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How do I get a smart meter when I have a 3 phase supply?

  • 12 January 2018
  • 15 replies
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I have 3 phase electricity with a dual rate meter. I would like a smart meter. I have asked my electrician and he says that it is very easy however the OVO technician who came to fit a smart meter said he couldn't do it. So I am paying over the odds for my electricity because OVO will not put me onto a single phase and install a smart meter
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Best answer by Tim_OVO 17 January 2018, 12:57

It's possible, @Dartmoor

You will need to get your 3 phase supply downgraded to a single phase supply, before a smart meter can go in. Here's the process:

- Get an electrician to check if downgrading the supply is possible (you've done this already - nice work).
- Arrange a date for (and pay for) a visit from your Distribution Network Operator (DNO), who will rewire your supply to make it a single phase set up.
- Liaise with OVO to make sure we can get an engineer to you on the same day that the DNO visit, to fit your smart meter free of charge: 0330 303 5063.

Tim

Updated on 12/07/2019
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15 replies

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It's possible, @Dartmoor

You will need to get your 3 phase supply downgraded to a single phase supply, before a smart meter can go in. Here's the process:

- Get an electrician to check if downgrading the supply is possible (you've done this already - nice work).
- Arrange a date for (and pay for) a visit from your Distribution Network Operator (DNO), who will rewire your supply to make it a single phase set up.
- Liaise with OVO to make sure we can get an engineer to you on the same day that the DNO visit, to fit your smart meter free of charge: 0330 303 5063.

Tim

Updated on 12/07/2019
Hi,

I recently had one of your meter engineers pop over to fit a smart meter. As I have Phase 3 with eight cables running in and out of the current meter he was unable to assist. One of your competitors is currently offering this and as a loyal customer of OVO, I wanted to see whether OVO can help?
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I recently had one of your meter engineers pop over to fit a smart meter. As I have Phase 3 with eight cables running in and out of the current meter he was unable to assist. One of your competitors is currently offering this and as a loyal customer of OVO, I wanted to see whether OVO can help?

Have a look at my answer above your comment @JM71 - I moved your comment here as it's got more info on this process!
@Tim_OVO - your answer seems like a cop-out. If your premises is using a 3 phase supply properly ie feeds off of every phase to some sort of machinery etc then you can't realistically expect the customer to go to the expense of having 3 separate single phase supplies put in; surely that would mean 3 smart meters would be required to be installed.

We couldn't have a smart meter installed at work because of the lack of support for 3 phase installations (However we are with a different supplier)

Just my 2p worth, having spotted this conversation.
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That's an important point @DataKnight. The absence of 3-phase supplies to the majority of our domestic properties means that we are suffering increasing losses at sub-stations due to phase imbalance.

In Germany, they are heading in the opposite direction. 3-Phase is becoming the norm. Unlike this country, they can foresee the massive savings that can be attained once EVs can be grid-connected using V2G chargers.

To be fair, this isn't OVO's problem. The British Energy Suppliers may only install Smart Meters which have been designed and tested in accordance with specifications drawn up by the Data Communications Company, and approved by Ofgem and GCHQ. No designs have been sought for 3-Phase meters.

One of the Ofgem-approved meter manufacturers, EDMI, already have a 3-phase Smart Meter design, the Mk10, which is installed widely in other countries. This could be adapted for GB use if DCC were required by Ofgem to have an option for a 3-phase Smart Meter.

Although there is currently no open public consultation on the portfolio of SMETS2 meters, there is no reason why you can't write to Ofgem and ask for their reasoning on why such a product isn't being sought. You might want to draw their attention to this discussion on the Forum.

I'm sure there are others here who would like to know of their response.
@Dartmoor I asked OFGEM as I'm facing similar issues to you. They said they should be available from the second half of 2019 but gave no further detail.

I just wondered why are you on a three phase supply? Given you location is that your on Economy7 with night storage heaters?

I'm down in Cornwall with night storage heaters, Eco7 tariff and facing similar issues I believe but I am one step behind you in that I don't yet have a dual rate meter. I'm still on two separate analogue meters; one for off peak one for day rate.

Could you tell me the make and model of your meter as this is what I need to get my provider to supply me with?

Thanks

Robin
Hi Robin
I have 3 Phase but only use single phase. I think the house had night storage once upon a time. It was also used as a Doctor's surgery.
Photo of meter below

**photo link removed**
could you check those links? they both launch the gmail sign up page?
Oops- I wonder how I can take them down!
Photo attached

Cheers for that Dartmoor - at least I have now seen one. Would do the job perfectly for me but I guess if the provider will change my two separate meters, as I want, it will be a more modern digital unit.

Can I ask is there a separate time switch to handle the switching between rates?

And you mentioned "used to have storage heaters" So you don't use Night Storage / Eco7 any more?
No time switch does it automatically. No the previous owner took the night storage out 20 plus years ago
ok, thanks for all the info.
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@Tim_OVO - your answer seems like a cop-out. If your premises is using a 3 phase supply properly ie feeds off of every phase to some sort of machinery etc then you can't realistically expect the customer to go to the expense of having 3 separate single phase supplies put in; surely that would mean 3 smart meters would be required to be installed.

We couldn't have a smart meter installed at work because of the lack of support for 3 phase installations (However we are with a different supplier)

Just my 2p worth, having spotted this conversation.

At the moment smart phase 3 meters are not being fitted but not far off so I've heard,
But going back to the 3 phase, it sounds like this home is a massive consumer of electric to be using all 3 phases.
If not....
It doesn't necessarily need ripping out and having a single phase cutout put in you can run a single phase on 3 phase and a single phase engineer could work on it
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It's possible, @Dartmoor
You will need to get your 3 phase supply downgraded to a single phase supply, before a smart meter can go in. Here's the process:

- Get an electrician to check if downgrading the supply is possible (you've done this already - nice work).
- Arrange a date for (and pay for) a visit from your Distribution Network Operator (DNO), who will rewire your supply to make it a single phase set up.
- Liaise with OVO to make sure we can get an engineer to you on the same day that the DNO visit, to fit your smart meter free of charge: 0330 303 5063.

Tim

Updated on 12/07/2019


We follow the above process, @Tufty71, here at OVO.

Thanks!
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No probs, every company has its own processes.

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