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730 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1379572 4-Sep-2015 09:56
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I have found them particularly unresponsive to email enquiries.

As for daily data, I guess we have to download the html and parse out the data?

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1379619 4-Sep-2015 11:21
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Prices are great up until now. I've made massive savings since changing over from Meridian Energy, $392.37 with Flick instead of $583.37 with Meridian in 44 days since changing over based on the prices I used to be paying. $191 savings are good by me, but I've gone from a fixed price contract to the mother of all variable services! What it does prove is that fixed price contracts really should be avoided. It will be interesting to see what happens in the summer, but I don't think we're in for a nasty shock as we don't use the heat pump for cooling.
I will agree that communication is very lacking from Flick, there's been a few times I've asked a question and either not had a reply, or I've had just one reply and then don't hear from them again after my response.
I am also a bit disappointed in the information we get from their web portal. Before I joined and had access to the web portal I believed the information would be a lot more to hand and up to date, but it takes days to see your usage and to see the cost, and even then you have to go to multiple pages to get all the information you want. I expected lots of analytical information would be to hand and the ability to download data but there's not. I understand that the interim and final prices for energy are delayed by a few days, but I would be interested in seeing a more up to date graph of my usage plotted against the low-average-high price graph until the interim prices are updated, and then updated again when the final prices are available. It would also be nice to see the daily cost without having to go the the week view graph to see how much I've spent on a particular day!
Above all I'm happy with the prices and would recommend them as your electricity provider. Hopefully they will get better with their communication and the information they provide to help us make the best use of a service like this.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1379628 4-Sep-2015 11:42
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Teeps: [cut] it takes days to see your usage [cut]


Why is this, do you think? I think it's #$ annoying...

Given the method and frequency of the transfer of usage data from the consumer's house to Flick, I can't work out why we shouldn't have access to this information in real time, ie on-going usage data updates following each data upload (half-hourly or something?) and - most importantly - cumulative daily usage data available at the close of each day (or by early the next morning).

While I know there'll be some variation in unit price over time and that they can't provide this immediately, to be honest the information I want more immediate access to is usage data. Without going to the extent of writing down the various key variables in power usage for a particular day (eg, was it a cold day where we had the ducted system running all day/night? Were more people staying?), I find it difficult to recall this a few days later when I can finally see how much power I used. 

Having this data available more promptly would hopefully help be understand some of the significantly higher usage spikes I see in the data.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1379641 4-Sep-2015 12:01
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jonathan18:
Given the method and frequency of the transfer of usage data from the consumer's house to Flick, I can't work out why we shouldn't have access to this information in real time, ie on-going usage data updates following each data upload (half-hourly or something?) and - most importantly - cumulative daily usage data available at the close of each day (or by early the next morning).

--snip--

Having this data available more promptly would hopefully help be understand some of the significantly higher usage spikes I see in the data.


Totally. I'm guessing that Flick may not receive the data in real time either and possibly get a data dump for a full day in one go, but this isn't how I understood it worked before signing up for the service.

Since moving to Flick I have come a lot more aware of our power usage and feel that near real time, up to date information is what people expect when they're being charged in this way. This isn't a passive service as can't imagine anyone moving to Flick if you're never going to take notice of how much power you're using or how much you're being charged for it as the consequences of a massive bill could be quite devastating. BUT, I don't think Flick actually provide the tools for their customers to do this on their own website, we have to use other services to get an idea of how much we are likely to be charged, and then make a guess on how much we may be using at any particular moment. 

I really hope Flick will start to make there service a bit more consumer friendly as at the moment I think it's just a service for geeks who are prepared to find other means to get the required information to use this service well.



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1379656 4-Sep-2015 12:16
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I wonder if their lack of response is due to their being stretched beyond their staffing?
Or their model is not making them enough profit to increase staffing levels?

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  Reply # 1379702 4-Sep-2015 12:30
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Flick are a startup, so probably have limited communications capacity. I find them really responsive, but I do happen to just email the head of support. I bet they're growing pretty quickly. I also know they have at least one new thing on the way that will result in further savings through time shifting hot water heating, which will be pretty big.

The usage data doesn't go direct to them, it goes to the meter company who send it on to Flick when they feel like it. They would like to share it more quickly too, and my understanding is it will happen at some point.

I have no insider knowledge, I just happened to ask a bunch of questions.

jonathan18:
We've been pretty happy with Flick thus far (with them about six months now?), but we're yet to go through a summer. I've not seen any information (figures or anecodtal comments) from other Flick customers as to what their summer power bills were like, but my understanding is it's this period where customers could end up paying higher unit costs than those on fixed plans. Of course, winter's been great with the high storage levels and therefore abundant power - our bill has been an average of 20% lower, according to Flick, compared to our previous provider, so it'll be interesting to see how that goes over the next six months.

