V2G Tariff, Smart Meters, and Solar Panel Export Payments - how does it all link up?

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I am hoping someone from OVO will be able to help me with this.

With your new (upcoming?) V2G tariff which pays for exported energy:

1) Does this work with a smart meter (SMETS2?) which keep track of 'exported' energy kWh via a separate reading? Therefore it's counting both the EV car's exported energy and the solar panel's exported energy together?
2) Would someone with solar panels therefore be paid by you on the basis that they're outside of the FiT scheme (opting-out or never registered for FiT export payments?)
3) Does the solar panel energy have to first be 'fed into' the V2G car battery, and then exported out to the grid via the V2G connector, or e.g. when the car isn't connected to the charger and is out on the road, and there is excess solar energy being produced at home, would that energy be exported and counted by the smart meter directly and would this exported energy still be paid for by you regardless?
4) Is it a REQUIREMENT that we have an EV car and/or purchase an EV charger from you, in order to sign up for this new tariff?

I purchased a property a few months ago and the previous owner, for whatever reason, never registered for the FiT and it's no longer possible to do so as the system was installed prior to 2016.

Therefore I'm not registered for export payments, and it would be nice if via an innovative energy company and a smart meter-based export meter, I would be able to get paid for exporting this energy to the grid.

I am looking to possibly get an EV car in the next two years, but it's not an immediate priority, hence why I'm wondering if EV car ownership is an absolute requirement to join this new tariff of yours.

Many thanks in advance for any answers!

Updated 09/03/2020


Best answer by Hari_OVO 11 January 2019, 18:14

Hi @Rishi the Fox,

Thanks for your message, it's a very interesting topic - and certainly one that is going to become more and more relevant given the recent government announcement that they would be removing FiT export payments on solar installations that take place after April - more on that here.

I'll answer your last question first, as it's probably the one that you're most keen to know the answer to, and there is a very short answer, which is yes. Unfortunately, in order to receive export payments, you will need to be part of the Vehicle-to-grid trial, and therefore own a Nissan Leaf.

We measure export reads via your smart meter, irrespective of whether it is a SMETS 1 or SMETS 2. And yes, you're absolutely right, it will measure exported energy regardless of whether it is from your car or solar.

We will give customers an export credit, on the condition that they have opted out of any FiT export payments that they may have previously been receiving. Customers with solar panels will receive a net export payment of 2p per kWh exported, which is less than the 6p per kWh for non-Solar customers. The reason behind this is as you've said, some of the power will have come from your solar panels, and some will have come from the V2G charger.

I hope this goes some way to answering your questions? Let me know if not, or if there is anything else, I'll do my best to help!


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Ha! Sorry @Transparent. It’s been a long day I didn’t notice that :joy:

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Erm, yes it is @Nancy_OVO !

That’s because another Moderator ( @Amy_OVO ?) has now done as I asked and moved the discussion I had with Turbotec into this Topic!  We were originally talking about this in a Topic which he’d started.

Consequently, my link does indeed now point to (page-1 of) this very same Topic.

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Hi @Transparent - I’m not sure which topic in particular you mean. The URL you’ve included in the link is back to this topic (V2G Tariff, Smart Meters, and Solar Panel Export Payments - how does it all link up? ).

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Hi @Turbotec and welcome to the Forum.

The speed of getting a SMETS2 Meter fitted depends on where you are in the country. In my area of Devon there are installation slots available next week. But in some parts of the Northern Territory (including Scotland) there are areas of the network still not operational.

If you fill out your Forum Profile, that’ll give us a better idea of where you are!

Yes, all SMETS2 Meters are compatible with houses that have solar PV. They record electricity exported as a separate reading to that which you draw from the grid.

The question is whether you want to do this!

Many PV owners receive lucrative FIT payments based on an estimate of 50% of their generation being exported. Once you have a Smart Meter, you can be paid at the true rate.

Have a look at this other Topic where the pros and cons were discussed a year ago.


Let me just tag a Moderator… @Amy_OVO can you move this Topic across to the other existing one please?

