Getting advice about electricity appliances, energy demand, usage efficiency and costs

Thought i'd share my experience: Smart meter fitted about 7 weeks ago. It quickly confirmed what I knew - that we were using a lot of electricity.
One quiet morning I decided to find out what might be possible, how low could it go?:
One by one I powered down EVERYTHING until I reached zero energy use, and then one by one found out what each appliance or device was consuming albeit in standby mode for the most part.
It clearly identified a culprit and what seems to be for a massive 40%+ of my bill. That item has now been switched off for the entire month and lo and behold my monthly usage has dropped significantly, and my bill fallen from high £90's to just under £60 for the month.
Okay, it is the summer and consumption "ought" to be lower in any case although we have never witnessed that particular phenomenon as our usage/bill has always been around the £90-100/month mark.

14 replies

Userlevel 2
Hi markfiveo - it’s great that you managed this. I find it next to impossible to do this now that OVO have removed the ability to monitor live energy consumption. I’m going to go back to my old Loop energy meter system.

Out of interest - what was the culprit? You could help many people (and the planet) by naming and shaming...
The culprit was an immersion tank. I understand that under building regs, installing C/H in an old property meant also having to have an immersion tank (supplementary or backup hot water?) that unbeknown to me was permanently on. Using the Smart Meter enabled me to see that there was something significant consuming my energy when everything else had been powered off. Simples really but I was unaware that the tank element was on 24/7.
A friend in a brand new property also discovered the same situation having been told it was more economic to have the immersion tank on than using instant hot water from the C/H. Pah.
Userlevel 1

Wonder if someone can clear something up.  My daily usage online from my smart meter shows that when I use my electric shower that the breakdown is about 80-90 pence for that hour.  

My shower is a 9.5kw shower and I’m only ever using it for max 5 mins.  So why is costing so much?   Nothing else apart from a couple of low wattage smart bulbs are on. 

I dont have an IHD yet so don’t know what that would say.  


Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Hey there @Ub8jay ,

Could you fill out your forum profile please? It helps to make sure we give you the right advice in the future.

Firstly, can I ask which tariff you’re on, and whether you have anything like Economy 7? Sometimes this sort of thing can have a big impact.

One of the ways you can double check whether the details in your online account are correct would be to quickly check your meter readings just before taking a shower and then checking again afterwards. That might offer some clues.

Userlevel 1

Thanks I’ve updated my profile.  

I’m on the Better Smart tariff. 



Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Perfect. Thanks @Ub8jay .

In that case, you should be on a really cheap rate and the only thing that would be racking up such high charges would be you pulling through and awful lot of power all at once. I don’t think an electric shower is that thirsty either!

If you compare the meter readings on the meter itself just before and just after taking a shower, I’d be interested to see if that matches up to what your account shows.

Userlevel 1

I just checked my meter 

Total Active import kWh before was 82kwh

I had an approx 4 min shower 

Total Active import kWh now 83kwh 

Which all seems normal to me.  I will need to wait until tomorrow to check what my usage says online though as no IHD yet due to supply shortage / covid apparently..



Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Thanks @Ub8jay ,

Yup, that seems normal to me. I’d expect an electric shower to use around one or two kWh during normal use, so the meter seems to be working as expected.

OVO are currently awaiting a delivery of new IHDs and I’m told they’ve got a huge batch on order. If you haven’t already, you can pre-order one now and the support team will get one sent out to you as soon as the new batch is ready.

If you need anything else, feel free to stop by the forums anytime. :slight_smile:

Userlevel 1

I’ll check back tomorrow with what my online reading says.  

if it’s high then something isn’t right


I did contact customer care today as said they cannot give me a information on when they will be available in my area.  

Userlevel 1

@Blastoise186  just had a thought.  I was looking at the OVO app and the breakdown for my usage I can view , Daily, Monthly or Yearly.  The monthly and yearly I can choose cost or usage.  

The daily I don’t get a choice.  But if I look at the total cost for the monthly day view it all looks good.  I suspect but might be wrong that the value I am thinking is cost is actually a kWh value. So my showering times are around 1kwh

can you confirm if the daily is in kWh as it seems?

I’ve also asked to send my readings half hourly as they were set to daily.  

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Ah ha!

That probably would explain it then. At least you can now be confident that a single shower isn’t costing you £1 a time.

I believe the data is meant to show up as both cost in £ and usage in kWh. I’ll keep an eye out for that on my own account, just in case something is broken.

As for changing the settings on your meter, it may take up to five days for that change to go through, so you might not see the half-hourly readings for at least a week or so. You should hopefully see that happen by the end of the month however.

Userlevel 1

@Blastoise186 Thanks for your help!

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

You’re welcome.

If you need any help in the future, please do feel free to stop by again. The support team will only be available for limited hours during the festive period as per 

The forums however will still be open and there’ll be a few volunteers keeping an eye out for anyone who needs help.

In the meantime, I’d like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for 2021 (hopefully a little more exciting too).

Userlevel 6

I’ve popped your thread here, @Ub8jay, this may help other users with a similar query in the future. 


@Blastoise186 thanks for helping getting to the bottom of this! :spy: