Engineer didn't turn up to fit my smart meter - can you help?

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Hi and thank you so much for your reply - I will definitely use this as I am expecting to be contacted now by a ‘manager’ following my complaint email sent Saturday.
Userlevel 6
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Hey @kkdaleyk and @Transparent,

I've moved your posts to this topic as suggested 🙂 If you need any more help, don't hesitate to get back to us on here.

Userlevel 7
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Thanks @Nancy_OVO,

Now that others can more easily find this discussion, @kkdaleyk, can I point out the wider issue that OVO and other Energy Suppliers face?

A Smart Meter Installer may have only a well-defined job to do in our homes, but for obvious reasons, the training is tricky. They must be qualified both to undertake the work of an electrician as well as being Gas-Safe Registered. Additionally they need to know about setting up the communications links between meters and your In-Home Display (IHD).

Apart from the work they are required to undertake, they must know what to do when they enter a property and find something unusual or unsafe. This must include enough knowledge to not proceed with an installation, and possibly issue enforcement notices for dangerous equipment such as leaky boiler.

Not only is their workload impossibly large, but once having been trained in electrics, electronics and gas, they have a skill-set which they can easily take elsewhere. Staff retention is a major problem for the meter installation companies.

OVO is trying to build up their own in-house team. This becomes especially important when you realise that they are also at the forefront of designing new innovative equipment which also needs on-site installation. The EV Smart-Charger, Nissan V2G Charger and the Home Storage Battery they announced last month are foretaste of what's to come.

You are quite right to point out that the time-lags for meter installations around the Suffolk/Essex area appear to be unacceptable. It's important that we discuss these issues here.

I don't (yet) know if installation delays are longer in rural areas or cities. But the feedback we provide can help OVO know where to channel their efforts.
To be honest I am not interested in OVO’s wider issues - if they do recognise they have ‘wider issues’ then they should refrain from telling customers how easy it is to have a smart meter installation, it’s all over their website.
At the end of the day I am a paying customer not a customer paying to understand their issues - all I want is what they advertise is available ......a smart meter, in my case this clearly is not true and not available. Empathy and understanding I do not have for a multi billion energy company .....I’d like to make savings on my monthly wage. Still not even had the courtesy of a reply from them yet ! Watch this space.......I can feel a watchdog contact coming up 😩
Userlevel 7
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I hear you, @kkdaleyk.

However, the actually problem you are facing in getting your Smart Meters installed is predominately due to these wider issues.

a. From the available evidence on this Forum it appears that in your area, Smart-meters are to be installed by the 3rd-party company Lowrie Beck, rather than OVO themselves.

b. All licensed Energy Suppliers are required to advertise Smart Meters and have targets to meet for booking installations. This is monitored by Ofgem.

The Watchdog suggestion is interesting. But I don't think this will reflect poorly on OVO per se. There is an industry-wide problem with installation targets that are impossible to meet. OVO compares favourably across the industry.

About three weeks ago, another thread on this Forum had a link to a Daily Mail article which stated the UK needed to installing 24 Smart Meters per minute to achieve the Government target of 2020.

There aren't enough trained Meter Installers in the country.

Training more takes time.

Importing them from other (EU) countries won't work because they need to be certified to British standards.

Is this a message which Watchdog should be highlighting?
... possibly. But that alone won't generate a solution.

What about a radical suggestion....?

Should we be screening our prison inmates due for release in the next 9 months, and offer them intensive training in meter-installations?

That would help the country, give them jobs ready to walk into and possibly significantly reduce the rate of re-offending.
OVO are unable to carry out what they advertise, as said, I didn’t sign up with OVO to sympathise/understand their inefficiencies. In respect of the contractors they have chosen to employ - not my issue. As a customer I chose OVO based on their advertising of how EASY it is to have a smart meter installed - not asking for the earth.....just a smart meter that OVO advertise they CAN supply, check out their website. If they can’t supply this then I am more than happy to go elsewhere and be released from the contract without being penalised..... fair suggestion I would say ! Also OVO USED to be the better energy supplier historically ! Not now.
Thanks for trying to justify their inadequacies but as I’ve already said I’m a customer and NOT interested in understanding or trying to work out their issues for them....I’ll leave that to them and their business advisors.
Userlevel 7
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Hi @kkdaleyk,

Not sure if you'll see this Post in time, but the BBC Schedule says that Watchdog are broadcasting something about Smart Meters tonight!
Thank you !
Had an email from OVO who have now confirmed and fessed up the following:

There have been no completed appointments for the last year within your postal code by OVO Energy which would imply there has been a lack of appointments.

Well that says it all, no talk of resolving this issue for the thousands of homes in my area - they do not live up to what they advertise’s easy ! .....Nope ! It’s impossible.
Funnily enough they have accepted to release me from my fixed contract without penalising me as a good will gesture (my request I hasten to add) OVO you can’t fulfil your part of the contract and I will happily leave your inadequate and questionable business ethics and priorities.
Userlevel 7
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Thanks for posting again @kkdaleyk.

I don't understand the comment you quote from OVO's email. Nor do I think any of us customers can comment further because we neither know the area covered by "your postal code", nor how large an area is covered by a team of installers.

Remember that you still retain your Forum membership when leaving OVO. They are separate issues. So you can always post back here in future months and tell us how quickly you get smart meters installed via a different company.

Last night's BBC Watchdog was interesting, albeit they concentrated on safety issues rather than delays.

Steph McGovern was persistent in asking Claire Perry MP (Min of State for Energy & Clean Growth) if she would be changing the 2020 deadline for all homes to have a Smart Meter. But the Minister didn't budge.

The figures she quoted were a useful insight:
  • 44 million homes need Smart Meters
  • 8 million have been installed up to the end of 2017

It doesn't take much to see that the target date of Dec 2020 is highly unlikely to be met.

So if you know anyone looking for a job... well, you know what to do! 🙂
The whole of RM16 area which if you google you will see it covers a huge residential area, with thousands of households.
My point is why did OVO not say this months ago and save everyone time, maybe they could’ve spent their time more wisely on employing more contractors.....