My OVO Energy Breakdown feature - is the 'water heater' appliance option just for electricity?

Hi, I have just completed my Energy Profile (My Ovo-Usage-Create/Edit Energy Profile).
It asks if you have a water heater. Does this include a boiler and water tank (which is obviously something that heats the water!)? It seems like an odd classification, as surely everyone heats their water, and so I would like clarification.

Also, can you explain how the categories are identified? As an example, my Fridge/Freezer is always on, but you have a Refrigeration as a separate category. Do you identify a constant value being used, attribute this to 'Always On', then make a assumption that you have one fridge/freezer, and deduct the expected usage, and attribute it to Refrigeration?
I'm guessing Cooking is any (electric) device that causes a big spike, and will include anything with an element (eg a kettle or toaster).
The same principle for Entertainment etc, identifying load at different levels, and associating it with 'expected' devices.

This would be a clever algorithm if it is proven to be accurate.
It would be useful for customers to have a breakdown per minute (maybe 15) for each category, so that we could correlate and match our behaviour with the recorded information.
I suspect that the majority of customers wouldn't bother, but keeping 48hrs of granular records surely wouldn't be too big an overhead in todays 'big data' world?

Best answer by ChrizK 20 June 2018, 12:36

Update, as I had selected Water Heater within my profile yesterday, it now shows as a category. It appears you are spot on, as it has 'Electric Water Heater' under the heading of Water Heater. I have now removed it from my profile.
Ovo, you should distinguish that this selection/choice is only if you have an ELECTRIC Water Heater.

OVO Help page on the Energy Breakdown:
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10 replies

Userlevel 7
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Hi @ChrizK,

I can't see the Energy Profile page you refer to... possibly because you're on a Smart Meter and I'm not. But I can still clarify a couple of points:-

1. OVO are currently engaged in a major upgrade of their Usage and Estimates software, which is why "live usage" is currently inoperable. So if you manage to correlate the OVO graphs with your pattern of using devices, then you're doing better than most!

2. The legislation is in place to permit the trading of domestic energy in half-hour (HH) chunks because this facility is supported in the forthcoming SMETS2 meters. So we might expect OVO to be using this software upgrade to be based on HH intervals, even though there are currently no tariffs to support this of course.

I suppose future In-Home Displays might still have the capability to show granularity as fine as each minute, but I don't expect the meters themselves to transmit that level of data back to OVO.

3. We normally refer to a Water-Heater as a fixed electrically-powered item. There are three basic categories: Instantaneous (operates like an electric shower), point-of-use, and storage.

Here's some as advertised on the Dealec website.
Thank you for your reply. I am not sure if Ovo are going to respond, giving a definitive answer in regard to 'what' a water heater is, but I will conclude (for now) that I do NOT have one.
NB Although my boiler has an immersion heater element, it is only used 'in an emergency'.

I also suspect you are right in regard to the granular data not being uploaded*, but I also suspect the Smart Metering Implementation Programme hasn't thought far enough ahead to provide minute by minute data capacity (historic) on the In-Home Hubs, or Displays. That said, without tying it back to the suppliers algorithm on device recognition, it would be limited use anyway.

* Being on an unlimited broadband packages, I would be quite happy for my IHD to transmit minute-by-minute data, which would be a tiny amount in comparison to my households use (mainly online gaming).
Update, as I had selected Water Heater within my profile yesterday, it now shows as a category. It appears you are spot on, as it has 'Electric Water Heater' under the heading of Water Heater. I have now removed it from my profile.
Ovo, you should distinguish that this selection/choice is only if you have an ELECTRIC Water Heater.

OVO Help page on the Energy Breakdown:
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
Hi @ChrizK,

I don't think that's how the IHD works, but as I don't yet have one, I can't be 100% certain.

As I understand it, the regulations laid down by Ofgem stipulate that the meter readings can't be sent directly to your Energy Supplier. Nor must they use the internet for any Smart Meter commands. To do so would threaten our UK Energy Supplies because a "foreign agent" could hack into the Smart Meter system.

For security, all smart-meter commands are sent by the Data Communications Company (DCC) using encrypted protocols over the mobile phone network. DCC receives your usage data and passes this onwards to your Energy Supplier (OVO).

Your IHD receives its usage data from your electricity meter using a wireless Mesh-network called Zigbee. Some IHD's, including OVO's Chameleon, additionally do use the internet, but definitely not for transferring usage-data from your meter to OVO!

I've recently uploaded a diagram of how all this hangs together in the OpenLV Topic here.

All this technology is likely to change considerably over the next year as SMETS2 Smart Meters are rolled out. So don't be surprised if you receive apparently contradictory replies from other Forum Users at the moment.
Userlevel 7
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@ChrizK, Your comments about having better definitions/explanations of the devices in OVO's Energy Profile are valid.

However, I'm working blind as I don't (yet) have this feature available, and OVO themselves don't monitor these Forum Topics.

For that reason I'm just tagging a Community Moderator, @Eva_OVO, so she can send an Internal Notification to whoever it is that is responsible for designing/configuring these Energy Profile pages. Thanks Eva 🙂
Again, thanks for your input.
I may well be wrong, but I think 'something' eluded that the IHD was necessary for 15min data capture. It may have been in the terms and conditions when I connected the IHD to my Wifi (the T&Cs did make me think twice enabling it, but as it was a while ago, and I don't recall why).
Userlevel 7
I'll pass on this feedback to try and get the 'Water heater' appliance described more clearly!

@ChrizK @Transparent here's our OVO Help content on the Energy Breakdown feature:

I'll put this link onto your comment that's been made the 'best answer' ChrizK
Userlevel 7
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Thanks @Tim_OVO,

I think it's more than just clarifying the description for Water Heater.

In the original Post, @ChrizK also mentioned the items to be included in "Cooking" and "Refrigeration".

Some clearer examples might help Users decide what to include and what to leave out of each section.

The Help page you link to has a section for "Always on", but then gives Freezer as an example in the Refrigeration section. As ChrizK says, a Freezer is usually "Always on".

Equally, a high-current device in a kitchen might be the pulveriser in the sink-waste and one of those modern "hot water taps" from which you can draw water hot enough to make a cup of tea. Yet I wouldn't instantly think of these under the heading of "cooking".
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Userlevel 7
Hi all

I have spoken to our product team about this feature. They have given the following feedback in regards to how it is now:

Reference the question from @MarkJohnson about water heaters, the water heating is related to electric water heaters only but you have to have selected that option in the 'profile' section. Hope that makes sense?

The questions about refrigeration and always on are spot on as well. It's confusing that a refrigerator is always on, but then there's a separate section for it

The answer is it's always switched on but it's not always actively drawing power to cool down the fridge. A lot of the time it's also effectively in stand by mode. But regularly through the day it'll use more energy - when the compressor kicks in and you usually hear it. How much it uses is depending how big the fridge it, how warm it is, how often you open the door, etc.

Hope this helps clear up some of the confusion around this. As always, this thread is great feedback for us to ensure going forward we can continue to trying to make our features more user friendly and easy to understand!