Pinned Solved

Switched from British Gas - will their Smart Meters work with OVO?



Show first post

45 replies

Hey @aquaant03

I've moved your query over to an existing topic on British Gas smart meters - just check out Darran's 'Best Answer' at the top.

R1 sounds like the rate to me. If you have an Economy 7 meter you'll have a day register and a night register - one will be labelled R1 and the other R2.

Hope this helps,
Emily
I'm sceptical of the SMETS1 meters for now, which is why I've decided to hold off getting a smart meter put in.

Can you say any more about the S1->S2 upgrade? Is it just a sw update?
My understanding is that whilst S1 use only 3G, S2 also use other peer-peer networking
And is it just a sw update to allow the S1 meters to work with DCC (so data is available to all suppliers) that has finally been agreed for 2018? As opposed to actually upgrading to S2

I'm confused, but opting not to switch until I have confidence/knowledge of the details
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
Hi @planetf1; the answers you need are quite complex. I'll try to give the shortened version here, then you can ask for further info if you want.

No one has yet revealed whether their SMETS1 to SMETS2 upgrade can be done solely with software, nor if they intend doing so without requiring a site visit. SMETS is a set of software protocols. Layered on top are a load of security measures... which are still being developed and tested with assistance from GCHQ.

It is possible that when SMETS2 code is finally compiled, some of the hardware manufacturers might find that they can't upload it into their SMETS1 meters. This is commercially sensitive information and I don't expect us to learn any more in the immediate future.

SMETS1 uses GSM (mobile phone) frequencies to transfer data to/fro your Energy Supplier via an organisation called DCC. SMETS1 also uses a 2.4GHz "Mesh network" called Zigbee to communicate between your gas & electric meters and to your in-home display.

Since SMETS2 is merely a change of software, it will continue to use these same networks.

The DCC (Data Communication Company) can already send data onwards to/fro any Supplier. That's not where the incompatibility issue are. A good analogy is to imagine that the various Suppliers chose different languages to communicate the same protocols.

So, for example, if a SMETS command existed which told your Smart-meter to shut-off the valve feeding gas into your house, the different Suppliers might have implemented it thus:
British Gas: "Valve = Close"
OVO: "Shut-off"
EDF: "Fermez porte deux"


You might think that this merely requires DCC to implement a translation table for all 124 DUIS commands multiplied by all meter hardware manufacturers, multiplied by all Energy Suppliers. However, if you've experienced trying to use Google-Translate, you'll begin to appreciate the problems!

There were good reasons why Suppliers wanted to keep to their own SMETS "language" sets. Some are technical, some of them for security and some simply because they wanted to try and lock customers into their own services. Bizarrely, they were also permitted to add their own commands.

Similar problems may yet occur with new features which are about to be added within the SMETS2 standard...
... but this post is already long enough!

Hope that helps.
Hi,

I had British Gas smart meters installed less than 2 years ago, the little display thing they gave us still appears to be working. I’ve just had an email about having ovo smart meters installed is there a difference? Do I need OVO ones or can you read the ones I have?

Lee
Userlevel 6
Badge +2
Check out the 'best answer' (at the top) @Lee297
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
@Lee297,

The "little display thing" (IHD) communicates with your BG meters by a system called Zigbee. This uses the same 2.4GHz frequency for wireless doorbells.

Communication between your smart-meters and a Utility Supplier is via the network of mobile-phone transmitters and is quite separate. The data transfers are actually handled by the Data Communications Company under a Government directive. They in turn pass the meter readings on to your Supplier.

The reason OVO can't use these readings is because British Gas have a different data & command structure. This will change at some point in the future.

So for the moment you'll need to take meter readings manually and send them to OVO. But your IHD will operate as before.
I can clearly see that its in OVO's interest to convert my existing BG Smart meters to OVO ones as it then makes it harder to change supplier if you have meters that only work on one supplier network. I have been told over the last 2 years that OVO is working on achieving compatibility with other providers but dont see that happening in the near future. I will continue to give my own readings as I can then convert back to BG if they drop their prices (fat chance?) to levels lower than Ovo and dont have the hassle of changing meters over once again. Its all adding cost to OUR utility services because the industry has been so poor at working on a compatible solution. My guess is that SMETS1 was badly thought through and was rolled out to salvage some Govt target that was being missed. Early adopters pay once again for suppliers mistakes/poor management.
Userlevel 5
Badge
Hey @Utilityvictim,

The smart meters we use (made by Secure) are compatible with the following suppliers:
Utilita Energy Limited
Co-operative Energy Ltd
First Utility Ltd
Electricity Plus Supply Ltd t/a The Utility Warehouse
Economy Energy
Toto Energy Limited
E (Gas & Electricity)
Spark Energy Supply Limited
Eversmart Energy Ltd
EON Energy
Robin Hood Energy Limited
Ecotricity
Bristol Energy
Our Power Energy Supply Ltd
Octopus Energy

British Gas smart meters currently don't communicate with any other energy supplier if you switch. SMETS2 is still in the pipelines, with a view to be launched at the end of 2018. The plan is to incorporate universal communication between all meters and suppliers.

