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Can you supply a three phase smart meter?


I have a three phase supply to my house. All phases are in use. One phase for ground source heatpump the other two provide power and light. Can you supply a three phase smart meter?
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Best answer by Transparent 7 April 2019, 12:13

Updated 28/09/20: The info below summarises parts of Transparent’s answer:

All Smart Meters being installed in the UK are selected through a process managed by the Data Communications Company (DCC). They own the Smart Meter Network, and they alone can communicate with our Smart Meters using a proprietary encryption system. DCC have, thus far, only commissioned single-phase Smart Meters to be joined to their Network.

The info below was taken from this topic which asks what’s needed to get a smart meter with a 3 phase supply:

You will need to get your 3 phase supply downgraded to a single phase supply, before a smart meter can go in. Here's the process:

- Get an electrician to check if downgrading the supply is possible (you've done this already - nice work).
- Arrange a date for (and pay for) a visit from your Distribution Network Operator (DNO), who will rewire your supply to make it a single phase set up.
- Liaise with OVO to make sure we can get an engineer to you on the same day that the DNO visit, to fit your smart meter free of charge: 0330 303 5063.

 

How very sensible @Eco Geeko !

The UK Electricity Distribution Grid is suffering increased losses due to imbalances between the phases at sub-stations. This isn't helped by almost all our domestic housing stock having only single-phase supplies.

Compare this with Germany where it is expected that all houses should have a 3-phase supply.

Unfortunately the answer to your question isn't within the control of the domestic Energy Suppliers, like OVO.

All Smart Meters being installed in the UK are selected through a process managed by the Data Communications Company (DCC). They own the Smart Meter Network, and they alone can communicate with our Smart Meters using a proprietary encryption system. This is essential to prevent the UK's energy supply system being held to ransom by those with malicious intent.

DCC have, thus far, only commissioned single-phase Smart Meters to be joined to their Network.

I have written more extensively about Smart Meter installation elsewhere on the Forum.

Please post here again if you'd like further information or clarification. And please fill out your Forum Profile so that we can tailor responses more precisely to your circumstances.

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Userlevel 7
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Updated 28/09/20: The info below summarises parts of Transparent’s answer:

All Smart Meters being installed in the UK are selected through a process managed by the Data Communications Company (DCC). They own the Smart Meter Network, and they alone can communicate with our Smart Meters using a proprietary encryption system. DCC have, thus far, only commissioned single-phase Smart Meters to be joined to their Network.

The info below was taken from this topic which asks what’s needed to get a smart meter with a 3 phase supply:

You will need to get your 3 phase supply downgraded to a single phase supply, before a smart meter can go in. Here's the process:

- Get an electrician to check if downgrading the supply is possible (you've done this already - nice work).
- Arrange a date for (and pay for) a visit from your Distribution Network Operator (DNO), who will rewire your supply to make it a single phase set up.
- Liaise with OVO to make sure we can get an engineer to you on the same day that the DNO visit, to fit your smart meter free of charge: 0330 303 5063.

 

How very sensible @Eco Geeko !

The UK Electricity Distribution Grid is suffering increased losses due to imbalances between the phases at sub-stations. This isn't helped by almost all our domestic housing stock having only single-phase supplies.

Compare this with Germany where it is expected that all houses should have a 3-phase supply.

Unfortunately the answer to your question isn't within the control of the domestic Energy Suppliers, like OVO.

All Smart Meters being installed in the UK are selected through a process managed by the Data Communications Company (DCC). They own the Smart Meter Network, and they alone can communicate with our Smart Meters using a proprietary encryption system. This is essential to prevent the UK's energy supply system being held to ransom by those with malicious intent.

DCC have, thus far, only commissioned single-phase Smart Meters to be joined to their Network.

I have written more extensively about Smart Meter installation elsewhere on the Forum.

Please post here again if you'd like further information or clarification. And please fill out your Forum Profile so that we can tailor responses more precisely to your circumstances.

I read the topic and responses with disappointment. OVO cannot fit 3-phase smart meters. The work-around is either downgrading to a single-phase supply or having 3 separate single-phase meters for each of the 3 phases!

In another property my supply is from another provider. I have a single meter (Alster A1140); it is a smart meter, its has economy 7 on at all phases.

Why cannot OVO provide one like this?

Userlevel 7

Tis a good question, @MARGARETMAVIS - have a look at Transparent’s ‘best answer’ at the top. It’s not something we can change directly at the moment. 

 

To discus supply downgrade options and costs, give us a call: 0330 303 5063

Userlevel 1

do ovo offer a 3 phase supply with economy 7 (or similar) - and how long would it take to get a meter installed on a new supply

Userlevel 7
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Hi @boulterc99  and welcome to the Forum.

At this time OVO don’t yet have 3-phase Smart Meters approved for installation, so the answer to your question depends on whether you are happy with a “traditional” meter.

There’s a basic Tutorial on single/three phase supplies here, which doesn’t go into great technical depth.

And there are a few other discussion Topics which raise issues of 3-phase connection in greater detail. This one about the requirement for vector-sum metering if you wish to export back to the grid is worthwhile reading.

Userlevel 1

Thanks @Transparent smart meter is a nice to have, more interested in Economy 7 with 3 phase so i can recharge my batteries at night.

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OK, so if you’re happy with a traditional meter at the moment, then the next question is whether OVO have yet obtained a licence from Ofgem to install meters on new supplies.

This process is somewhat different to changing a meter on an existing supply and requires liaison with the regional Distribution Network Operator (DNO) and ECOES, the national meter database.

New feed meter installations used to be the province of the Big-6 Energy Suppliers, although a number of private companies are also now approved to do this work on new estates. OVO became the 3rd largest Supplier a year ago, but I haven’t yet seen any announcement that they are authorised to do new installs.

