Solved

100% ‘green’ energy now only with a smart meter - how does this work?

  • 9 September 2022
  • 47 replies
  • 167 views

Today I received an e-mither from OVO detailing how those with smart meters will get 100% ‘green’ energy. I’ve replied (twice now) to OVO asking how this is possible when all electricity is extracted from the National Grid! All I get by way of an answer is the party line about smart meters. Maybe someone on here can explain how the meters only use ‘green’ energy and not the other kind when it is all lumped together!  They must think we’re all as gullible as their staff that regurgitate the smart meter mantra!

 

icon

Best answer by Tim_OVO 12 September 2022, 11:23

View original

47 replies

Sorry I may be a little slow on the uptake but having just received a email stating that only smart meters will receive renewable energy.

Survey the electrical power supply comes down one cable to our areas so how can you sub divide of this one main cable which may be renewable power then into non renewable???

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Hi @Staff242 ,

I’ve never known OVO take this kind of stance. Where did this email come from, if you don’t mind me asking?

You’re also right. The way the National Grid works means the only way to truly force only renewable sources to ever come down the wire is to shut down literally every non-renewable source out there.

It came from customer support and supply to me yesterday must admit was a bit baffled.

Surely it shouldn't make any difference smart meter or not we all want renewable energy. Maybe another way to try and charge extra if not fitted though they did state this will not effect my costings?

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

I see. That might have been a mistake because OVO’s Fuel Mix confirms what you’re after. Smart meter or not, the OVO Fuel Mix is meter agnostic and you get the same sources regardless.

The prices are also the same with OVO whether or not you have a smart meter, with the exception of the Better Smart Energy tariff which is cheaper than the other tariffs, but requires you to already have a smart meter, or consent to having one installed within three months of signing up.

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

I expect we’re going to get lots of similar questions, judging by the interest it’s generated on social media.

I can’t really get my head around the response that OVO have given to customers on there so it may be useful to have an article posted on here to explain.

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

I see. That might have been a mistake because OVO’s Fuel Mix confirms what you’re after. Smart meter or not, the OVO Fuel Mix is meter agnostic and you get the same sources regardless.

 

Not from 1st October apparently?!

 

 
 

Green energy and tree planting

 

From 1 October, 100% renewable electricity will only be available to customers with a smart meter¹. Getting a free smart meter is the simplest way you can help to create a greener energy system.

This was the message from ovo
Userlevel 7
Badge +1

I’ve not seen any emails myself yet so I can’t say for sure. Thanks for the heads up though. As soon as I know more, I’ll be able to give better advice.

Userlevel 6
Badge +1

@Staff242 can you see what’s in the small print referred to by the little 1 please! It sound like a right ‘terms and conditions apply’ mishmash.

Thanks,

The OVO Energy Team

 

¹ From 1 October 2022, 100% renewable electricity is only available to members who currently have an electricity smart meter or who have a smart meter installed. To book a smart meter installation or for more information, head here. Not all members may be able to have a smart meter installed. Terms and eligibility criteria apply, please see here for details. The renewable electricity we sell is backed by renewable certificates (Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates, also known as REGOs). Get more details on REGOs and how these work here. A proportion of the electricity we sell is also purchased directly from renewable power generators in the UK.

 
Userlevel 6
Badge +1

Hmm

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Does the smart meter have to be sending readings to get renewable energy or is a smart meter working in dumb mode sufficient? The statement isn't clear.

Personally I can't see this policy being around for too long.

Badge +1

I think the marketing people need to go back to school.  Or perhaps better any bonus they were liable to get be shared instead with forum volunteers who have to sort out the confusion they inadvertently spread.

The clarifying statement is balderdash - hope that’s polite enough to get past the moderators.

 

Userlevel 7

Hi @Rowdy and thanks for asking this question. 

 

What are the changes to the core green proposition?

 

From 1 October 2022, 100% renewable electricity is only available to customers who currently have an electricity smart meter or choose to have a smart meter installed.

 

Why are these changes happening?

 

We’re committed to tackling climate change and enabling the energy transition here at OVO. We want to bring our customers into the new era of green energy and getting a smart meter is the first step. Smart meters let the national grid better estimate energy demand so we maximise the use of renewable power. Meaning that we rely less and less on fossil fuels. Since the inception of REGOs (renewable energy certificates), the energy market has developed and moved on and we believe there is now no such thing as a non-smart green energy plan.

 

We want our customers to engage with their energy usage, and with these changes we are encouraging them to be active participants in the energy transition. With thousands of members actively involved - the difference is huge.

 

How is the energy I use 100% renewable?

 

OVO can’t ensure that the energy from the national grid to your home is renewable. It all gets mixed up when matching supply with demand. OVO buys renewable energy from power purchase agreements, and via REGO’s, ensuring that the right amount of renewable electricity goes onto the grid. 

