This week I was lucky enough to be able to join our Field Force engineer Rhys, as he fitted smart meters for OVO customers in and around Bristol. I was with him for most of his action packed day, so I thought it would be interesting to share with you my smart meter fitting experience from the point of view of the engineer:
He picked me up in his newish OVO branded van outside of our main Bristol office, and we went straight to the next job on his list. On the way, Rhys called the customer (hands free of course), to let her know when she could expect us to arrive. It was an electricity only smart meter fitting, on the top floor of a block of flats. Straight away we had difficulty parking nearby (permit holders only) but managed to find a spot eventually. Just in time, we got to the customer’s top floor flat, and went about finding the meter and replacing it. There were a few complications and it was pretty hot up there, but Rhys got it done quickly. All the more impressive considering the many different gadgets and tools involved in safely dealing with large voltage electricity infrastructure - I took a step backwards just in case!
After finishing the job, Rhys reconnected the power and talked through the In Home Display (IHD) to the customer. He explained what would happen next, connected the meter to OVO’s network and connected the IHD to the meter’s network. Job done!
After a quick tidy up, we were off to the next job! This was in the BS6 area of Bristol. Its back streets are not the easiest to navigate. After a rather hairy dead end 3 point turn around (a tad stressful when your driving is remotely monitored by your manager via GPS), we found the address and got to work again - this time on an external wall mounted electricity meter. The customer had a dog, the furry fella was friendly and the sun was out this time round, but something told me things weren’t always like that.
As the day went on, I began to appreciate this can be a tough job at times. There’s lots of spinning plates to manage, lots of things to be careful about, not to mention the potentially dire consequences if things go wrong. I developed a newfound respect for Rhys, and all of our engineers, who meet this challenge head on everyday. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Rhys and the Field Force team for all of their hard work. It really was an eye opening experience!
Next time you’re at home and waiting for that door bell to ring to announce your smart meter fitter has arrived, spare a thought for the hard work involved and put the kettle on (before they shut the power off)!
For more info on our smart meters, the gadgets supporting their function, and a link to our appointment booking platform, click here