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Smart meter in block of flats - is it possible to have one fitted?




I've just switched to OVO and was told that we could have a smart meter installed, but since then I haven't heard anything further. I am concerned because our meter isn't in our flat, it is in a communal cupboard to which I don't have access. I'm worried I won't be able to read the meter regularly if we can't get a smart meter. Has anyone had experience of this?
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Best answer by Anonymous 9 June 2017, 12:46


I've just switched to OVO and was told that we could have a smart meter installed, but since then I haven't heard anything further. I am concerned because our meter isn't in our flat, it is in a communal cupboard to which I don't have access. I'm worried I won't be able to read the meter regularly if we can't get a smart meter. Has anyone had experience of this?Hi @Damaris238 welcome to the forum and thanks for posting.

Check out this discussion here on distances for going smart https://forum.ovoenergy.com/pay-monthly-21/whats-the-maximum-distance-between-meters-to-go-smart-339/index1.html

If you reach out to the OVO customer care team, you can find out what the smart meter engineer availability is for your region.


Good shout @Mattj3135!

Thanks for your question @Damaris238. The important thing to consider before getting a smart meter, is the signal strength.

Smart meters use 3G phone signal to send readings to us. So if your meter is in a place where phone signal is poor, it's unlikely a smart meter will work.

For this reason, we wouldn't normally recommend having smart meters installed in communal cupboards or basements, etc.

If you're able to get access to the cupboard and see what your phone's 3G/4G signal strength is like there, this will be a good indicator of whether a smart meter will work.

Max

Updated on 12/07/2019
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I've just switched to OVO and was told that we could have a smart meter installed, but since then I haven't heard anything further. I am concerned because our meter isn't in our flat, it is in a communal cupboard to which I don't have access. I'm worried I won't be able to read the meter regularly if we can't get a smart meter. Has anyone had experience of this?

Hi @Damaris238 welcome to the forum and thanks for posting.

Check out this discussion here on distances for going smart https://forum.ovoenergy.com/pay-monthly-21/whats-the-maximum-distance-between-meters-to-go-smart-339/index1.html

If you reach out to the OVO customer care team, you can find out what the smart meter engineer availability is for your region.

I've just switched to OVO and was told that we could have a smart meter installed, but since then I haven't heard anything further. I am concerned because our meter isn't in our flat, it is in a communal cupboard to which I don't have access. I'm worried I won't be able to read the meter regularly if we can't get a smart meter. Has anyone had experience of this?Hi @Damaris238 welcome to the forum and thanks for posting.

Check out this discussion here on distances for going smart https://forum.ovoenergy.com/pay-monthly-21/whats-the-maximum-distance-between-meters-to-go-smart-339/index1.html

If you reach out to the OVO customer care team, you can find out what the smart meter engineer availability is for your region.


Good shout @Mattj3135!

Thanks for your question @Damaris238. The important thing to consider before getting a smart meter, is the signal strength.

Smart meters use 3G phone signal to send readings to us. So if your meter is in a place where phone signal is poor, it's unlikely a smart meter will work.

For this reason, we wouldn't normally recommend having smart meters installed in communal cupboards or basements, etc.

If you're able to get access to the cupboard and see what your phone's 3G/4G signal strength is like there, this will be a good indicator of whether a smart meter will work.

Max

Updated on 12/07/2019
We've had invitation from ovo about smart meter installation however when we were with bgas they informed us they didn't have technology to do ours yet. This is because we live in a flat (ground floor) and our gas meter is in the kitchen but our electric meter is outside by our door. There is a distance of about 9-10 meters between them which bgas said was too far at the moment? Any thoughts please..
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We also live in a ground floor flat, with the electric meter by the shared front door and the gas meter down the outside of the building, in the driveway. We've had smart meters installed and we're getting readings from both gas and electric, so it looks like there's no problem. Presumably there shouldn't be a problem for you either.🆒
Hi
OVO keeps asking me if I want a smart meter... duh, of course I do. But every time I discuss this I get stopped when OVO learns I have a gas meter in a cupboard on the ground floor and an electricity meter in my flat.
Will this ever be resolved? Surely there's a way that a slave meter can talk to a main smart meter somewhere else? I can't be the only person with this issue?
John
Hey @johnwildgoose

Thanks for getting involved on the Forum! I've moved your post over to a topic which best answers your query.

At the moment, we wouldn't be able to install smart meters at your property - but as smart technology develops, it may be something we can offer you in the future.

For now, we'd be happy to put a stop to those pesky smart meter notifications - as I can appreciate how frustrating they must be.

Just drop us a message on our Facebook or Twitter page for more help.

