Usage comparison

A comparison graph of my usage with others in similar houses and households would be useful.
To see how your usage compares with the national average could help in reducing consumption overall if you see that your usage exceeds the norm.
It was a facility available with Ovo.

I understand as I was previously with OVO, however I gave up looking at it as the variances of weather conditions throughout the uk, plus I have a 7 room house but only heat 3 of the rooms, so the graph never made sense.

could help in reducing consumption
I take the view of cutting back usage as long as you are still comfortable.

@Banjaxed

This is a great idea. Especially as we want to encourage members to be saving on their energy bills.

We’re currently re-designing the usage graph. I’ll send this idea over to the team to have a think about.

What do you think about showing the historical usage of your meter rather than the national average? This way, if you are already under the national average, you still are incentivised to reduce your usage.

Interestingly, we ran a similar test no long ago. Bulb labs designed an app to monitor their on and off-peak usage and found that on average members saved £40 a year on electricity bills.

showing the historical usage of your meter rather than the national average
For me it is my usage that I am interested in as there are too many variables involved in averages. I do my own spreadsheet and have to admit it creates a competitiveness within myself to beat last years usage for the same month, I find (sad though it may be) that if eg I used 200 kWh of elec last Nov and 220 kWh this Nov I then try and work out why.
What do you think about showing the historical usage of your meter rather than the national average? This way, if you are already under the national average, you still are incentivised to reduce your usage.

@“Eleanor at Bulb” Is it possible to obtain the historic meter readings from the third-party regulator? I’ve lived in the same property for 12 years but unfortunately have only recently started keeping my own log of my readings since the new meters were installed.

I do have the old meter serial numbers if it helps!

showing the historical usage of your meter rather than the national average
For me it is my usage that I am interested in as there are too many variables involved in averages.

Likewise. On each monthly bill Scottish Power would show me where I was in comparison to a low, medium, and high users with various example of what the qualitative metrics meant. I was always well below the “low” example, even though I don’t consider myself to be a particularly low user what with living in an old house with poor insulation and old double glazing. The comparison never really made any sense.

I do my own spreadsheet and have to admit it creates a competitiveness within myself to beat last years usage for the same month, I find (sad though it may be) that if eg I used 200 kWh of elec last Nov and 220 kWh this Nov I then try and work out why.

I wish I had been doing this. With Scottish Power I could see my most recent 12 months overlaid with the previous 12 months, so you could see where you were compared with last year. I never made my own log of readings so now I have only a few months logged.

@“Eleanor at Bulb” Why limit the user experience and have both graphs.

@Hooloovoo I’m not aware that we can share this data but I’m investigating this for you. Remind me if I don’t come back soon enough!

[EDITED] I’ve asked our regulation team who have said that under the licence (SLC22) your energy supplier is obliged to provide members with their own historical consumption data for the last 12 months or for as long as they have been a customer. If we have the data going back more than 12 months for them we can provide this data.

So, I’d recommend getting in touch with your previous supplier who should be able to provide this data if you ask for it. I’m afraid we don’t have the historical meter readings from before you switched.

@JustSsavvy we want to make our product simple. But if having both would be useful for the majority of members, then we could explore this.

I agree with @JustSsavvy that more data is useful. Having a line on top of the graph to show last years usage would be very useful! (i have been with Bulb for over a year now so you have all my data)

I’m also very surprised that you don’t show my usage from last year. I thought it was because I hadn’t been with you for long enough but I have now been with you for over a year and it’s still not showing on my chart. I lived in Australia 14 years ago and my last 12 months usage was automatically shown every month which was extremely useful. Please do include this information asap.

@Banjaxed

This is a great idea. Especially as we want to encourage members to be saving on their energy bills.

We’re currently re-designing the usage graph. I’ll send this idea over to the team to have a think about.

What do you think about showing the historical usage of your meter rather than the national average? This way, if you are already under the national average, you still are incentivised to reduce your usage.

Interestingly, we ran a similar test no long ago. Bulb labs designed an app to monitor their on and off-peak usage and found that on average members saved £40 a year on electricity bills.

