We’re making improvements to the usage graph — Bulb Community

We’re making improvements to the usage graph

Lots of you have commented on the usage graph that’s found in the ‘Energy Usage’ section of your Bulb account.


current usage graph


You’ve picked up on a few bugs and have made some great suggestions for ways to improve it. One of our core values at Bulb is listening to our members, and we love it when you suggest ways we can make things better.

Thanks to @MorgenBlue @AndyBon_4077 @Phedro @tkerby @Phillip_PAL and others for getting involved.

@Allanr pointed to a card on our Open Road Map that says we’ll be improving the usage graph in the next 3-6 months. And @MorgenBlue has asked that we update our Community to let them know what improvements we’re making.

So here’s an update.

What is a usage graph?

A usage graph is a bar chart showing how much money you’ve spent on energy each month and how much you’re predicted to use in future months.

The data to fill out your individual graph is taken from either:
  • Meter readings you’ve submitted
  • Industry estimated meter readings based on previous usage
Currently, the usage graph is not perfect.

The current usage graph isn’t perfect. There are a few bugs you’ve picked up on:
  • If you’ve got a two rate meter, the usage graph displays night readings as day readings

  • The usage graph legend shows ‘gas’ and ‘electricity’ even if you’re a single fuel member

  • For some members, there’s a lag time between the entering meter readings and the graph updating.

  • The usage graph says ‘no data available’ if you’re on our smart three rate tariff - despite having more data than ever!
We’ve known about these bugs for a while and we’ve written about why we’ve not prioritised them before.

We’re taking a two-step approach to make the usage graph better

We’re now taking a two-step approach to making the usage graph better:

1. Fixing things.

The first step to improving the usage graph is to make sure that all our members – whether you’re on a one, two or three rate tariff – have a working and accurate usage graph.

We’ll be fixing the other bugs whilst we’re at it.

2. Building new things

We’re building new usage graphs for members with smart meters.

Smart meters will help us build better usage graphs

If you’ve not heard yet, we’ve started rolling out smart meters for our members. And the data they send to your account ‘ll help us to build better usage graphs.

Smart meters are a really useful tool to help you to understand more about your energy usage. And when you understand more, it’s easier to spot ways you can save money on your bills. Once you’ve got a smart meter, we’ll automatically take monthly meter readings. And if you chose to opt in, then we’ll be able to access your meter readings every half hour.

With more frequent data, we can make more detailed visuals to give you a better, and more up-to-date picture of your usage over the day, month and year.

And we’ll be much better at predicting future usage, because we’ll consistently receive real rather than estimated readings. This is good for those of you who forget to submit your meter readings now and then, or others who aren’t able to access their meters or aren’t sure how to read them.

The new usage graphs will have new features

We’re still in the stages of designing and building new usage graphs. @Nicolo at Bulb gave me a sneak peak of his designs and I’ll share some of the features I think you’ll like. You’ll be able to:
  1. Scroll between daily, monthly or yearly usage data
  2. Choose to view electricity, gas or both simultaneously
  3. View your previous usage, right back to when you joined Bulb
  4. View on-peak, off-peak and overnight distributions for smart tariff members
  5. Display how much you’ve spent so far and a monthly average

A smart meter won’t reduce your energy usage. Nor will it save you money. But giving you greater visibility over your energy usage patterns will help you have a better idea of how much energy you are using. You can then make an informed choice about how much energy you use and find ways to save.

How to save money on your energy bills right now

If you’ve already had a smart meter installed, you don’t have to wait until we’ve released the new usage graphs to find ways to reduce your energy usage.

When we install your smart meter, we also give you an In-Home Display, or IHD. This is a small device that talks wirelessly to your smart meters. It gives you real-time data about your energy usage. You can use the IHD to see how much energy you’re using right now or for a longer time period.

Suggestions for the future

You’ve already given us some great suggestions to how we can make your smart meter data useful to you. Here are just some great suggestions to how we can make your smart meter data useful to you. Here are just some of your ideas that we’ve added to the Open Road Map.
  • A heatmap of power usage to see base consumption throughout the year, peak demand times and how much more you use seasonally.
  • Usage graph that splits out day and night usage for those who have Economy 7
  • Ability to download half hourly smart meter readings, daily kWh import, and export figures in csv
Let us know if you’ve got any ideas on how we can make the most of your smart meter data. You never know, we might end up building it.

Comments

  • The IHD doesn't work properly at the moment and hasn't for weeks I think we should have been told about this before i/we had the installed
  • Tony_1 said:

    The IHD doesn't work properly at the moment and hasn't for weeks I think we should have been told about this before i/we had the installed

    Hope you don't mind me asking but what has this to do with improvements to the usage graph?
  • You should be able to switch between kWh and cost. With smart meter data I'd actually expect to be able to break this down to hourly usage rates.
  • Allanr said:

    Tony_1 said:

    The IHD doesn't work properly at the moment and hasn't for weeks I think we should have been told about this before i/we had the installed

    Hope you don't mind me asking but what has this to do with improvements to the usage graph?
    When you read it it's mentioned in the smart meter section
  • Tony_1 said:



    When you read it it's mentioned in the smart meter section

    I agree it was mentioned in the smart meter section which was really about saving money as opposed to improvement in the usage graphs, hence why I posed my question.


  • edited March 6
    @Eleanor at Bulb

    The statement:

    What is a usage graph?

    A usage graph is a bar chart showing how much money you’ve spent on energy each month and how much you’re predicted to use in future months.


    is missing one important facet which has been mentioned in other threads.

    Some users such as myself if we had a choice would prefer to have the usage graph show energy used in kWh rather than in £'s. Quoting in £'s is possible misleading because it is not really comparing like with like because of the variable nature of the unit rates.

    Better still see the comments of @MorgenBlue

  • I really look forward to being able to see previous periods usage.
  • +1 for showing in kWh. Prices vary but kWh (at least for electric) does not.


    With the supply of WiFi IHDs, is any additional information going to available on the graph from this more frequently updated and more immediate source of data?
  • Another +1 for showing in kWh.
  • +1 for kWh.
  • Thanks for your comments on this. There's clearly strong support for the kWh.

    I've passed on your comments to @Nicolo at Bulb and the team. There's always room to iterate and improve on designs.

    If there is anything else you feel strongly about, keep your ideas coming!
  • Thanks for your comments on this. There's clearly strong support for the kWh.

    I've passed on your comments to @Nicolo at Bulb and the team. There's always room to iterate and improve on designs.

    I've just had a quick look at the Open Roadmap and can't see anything about including kWh on the energy usage graph/chart?

  • Can you look at your predicted usage. on the graphs, I'm guessing it's just based on last year. From how inaccurate it always is it would be better if it was a combination of last years readings and how far you below/above the previous months readings. However often I give you readings the estimated readings are always out by a fair margin.
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