Solved

Smart meter not working - why does no-one seem to care?


I reported my Smart Meter was not working in July last year. Nothing has been done about it, though every month I get an email message about the need to supply readings, which is kind of annoying. The screen on the meter is dead so not even manual readings are possible. When chasing some action on this I received a reply in November saying there was a queue for meters to be fixed, but I would be notified as soon as an engineer was available. As it is now April, it must be some long queue.
icon

Best answer by Amy_OVO 30 April 2019, 12:01

Hey @clare0123, @Transparent is absolutely correct.

If you needed to get in touch about something you're not able to do online, or you can't find the answer to on our website, then you wouldn't run the risk of losing the reward, you don't need to raise a complaint to ensure you keep your reward.

You can find more information about the Self Service reward https:// https://forum.ovoenergy.com/my-account-my-ovo-app-website-103/self-service-why-phone-or-email-when-you-can-do-it-yourself-1823.

Please contact our team on https://m.me/ovoenergy , they'll be able to look into this for you. It sounds like there may have been a lack of communication with your meter, resulting in the missed reading.

Cheers!
View original

19 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +2
Oh my goodness, @petersaunders !!

It's a condition of your contract with OVO that you should be able to provide meter readings at intervals not exceeding 3 months. That "condition" cuts both ways! You should never have been left without a working meter for this long.

I don't know how you made the report last July, but I suggest you now raise this through the OVO Complaints Procedure and do so by email to hello@ovoenergy.com so that you retain a copy with the date/time stamp.

Put the work "Complaint" in the subject line and at the start of the body text. For security reasons, make sure that you give your account number and address.

OVO have 5 days to respond under Stage-1 of the Procedure. They very rarely let a complaint go to the second stage.

Let us know if you need any more assistance or clarification.

And please fill out your Forum Profile page. That's where Forum Members like me first look to find details like the start-date of your contract, geographical location etc. Thanks.
Thanks! That's really helpful. The previous reports and replies were on email so I have the record. And I'll update the Profile page as you suggest.
I also have a problem with my so-called "smart" meter. The electric meter is working okay but the gas meter has stopped sending readings to OVO.

Following advice posted in another thread, I checked the meters. It turns out that gas smart meters do not communicate directly with OVO - they communicate with the electric smart meter. So only the electric smart meter communicates directly with OVO. Who knew? Not me.

The WAN light on my electric meter is flashing. Apparently, this is a "good thing". However, when I press 0 on the gas meter, it displays a date of 01/04/2014. Apparently, this is a "bad thing". Actually, I wouldn't mind if it really was April 2014 - for one thing, I would be 5 years younger. Also, I would never have heard the word "Brexit". 😉

The thing is - I am not interested in "smart" meters. I don't care one iota about my energy usage. I just want the "smart" meters to do their job so I can get my "self-service reward". Is this too much to ask?

Btw, a person more cynical than me may suspect that some other energy companies might deliberately disable communication with smart meters and rely on customers not noticing. Such an energy company would then have a reason to stop paying promised "rewards" to their valued customers. Of course, I would never suggest that a reputable company such as OVO would ever do anything like this.
It sure is frustrating. I wish I'd never had a so-called smart meter. Or that companies were as committed to repairing them as they were to fitting them in the first place.
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
Hi @ElonBusk

I agree that there hasn't been enough information available about Smart Meter installation and operation. I had my SMETS2 meters installed four weeks ago, so I've decided to post a whole heap of background details about this on the Forum, which can view by clicking here.

Your question has reminded me that I need to add something to that page about the flashing lights and what they stand for.

Lights will always flash on the Communications Hub which is bolted on top of the ESME (Electric Smart Metering Equipment). The crucial factor is how fast they flash.

The default flash rate should be slow: 1 pulse on to 50 off.

There are two other flash rates mentioned in the official specifications. These are:
  • Medium: 1 pulse on to 20 off
  • Fast/high: 1 pulse on to 5 off
If you want to provide any further details of the speed of flashes on your Comms Hub, then I'll endeavour to post here what it means! Can you please confirm how many lights there are and tell me the manufacturer's name on both the electricity SMETS meter itself and the Coms Hub above it? I expect the Meter will say "Secure".