Just thinking of changing supplier but need to know 

  1.  How soon would SMETS-2 be fitted after taking new OVO contract offer?
  2.  Is SMETS-2 compatible with my solar panels i.e., will I still get the benefit of my free daytime solar generated electricity?

Can anyone contribute to the above please?

Thank you

Hi @Hari_OVO and thank you so much for your helpful reply!

Your reply does indeed answer the bulk of my questions on this topic. It's always seemed crazy that there could be people out there generating electricity, feeding it onto the grid, and yet not receiving any kind of credit or payment for that. Utilities and DNOs pay generators for the electricity produced and fed onto the grid - if individuals are slapping solar panels on the roof and providing that energy to the grid, why shouldn't they receive payment for it too, given the energy produced will then be resold for a profit?

The recent news that the government are looking to legislate for utility companies to pay export payments is wonderful news, and hopefully should open up a lot of exciting possibilities for people who are generating electricity and feeding it back, regardless of how it's produced.

I'm not surprised your V2G tariff is only open to Nissan Leaf owners at this trial stage. However, would it be reasonable to assume that once the tariff is complete, you intend this tariff to be open to the public, and anyone is free to sign up for that tariff, that it won't be limited to Nissan Leaf owners?

Also, would it be fair to say Ovo will be looking to introduce export credits more broadly after the government's latest announcement?

The tying-together of EV car and solar generation, EV and home battery storage, smart meters and export payments opens up a lot of exciting possibilities for individuals... to generate and to import electricity during 'off-peak' periods, charge up the car, store it for use at 'peak' consumption times, and then discharge the surplus onto the grid during peaks when it's needed most in exchange for payment.

We live in exciting and innovative times. :)

Kind regards,

I think the V2G trials are limited to Nissan primary because CHAdeMO bras the necessary V2G protocols whereas CCS wil not have them until 2025.

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Hey EVers, check out the latest import/export results for this V2G trial here! 

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This is a very complicated subject and any final FAIR charging strategy will be far in the future, but I would like to return to the present and discuss further the current system of paying Solar panel owners 1/3 rd f the standard payment. I have put forward arguments against this but until now I missed the best argument of all. Today I will be lucky if my 4 Kw system produces more than 2 Kws. Obviously this will be used at home with no feed back. This is the situation (on average) for most of the year. Any substantial feed back which could justify the lower rate will happen at most in 3 or 4 moths called "SUMMER". For the other 8 or 9 months all feed bck will come from the EV regardless of whether solar panels exist or not.
Surely this shows clearly that the rate paid should be the same for all?
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Brilliant feedback, @tready. Let me just tag @Hari_OVO to make sure he sees this!

You are absolutely correct to raise this issue. There's more to being on the V2G Trial than just observing the functionality of the hardware. The Tariff system is equally important.

I'm a member of a community group who are involved in an Ofgem-funded project on the Distribution Grid. Ofgem are well aware that it's no use changing the regulatory structure that underpins our energy usage without first checking how ordinary members of the public might respond to that.

That's why it's so important to have ordinary people like you involved in Trials. What actually happens is that people change their habits because they realise that they can "play the system" to arrive at a better outcome for themselves.

You are quite correct to charge your car elsewhere and then export whilst at home. That's a direct consequence of the Trial Participants having a flat-rate Tariff. It makes financial sense from OVO's viewpoint, but it penalises you. Consequently you are actually better off being at the pub in the evening and not offering any stored charge back to the Grid to alleviate the time of peak-demand.

Let me expand further on this point with a wider scenario for @Hari_OVO and his colleagues to mull over.

Suppose 'Fred' has an EV with a V2G charger at home. His employer thinks this is a great idea and installs a batch of them in the employees car-park using a Government grant. Employees will be able to charge at 5p/kWh, and the company is to earn 8p /kWh for any exports. Brilliant!

Fred dutifully plugs in his car each day, but configures the App to only allow his EV to be charged.

At the end of his working day he drives home 20 miles, plugs in his EV and earns 10p /kWh as a result of his contract with his Energy Supplier for grid-connection during the time of evening peak-demand. Fred configures the App to leave enough charge for the return trip to the office in the morning.

