty much all public sources are outdated.

Sorry!

AS-Ha! I found something!!!

 

https://britishbusinessenergy.co.uk/electricity/profile-classes/

 

Profile Class 00: Peak load usage of electricity above 100 kW”

 

If this site is correct, clearly 00 is wrong!

Userlevel 7
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Also:

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/sites/default/files/docs/2019/10/ghd_report_to_ofgem_-_review_of_eco_supply_volume_methodology_v1.pdf

 

Seems to concur with above., sort of? - @Blastoise186  can you interpret?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Userlevel 7
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You’ve fallen for the trap there John.

That website is unofficial and cannot be relied upon by itself. I can only accept the data from it if official sources back it up. Seems to be that kind of site that just wants to grab cash off you!

That Ofgem report doesn’t really tell me much either…

Except for one thing… Class F can be domestic and Half-Hourly and Class 00. I think OVO might be telling the truth here.

Userlevel 6
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I did finally find what I was looking for. It is on Page 16f at https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/sites/default/files/docs/2016/05/elective_hhs_conclusions_paper.pdf

“On CoS, the losing HH supplier would first be required to return the customer to NHH arrangements. (The customer’s previous NHH profile class (if known).”

Now this document is only reflective and not definitive, but it does squarely put the blame on OVO. So unless somebody finds a document that is definitive, more recent, and states the contrary, I have made up my mind. (Insert “change my mind” meme here...)

Userlevel 7
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True, that would have been the case in 2016 when that document was published. But what if other stuff has changed since then? What happens when 99% of suppliers enable Half-Hourly Settlement properly and you get that one holdout who refuses to budge off of the old ways?

It seems to me as if it’s more a case of OVO and a few other suppliers running in “future mode” while others are still in “stone age mode”, so to speak.

Userlevel 7
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I might call OFGEM ! :) 

Userlevel 7
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Update to that..  i have actually spoken to OFGEM directly, they are investigating this as a compliance issue in 2 ways:

1. If the OVO setup and classification is valid
2. Why suppliers are blocking transfers *regardless* of classificiation.

Was an amazing 22 mins call with very helpful response and they are formalising a response to me in writing on these subjects. They are confirmed the owners of profile class definition.

 

I will share response here and it is being fast tracked.

Userlevel 7
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John, how did you manage to pull of that kind of black magic? XD

I thought Ofgem didn’t take calls from consumers?

Userlevel 7
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I have spent the past 30plus years working with all sortsxof compliance teams. There are ways.. . ;)

Userlevel 6
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It seems to me as if it’s more a case of OVO and a few other suppliers running in “future mode” while others are still in “stone age mode”, so to speak.

That’s what I thought first, but my chosen supplier also is running in “future mode”. So this seems to be more an issue of the system not catering for switching suppliers while on EHHS (despite this being identified as in important user story by the relevant working group - it does boggle the mind). 

So it seems that there is plenty of blame to go round, but more importantly, this problem needs to be fixed industry wide. The attitude “it only affects a few customers so far” is certainly far from helpful. 

I am looking forward to the full statement from OFGEM. 

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