The Gas SMETS meter shouldn't read 2014. It sounds like it's lost communication with the electricity SMETS meter and resorted to a system default.

(Nor can it be one of the Westcountry ones which we have around these parts, because they're 50 years behind!) 😋

The self-service reward shouldn't have anything to do with whether your smart meters are operating. Even if you send in manual readings monthly by email, you wouldn't lose the SSR for having contacted Customer Services.

You definitely need to report to OVO that the gas Smart Meter appears not to be in communication. I'm surprised that this hasn't been auto-reported as a system-error by the Communications Hub. There is a software command to do this.

I suggest you email hello@ovoenergy.com and put the word "Complaint" in the subject line. The OVO Complaints Procedure requires them to address this within 5 working days. I'd be very surprised if they don't resolve the issue speedily. OVO get very high scores for complaints handling, and this is audited by Ofgem.
Transparent,

Thank-you for your informative reply - also the other thread you linked to. But, as I said - I am simply not interested in "smart" meters. I don't want to know the technical jargon. Life is too short. I work in IT so I have more than enough technical jargon to be going on with.

As far as I am concerned, the meters are "owned" by the energy providers. They are responsible for ensuring the "smart" meters work. OVO's systems know I have "smart" meters because it was OVO (or their contractors) who installed them. OVO also know that the gas meter has provided no readings since it was installed in September 2018. But, somehow, it is my responsibility to report this to them - something they already know?

Yes, I had already emailed OVO at that address. I am awaiting a reply.

I've decided I no longer care about the S-S "reward" - it's only a few quid. I can now see what OVO's intentions were when they moved customers to the "reward" system in 2018. It's quite obvious. Fortunately, my contract with OVO expires soon so I can move to another provider. I expect they'll be no better.
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
Ah... I should've guessed that you work in IT by the pun you've used in your Forum name!

The more I've learned about Smart Meters over the past year, the more I've understood who is responsible for what and why our Energy Suppliers not only seem to have little data, but also how removed they actually are from the process.

Even if OVO send their own Engineer to install them, he is receiving responses from DCC during the commissioning process, and files his reports with ECOES and Xoserve for electricity and gas respectively. It is they who then initiate a Notification system with OVO to agree the new Meter Point Reference Numbers and the "final" readings on the old meters.

I have no idea what DCC do with most of the data available from our Smart Meters. It may not necessarily all get passed to your Energy Supplier. In my case, I know that a proportion of the fault codes get notified to Telefonica, for example. But you're on a different network to me.

Because OVO are still creating their own in-house billing/estimating system (it used to be handled by a 3rd party), it's quite possible that it isn't (yet) providing them with a comprehensive set of error codes for accounts where meter readings are absent or erratic.

I don't know, for example, how they could tell the difference between a Smart Meter not communicating due to an internal fault as opposed to a 3G mast having been decommissioned in the same area. I know that there's no national database which allows companies in the energy sector to look up which meters are in which geographical area or attached to which sub-station.

Yes, the system is evolving, but I'd really like to see Ofgem bringing forward the date by which these disparate bodies all operate together to give us flexible half-hour tariffs. Then we'll no longer be seeking annual fixed-price contracts anyway!
I don't know, for example, how they could tell the difference between a Smart Meter not communicating due to an internal fault as opposed to a 3G mast having been decommissioned in the same area. I know that there's no national database which allows companies in the energy sector to look up which meters are in which geographical area or attached to which sub-station.
I see what you are saying but, in my example, I contend that OVO could tell the difference: They have been receiving readings from my electric meter since installation in September 2018, yet they have not received a single reading from the gas meter. The logical conclusion here is: Either a fault with the gas meter, or; no communication between the gas meter and the electric meter. It would be trivial for OVO to update their systems to automatically check for this scenario and flag it up for the attention of an operator:
IF ELECTRIC = 1 AND GAS = 0 THEN GOTO HUMAN

Rather than do this, it seems to me that OVO are using the term "self service" to put the onus on the customer. Fine, I accept that - it's similar to using the self-service checkouts at a supermarket. But if there is a glitch with a self-service checkout, it usually tells you on the screen e.g. "No cards - cash only". What it doesn't do is; let you scan all your items and only then do you discover it won't accept your card and have to report it to a member of staff. As for any middle-men between the meters and OVO - I don't need to know. My contract is with OVO.

