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Sorry I posted it in the wrong place the first time.

 

Now I'm sure you're all sick of my saga with energy use but it now gets even more complicated. You will recall I was monitoring my energy use for part of January, all of February and part of March. Once I'd managed to get the heat pump settings a bit more consistent we were using between 20-40 units of heat pump use a day and no more than 8-10 units of other use.

 

We moved to Octopus and I've been getting myself completely tied up with their app and our half hour smart use data because it's being recording some absolutely horrific figures - at it's lowest around 45 units of electricity a day and at its highest 123 units a day which I absolutely couldn't get my head around for a 24 hour period with major use between 2-5am when we ended up programming the heating off during those period and setting programmes for each room (thanks @Ultima357) I've been checking out heat pump meter reading and that was only between 17-39 units a day (even with the recent cold snap) and I've been monitoring our other use. Finally I've gone to taking good old fashioned meter readings from the box and checking every day. Luckily I had a photo of a meter reading the day we moved 12271 and a photo this morning gives 13811 so the past 41 days totals 1540 units which is pretty much in line with what I'd expect given we have had some cold days but also good sunny days when we have had minimal other electricity use as we have been using solar.

 

The app for Octopus, adding up every days units gives a total of 3052 for 41 days - over double!!!

 

I've just rung them to be told the smart meter readings are normally accurate (really)! Explained I'd got pictures of the electricity meter pretty much every day and as I'd been monitoring our electric use for 3 months I know the app can't be right. All went very quiet when I asked them to tell me what the meter reading was they have when they realised the app cannot be accurate at all given the opening meter reading and what they have now.

 

They are looking into it.....

 

I'm not going mad. I'm not going mad. I'm not going mad.

 

 

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Oh dear, sorry to hear of your ongoing problems. Good for you for keeping evidence of your meter readings. This is another reason I like being a Luddite, I hate tech, don’t do apps etc. etc. I just read my meter once a month (after an Email prompt) and pay what I use (also Octopus). Stick to your guns, at the end of the day your meter readings are the accurate ones. Regarding being mad, we all are, join the club 🤪

 
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Might be worth checking that the serial number on the account matches the one on the meter 

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Im with Octopus and they have been brilliant, Bills are pretty much as i expect. I tried the app but it was ridiculously inaccurate. Showed me using loads of electricity when i wasnt and nothing while running machines in the workshop. It sounds like the actual usage is as you expect but are App watching and that could lead to frustration

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Did they give you some sort of monitoring screen with the smart meter? Does that track things any differently to the app?

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1 hour ago, J1mbo said:

Might be worth checking that the serial number on the account matches the one on the meter 

 

Checked - that's correct.

 

59 minutes ago, markc said:

I tried the app but it was ridiculously inaccurate. Showed me using loads of electricity when i wasnt and nothing while running machines in the workshop. It sounds like the actual usage is as you expect but are App watching and that could lead to frustration

 

Indeed. What I'm concerned about is how they are working out my use between 8:30pm and 01:30am when we are only paying 5.5p because if they are basing it on the smart meter readings they are completely inaccurate. The woman I spoke to says if the smart meter readings aren't accurate they have no way of knowing the split so this leaves us in a bit of a situation in that out of our 1500ish units we have used in 41 days no-one can say how many are at 5.5p!

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26 minutes ago, jack said:

Did they give you some sort of monitoring screen with the smart meter? Does that track things any differently to the app?

 

Nope. We had a smart meter when we moved in so didn't need any different meter with Octopus but we have never had the screen monitoring thing. I think the previous owner must have taken it or got rid of it.

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Absolute shambles.

 

The sole reason for forcing smart meters on us is the eventual aim of charging us all half hourly metering (different tariff for each half hour of the day).  If the damned things cannot even do that properly, with the sum of all the half hours usage equalling the total days usage then that is a dirty great big FAIL.

 

I will resist having one as long as I can and hope that by the time one is forced on me, they will have got this simple bit of programming correct.

 

On the plus side you are with Octopus who have a good reputation for customer service.  I can see people with other suppliers hitting a brick wall with an issue like that.

