Can OVO Energy fit a smart meter if I have an Economy 7 meter?

  • 27 February 2017
  • 52 replies
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In short - yes! Customers with an Economy 7 meter can certainly get a smart meter fitted. It can also be set up in an Economy 7 setting, but the times of the off peak usage may differ from the old standard meter.

Usually, customers have this Economy 7 meter set up because of storage heaters or under floor heating. This used to prevent a smart meter from being fitted, as those heating systems wouldn't work correctly. We’ve now got a new type of smart meter that can support these heating set ups. We’ll need to know about this when booking the appointment, so that our engineers know to arrive with the correct type of meter.

Still not sure that your set up is suitable for a smart meter? Leave a comment to get this answered.

Updated on 12/07/2019

52 replies

I have asked for a date to fit a Smart Meter, and I have economy 7. The system has told me I can't have one but has given no reason, which would be helpful!

Am I unable to have one because they are not being fitted in my area (Harrogate, North Yorkshire)?
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Ah that’s not good to hear, Robertcg. When you try to book in for an appointment, what error message do you get? It might just be that there are currently no available appointments in your area.

If you’d like us to look into this further for you, please get in touch with our Social Team via Facebook or Twitter so they can help further with this.

Cheers,
Lucy
Here are some questions relating to Economy 7 smart meters which have been prompted by an email inviting me to book an appointment for Ovo to fit a smart meter....

1) I have an Economy 7 meter at present, but no storage heaters etc. - legacy from previous owner, never changed because of cost of changing meter (and yes, I know it is probably costing me money, although I try and use high energy devices during off-peak hours.) If I opt to have a smart meter installed, could this be combined with changing to single-rate tariff, and would this cost me anything? (And as an aside, why do you have to change the meter to go single-rate? Why can't electricity companies just add up the off-peak and peak usages and charge all the usage at the one rate?!)

2) If I ask for an Economy 7 smart meter is it assumed that it will be connected to and control some sort of heating system?

3) If I opt to have an Economy 7 smart meter installed, can this cope with changing to a single-rate tariff at a later date, or will the meter need to be changed again (and would I be charged for this?)

4) Does an Economy 7 smart meter allow me to see current meter readings for both peak and off-peak, or only the rate currently applied (Ovo Help pages on taking meter readings from smart meters suggest the latter)?

5) Is the IHD clever enough to cope with dual-rate tariffs like Economy 7?

Sorry to post so many questions, but the more I think about how it all might work, the more queries occur to me!
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Hey greenfingers,

You’ve asked some stirling questions which I’ve answered below. I’ve followed the same format as you so other users are able to find the answers easily too.

You can have this (absolutely free) smart meter set up in an economy 7 ‘two rate’ or ‘single rate’ setting. Which one you choose should be whichever one costs the least, so have a think about your night usage. If you wanted to go onto a single rate, we’d offer you the single rate prices available at the time of your contract start date.
If you don’t have storage heaters, no.
You would need to have it installed as either economy 7 or a single rate tariff, but after your contract has expired and is up for renewal, you could be either economy 7 or on a single rate tariff.
Yes - you’ll be able to see these by pressing 6 on your smart meter.
Yes.

Hope this helps!
Lucy
Hi Lucy,

Many thanks for this, all pretty clear. Just a couple of points to clarify/confirm.

1) I currently have a contract for Economy 7, with different rates for 'day' and 'night' and this runs until the beginning of next year. If I have a smart meter installed in say May of this year, can I switch to single-rate immediately, and would this incur any penalty for early termination of the contract?

2) When my contract comes up for renewal, can I opt to switch from single to dual rate, or vice versa, without any changes needing to be made to the meter (or at least, any involving an engineer's visit, and possible associated charges?) I ask this because I have been told in the past (by Ovo) that with my current (non-smart) meter, it is not possible to switch away from dual-rate without getting the meter replaced. If a smart meter makes it easy to switch in and out of Economy 7 without changes to the meter (even if this is only allowed when contracts are up for renewal) that is a significant benefit of smart meters!
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Hey greenfingers

Please see below the answers to your questions, hope this is useful!

1. We can offer you the single rate tariff that was available when you fixed in, until your contract end date. Can you tell us if you have storage heaters or underfloor heating? This affects the type of smart meter we fit.

2. Yes that’s right. Smart meters allow you to choose between a single rate and a dual rate tariff. You have the luxury to choose which works out the cheapest, so have a think about your usage habits!