You might think I'm choosing to be wilfully ignorant about "smart" meters and yes, I am. I just don't want to know and, imho, I shouldn't have to know. Not when there are recently painted walls I need to keep under observation. 😉
Userlevel 5
Badge
Hi @petersaunders - it sounds like your electricity meter has no signal with us and needs recommissioning. That said, the screen should still turn on if you press a button on the keypad. If not, it may be faulty and we can replace it sooner. Please let us know if you can get a meter reading up by pressing button 9.

Cheers
Hi @Nancy_OVO Nancy_OVO - that's what I keep telling people at OVO. The meter is DEAD and it doesn't matter what button I press. Believe me, it's faulty. At least since posting my message at the top, and making a formal complaint as suggested by @Transparent , I've had the promise of a visit to rectify. I'll keep you posted on that.
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
I'm pleased to hear that you've succeeded in being offered an on-site visit @petersaunders

I'm not (yet) convinced by @Nancy_OVO 's conclusion that the fault lies within the electricity Smart Meter. Its Comms Hub must be connecting to DCC in order for your electricity usage to be supplied to OVO.

If the Engineer is prepared to tell you what he discovers the fault to be, then we'd love to hear more on this Forum. Every bit of info like this is useful. It increases the knowledge-base, which helps others whose meters incur similar problems in future.

And if either the gas or electric Smart Meters require replacement, we'd also like to know if it gets swapped out for one of the same manufacturer (Secure), and if you get upgraded to the SMETS2 standard at the same time. Thanks.
Userlevel 5
Badge
Hi @Transparent - @petersaunders didn't mention that the readings are getting to us. In fact, he mentioned he's still getting meter reading reminder emails requesting them, which makes me think they're not, especially if the screen is blank and the meter won't wake up when prompted.
Hi @Nancy_OVO @Transparent

That's correct Nancy.
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
Ah, mea culpa, @Nancy_OVO !

I had incorrectly jumped to the conclusion that 'twas the gas meter screen which was blank.
I used to get smart meter readings showing up on my account meter reading history up until 12 april and now they are not showing, how can i check that ovo are still getting sent meter readings - or can i assume if they're not showing on my ovo, then ovo aren't recieving them?
Thanks
@clare0123 I'm no expert but that seems a fair assumption.
@Nancy_OVO how can you guys sort/check you are getting my readings without me calling up and losing my discount?
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
@clare0123 How can you lose your self service reward (SSR) for something you can't "self serve"?

You only lose the Reward if you contact Customer Services for things you can already undertake via the website.

And... whilst I think of it, I've been told by an OVO staff member last week that you don't have to preface your email/conversation with the word "Complaint". The guidance they are working to is that anything you raise which would appear to be a fault/mistake on the part of OVO is assumed to be the initial step on the Complaints Procedure.

ie common sense prevails!
Userlevel 4
Hey @clare0123, @Transparent is absolutely correct.

If you needed to get in touch about something you're not able to do online, or you can't find the answer to on our website, then you wouldn't run the risk of losing the reward, you don't need to raise a complaint to ensure you keep your reward.

You can find more information about the Self Service reward https:// https://forum.ovoenergy.com/my-account-my-ovo-app-website-103/self-service-why-phone-or-email-when-you-can-do-it-yourself-1823.

Please contact our team on https://m.me/ovoenergy , they'll be able to look into this for you. It sounds like there may have been a lack of communication with your meter, resulting in the missed reading.

Cheers!

Reply