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Uk Blackouts & Octopus Go

rumballd

New Member
Aug 27, 2021
4
8
UK
That's not how Octopus Energy work.

They don't 'assume' zero... they have to have a FULL 24 hour data set.

If one 30 minute data set is missing, the whole day defaults to Flexi Rates.

Now... if your Smart Meter does not work during a blackout and misses a 30 minute dataset showing 'error' ... that's not zero, it's an error...

See the difference? The Smart Meter has to be operational at all times. It has to be powered up...

I've had exactly this happen. After charging both cars overnight on 'Go' there was then a four hour power cut following a lightning strike in the middle of the day. The off peak readings were complete (I've downloaded the data) but there were no readings during the cut and as a result I was charged as 'Flexible' for the entire day!

I've queried it with Octopus but they have stuck to their interpretation.
 

Nd4me

Member
May 26, 2022
82
78
Uk
I've had exactly this happen. After charging both cars overnight on 'Go' there was then a four hour power cut following a lightning strike in the middle of the day. The off peak readings were complete (I've downloaded the data) but there were no readings during the cut and as a result I was charged as 'Flexible' for the entire day!

I've queried it with Octopus but they have stuck to their interpretation.
That's shocking⚡
 
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Mrklaw

Active Member
Mar 5, 2020
1,919
1,268
Berkshire
but during a power cut you'll be using no energy. When the power comes back on, the first half hourly reading will be almost identical to the last one before the power cut - therefore there is no 'missing' data or complex calculation. Also Octopus wouldn't need to work out if it was peak or not as the controlled cuts (if they happen) would all be inside peak times so they can restore full known data well before the off peak period starts.

Don't see it being an issue.
 

Mrklaw

Active Member
Mar 5, 2020
1,919
1,268
Berkshire
I've had exactly this happen. After charging both cars overnight on 'Go' there was then a four hour power cut following a lightning strike in the middle of the day. The off peak readings were complete (I've downloaded the data) but there were no readings during the cut and as a result I was charged as 'Flexible' for the entire day!

I've queried it with Octopus but they have stuck to their interpretation.

Oh boy I'd be hounding them right up to greg level. Its not even GCSE maths to be able to form a full day reading after a power cut as long as the cut exists solely within either peak or off peak periods. The only complication would be if it straddles a rate change window and in that case they may be ok to assign any small amounts of the first 30 minutes back after a cut as belonging to the higher of the two tariffs.

Feels like a 'can't be arsed doing the maths charge them the max' thing and I'm not sure I could let that lie (assuming my personal calculation would mean a decent cost bump)
 
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PITA

Model 3 Performance
Sep 2, 2021
1,153
1,131
West Midlands, UK
I've had exactly this happen. After charging both cars overnight on 'Go' there was then a four hour power cut following a lightning strike in the middle of the day. The off peak readings were complete (I've downloaded the data) but there were no readings during the cut and as a result I was charged as 'Flexible' for the entire day!

I've queried it with Octopus but they have stuck to their interpretation.

This is what I'm trying to get across... it isn't an argument, it's clear in their Terms & Conditions.

This is what I'm concerned about if we have these rolling blackouts.

It could be an absolute mess for Smart Meter owners.

Octopus won't have the resources to start going through everybody's bill... they'll just fall back on their T&C's ... and charge flexi tariff for the whole day...

There is also the very real issue of Smart Meters failing. It's an electronic hardware device being turned on, turned off, turned on, turned off... for days on end. With them all trying to reconnect at the same time... It was never designed for that.
 
Last edited:
This is what I'm trying to get across... it isn't an argument, it's clear in their Terms & Conditions.

This is what I'm concerned about if we have these rolling blackouts.

It could be an absolute mess for Smart Meter owners.

Octopus won't have the resources to start going through everybody's bill... they'll just fall back on their T&C's ... and charge flexi tariff for the whole day...

There is also the very real issue of Smart Meters failing. It's an electronic hardware device being turned on, turned off, turned on, turned off... for days on end. With them all trying to reconnect at the same time... It was never designed for that.
I’ve just been on to Octopus today on this after not receiving a monthly bill. To be honest I had not clocked this in the T&C’s. The meter missed a block apparently on 27th August unbeknown to myself and they then stated they would work out the bill at the flexi rate. A few minutes on hold hoping I had not been charging my M3 that night and luckily escaped with under £4 for the day.

I’m now up to speed with this but just for the life of me cannot see how the policy would work with the smart meters and as you describe could get very expensive indeed!
 
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NewbieT

Active Member
Aug 16, 2019
1,708
1,224
North West
Ignoring the data for the whole day might be ‘unfair’ under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (and so non binding). If they have data for 21 of 24 hours I’d say it was reasonable to use that data.

Make a complaint to Octopus and see where you get to. The hassle probably isn’t worth the £4 it might save you mind.
 
They defo don't auto bill the whole day on Flexi.
They missed a couple of readings on mine, and that triggered the bills stopping (as stated). When I asked they generated the bills, and the days with missing readings were billed at full Flexi rate.

I moaned, and they credited back those days completely (good faith gesture), so I paid nothing for those days in the end.

I still don't know (and they couldn't tell me) why a meter that had worked flawlessly for 2 years suddenly decided to miss some readings on those days...
 
They don't - even if the meter loses connection - which probably isn't uncommon - it stores the data, potentially for months (I'm not sure what the cutoff is but it's very long) and uploads it all when it gets connected again.

There should be zero gaps barring power cuts (which aren't really gaps because the usage is 0 during that time) or actual hardware failure. I personally wouldn't take it from Octopus that an entire day could go missing like that.. Luckily in my dealings they've always been pretty reasonable and worked things out in my favour once you get to the right person.. the reason I'm still with them despite having to hit them with the ombudsman over missed bills once (they didn't bill me for a year, and their frontline response staff were basically powerless).
 
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Smart meters can remember weeks without power. The reading will just be 0 for the time the power was off.

If it went to the ombudsman Octopus wouldn't have a chance trying to charge high rates for the whole day. Not that I think they'd do it, their reputation seems to matter to them.
Not so.
I've had this happen last night/today.
I've contacted octopus and as I had a powercut over night, the readings have been..err..lost.
 

Casss

Member
Aug 6, 2021
652
668
UK
Not so.
I've had this happen last night/today.
I've contacted octopus and as I had a powercut over night, the readings have been..err..lost.
Modern smart meters do indeed have memory onboard.

That’s not to say it’s not possible for a smart meter to develop a fault that causes it to fail to use it or even corrupt it, but in theory it’s there.

There are two middlemen between your smart meter data and your energy provider anyway. It could be an issue with either of those two companies too.
 
Modern smart meters do indeed have memory onboard.

That’s not to say it’s not possible for a smart meter to develop a fault that causes it to fail to use it or even corrupt it, but in theory it’s there.

There are two middlemen between your smart meter data and your energy provider anyway. It could be an issue with either of those two companies too.
True.
I'd say it's a case of Octopus not being that bothered.
The connection, if you will, is at fault- not the meter.
I've had one £50 referral last week.
I'm due another this.
I'm not overly upset and I will make sure that my batteries are well used- once they arrive.
 
but during a power cut you'll be using no energy. When the power comes back on, the first half hourly reading will be almost identical to the last one before the power cut - therefore there is no 'missing' data or complex calculation. Also Octopus wouldn't need to work out if it was peak or not as the controlled cuts (if they happen) would all be inside peak times so they can restore full known data well before the off peak period starts.

Don't see it being an issue.
That didn't happen with me
2 hrs powercut during the night at off peak.
Wiped the previous days readings and off peak use.
Been a week and no answers.
 

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