Hope this helps.
Thank you Nancy. Thats most useful. I think its worth having a OVO smart meter from now on.
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
@Utilityvictim wrote:
My guess is that SMETS1 was badly thought through and was rolled out to salvage some Govt target that was being missed.
I don't entirely agree, but it's a point well made!

"The Government" goes out for public consultation on these technologies about 5 years before we actually have the hardware in our homes. If you want to see a PowerPoint slide briefing given to Ofgem from technical advisors within HMG about the stuff that's just starting to be fitted now, then have a look at this PDF from 2014.

You will see that the new generation of SMETS2 meters is the start of a strategy called Demand Side Response.

What needs to happen is that more people like you and I should be responding to these Government Public Consultations!
My contract with Scottish Power finishes end of December, and I had smart gas and electric meters fitted January 2017. Are these Scottish Power smart meters compatible with Ovo Energy smart metering system. The interface iis AM110R S1 enhanced credit by Elster.
Userlevel 4
I know you're switching from Scottish Power, @dwyates, but the same concept would apply here.

Just like British Gas meters, we won't be able to communicate with Scottish Powers either.

Take a look through the comments for more advice! 🙂
Thank you Eva_OVO,
A shame they are not compatible, but good to have the knowledge in advance.
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
Hi @dwyates , the question you need to ask Scottish Power is how their existing customer base with SMETS1 Smart Meters is going to be upgraded to SMETS2.

OVO have announced that their SMETS1 meters (made by Secure) will be upgraded later in 2019 by a remote download (no on-site visit required). Whether or not you are still a Scottish Power customer then may affect how/when your upgrade occurs... and indeed who is responsible for it.

There are numerous features within SMETS2 which we will all require at some stage. It's not just to allow inter-Supplier compatibility which is at issue here!
Hi @dwyates , the question you need to ask Scottish Power

is how their existing customer base with SMETS1 Smart Meters

is going to be upgraded to SMETS2

.

OVO
have announced that their SMETS1 meters

(made by Secure) will be upgraded later in 2019 by a remote download (no on-site visit required). Whether or not you are still a Scottish Power

customer then may affect how/when your upgrade occurs... and indeed who is responsible for it.

There are numerous features within SMETS2
which we will all require at some stage. It's not just to allow inter-Supplier compatibility which is at issue here!
Thank you Transparent, I appreciate the need for upgrade, but am unlikely to renew my contract with Scottish Power, as their rates are uncompetitive, and their green credentials not the best. Your point is good however.
Hello,
Just recently switched to OVO. I have a BG smart meter and there is only one number there. Is it gas or electricity reading? Can OVO use this smart meter?
Thanks
Anna
Userlevel 2
I've moved your query here @MyOvo as previous answers will help!
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
Hi @MyOvo and welcome to the Forum.

Taking your points separately:

A. As you will see from the message above by @Nancy_OVO British Gas is not on the list of Energy Suppliers whose Smart Meters are currently compatible with the protocols (language) that OVO use.

However, this will change in the next year as existing Smart Meters are upgraded to the newer SMETS2 software, which has interoperability between all UK Suppliers.


B. Gas Meters and Electricity Meters are separate devices. Each one displays only one number.

Do you have both gas and electricity in your house?

Have you moved both fuels across to OVO?

As you already have Smart Metering, the need to take a reading at the point where you change Suppliers is not as essential as it used to be. There are ways for the new Energy Supplier to check the readings electronically. However, it is a useful thing to do in case a dispute arises.

Try describing the meter(s) you are looking at. Please don't use any technical language.

For example, if there are two metal pipes entering the meter, each about one-inch wide, then that's a gas meter.

We can probably work out what you're looking at by just such a description.


C. I think you may wish to ask one of the Forum Moderators to change the User-name you have opted for on this Forum. The term "My OVO" actually refers to something else - the online page where each Customers' bills are available. So this could get very confusing!

Since @Beth_OVO was the Moderator who moved your message here, I've mentioned her name again in this reply. She then gets a message to tell her I've done this!

You can click on her name (in blue) and send her a Private Message with the requested name change. Try to choose something which isn't related to your energy supply in any way, such as the name of a tree or a piece of music.


Finally, please remember that we are fellow customers on this Forum. OVO's Customer Services staff aren't monitoring what you write here. You can't ask color=#009030]OVO[/color] a direct question by posting it here on the Forum.

Reply