Points earned from smart meter

Is there a formula for how points are earned from energy reductions derived from smart meter readings? I turned off everything possible for the event on the 25th Nov including all lights and an electric heater and sat in near darkness for an hour only to be awarded 7 points! On other occasions I have done less and earned more points. Is there any logic involved?

@Oliver_Dawson Hi Oliver, I’ve just checked, and you’ve actually received a total of 75 points for that event! When you have energy monitoring devices connected, points saved by them get removed from your Smart Meter points and allocated to the device directly.

The points also depend on your forecast. We use your historic usage data to predict how much energy you may use during an event, and your savings are calculated based on your reduction off the predicted use.

Hey I’m not complaining, just trying to make sense of the numbers. The smart plugs accounted for the majority of the reduction. Do you use the smart meter data for the hours prior and subsequent to the event as part of the calculation or is it based on the typical consumption for that period on previous days? I don’t underestimate how complicated it might be.

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It’s a bit of both, as we don’t want people turning on their devices just before events to cheat the system (especially with DFS events as we announce them beforehand). It’s definitely quite complex :sweat_smile: and it’s getting more and more complex all the time, as we’re now bringing machine learning into the equation to more accurately predict!

We can’t really give an exact equation of this as it’s proprietary, but I can assure you that we do our best to give you the highest points. Especially if you compare the recent DFS schemes from other suppliers, we currently give you the highest £.

How can I see what points have been earned by the smart meter? Especially after DFS events? They are not listed under transactions.

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This was a bug. You should be able to see them in transactions now.

On DFS event days should you not also be factoring consumption during the 1-4pm period on the day of the event, as done by Octopus Energy and Hugo ?

I found my answer. Yes you should be, as defined in Appendix 4 of the DFS Participation Guidance Document V.6 but you don’t appear to be following section 3 (In-day adjustment). Will you be fixing your calculations to take this into account?

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Hi Oliver, great question! Those guidelines given by National Grid are for how the settlement is done between National Grid and the provider (us). And not for how we calculate the points for the user. As evidenced by how some providers do not pay their users anything at all for their participation.

There are many flaws with doing an in-day adjustment for an user facing baseline (just one of them is the opportunity to game the system). As we have been running these types of events for a few years now and have considerable learnings in this regard, we use more advanced techniques to calculate the user’s points and the targets given.

So you seem to be saying that if I shift my usage to between the T-4 to T-1 period before a DFS event to save usage during the event that equiwatt will get paid extra by national grid but the user may not? That doesn’t sound very fair.

Given the number of competitors now emerging in the now finished DFS trial, surely customers are going to start shopping around and compare. Some transparency is needed here. I have stuck with Octopus for the DFS events because there is a defined calculation as to what the payments will be.

Obviously you have business sensitive data and computations but I’m just giving a user perspective. It will be interesting to see what comes out of the post DFS participation consultation. The in-day adjustment may well be addressed here.

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Hi Derek, thanks for the feedback & your perspective. Of course, you’re right and I agree that a certain level of transparency is definitely important.

We had already been running our own DFS type events for almost 3 years before the DFS came along, so we merely used our existing systems & experience to deliver DFS. The experience & delivery could definitely be done better for the next one, and we’re already working towards that and applying all our learnings from DFS to improve the overall equivent experience for all future events.

But in terms of the in-day adjustment specifically, it’s not that straightforward. I have personally checked the calculations for our entire fleet with & without in day adjustment and it’s a very minor difference if at all, because just like the scenario you’re describing, the in-day adjustment also sometimes makes it so that we’re paying extra to users, more than what National Grid pays. Not to mention the issue of actually delivering a forecast to beat when an in-day adjustment can only be done after the event - due to delays in Smart Meters sending the data. It also makes it very easy for anyone to game the system and the whole scheme becomes counter-productive.

There’s obviously been many things that the entire industry has learnt from this first of a kind scheme. We’re hoping to take all of these learnings and all of the great user feedback to continue to deliver the best experience in the market!

Well said. Indeed hopefully National Grid will take notice of the vast experience you already have. It does look like it has been a success on a larger scale and with a few tweaks can be useful and less expensive to National Grid. Exciting times and looking forward to how it evolves.

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Why would the in-day adjustment mean that you sometimes pay out more than National Grid pays you? The formula for calculating it is clearly defined albeit complicated. Does the problem arise when the total MWh calculated for your members after the event exceeds the MWh that you bid for with National Grid for the specific DFS event? The in-day adjustments are impossible to predict whereas you have a lot of experience for predicting reduced consumption for a given time period, especially where Kasa plugs are reporting their loads.

I now understand how the in-day adjustment could be a problem for small organisations like yourselves (no offence meant. Only going by the bids submitted to National Grid). If your members exceed the MWh that you bid for do you get paid for the excess or would you have to adjust (reduce) the payout to members accordingly? On the other hand by including the in-day adjustments to National Grid might mean that you achieve the MWh you bid and were compensated for.

No there is no extra payments for exceeding a bid nor any penalties. You will see other providers echo similar things about the In day adjustment: https://kb.loop.homes/turn-down-and-save-how-are-my-savings-calculated

For us at this point it’s about the experience more than money, because we believe flexibility is the future of the grid. And getting the most number of users engaged in this is what matters. Same reason we have continued to reward users who NG considers duplicated with other providers even though those users had opted out with those providers from their side.

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Definitely a great first trial! Exciting times indeed.