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Ahh, now with the different rates i can see your concern. 

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22 minutes ago, ProDave said:

Absolute shambles.

 

The sole reason for forcing smart meters on us is the eventual aim of charging us all half hourly metering (different tariff for each half hour of the day).  If the damned things cannot even do that properly, with the sum of all the half hours usage equalling the total days usage then that is a dirty great big FAIL.

 

I will resist having one as long as I can and hope that by the time one is forced on me, they will have got this simple bit of programming correct.

 

On the plus side you are with Octopus who have a good reputation for customer service.  I can see people with other suppliers hitting a brick wall with an issue like that.

 

They were good about it and I've followed up with an email asking for a formal complaint to be raised.

 

In a way the fact I've been so obsessive about our energy use due to the heat pump saga made me realize something wasn't right because I knew the heat pump use had been pretty stable so we couldn't have used the amount they are saying and certainly not during the times they are saying.

 

God only knows how they are going to work out the split of units now and in the meantime they need to sort out what the actual issue is/technical fault.

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I wonder if all parts of the smart meter system are synchronized to the same time zone?

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16 minutes ago, epsilonGreedy said:

I wonder if all parts of the smart meter system are synchronized to the same time zone?


yes - they use the GPS clock signal. They are moving away from the old time signal as it’s not going to be continued so all the meters and the system use the same mechanism of UTC. The lead/lag in HH metering is about 2-3 seconds anyway so it’s swings and roundabouts to be honest. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Not that you should have too,  but surely there is a method of recording your usage with a timescale, I am sure @SteamyTea could knock one up with a raspberry pie or summut like that🤔. He left a monitoring devise here which gives a readout on his laptop.

Edited by joe90

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19 minutes ago, joe90 said:

surely there is a method of recording your usage with a timescale,

A current clamp and multimeter with a data logging port connected to a laptop would do this to reasonable accuracy.

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22 minutes ago, joe90 said:

Not that you should have too,  but surely there is a method of recording your usage with a timescale, I am sure @SteamyTea could knock one up with a raspberry pie or summut like that🤔. He left a monitoring devise here which gives a readout on his laptop.

Dead easy with 20 quid of hardware.

Be interesting to see if yours is still logging, hot to be a couple of years since I was last over.

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On 09/04/2021 at 15:46, PeterW said:


yes - they use the GPS clock signal. They are moving away from the old time signal as it’s not going to be continued so all the meters and the system use the same mechanism of UTC. The lead/lag in HH metering is about 2-3 seconds anyway so it’s swings and roundabouts to be honest. 

 

 

I was thinking more broadly about where a timezone error could creep in and throw out @canalsiderenovationdaily usage profile. Downstream of the meter the whole smart meter system might be offshored to India and if timestamps are not handled correctly and the server-time is local, then that would translate peak UK evening consumption to 2am.

 

Other problem areas might be the customer's preferred timezone with a registered account, then there is the mobile phone's timezone or even configuration of personal preferences in the smart meter app itself.

 

Plenty of opportunity for timestamps to be mangled along the way due to poor program code. Given the latest update on this saga it seems to be affecting multiple accounts so likely the problem is a routine software error deeper in a smart meter data handling server.

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6 minutes ago, epsilonGreedy said:

 

I was thinking more broadly about where a timezone error could creep in and throw out @canalsiderenovationdaily usage profile. Downstream of the meter the whole smart meter system might be offshored to India and if timestamps are not handled correctly and the server-time is local, then that would translate peak UK evening consumption to 2am.

 

Other problem areas might be the customer's preferred timezone with a registered account, then there is the mobile phone's timezone or even configuration of personal preferences in the smart meter app itself.

 

Plenty of opportunity for timestamps to be mangled along the way due to poor program code. Given the latest update on this saga it seems to be affecting multiple accounts so likely the problem is a routine software error deeper in a smart meter data handling server.

Got to agree, the meter and billing may well be correct. Admittedly i didnt have variable rates but the APP showed i was using loads more power than i was and at very different times. But when i bill came it was correct to what i reckoned. 

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