At the end of the year, the company goes through an audit. The Accountant tells the Employer that the yield from his rank of V2G chargers is lower than expected. But it's not a big problem because he can write off the charger installation against tax.

The Annual Accounts are filed with Companies House and HMRC.

A month later, Fred receives a form from HMRC querying his personal tax return. They want to know if he has unearned income which he hasn't declared, and are investigating an issue of Employee Benefits.

Fred phones HMRC to tell them what he has been doing and offering to pay tax if any is due. However, he points out that the Company scheme was installed with a grant under a Government initiative.

The following week, Fred is at work when he is called to the MD's Office. Another man there introduces himself as Detective Sargent Jones, and cautions Fred because he's under investigation for theft of electricity from his place of employment.

Now what?!

This is what happens if technology gets introduced without people like you providing OVO with genuine feedback!

That's why what you are saying is more important than you might realise.

... and, finally, could you please fill out your Forum Profile. I'd be interested to know the rough area you live in. V2G technology will provide greater benefits in some areas of GB than others.

*Mod Edited to remove language* - I charge my car up at the local charger - the one next to the real ale pub at 9p and plug in at home and sell at 6p over my rate - 14p. Soo forgive me if my maths is wrong I get 11p per kWh while sat in the pub? - how is this good? OK I get time in the Pub - but it makes no scence!
Charge me 14p at home when I get 9p everywhere else FFS are you real?
With my tariff I get Polar Plus at 0.09£ per kWh. do I charge at my local Charge point at 9p and sell at 20p? come on guys this is not making scence
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Hi @tready - You raise an interesting point. I'm pretty sure we discussed this on the Forum over 18 months ago when the Home Storage Battery trials were first mooted, before @Hari_OVO became Storage Project Manager.

Unfortunately I can't now find that discussion, largely due to me having posted so many times!

The proposal at that time was to offer Trial Participants a new (fixed) Contract at commencement of the trial period, which was to last the length of the trial. This was particularly relevant to the Home Storage Batteries because they have a longer Return-on-Investment (RoI) period.

That underlying contract would bring stability to the Trial, ensuring that there was an appropriate level of commitment on both sides.

It was tricky to assess because there was also the possibility that participants might need to be switched to a half-hour variable tariff... which wasn't available (and still isn't).

The tariff structure is part of the trial because a variable tariff would affect what parameters the participants configured on their App. If there was a plentiful supply of solar power in the area, uses might reasonably be offered a cheaper rate, and hence charge their batteries deeper or for longer.

@Darran_OVO Do you want this discussion to remain on this Topic?
Or would you rather it moved to the newly-opened Topic where other V2G trial participants might find it?
I got an OVO V2G charger and now pay £30 a month more!
They fitted the charger - worked after a couple of visits and a threat to remove it if they didn't get it working (My only transport is electric)
Problem was my contract came up for renewal 2 months after it was fitted - went from 11.8p per kWh to 14p per kWh. - That's a big increase - went on Compare the Market I could get 11.5p per kWh. £30 a month cheaper. But stuck with OVO for 2 years on this trial!!! Not happy. May just get a normal charger fitted and save wear and tear on my £6000 battery pack.

[edited by moderator]
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Hi @smithsmithers You need to follow what @SteveRB writes on this matter. He actually has grid-connected solar panels, whereas mine are supplying an off-grid Home Storage Battery.

Note also that the SMETS2 Smart Meters which a now being installed have the ability to directly measure exported electricity and record it separately. Moreover they have a number of different Time Of Use (TOU) tariff bands inbuilt rather than just the present strategy of a single Economy-7 rate between midnight and 7am.

If you want to find out more about these subjects, you really need to join in with a local Community Energy Group. These exist all over the UK and are involved with projects like:
  • helping householders to install solar panels
  • disseminating energy awareness in the local population
  • advising the local councils on energy policy
  • energy surveys for houses that have large bills
  • installing community-run energy schemes
My local group is part of the Transition Towns movement and also covers matters such as
  • combating single-use plastics
  • recycling schemes
  • cycle routes for commuters
  • community-run vegetable planters within the town
  • tree planting and ecological diversification programmes
I don't know where you live at the moment because you haven't yet filled out your Forum Profile. So I can't say if I know of a local Energy Group near you.