Let us know if you need anything else! Thanks for being an engaged member on the forum. Don't forget to add a pic and complete your profile!

Darran
Thanks Darran. I don't currently have storage heaters or underfloor heating, which is why I am not getting the full benefit of Economy 7. I have calculated I would have saved about £14 last year if I had been on the single-rate tariff - so not a big deal! I do not expect to install storage heaters or underfloor heating in the near future, so the economics come down to when I use the most electicity, and I like the idea of being able to be flexible in the future on single or dual-rate.
However, I have a number of reservations about smart meters unrelated to Economy 7, and some unanswered questions. I will probably start a new topic for these, so as not to confuse things.
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Hi greenfingers

No worries, I'd recommend checking out these popular topics that are already discussing smart meters, you may well find your answers here. If not, you can comment and hopefully others users will be able to help.

https://forum.ovoenergy.com/pay-monthly-21/how-has-having-a-smart-meter-helped-you-1

https://forum.ovoenergy.com/pay-as-you-go-20/realtime-stats-for-smart-meters-and-ihd-24

Don't forget to add a profile pic and update your profile so others can get to you know 🙂

Thanks

Darran
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I had an invitation ages ago to change to a smart meter after phoning to arrange it was told i couldn't have one because i was on economy 7. I had the very old type meter which they came and changed for a more up to date one. I was told that ovo was hoping to get smart meters for economy 7 in the future and they would let me know. Reading this topic it looks like you now have them is this correct.
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I had an invitation ages ago to change to a smart meter after phoning to arrange it was told i couldn't have one because i was on economy 7. I had the very old type meter which they came and changed for a more up to date one. I was told that ovo was hoping to get smart meters for economy 7 in the future and they would let me know. Reading this topic it looks like you now have them is this correct.

Hi Jules,

It sounds like your old Economy 7 meter had an appliance connected to its 5th port. We didn't have a smart meter that was able to work with this type of set up, as that appliance (usually a heating system) wouldn’t work correctly.

That’s all changed though, so go on to our customer facing booking platform to book in your appointment here:

If you’re a Pay as you go customer: smart.ovoenergy.com/paygplus.

If you’re a Pay monthly customer: smart.ovoenergy.com/credit.

Tim
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Hi followed the link but still says unable to install a smart meter as i use storage heaters
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Hi followed the link but still says unable to install a smart meter as i use storage heaters

That’s not good, Jules.

It will let you, unless there’s a good reason. This might be the availability of that meter type in your area, or because of your tariff type. This will need checking, so send over a message to our Social team via Facebook or Twitter, or contact our Care team directly to get this checked here: http://ovoener.gy/contact.

Tim
I keep being told I can have a smart meter then when I say have Economy 7 I'm told I can't have one!! Why??? I know of other Economy 7 users who have one.
We arranged to have a smart meter installed last year. Appointment made and a helpful chap arrived to install. However after ten minutes he told us that he didn't have the correct meter and that he would report back to the office and have a new date arranged! As I was stood holding a newborn baby, this wasn't a priority for me! However, this was last year, months and months ago! We have not heard a dicky bird since and I can't contact anyone to help!
Are we able to hear from anyone anytime soon?
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We arranged to have a smart meter installed last year. Appointment made and a helpful chap arrived to install. However after ten minutes he told us that he didn't have the correct meter and that he would report back to the office and have a new date arranged! As I was stood holding a newborn baby, this wasn't a priority for me! However, this was last year, months and months ago! We have not heard a dicky bird since and I can't contact anyone to help!
Are we able to hear from anyone anytime soon?


Hi @Frankie85

I've gone out on a limb here (Check out the Fun Friday Fact here) and guessed the reason why the engineer couldn't fit your meter first time round. I've moved your query to the topic that explains this, and hopefully I've guessed right. Check out the topic content, and if I'm right, PM me your account number, name and DoB so I can help you book this in. If fact, please do this if I'm wrong as well!

I'd also like to apologise for the delay you've had in getting this rebooked - hopefully we can sort this out for you nice and quick!

^Tim
Thank you! I'll pm you now!
My smart meter was installed in March 2017 and since then it has been giving readings that don't make sense at times. It is supposed to give accurate readings for both daytime and off peak usage but on at least 3 occasions it has simply transferred the daytime reading into the off peak reading making a nonsense of my electricity usage. It also credits me with readings which I have not made since March.
I am also not impressed with 'cost' estimates as they bear no relation to tariff I am on and greatly exaggerate my actual bill.
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My smart meter was installed in March 2017 and since then it has been giving readings that don't make sense at times. It is supposed to give accurate readings for both daytime and off peak usage but on at least 3 occasions it has simply transferred the daytime reading into the off peak reading making a nonsense of my electricity usage. It also credits me with readings which I have not made since March.
I am also not impressed with 'cost' estimates as they bear no relation to tariff I am on and greatly exaggerate my actual bill.