Of course, usage for many should also be lower in summer (unless say high usage of air con), so this will mitigate to a greater or lesser degree the possibility of higher summer power prices...

One thing I've noticed over the past few weeks is a growing number of days where the price isn't finalised for quite a few days (so is blank until it is finalised). I'd also like them to introduce the ability to download data directly - but these kinds of things are not deal-breakers for me...


I have 1-2 years data for my node, sent to my by the guy at Nodewatch. I can make it public this weekend if anyone wants it. I'll probably check with him first.




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35 posts

Geek
+1 received by user: 4


  Reply # 1379816 4-Sep-2015 15:10
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timmmay: Power generators seem to have medium term plans to shut down power stations, which could increase peak costs, but that's not for a few years and you can change any time.


Contact are closing Otahuhu later this month (a 400MW gas plant), and 2016/2017 forward prices jumped a lot when they announced it a couple of weeks ago.

The interesting thing to see will be how many Flick customers switch out during a drought, when their power suddenly gets very expensive, and if they come back when it gets cheap again.

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Geek
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  Reply # 1379820 4-Sep-2015 15:18
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gchiu: I wonder if their lack of response is due to their being stretched beyond their staffing?
Or their model is not making them enough profit to increase staffing levels?


I imagine it's because of growth, they're up to about 4000 customers now and if everyone is emailing to get consumption data, it's probably just that simple. I assume they're replying to "important" stuff like billing and treating the rest as feature requests.

Their margin is roughly the same as most of the big co's so presumably they be able to afford a nice big call center one day too :)

Stu

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  Reply # 1379848 4-Sep-2015 15:42
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Thanks to all for the comments, it certainly helps answer some questions. An interesting read. 

Cheers




Keep calm, and carry on posting.

 

 

 

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730 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1380546 6-Sep-2015 11:54
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I've been so annoyed about the inability to download flick data directly that I spent my free time yesterday, when it was all nice and sunny outside, to write a script that logs in for me and grabs the data for a particular date, and dump it to a CSV file.



730 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1381005 7-Sep-2015 11:21
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And if anyone wants to test it, it's here https://github.com/gchiu/Rebol3/blob/master/scripts/flick.reb

An example of use:

flick [
    attempt [
        login user@email1.co.nz "password1"
        scrape day 1-Aug-2015 save day %1-aug-2015.csv
        scrape day 2-Aug-2015 save day %2-Aug-2015.csv
    ]
    attempt [
        login user2@anotherplace.co.nz "password2"
        scrape day 3-Aug-2015 save day %3-aug-2015.csv
    ]
]

And yes, I know the daily costs don't add up to the ones Flick provide so maybe the charge rates are missing some other charge?

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  Reply # 1381017 7-Sep-2015 11:29
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gchiu: (snip) And yes, I know the daily costs don't add up to the ones Flick provide so maybe the charge rates are missing some other charge?


Yes, I've noted that too, but haven't worked out where the difference comes from. I pay by credit card (as fee is still lower than the airpoints!), so I wondered if that could account for the discrepency?

Of course, we could ask Flick but when or whether we get a reply is an unknown. I've suggested to Flick that they may want to set up a presence on GZ, given the members here would represent an ideal group to gain feedback from and also placate, given I think a GZ member is probably closer to the typical Flick customer than the general population. I'm yet to get any reply to my query (which was primarily on the delay in providing usage data)!

35 posts

Geek
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  Reply # 1381049 7-Sep-2015 12:13
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gchiu: And yes, I know the daily costs don't add up to the ones Flick provide so maybe the charge rates are missing some other charge?


What sort of discrepancy is there - roughly how much each day? Is it the "daily"/fixed charge or is it the total of all the charges for each day that's off?



730 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 13


  Reply # 1381053 7-Sep-2015 12:19
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I haven't investigated the discrepancy yet.  Just wanted to get my scraping working first.

As for replies from Flick, use their facebook page.  They respond promptly there!



730 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 13


  Reply # 1381078 7-Sep-2015 12:56
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Does anyone know of a way to turn off a standard hot water cylinder power remotely or on a timer?
I have solar hot water and I don't need the power to top it up during the day to reach a particular temperature as it's hot enough now for showers.
I just want to heat up overnight when the power cost is lowest.

I did find this http://www.smarthotwater.co.nz/ but couldn't find any reviews.

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