... and when you reply on this Forum, you don't need to copy the entirety of a previous message, you can just tag someone so they know you have replied to their comment by using @smithsmithers for example. Other people reading the Topic can always see what's been said before! Thanks.
Hi all,

Yes, there is need for another meter (the FIT meter). The installers of PV systems put one in.

The FIT meter goes electrically between the PV and the incoming power meter; thus, you can use your own power and not be billed. There is also export as against generation; it is possible to add an export meter - but this is unusual. It is assumed by small systems that 50% of the PV power is exported (not used at home).

I've a PV system and that is how my setup is wired.

V2G is helpful, but I for one cannot get sensible economics out of it in mass numbers, although as V2G EVs arrive there are useful things they can do for the DNO. But the DNO has small pockets; I've never heard of them financing V2G (their license terms usually say they cannot inject power i.e. be a generator, although that may change).

Hi, sorry, i was in a 3 days trip and i disconected my network devices 🙂 freedom jajaja.

@Transparent sorry but about UK i dont have so much knowledge, thats why i came here jeje i am near to move in and i like this kind of things.

I have more knowledge about spain and norway :)

I have one question about the FIT tariff:
does i need 2 meters? i mean, one from my standard tariff (the old one) and the another one for the FIT tariff both of them working in paralel.

So at the end i have two meters, one smart from the FIT tariff that allow me to inject into the grid and the another one my traditional one

is this correct? i readed something about it but im not sure (V2G for my vehicule)
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@SteveRB We really ought to be having this conversation with @Hari_OVO in a Westcountry pub over a pint of real-ale 🍺

... and if you keep throwing in new TLAs without a translation, then we're going to scare off others from joining in here! [ENA, EVSE, OLEV...] 😮

I understand why your "contact" says that Distributed Network Operators are Chinese-walled away from Smart Meters. However, this refers to the first-generation SMETS1 meters, which were deployed by Electricity Suppliers on their own networks.

SMETS2 Meters are installed onto the National Smart Meter Network operated solely by the Data Communications Company, DCC. It is this network which uses the heavyweight encryption.

Energy Suppliers are provided with further encrypted links to DCC over which they can send SMETS Commands and have data returned to them. Of course, these links have sanity-checks and are cross-referenced to ECOES and Xoserve, the keepers of the National Meter Databases for electricity and gas meters respectively. This ensures that only your designated Supplier can send commands to your meter.

Using the same strategy there is no reason why different sets of data cannot be made available to DNOs by DCC.

TOU EV charging does not require Smart Meter data to be exchanged between Electricity Suppliers and DNOs.

Moreover, DNOs must at some stage be required to send the DUoS charge data to the Energy Suppliers once that too becomes variable. Perhaps this should be sent via DCC as well.

My DNO have told me how the DUoS is currently calculated for domestic premises in my area. At the moment it is a static rate, unaffected by the demand peaks of the distribution network which they operate. That makes no sense at all, and has to change.

My area of Britain often has over-supply of renewable energy beyond that which can be fed up the Transmission Grid to the rest of the country. You and everyone else are actually paying compensation to those Westcountry Generators, who Western Power Distribution have to remove from the Grid. 🤑

Using a combination of substations with OpenLV monitoring and aggregated data derived from commands being sent to SMETS2 meters, that excess energy would be better put into EVs (and a number of other storage technologies too of course).

All this is achievable... especially if you factor in the forecasting element that's present in OVO's Vcharge software.

@smithsmithers are you still following this?
Do you want to pull us back to something which you could implement soon rather than looking at future energy strategies?

Now... who's round is it?
Yours, @SteveRB or @Hari_OVO's?
@smithsmithers :
OK. This looks like Distribution network Use of Service charges (DUoS). Those are rolled-up into your retailer bill (at present) - in the UK, you don't have a contract with your DNO, but with the retailer. DNO's cannot charge you (usually).

Thus such a charge does not exist (money is still changing hands somewhere though, like a daily rate of perhaps £0.20 charged to you by your retailer).