When I joined Bulb I assumed that a comparison graph of my own usage would be available, so I suggested adding a national average graph as well. This appears not to be the case, so perhaps priority should be given to an own usage historical graph, which I found with my previous supplier to be very useful and a good indication of the ups and downs of consumption.

When I joined Bulb I assumed that a comparison graph of my own usage would be available

New suppliers don’t have access to your detailed previous usage (e.g., monthly or more frequent meter readings). They have only the previous annual usage total. So it’s impossible for any new supplier to show a comparison graph of actual usage at the point that you join.

Given all granular data are lost when switching suppliers, the only way to guarantee a comprehensive log of your own usage is to log it yourself manually whenever you submit meter readings. Several people on the forum have said they do this, and now I’ve also started as well. I wish I had started keeping my own logs earlier, since I now only have the granular data for 2018. Luckily I’ve managed to reconstruct some historic usage from some old bills I had filed away and forgotten about, so I at least now have one or two readings per year dating back to 2007. Better than nothing, and certainly nothing any energy supplier could provide me with.

I like the MY USAGE graphs, but to be a bit perdantic, they aren’t strictly USAGE graphs, are they. They are COST graphs, and since the unit cost changes, they don’t replicate actual usage, do they? I think they would be better if they were actual usage in kWhr.

Almost a year on, so Eleanor @ Bulb did you get anywhere with your team as to providing customers with a usage graph for previous years?
Personally, I like to see whether I’ve used more or less gas and electricity than previous years.

Hi @“Eleanor at Bulb” , (I believe this is the most appropriate thread to share these points)

Before I switched in August, I called your customer line twice to check with different customer service folks that I would be able to see my Interval data - i.e. consumption data broken down in 30mins intervals, and I was assured, twice, this would absolutely be the case as long as I chose to allow you to see my 30min interval data (which I did).

I assume your staff is not voluntarily lying to customers to get their business… so:
1 / Where is my interval data?
-> I want to find out if/when my electric water tank is kicking in during the night? OVO shows this without a glitch in their app and online tool.

2/ Where is my daily USAGE data? As @brianaustin pointed out, cost is not that helpful in reducing usage, we need absolute consumption in kWh to compare like-for-like with previous years (because your prices change) or against other providers.

If you want to help people reduce their emissions:
3/ You are right, UX is critical and you can keep things simple - see OVO portal again. A simple toggle between data sets allows the graph to remain clean and helpful and let’s the user decide the level of granularity required. You don’t have to throw all data sets on one graph.

4/ The most useful comparisons are against myself BUT IN A PRAGMATIC WAY. You could actually be BETTER THAN OVO by providing:
a. In the Monthly view (30 days usage) Add the weather for this month (one dot to show the average temp where I live on that day) which would help people understand why their usage may have spiked/dropped
b. In the annual view (each of the 12 months), allow me to show last years’ numbers (for those many loyal customers who are with you for a long time)
c. In monthly view (each of the days is a bar) - compare this month vs [Drop down of past 3 months] -> Make sure you align the days of the weeks and not the dates (Sundays compared with Sundays) - comparing the 1st of the month with the previous one makes no sense whatsoever! Don’t bother.
d. “Compare this week vs my average week” (based on rolling last 8 weeks or avg last 12 months) -> Again this needs to be aligned by day of the week to help me understand weekly usage vs weekend usage and where I could / should reduce consumption.

The whole point of this is to educate people on their consumption so it would be normal to have a little explanatory text underneath so people can understand what they are looking at and ask themselves the right questions…

5/ AFTER you have provided a useful view of my energy usage, feel free to help me reduce further by highlighting unusual patterns you can identify through simple algorithms (rules based analytics).

6/ If you are really intending to interest people in other / smarter tariffs (time of use or market-led) please provide an easy way for your customers to calculate the potential savings, based on their own last 3 months or last 12 months for example. That would be helpful and smart.

I need an immediate response on #1 and #2 otherwise I will switch to a provider who I know provides this (Octopus, Ovo, etc.)
For the rest, I hope it helps confirm what many have said before me in this thread.

Thanks!
Guillaume

Hi @Eleanor_at_Bulb ,

Was not sure if you had seen this post. Curious to hear about the interval data availability.

Thank you!
Guillaume