Let’s ask the Moderator, @Tim_OVO, if he can find this out for you.

Userlevel 1

we have a single phase (via Octopus Energy) temporary supply for our new build but getting them to commit a date for installing a 3 phase meter is impossible hence looking elsewhere

 

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That existing meter on the temporary supply might make all the difference! :slight_smile:

I have experience as a self-builder, so I appreciate what you’re up against.

  • Was the cable for that temporary supply run onto your property by the DNO?
  • Does it connect to you from an overhead supply (on a pole) or an underground supply?
  • Do you now have an approved meter-box within the outside wall of your new-build?
  • Does your new meter position have any (non-energised) cable running to it? (in a duct?)

And please complete your Forum Profile page. It gives us basic background details such as your geographical area. Thanks.

Userlevel 1

Hi Transparent

in line answers

  • Was the cable for that temporary supply run onto your property by the DNO?
    • Yes SSEN put in a new Wavecon cable for me as part of the temporary supply
  • Does it connect to you from an overhead supply (on a pole) or an underground supply?
    • Underground supply
  • Do you now have an approved meter-box within the outside wall of your new-build?
    • termination of 3 phase being put in the garage plant room (already inspected location by SSEN)
  • Does your new meter position have any (non-energised) cable running to it? (in a duct?)
    • House cables running to the garage plant room to fuse boxes are in ground in ducts
    • The new 3 phase cable trench is dug for SSEN to connect up to the Wavecon put in as part of the temp supply and this will be in a duct too
    •  

 

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OK. So we need @Tim_OVO to run this past a Meter Installs Manager tomorrow. The issue here is whether the DNO is prepared to install that new 3-phase cable and leave it terminated with their Service Fuse block.

If so, then there might not be a problem. Your site-meter effectively has an MPAN number because of the existing single-phase connection. So an OVO Engineer could “change” one meter for another, albeit they were physically connected to different cables. That shouldn’t be any difficulty for ECOES.

The remaining issue is to arrange for the OVO Engineer to arrive on site on the designated day for your switch from Octopus to OVO.

Userlevel 1

my understanding is that ssen would leave it terminated with their fuse block as they did for the temporary supply.

 

Userlevel 7

Some great info being shared here. Thanks for posting, @boulterc99 and for the export support @Transparent 

 

I’ve taken the info below from a guide I posted last week on 3 phase supplies, here.

 

The process for upgrading your supply to three phase

  1. You will be identified as needing a 3-phase supply by an electrician, due to requiring a high capacity of electricity in your property. This is usually the result of an extension to the property with more lighting or other building work.
  2. The DNO will need to attend to upgrade your main fuse to 3-phase.
  3. We book a 3-phase meter exchange (we do not have 3-phase smart meters) for a 3-phase trained engineer to upgrade your meter at the cost of £325. More info on costs here.

The booking with us is a 20 working day appointment, and our engineer or engineer contractor SMS may contact you directly to change for another date once they receive the booking. An electrician may also be required to rewire your consumer unit once the new meter has been installed, as we won't do this.

 

 

 

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Good morning @boulterc99 . You’ll notice that @Tim_OVO has moved our discussion into another Forum Topic where others are more likely to find it.

Having re-read what you posted yesterday, I note that you haven’t yet told us if you have aspirations to export energy back to the grid. This would be useful information for the OVO Meter Installs Team to know as they assess your request.

Userlevel 1

Hi @Transparent@Tim_OVO  i have no plans to export to the grid, I will be having 7KW of solar and a tesla battery but an all electric house with various load heavy devices `(eg Lift, GSHP)

I expect to consume all we generate and more.

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@Tim_OVO  please can you confirm that you offer economy 7 on this 3 phase supply. Also can i get tariff details please.

 

Thanks
Chris

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OK. Understood.

But the Tesla battery will still have a grid-connection and therefore a G98 export certificate.

As it is presumably going to be connected to only one of your 3-phases, this is relevant to the OVO specifier. The meter must have export registers, even if they only record zero!

As for your 7kW solar PV, is this feeding a separate off-grid battery (as I have), or is this also going to be grid-connected?

If the 7kW is grid-connected and spread across 2 phases (two inverters), then it too can be approved to G98, provided that those two phases are not the same as the Tesla Powerwall is already on.

However, the moment that there is the possibility of your grid-connected devices being able to export more than 3.68kW per phase (16A), then you need the higher-level G99 approval from SSEN. This applies even if you never actually export any power.

Please ask if you’d like further clarification of this.

Userlevel 1

@Transparent 

Spirit energy who are doing the PV and Battery config are applying for a G99 connection which SSEN have suggested

they have suggested “a SolarEdge 7k 3phase inverter that will balance the power generation out. We also have 1 no' Tesla PW2 battery storage unit to go in, this will be connected to L1 as 

the Tesla system only supports delivering power to 1 phase. A net/vector metering arrangement would effectively see the customer benefiting on all phases though.”

SSEN have suggested they are happy with this.

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Thanks for that @boulterc99 - it sounds like you are in good hands.

I’m unsurprised that SSEN are happy with the proposals. Their main concern would be the possibility of substation losses due to phase-imbalance. Your SolarEdge inverter will avoid that likelihood due to being 3-phase.

The Distribution Network Operators are working under a revenue-constraint strategy called RIIO-ED1, imposed on them by Ofgem. Reducing system-losses is a key element of the programme, and any threat to the shareholders’ dividends is a sure way to encourage compliance!

Userlevel 1

@Transparent it is sure hard work to get this sorted though - doing 3 phase is like talking a foreign language to most energy providers - lets hope OVO can talk the language of 3 phase economy 7 and meter install - yet to get confirmation they can do the economy 7 part.

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