Hey evnscevans,

It’s not great to hear that your smart meter has been giving readings that are getting jumbled and I’d like to look into this further for you to see what’s going on. I’ve sent you a private message (PM) so that I’m able to obtain some more information to do so.

The estimated bills on the In Home Display can be a bit off but the best way to check your usage is via the ‘History’ tab on your In Home Display.

I hope you don’t mind but I’ve moved your topic onto this thread about economy 7 and smart meters as some other users might be able to help out with this too.

Lucy
Hi there, I am just looking for some advice with re-joining OVO and potentially getting a smart meter installed.

The OP suggests that storage heaters shouldn't be an issue when installing a smart meter with economy 7, however when I go through to get a quote and press yes to having storage heaters in my flat I am told that there is not a smart meter available for me. If I select no or I'm not sure it allows me to continue as normal.

Would I be able to get a smart meter eventually or is it simply not possible? I am looking for an energy supplier that would be able to give me one to keep better track of usage.

Thanks, Chris
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Fab to hear that you’re wanting to switch back to us, @meltonmowbray!

The good news is that we will be able to fit smart meters for you, even if you have storage heaters, but we’ll need to do this over the phone as there are a few things that the team will need to check with you.

I’d suggest giving our Sales team a call on 08004 086 610 (or 0117 3326 945 from a mobile) so that they can get you signed up and book you in for a smart meter appointment.

Lucy
denstvw
I must be the only person with 'economy 7' with two seperate meters!
1 registers normal use, and the other both day & night 'off peak' useage! I have storage heaters
& have been on this system for almost 50 years!
How do I get a smart meter?
Thanks in advance if you can answer this.
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Sounds like you’ve got an old school set up there @denstvw!

Drop me a private message with your name, DoB and OVO account number and I can speak to the team about this. :)

Lucy
I am about to become an OVO customer and have expressed an interest in having a smart meter fitted after we have been up and running and had our first bill. I see that this can be programmed for dual tarriffs.
Can we change to a an economy 7 tarriff after we have started or will we have to 'pay' to leave our existing tariff ?
Secondly I see that meters may differ depending on what they will be measuring. We have an electric aga controlled by AIMS ( basically a timer that controls the heat in the Aga) so is it a cooker or a glorious storage heater. So what meter type do we need. We use a lot of night electricty.
any help appreciated
Userlevel 6
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I am about to become an OVO customer and have expressed an interest in having a smart meter fitted after we have been up and running and had our first bill. I see that this can be programmed for dual tarriffs.
Can we change to a an economy 7 tarriff after we have started or will we have to 'pay' to leave our existing tariff ?
Secondly I see that meters may differ depending on what they will be measuring. We have an electric aga controlled by AIMS ( basically a timer that controls the heat in the Aga) so is it a cooker or a glorious storage heater. So what meter type do we need. We use a lot of night electricty.
any help appreciated


Hi @david s

Two great questions for an energy geek like me to answer!

Firstly, the smart meter is able to offer you that 'dual' tariff (economy 7, to be precise) at any time. If you're in a fixed contract and you want to swap, we'll just offer you the economy 7 prices available at the point of your contract fix in date. Simple.

The question "Do you have storage heaters or underfloor heating' when on the smart meter booking page is there to spot a particular set up on the meter. For these heating systems, they connect to the current meter's 5th port, allowing it to be turned on during the off peak hours of an Economy 7 set up separately. This requires a special type of smart meter. In your case, the AIMS does this for you, so power to that appliance will be possible without the need of a 5th port. So, you can answer 'no' to that question about having storage heaters.

Hope this makes sense,
Tim
I'm starting the switch to Ovo next week. Don't have a smart meter as we're with Sainsbury's Energy at the moment who don't supply them. We're on economy 7. How soon can we request a smart meter?
Also at the moment our economy seven has two sets of times. BST economy 7 runs from 1.30am to 8.30am and GMT it runs from 12.30am to 7.30am. My understanding is that this will change when we have a smart meter and we'll just have the one set time all year round.
Can you confirm this please?

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