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Will OVO work with my First Utility 'Secure' smart meter like it was their own?

  • 30 August 2018
  • 1 reply
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Hello Ovo Forum.
I'm currently a first:utility customer with a Secure Liberty smart meter identical to those installed by Ovo. My fixed term contract ends in a month or so and I presume that if I request to switch to Ovo, the changeover will be totally automatic. So both companies will agree my ending/opening meter readings and I will then open an Ovo online account to view details as I do now with first:utility.
Am I being over optomistic?
Has anyone had first hand experience of this?
How did it go?
I don't want to lose the smart function of my meters as they're at the back of cupboards, easy to see with a torch but awkward to press those tiny little buttons for displaying the readings. I dont want to be unloading/reloading cupboards every month. So being able to continue using the smart meter is desirable.
I was surprised to discover that the in-home display unit (Pipit 500) cannot display meter readings! In fact, I found its design very dim considering its supposed to be smart - but that's perhaps another thread for another day.
For now I'm keen to know how switching supplier would work out.
Thanks in anticipation.
PJ
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Best answer by Transparent 31 August 2018, 17:27

Hi @PhilJenks. You raise a number of points... but fortunately the answers are all positive!

Firstly, you are right that OVO and First both use identical Smart Meters from Secure. So there is no compatibility issue if you switch to OVO.

Secondly, the switch process is handled entirely by the receiving Supplier - in this case OVO. So it is they who will set the switch date, and a message asking you to take a manual meter reading within 4-days either side of that date. (Remember, OVO can't yet "see" your meters).

OVO send the reading to the National Meter Database, ECOES, who in turn forward it to First. There is a statutory few days of delay during which First can raise a formal Objection. Since you're on Smart Metering, they will immediately be able to confirm that the readings you've taken are valid. So that speeds things up a bit!

It still takes around 4 weeks to actually execute the entire switch process because there is a further wait of 14-days set by the Consumer Credit Act. This is to allow you, the consumer, to change your mind if you wish.

If First take another Direct Debit from your bank in the meantime, this is normal. However I recommend leaving the DD "live" because they can then automatically credit you, not only with that payment, but also what is owed for consumption after the agreed switch-date.

Please post again here if anything is unclear.

Updated 06/08/2019

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Hi @PhilJenks. You raise a number of points... but fortunately the answers are all positive!

Firstly, you are right that OVO and First both use identical Smart Meters from Secure. So there is no compatibility issue if you switch to OVO.

Secondly, the switch process is handled entirely by the receiving Supplier - in this case OVO. So it is they who will set the switch date, and a message asking you to take a manual meter reading within 4-days either side of that date. (Remember, OVO can't yet "see" your meters).

OVO send the reading to the National Meter Database, ECOES, who in turn forward it to First. There is a statutory few days of delay during which First can raise a formal Objection. Since you're on Smart Metering, they will immediately be able to confirm that the readings you've taken are valid. So that speeds things up a bit!

It still takes around 4 weeks to actually execute the entire switch process because there is a further wait of 14-days set by the Consumer Credit Act. This is to allow you, the consumer, to change your mind if you wish.

If First take another Direct Debit from your bank in the meantime, this is normal. However I recommend leaving the DD "live" because they can then automatically credit you, not only with that payment, but also what is owed for consumption after the agreed switch-date.

Please post again here if anything is unclear.

Updated 06/08/2019

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