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The snag seems to be that, when there have been errors, they have been consistent errors. The reported instances seem to show a problem where the meter consistently over or under reports usage, so not just the odd erroneous reading. I'm sure that they work OK for a lot of people, and if some are OK with the level of data sharing, external control of their supply, etc, and trust the suppliers etc to maintain 100% secure IT systems, then that's their choice.

The track record for ensuring adequate data security doesn't seem great, though. As these things have an inbuilt feature that allows supplies to be remotely disconnected on command then I personally would like to see a bit more evidence to show that the IT systems behind them are 100% secure.
I’m no advocate of the things particularly for the record. I just find it works for me. Did have teething troubles getting my E7 tariff working but sorted now.

If the meters are not reading correct that’s a “crap equipment” problem not an issue for smart meters per se. The old type meters would fail or become inaccurate eventually too. I’ve no idea of the relative reliability of each though.
 

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It all comes down to the actual tariffs available in your area
Hmmmm.

I'm currently on Ecotricty's EV tariff. In my post code that is
14.941p /kWh + 34.2930 p/day

Changing to Ecotricity's EV E7 tariff is not worth it. I'm not sure if I'd even make a savings.
1/2 price EH saves about £5-£7 a month.



Octopus EV is
14.63p / kWh peak
5.00p / kWh from 00:30 to 04:30.
Standing charge is 25p / day

Shifting charging the i3 to their off-peak and change to Octopus EV:

Standing charge savings - £2.82 / month
Peak rate savings - £1.06 / month
off-peak savings £24.85 / month
EH discount loss (£6.00) / month

Overall savings estimate is £22.73 / month.


The real question is how stable are Octopus? Didn't 11 challenger companies fail in the past year or so?
 

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Just got a call from my supplier Pure Planet, then a sms and an email confirming the installation of a Gen2 smart(arse) meter :)
I'm now officially part of the lead group of costumers that are having it installed. No more crouching to read the damn thing :cool:
 

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We're currently paying 8.148p/kWh off peak rate, 15.729p/kWh peak rate and 20.44p/day standing charge. That's the E7 tariff from Bulb. Over the course of a whole year (extrapolating since January this year when we switched to E7) I anticipate that about 65%, maybe 70%, of our electricity will be at the off-peak rate. Currently we're at 59% of our total having been off-peak, but we have a big PV array, so we're barely using any peak rate electricity now, and probably won't until about October.

Bulb seem OK at the moment, although they did get our bill seriously wrong initially, with an odd looking tariff that wasn't E7 and wasn't listed on their website. To their credit they did sort it out within a few days. I wonder why whenever an energy company makes an error it's in their favour?
 

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Octopus have been fairly stable so far. Some other failed company was switched to them via the regulator so I'd expect them to be ok.
 

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Octopus have been fairly stable so far. Some other failed company was switched to them via the regulator so I'd expect them to be ok.
Yes, when Iresa folded their customers were switched to Octopus. We were with Iresa at the time (at our old house) so ended up with Octopus.

TBH, I was less than impressed with them. The hippy "love and peace" claptrap got right up my nose, as did their failure to get anything right for months. The latter I initially put down to them having inherited customers from Iresa, but it soon became clear that they were just pretty slapdash about everything. I don't mind informality, but have to say that all of my dealings with Octopus were just plain unprofessional on their part. I got the feeling that they were just a bunch of hippies playing at being an energy company.
 

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The old type meters would fail or become inaccurate eventually too. I’ve no idea of the relative reliability of each though.
I have wondered what the average accuracy of all the old analogue meters is, with most of them decades old, never calibrated, outside through all seasons and weather, subject to tinkering or external electromagnetic influences...
 

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I wonder why whenever an energy company makes an error it's in their favour?
When we were with Ovo a while back they stopped billing us at all for several months for some reason; on contacting them it was because they deemed our gas usage so low that it should be investigated before we got another bill, but never did it, and it took me a while to notice and get round to doing anything about it...

It was over summer, so I didn't think our usage was particularly odd, but I don't make the rules! They'll all just odd, in slightly different ways...

I've never had an energy company fold on us but I'm not bothered about it, the system of automatically switching or doing it yourself seems robust enough that any reduction in bills is worth the risk of anything going wrong.
 

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When we were with Ovo a while back they stopped billing us at all for several months for some reason; on contacting them it was because they deemed our gas usage so low that it should be investigated before we got another bill, but never did it, and it took me a while to notice and get round to doing anything about it...

It was over summer, so I didn't think our usage was particularly odd, but I don't make the rules! They'll all just odd, in slightly different ways...

I've never had an energy company fold on us but I'm not bothered about it, the system of automatically switching or doing it yourself seems robust enough that any reduction in bills is worth the risk of anything going wrong.
Good to hear another view. In the past 20 years or so we've been with:

British Gas (pretty appalling, lots of errors, always in their favour, randomly increased direct debits for no reason and appalling customer service)

SSE (pretty dire customer service, very slow to correct multiple billing errors over about 3 years)

Iresa (OK, until they went bust)

Octopus (pretty dire, lots of error, crap customer service, like dealing with a bunch of hippies)

Bulb (one initial billing error, quickly sorted, very good customer service so far, but we've only been with them for four months).
 

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Good to hear another view. In the past 20 years or so we've been with:
That's quite an incredible list! You don't break mirrors as a pastime, do you? Professional albatross hunter? :)

I've moved house and switched quite a lot over the past ten years or so and of all the companies we've used EDF had fantastically complicated bills and liked to fiddle the DD amount all the time and we had that minor niggle with Ovo but I think that's it; everything else has been absolutely fine. I've no idea what the customer service of most of them is like because I've never needed to find out...
 