Thanks,
Emily
So I live in a flat where my Electric meter is in a communal cupboard in the main hallway and my gas meter is outside MY front door. They are about 30ft apart (as the crow flies through Victorian walls) and when the guy came to fit the meters he didn't think they would work as the gas meter has to be able to communicate with the electric meter - but he fitted the electric meter and that was working, then he tested the gas meter next to the electric meter and it was ok- Then the gas meter was fitted in the box and it couldn't talk to the electric meter any more. He said that the display unit would work as a relay for the two - but it didn't. So he took the whole lot out and put the old stuff back. Total waste of my day (which I took as holiday) and the engineer knew that it wouldn't work. Should energy companies have to do a site visit first with some test kit before wasting a customers time (and no offer of compensation). This 'smart' technology is far from smart!
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I understand that this is frustrating @tubs, but we won’t be able to know if there will be any communication issues until the smart meters are fitted.

It sounds like there are some things that are blocking the signal as your electricity meter is in a cupboard in your hallway and the gas meter is outside. This means that the signal will have to pass through the cupboard doors and your front door, as well as the meters being about 30ft apart.

I hope the Social Team are able to help you further with this as they’ll be able to diagnose what the problem is and suggest some suitable resolutions.

Lucy
I live in a first floor apartment. I was a British Gas customer before joining OVO and had smart meters installed, the Electricity one in the hallway outside my front door (1st floor) and the Gas which is located externally on the ground floor just outside of the entrance door. They are both Landis Gyr units communicating via a Trilliant WAN and worked perfectly well.

I applied with Ovo for Smart meters to be installed, but just get a message saying that they cannot be installed due to being too far apart, without any survey being carried out.

My question is: Are OVO's Smart meters inferior to the BG ones and if so, why?
I'm not an expert but I have a notion that may be relevant.

Our Ovo smart meters use wireless networking to transmit their data. But as I understand it, one of them is the 'master' that has the full networking kit installed, and one is a 'slave' that just relays its data to the master for onwards transmission. So they have to be positioned very close together for this to work.

Not necessarily inferior, but different.
Thanks for your answer Stewiris.

I'm pretty sure that is how the BG system works, so the question still remains.
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@MickyDee - I’ve moved your topic over here as I think you’ll find the answer to your topic on the thread.

Lucy
As a further to the Ovo smart meter debacle. My question really hasn't been answered in that why is it that the distance between my electricity meter (1st floor) and my gas meter (Ground floor), is ok for the British Gas smart meter system, but not for the Ovo smart meter system?

The only conclusion that I can reach is that the Ovo system is inferior to the British Gas system.
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@geoffenator any advice for @MickyDee on this smart meter query?
I'm not sure there is much I can add here - there is a trade-off between range and battery life but I don't know how much OVO and their installers can adjust them. It's also possible to build quite large Zigbee networks using repeaters - my heating network has 25 nodes spread around the house and uses two repeaters. That said, I can see why the installers might not want to support non-standard networks.
Thank you geoffenator.

At last a post that makes some sense of the range problem being restricted by battery life. Of course the gas meter has no electrical supply so has to depend on a battery. The BG gas meter didn't seem to have a problem in sending the data to the main unit on the 1st floor, all of the time it was working. Is it that the Ovo gas meter doesn't have the battery power or longevity to send data very far?
I'm not in this industry so I can't speak with any great authority about specific meters. OVO expect their batteries to last 10 years but perhaps BG have built a more frequent battery exchange into their maintenance schedules. Some of the nodes in my own Zigbee network need their batteries changing annually.

There are a number of things that can affect the range other than just the power level. Some meters work on 2.4GHz (the same frequency as wifi) while others use 868MHz; each has pros and cons with respect to battery life, propagating through walls and other obstructions, and interference from other equipment such as microwave ovens, baby monitors and wifi. The signal can also be affected by antenna orientation and direction but I'd expect that to common installation thing.

Geoff
ive read all the comments and it seems I can’t get a smart meter fitted. Was told this by Npower when they came to install. There are five gas meters in the bin store in the basement of our block, we all have access to the meters. I live on the second floor. Does anyone have any idea when energy suppliers will be able to install meters that’ll work with shared meter space? Given that I live in London where thousands live in blocks of flats with meters stored downstairs? It. Makes the smart meter discounts on new tariffs useless for me. Thanks
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Hey @Speeding. Slug ,

The problem with these setups is that the gas meter needs to connect to the electricity meter, which then communicates with the supplier and sends both readings over. It does this through a signal similar to Bluetooth, which is relatively short range.

I'm not sure about plans to incorporate gas meters in shared spaces into the smart network. Perhaps @Transparent might know a bit more about this?

Cheers

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