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What's the point of a smart meter when I live in a flat?

  • 23 March 2019
  • 6 replies
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I live in a flat. One of fifty in this block. All the residents' electricity meters are down the corridor in a locked cupboard. I borrow the key from our concierge every month to record and submit the readings to Ovo. We don't have gas in the building. Electricity companies will only replace the meters in the locked cupboard - not installing smart meters in individual flats. Therefore we cannot monitor consumption on a daily basis within our own properties. As a result there's no benefit of exchanging a standard meter with a smart meter . . . . . . . Unless you know better!
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Best answer by Transparent 1 April 2019, 15:37

Hi again @RogerHa I've posted a load of background information about having a Smart Meter installed on another Topic which you can access here.

There are photographs illustrating what's involved, including pictures of the Chameleon IHD, which measures 118x80mm and 15mm thick. It's a tiny portable device with an optional plastic stand. It has an inbuilt rechargeable battery. It doesn't get installed in a set position and you can move it around as you wish.

The new SMETS2 meters permit seamless inter-operability between Energy Suppliers. This too is explained on that other Topic.

You appear to be writing as if OVO are going to be responding. Can I just point out that this is an Open Forum whereby customers assist each other and discuss energy-related subjects. You won't get responses here from OVO Customer Support.
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Userlevel 6
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Hey @RogerHa

@Transparent - maybe you can share some of your expertise in this area?

Cheers
Userlevel 7
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Hi @RogerHa - good question.

I think we need a few clarifications.

Firstly, does each flat have its own Consumer Unit where there is a row of trips or fuses?

Secondly, when you wrote "not installing smart meters in individual flats" are you referring to the Smart Meter itself, or to the In-Home Device (IHD) which is a remote unit showing you how much electricity you are consuming?

I can understand that physical constraints might require Smart Meters to be fitted in the same locked cupboard where existing meters are located. However, it could still be possible to have IHDs in each flat.

The IHD connects wirelessly to the corresponding Smart Meter. Although there are distance constraints, it might be possible to install a mains-driven repeater-unit mid-way in order to boost the signal. Whilst this takes very little power, it would probably require the owner to agree for it to be fitted, because it would be outside of your flat.
Thank you. Firstly, I cannot speak for the other 49 flats but my flat has a consumer unit with a row of fuses.

Secondly, I was referring to the Smart Meter that would be placed in the locked cupboard on each floor of the block.

Ovo has never before explained that there could be a second part of the installation that is an In-Home Device (IHD). All your correspondence, and that of the Government, only refers to the Smart Meter. Previously, I’d never heard of an IHD.

I suppose you’d better come along and do a survey as to your wireless transmission capability. Or you could refer me to a neighbour who already has one of your units installed. Naturally, I don’t expect revelation of my address or that of a neighbour on a public forum like this. How can we exchange that information?

If the wireless transmission is found to be deficient, I can refer you to the block’s managing agent who would approve or veto a mains-driven repeater-unit mid-way in order to boost the signal.

What are the dimensions of the IHD? If I were to accept, I’d want it installed unobtrusively. May I choose where it would be sited in my home? Utility companies have a habit of installing devices at their convenience rather than somewhere aesthetically pleasing.

If I accept this installation, and subsequently change electricity provider, will the switch-over be seamless or would I need a replacement Smart Meter from the new provider at their expense?
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
Hi again @RogerHa I've posted a load of background information about having a Smart Meter installed on another Topic which you can access here.

There are photographs illustrating what's involved, including pictures of the Chameleon IHD, which measures 118x80mm and 15mm thick. It's a tiny portable device with an optional plastic stand. It has an inbuilt rechargeable battery. It doesn't get installed in a set position and you can move it around as you wish.

The new SMETS2 meters permit seamless inter-operability between Energy Suppliers. This too is explained on that other Topic.

You appear to be writing as if OVO are going to be responding. Can I just point out that this is an Open Forum whereby customers assist each other and discuss energy-related subjects. You won't get responses here from OVO Customer Support.
Userlevel 6
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Hi @RogerHa,

The In-Home Display is an addition to the smart meter setup, which connects to both meters and shows you real time usage and total consumption. It's a handheld device, which you can plug in at any power outlet in your home, though it works best when closer to the electricity meter. You can chose to unplug it if you prefer.

More information here.

Cheers
Thank you all for this most informative thread.

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