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Hmmmm.
The real question is how stable are Octopus?
Highly rated by Which. I have been with them for 18 months, and I haven’t had any issues. Octopus also has financial backers with very deep pockets.

That said, does it matter? Energy consumers now have better protection than is the case for, say, broadband; mobile networks etc. I was with GBEnergy when it went bust and the only minor inconvenience was having to wait 3 months for a credit refund. Had GBEnergy failed a month earlier, then my credit balance would have been lost.
 

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The real question is how stable are Octopus? Didn't 11 challenger companies fail in the past year or so?
I think hat's a serious question for all the small companies. I was with Brilliant Energy, which went to the wall just after I joined Bulb. My account ended in credit, but it doesn't look like I'll get that credit back now.
 

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I have changed suppliers quite a few times over the years. Personally by far the most annoying feature of this "easy to change supplier", garbage is the almost certain "anything but easy", will be your experience in getting credit paid back into your account from your previous supplier.
I changed on Feb 4th from Together Energy to Bulb. I am still waiting for a payment of £161 from then. Coming up to nearly 4 months now. In spite of contacting them on numerous occasions. I have logged a complaint with the ombudsman.
 

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Discussion Starter #55
SMETS2 Smart Meter Debacle Update:
You may remember dear reader, a couple of weeks ago I posted a rant about Bulb who, having arranged installation of a 2nd Generation SMETS2 Smart meter, as that is the only way for new customers to get their Smart Tariff, told us on the day it was installed that their "back-end" was having issues and so anyone with one of these meters wouldn't in fact, be able to have anything other than standard rate electricity from them. Further more the meters aren't communicating with Bulb so the meter display displays only the total usage since installed, no date, no time. Nothing. And the In Home Display Unit doesn't link with the meter at all. So customers have to read and submit their readings manually.

Well, with many of their customers in the same boat as their SMETS2 installation roll out continues, and me agreeing not to post anything on their forum about it, they admitted negligence and settled with me - From the date we ordered the meter to the date we switched away (today) they've adjusted my bills from standard rate to the rate we would have been paying had they not misinformed me at the point of ordering. That cheaper rate adjustment was still only at the national average 42%, so not representative of our actual overnight usage charging the i3, but it put an end to it.

Wanted to switch to Octopus but they too can't offer their "Go" or "Agile" tariffs to anyone with a 2nd Gen Smets 2 meter, only one of their own previous generation Smart Meters. They're working on fixing the issue. But in the meantime the Economy 7 rate they could switch us to (so they emphatically promised anyway) is too expensive compared to competitors.

In the end I picked Yorkshire Energy. They're relatively new, but review reasonably well and have by far and away the cheapest Eco7 tariff and standing charge in our region: 14.9p daytime + 9.12p overnight + 5.7p standing charge. They're also a 100% renewables supplier. So I thought I'd give them a go whilst waiting for Octopus so sort themselves out.

I called Yorkshire and after checking our new SMETS2 meter number they called me back to confirm, absolutely, that they could supply their Economy7 tariff.
That was 12 days ago. They switched us on last night. An hour ago I received an email saying they can only supply our "standard" meter with electricity at the standard rate. As it happens that standard rate is 13.1p and 9p per day, so cheaper buy 0.5p and 11p per day than the Bulb standard tariff we were on before switching.

I don't think Yorkshire have cheated me. They're incompetent.

Now looking for another Eco7 supplier who can actually delivery what they promise.
Beware the energy supplier offering a current 2nd Gen, SMETS2 smart meter - They can't necessarily offer their own Smart tariffs once it's in.

Bulb are in really serious trouble over this with hundreds of really unhappy customers. Yet, they're still installing these meters with householders then finding they're not connected to bulb and register no information on the meter screen or that of the In Home Display unit.
 

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I had this problem with Ovo initially and it was obvious that whilst the meters can send data back to the mothership, unless the mothership has a system for taking that data and feeding it appropriately into a billing system, it's a bit like an expensive chocolate teapot.

Still, they sorted it fairly quickly and it's worked pretty seamlessly ever since. There are cheaper tariffs but I'll stick with what works for now I think.
 

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Discussion Starter #57
I had this problem with Ovo initially and it was obvious that whilst the meters can send data back to the mothership, unless the mothership has a system for taking that data and feeding it appropriately into a billing system, it's a bit like an expensive chocolate teapot.

Still, they sorted it fairly quickly and it's worked pretty seamlessly ever since. There are cheaper tariffs but I'll stick with what works for now I think.
If your meter was installed earlier than March this year it's more than likely a SMETS1 1st gen smart meter. Some energy suppliers can get some of those meters to work.
If yours was installed after March it's more likely, but not guaranteed, that it's a SMETS2. If they've got it working it would appear you're fairly unique! I'll have a look at their rates again.
Our place eats 16,000 units a year so it has to be the cheapest available 100% renewable tariff.
 

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I had this problem with Ovo initially and it was obvious that whilst the meters can send data back to the mothership, unless the mothership has a system for taking that data and feeding it appropriately into a billing system, it's a bit like an expensive chocolate teapot.

Still, they sorted it fairly quickly and it's worked pretty seamlessly ever since. There are cheaper tariffs but I'll stick with what works for now I think.
The 'irony' here is that the smart meter rollout was, in part, designed in the disfunctional way that it was to allow suppliers time to update their internal systems to cope with smart meter inputs, billing etc. Clearly, some suppliers who have sat on the fence waiting for the Big 6 et al to iron out all the issues have been caught out. They must be on a pretty steep learning curve.
 

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Just for info, Octopus have now paused the roll-out of SMETS2 meters until the industry has sorted the mess out. You can now only join a waiting list to move to Go (their EV tariff) and wait on one of their existing tariffs till then (E7 for us).
 
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