Sep 01, 2023
We’re making some updates to equivents…
With the latest update to the app, we will be implementing a number of changes to equivents that we wanted to let you all know about.
So what exactly is changing?🤔
Some of you will remember that back in March, we explained that moving forward we would start letting you know when some equivents were going to happen before the events actually started.
This was what we did for all of our events aligned with the National Grid Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) and proved popular with everyone as it helped people take part more regularly as you could plan around events more easily.
However, although we have been running some equivents with ‘advance notice’ and others with ‘no notice’, we realised that we needed to make a distinction between the two so that everyone knows what type of event is being run!
As catchy as the names ‘advance notice’ and ‘no notice’ equivents are we decided that it would be much better to give the different types of equivents names that are both a bit easier to remember and explained a bit better as to what they were and why they were being run.
Furthermore, some of you will also be aware that we have spoken about running another type of equivent, something often known in the energy industry as ‘Turn up’ events.
These work in much the same way as our current equivents but instead of being rewarded for using less energy, they would actually reward you for using more electricity when renewable energy is readily available and would otherwise go to waste.
Since we have been planning on running our own ‘turn up’ events in the coming months, it made sense to make sure that any new names for equivents also took this new type of equivent into consideration too!
So with that in mind, let us introduce you to our new names and event types!
Introducing powerDOWN, powerUP & instant events... ⚡
What is it?
This is the new name for advanced notice equivents, currently our most common type of equivent where you are rewarded for reducing your energy usage at certain times of the day.
How do they work?
You connect your smart meter and any other smart devices to the app and we will tell you the time and date of the next event and reward you for reducing your home’s electricity usage via your smart meter. Any smart devices you have will automatically take part.
instant powerDOWN events:
What is it?
This is the new name for no-notice equivents, the other (& original) type of equivent that we run where you are rewarded for using less at certain times of the day.
How do they work?
You connect your smart meter and any other smart devices to the app and we will send you a notification to let you know the event has started and give you no prior warning and you are rewarded for reducing your home’s electricity usage via your smart meter. Any smart devices you have will automatically take part.
What is it?
This is the name for a new type of advanced notice equivent where you are rewarded for using more electricity at certain times of the day.
How do they work?
You connect your smart meter to the app and we will tell you the time and date of the event and you will be rewarded for using more electricity when there is an excess of renewable energy that would otherwise go to waste. Any smart devices you have will automatically take part.
instant powerUP events:
What is it?
This is the name for a new type of no-notice equivent where you are rewarded for using more electricity at certain times of the day.
How do they work?
You connect your smart meter to the app and we will send you a notification to let you know the event has started and give you no prior warning and reward you for increasing your home’s electricity usage. Any smart devices you have will automatically take part.
How can I take part in powerUP events?📈
To start with we will be inviting a select number of users to take part in powerUP events to act as beta testers.
This will help us to make sure that the events run smoothly and that the experience is as good as it can be before inviting more users to take part. We will give you more details about the powerUP beta in the coming weeks via the community forum.
However, you will need a smart meter with half-hourly data available in order to take part in powerUp events so we can work out exactly how much power you used during each event in order to award you points.
What about equivents?
One thing to make clear is that rather than replacing ‘equivents’, powerDOWN, powerUP, instant powerDOWN and instant powerUP events are just different types of equivents that we will be running.
This means that we will make a distinction between them in the app to help you know which type of event you are taking part in.
However, other than the amount of notice you receive, both regular (e.g. powerDOWN & powerUP events) and instant events will be run in the same way.
What does this mean for my smart devices? 🔌
If you have any smart devices (e.g. Kasa smart plugs, electric vehicles or EV chargers) directly connected to your equiwatt account, these will still all automatically take part in all events.
So, don’t worry your smart devices will still be the easiest way to make sure that you never miss taking part in an event especially when it comes to instant powerDOWN and instant powerUP events.
In fact, for anyone worried about missing out on the chance to take part in instant powerDOWN and instant powerUP events, we would highly recommend connecting some smart devices to the app so that you never miss taking part in an event and can earn points without having to lift a finger!
However, one big change for anyone who already has smart devices connected to the app is that you will now only be awarded points via your smart meter and not via the devices themselves. This means that you will need a smart meter with half-hourly data connected to your equiwatt account in order to earn points from every equivent.
If you already have any smart devices connected to your equiwatt account, you will still be able to earn points via those devices until 31st December 2024. However, after this time you will only be able to earn points via a compatible smart meter.
Why can’t I earn points without a smart meter?
The reason that we are no longer going to be able to award points via smart devices is that at the moment only smart meters are accepted as proof of how much energy has been used by National Grid and other grid operators. In other words, the organisations that enable us to reward users for taking part in our events.
Up to this point, any points smart devices have been earning have been paid by us and this is not something we can continue to do indefinitely.
Unlike smart meters, smart devices such as smart plugs and electric vehicles are classed as sub-meters and the energy data they provide is not yet accepted as proof of energy usage. We are hoping that this will change but until this happens, we cannot award points via smart devices as we will not be getting paid for their participation.
Won't I earn fewer points? 💸
The short answer is no. Although you will no longer be able to earn points directly via your smart devices, you will still be able to earn the same number of points as long as you have a smart meter.
How? Well, since points are awarded based on the amount of energy that has been shifted, your smart device's participation in events will contribute to whether you are able to beat your forecast for the event or not.
So as long as you make sure not to consume a lot of energy across the rest of your household during an event, your smart devices will make beating your forecast easier and more convenient.
In practical terms, this also means that rather than being awarded some points via your smart devices and some via your smart meter, all of the points you earn will be awarded via your smart meter.
Don’t forget to connect your smart meter! 📊
With these new changes going live with the next update to the app, now is the perfect time to connect your smart meter to the equiwatt app if you haven’t already done so.
If you need any help getting your smart meter set up for the first time you can view our tutorial by clicking here.
You can also find out if your smart meter is currently working in smart mode (e.g. sending half-hourly readings) by using Citizens Advice’s free smart meter checker - https://smartmetercheck.citizensadvice.org.uk/
For those of you who don’t have a smart meter and want to find out more about them and whether you can get one installed, we recommend visiting this website - https://www.smartenergygb.org/
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us.
Own a smart meter but not yet an equiwatt app user? Download our free app today to start getting rewarded for doing your bit to help the grid and the planet!