Re Economy 7. Well, in the 1960's perhaps, but electric heating has greatly faded out. Only about 1 in 20 still use it; most Grandmothers today would be heated by gas and not on E7!

For EV charging though - might be a good idea; check out what the extra daytime (day rate) £/kWh is; on an E7 tariff this will go up.

Note that electricity is about x4 the cost of gas.... so it is the #1 choice in the UK for home heating, with oil #2.

Thank you for the answer @SteveRB .

So if you go to your grandmothers house, probably she has a Economy 7? is this the most used in all the houses in UK? the people used to program the wash disher and that kind of things for the valley hours?

The backup toll is in some countries. For example, some years ago, In Spain you had to pay a backup toll. This meant that you paid the DSO for the service of provided you by being connected to the network whether or not you were consuming power. This was bad for people who wanted to selfconsume.

@Transparent gosh. Jaw drops open. problems? With EVs replacing cars? my contact at ENA says DNOs are Chinese-walled away from the SMETS data. How then do they have foresight, when the data is encrypted and spread over many retailers, who are supposed to not share it?

Electricity Distribution Area knowledge. How does that help the DNO?

They need to know feeder and phase to control the situation... and SMETS2 meters don't know that stuff; I've looked through the data fields and did not see this (it's easy to have low overall loads but a local overload on 1 phase).

Prey, how does it all work together? Is there a link to a clear plan??

My fear is that this is all "top-drop" views with no visibility of the detail, which says 10 EVs are charging on this phase => fuses go bang in substation.


PS FYI... OLEV tell me they only give grants for Smart EVSE ... non-Smart are not banned, just not available for a grant. non-Smart EVSE are needed when recharging at a destination with no comms e.g. in deepest countryside. So never-ever-had-a-comms-link chargers will still be about.
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@smithsmithers - Octopus Energy have a half-hour TOU Tariff called Agile which has been available for some time. It requires a SMETS1 meter manufactured by Secure (such as OVO used to install prior to 16th March). I assume that Octopus will soon be adding SMETS2 capability although this may need to be on another tariff because the data stream is different.

I have ongoing conversations with my DNO (Western Power Distribution) because I'm in one of the seven Community Teams in the OpenLV substation monitoring pilot scheme. The LV-Cap units in the substations are supplying us with data per minute. For obvious reasons, we mainly work with half-hour data which gives us graphs like this:

I hear what you say @SteveRB, but I would suggest the opposite:

Anyone putting forward a domestic energy strategy which does not comply with Demand Side Response is unlikely to be able to deliver it. DSR was developed by Dept of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) during 2013/14 when Ed Davey MP was Energy Minister. It is already enshrined in the regulatory framework, and Ofgem are supporting its introduction through a number of Network Innovation strategy programmes.

It isn't necessary to use Smart Meters to detect overloads caused by EV charging. This could, of course, be handled entirely via the LV-CAP monitors within sub-stations. EA Technology are already developing a 2nd generation design. It's not that difficult and doesn't require lots of processing power. You could achieve it with an Arduino Mega, as used in most DIY 3D printers.

The trickier part is building the communications network and number-crunching the data once you've got it. I get offered 146 parameters from the one sub-station I'm currently monitoring!

Unlike Smart Meters, there isn't a national security issue because it's only a monitor. No data gets sent in the other direction, so the UK National Grid can't be taken down by a third-party with hostile intent.

But as it happens, in the future there is unlikely to be a major overload problem with increased use of EV Chargers at home. To obtain the best TOU tariffs, most consumers will migrate towards chargers that are controlled using their SMETS2 meters.

These ALCS-enabled EV Chargers rely on commands being sent to the Smart Meters in the first place. So the DNOs can get advanced warning of the likely electricity demand because they simply add up the number of commands per half-hour period being sent to each Electricity Distribution Area.

@smithsmithers - please note that I am discussing a future energy distribution system here. It isn't yet available, but I'm in active communication with many of the people and organisations who are developing it.