 

Hope that helps, check out the articles I’ve linked to for more info! 

Userlevel 7

Hi @Staff242 and everyone else that’ posted. We’ve had another topic about this change coming up from the 1st October, over the weekend. I’ll copy what I posted there:

 

What are the changes to the core green proposition?

 

From 1 October 2022, 100% renewable electricity is only available to customers who currently have an electricity smart meter or choose to have a smart meter installed.

 

Why are these changes happening?

 

We’re committed to tackling climate change and enabling the energy transition here at OVO. We want to bring our customers into the new era of green energy and getting a smart meter is the first step. Smart meters let the national grid better estimate energy demand so we maximise the use of renewable power. Meaning that we rely less and less on fossil fuels. Since the inception of REGOs (renewable energy certificates), the energy market has developed and moved on and we believe there is now no such thing as a non-smart green energy plan.

 

We want our customers to engage with their energy usage, and with these changes we are encouraging them to be active participants in the energy transition. With thousands of customers actively involved - the difference is huge.

 

How is the energy I use 100% renewable?

 

OVO can’t ensure that the energy from the national grid to your home is renewable. It all gets mixed up when matching supply with demand. OVO buys renewable energy from power purchase agreements, and via REGO’s, ensuring that the right amount of renewable electricity goes onto the grid. 

 

 

@nealmurphy it’s a good question about a non-communicating smart meters. For these customers they would still get 100% renewable. 

 

I’d welcome more discussion and feedback about this change. Are you on board with the reasoning about encouraging our customers to be active participants of a smart grid? 

Userlevel 6
Badge +1

@Tim_OVO I totally agree that smart meters are a good thing, from the user’s perspective they can see the time of day things are using power and that’s key to try to reduce usage. Also I understand the energy suppliers can use all that data to more accurately plan to have the power there for us (or whatever goes on behind the scenes).

But that sentence just doesn’t make sense: 100% renewable electricity is only available to customers who currently have an electricity smart meter We’ll all get whatever is coming down the wires, after all.

As we have an EV I make sure it’s plugged in at the times when the grid is using the least fossil fuels, by checking on the NationalGridESO app. It’s a bit of a blunt instrument as it seems to give a forecast value for the whole country rather than any chosen area. There’s a map of regions showing the current carbon intensity, so with that and the ‘when to use’ timetable I can get an idea of the highest ‘renewables’ plug-in time. As there’s been so little wind this summer it’s been about 50% gas powered for months.

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Hi @Tim_OVO I feel a bit sorry for you having to post that press release. It does nothing for OVO’s reputation and if those who are engaged in energy matters on these forums are failing to understand OVO’s stance it’s probably going to make less sense to the average consumer.

Smart meters are great, they help people engage with their energy use and encourages a greener grid, but there’s no reason not to supply 100% renewable energy to all customers.

OVO are still promoting 100% renewable electricity “as standard for everyone” on their homepage with the reasoning that “Renewable electricity is cleaner than traditional electricity sources because it produces less carbon emissions and pollution. “ Why would they now choose to supply electricity that was less clean and produces more carbon emissions and pollution? It’s a massive marketing mistake in my opinion.

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

I’m afraid I’m against OVO on this one - and as many regulars here know - this is a very, very rare stance for me to take. I would back this decision being reversed because I just can’t see it working out tbh.

To be clear, I believe in a smart grid and everything else, I just can’t see forcing people’s hand to work out all that well. There’s already enough people that I have to convince that smart meters are worth it - and even then too many of that crowd are just too set in their ways to listen.

However, I’m going to balance this up. I do think OVO is moving in the right direction, just not the right timing. I’d rather wait until the entire inventory of SMETS1 Smart Meters are migrated to DCC across all suppliers (excluding dead and/or non-compliant SMETS1’s and SMETS1 meters that are being replaced anyway) before making this move, as well as maybe transitioning slowly, rather than just dumping it on everyone at once.

I also feel as if it might be better to do it by targeting certain regions first. So for example, start by targeting a hamlet/village/town/city/county/region/insertgeographicalentityhere where there’s over say, 95% adoption of working Smart Meters across all OVO members in that hamlet/village/town/city/county/region/insertgeographicalentityhere and keep an eye on the rest. Only once a hamlet/village/town/city/county/region/insertgeographicalentityhere reaches Target X, should the new rule come into effect.

This shouldn’t be as hard to achieve as it may sound. Almost all electric and gas meters will reach the end of their service life eventually, so you could adopt the new policy on a rolling basis as the legacy fleet of traditional meters are rotated out of service by recertification.

Hi Tim

Thanks for your reply but again you are not clearing up my point on 100% renewable electricity that the email stated. 