There are 80 LV-CAP monitors in substations across the UK (three within 5 miles of me). The reason that Community Groups are involved is twofold -

a. we are investigating what is required in order to allow the wider (non-technical) group of electricity customers to make better choices on their electricity usage. My local group has developed an App which displays current usage data and related statistics. This allows us to survey how they react to having that knowledge.

b. we develop strategies to enable us to build and manage micro-grids, such as that being tested at another OpenLV site, Owen Square in Bristol. The DNOs are required by Ofgem to become Distributed System Operators, which are able to deliver electricity to community-led micro-grid organisations.

@smithsmithers :
Never heard of a backup toll. Please explain what this is and how it works.

Few ToU tariff in UK other than the long-established Economy-7 (there are variations on this).

Concept: cheaper overnight power (say midnight to 7am), but often with a small hike in the day-rate. For people wit overnight storage heaters, but anyone can ask for it.

Better to charge any EV in day from PV though!

@Transparent don't believe all you read / hear about Smart Meter DSR. These are VERY inadequate. The major problems are with the DNO's, and for them SM's are (today) useless: not enough info, too slow to show fault conditions, behind security walls etc. so not relevant.

EG: local overloads from EV charging need be sensed in minutes and fixed; data via SM's to DSO presently takes weeks. Literally.

Yes, DSR for generation (top-drop view) might be useful but over next 10 years the pinch is at the local level & on the DSO's. And SM's don't work for them; expect another tech solution which is not SG/SM based. See "My Electric Avenue":

Those results are for 2014/15 Leaf (3 kW charging) EVs so now out of date. Hence some other solution is needed; what and when is as yet unknown. DSR as-is is not for long....

That's a massive subject @smithsmithers !

And it's one where there will both overlap and differences between my views and @Hari_OVO's.

The whole domestic energy market is changing towards Demand Side Response
which will be operated using half-hourly time-of-use (HH TOU) tariffs

on SMETS2 Smart Meters


The way in which we have subsidised the installation of solar panels on houses with single-phase supplies is now working against us. These cause phase-imbalance at the sub-stations which results in energy being lost as heat. Losses have increased from around 5% to 10% in the last 20 years.

Moreover if you were already to have used up all the 16A/phase capacity of the G-standards on solar panels, then you would be forbidden to have any other grid-connected device such as a V2G charger
. That's hopeless, because the V2G

capability could've been used to flatten out the peak demand in early evening and reduce substation losses!

This is a subject I'm hoping I'll hear more about from @Hari_OVO on the OVO VIP Open-day (17th June) because he's on the guest-list!

I don't know where you live because you haven't yet filled out your Forum Profile, but if there's any way you could be there, then I'd recommend it!

In the meantime, have a look at what I've written here on the Forum about the OpenLV
substation monitoring trials.

thank you so much @Transparent
But i still doesnt have clear if I need to pay any backup toll, in other countries this exists.

and you wrote:
The whole domestic energy market is changing towards Demand Side Response which will be operated using half-hourly time-of-use (HH TOU) tariffs on SMETS2 Smart Meters.
But i readed here that there are only a couple of companies with time of use tariffs. What is the most used kind of tarification in united kingdom?

best regards 😁
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That's a massive subject @smithsmithers !

And it's one where there will both overlap and differences between my views and @Hari_OVO's.

The whole domestic energy market is changing towards Demand Side Response which will be operated using half-hourly time-of-use (HH TOU) tariffs on SMETS2 Smart Meters.

The way in which we have subsidised the installation of solar panels on houses with single-phase supplies is now working against us. These cause phase-imbalance at the sub-stations which results in energy being lost as heat. Losses have increased from around 5% to 10% in the last 20 years.

Moreover if you were already to have used up all the 16A/phase capacity of the G-standards on solar panels, then you would be forbidden to have any other grid-connected device such as a V2G charger. That's hopeless, because the V2G capability could've been used to flatten out the peak demand in early evening and reduce substation losses!

This is a subject I'm hoping I'll hear more about from @Hari_OVO on the OVO VIP Open-day (17th June) because he's on the guest-list!

I don't know where you live because you haven't yet filled out your Forum Profile, but if there's any way you could be there, then I'd recommend it!

In the meantime, have a look at what I've written here on the Forum about the OpenLV substation monitoring trials.