As you stated you have no control on what power comes down the power grid so how can you define what power comes into people's house's. So doesn't this make your marketing email redundant. I understand you would like everyone to have smart meters fitted but again as you state it only defines how much usage is needed or used Not whether you can get renewable engery or not.

As I stated we would all love to be carbon neutral and have renewable energy but having a smart meter or not does not define who should or should not be allowed this.

As pointed out smart meters do not mean what type of power comes down the grid.

Surley your sales and marketing should of thought off a better strategy to push the smart meters than try to alienate us house holders who at the moment are undecided to have one fitted. In my mind this amounts to scare mongering and maybe making people have them fitted thinking that they may be lose power or worst cut off if no smart meter fitted.

Again this is only my opinion but the reason I joined and sent this opening question to the forum.

 

Maybe you should rephrase your very misleading statement then. It gives an erroneous impression that only those with smart meters will get green energy or maybe you should just retract it.

Userlevel 7

Thanks for this honest feedback, forum members. It’s much appreciated and will be shared. 

 

I know that there’s some cool work happening behind the scenes for OVO customers with smart meters. Things that customers will like a lot! Smart homes allowing a smarter, greener grid. The faster we get there the better. 

 

@Staff242 for someone on a 100% renewable energy plan, any energy they use will have the same amount of renewable energy generated and put into the grid. For OVO, this is done with power purchase agreements, and via REGO’s.

I have raised an offical complaint before taking it to Ofgem

there are many reasons not to have a Smart meter including health

Having failed to by normal channels I consider this email to be sharp practice  deceitful and  even discriminatory

A smart meter cannot differentiate Green from Brown energy

but a Smart meter can allow OVO to charge different tarrifs based on the % of how they source the energy they put in the grid

in the future a Smart meter can be used to monitor Smart devices so energy companies can charge  a peak use tarriff

Taxpayers money is also being squandered installing heat pumps no-one can afford to run

 

 

 

Userlevel 3

Hey @Lesmor

 

I’m really sorry for the issues you’ve had.

 

You are right that a smart meter can’t differentiate between renewable energy or otherwise. When OVO refer to a customer being on 100% renewable they refer to what energy OVO purchases on behalf of that customer.

 

@Staff242 for someone on a 100% renewable energy plan, any energy they use will have the same amount of renewable energy generated and put into the grid. For OVO, this is done with power purchase agreements, and via REGO’s.

 

There are many benefits to having a smart meter installed but you are right, there may be reasons some customers are unable to have them fitted.

 

Find out more information about smart meters and their benefits here

 

I hope that your complaint is dealt with effectively by our Support Team

Hey @Lesmor

 

I’m really sorry for the issues you’ve had.

 

You are right that a smart meter can’t differentiate between renewable energy or otherwise. When OVO refer to a customer being on 100% renewable they refer to what energy OVO purchases on behalf of that customer.

 

@Staff242 for someone on a 100% renewable energy plan, any energy they use will have the same amount of renewable energy generated and put into the grid. For OVO, this is done with power purchase agreements, and via REGO’s.

 

There are many benefits to having a smart meter installed but you are right, there may be reasons some customers are unable to have them fitted.

 

Find out more information about smart meters and their benefits here

 

I hope that your complaint is dealt with effectively by our Support Team

I’m afraid only a email sent to all OVO members with a retraction will surfice

the email I received on 8/9/2022 specifically stated that from 1st October green energy will only be available to customers with a smart meter 

which IMO is false,deceitful and discriminatory clearly designed to make customers think they have to have a Smart meter

unless it is retracted rest assured I will be raising a complaint with Ofgem

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Hey @Lesmor

 

I’m really sorry for the issues you’ve had.

 

You are right that a smart meter can’t differentiate between renewable energy or otherwise. When OVO refer to a customer being on 100% renewable they refer to what energy OVO purchases on behalf of that customer.

 

@Staff242 for someone on a 100% renewable energy plan, any energy they use will have the same amount of renewable energy generated and put into the grid. For OVO, this is done with power purchase agreements, and via REGO’s.

 

There are many benefits to having a smart meter installed but you are right, there may be reasons some customers are unable to have them fitted.

 

Find out more information about smart meters and their benefits here

 

I hope that your complaint is dealt with effectively by our Support Team

I’m afraid only a email sent to all OVO members with a retraction will surfice

the email I received on 8/9/2022 specifically stated that from 1st October green energy will only be available to customers with a smart meter 

which IMO is false,deceitful and discriminatory clearly designed to make customers think they have to have a Smart meter

unless it is retracted rest assured I will be raising a complaint with Ofgem

 

Could you post the text of the whole email so we can see it in context?

I don't work for ovo and haven't seen the email 

Reply