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Getting a SMETS2 smart meter with storage heaters, underfloor heating or other 5th port appliances

Getting a SMETS2 smart meter with storage heaters, underfloor heating or other 5th port appliances
Userlevel 7

Updated on 22/02/22 by Jess_OVO

 

SMETS2 Five port smart meters - Your Guide

 

You’re now able to book five terminal/port SMETS2 meter installations via your online account or OVO app (download for Android or iOS), subject to availability. 

 

What’s a five port meter?

 

A five port meter is an electricity meter with an extra terminal which is usually wired up to alternative heating solutions such as underfloor heating or storage heaters. You can check whether your meter is four or five port by checking the number of wires connected to the bottom of your meter.

 

 

How does the SMETS2 five port meter work?

 

Five terminal meters are most often used for members on an Economy 7 plan. The fifth terminal is automatically powered on during the off-peak hours of your tariff. 

Technical info here, but for those interested, unlike SMETS1 the time-switch controlling the fifth port isn’t decided by the tariff loaded on to the meter and is instead set-up at the point of manufacture. This means the fifth terminal should work properly even if the meters aren’t communicating with us. The default off-peak hours loaded on to the meter are 00:00 - 07:00. When the engineer installs your meter they’ll also send an 'Electricity Configure Auxiliary Load' request (commonly known as an 'ECAUL') to configure the time-switch on the meter to match the off peak hours for your region
 

 

Troubleshooting issues with a five port S2 meter

 

If your heating isn’t switching on as expected (or at the times expected) following a SMETS2 meter install, it might be due to an issue with this ECAUL configuration process, in which case we may be able to fix things remotely. Reach out to our Support Team to report these issues.

 

 

Related Guides

 

 

 

 

OVO member but not got a smart meter yet? - Book today!

 

Interested but not yet an OVO member? - Check out our plans!

 


35 replies

Userlevel 7
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That’s good news. But I presume the 5-terminal meters you’re installing are made by Aclara or EDMI?

The Elster Honeywell AS302P in the photo above is a 4-terminal which OVO have been installing for a year now.

Here’s a photo of the EDMI ES-12B. The Aclara layout of terminals is identical.

 

Userlevel 7

Let me check on make and model, @Transparent 

 

If we can confirm, I’ll change the image. Is the one above free to use, if it turns out to be the model being used?

Userlevel 7
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When I clip such images, I source them from the manufacturer’s own publicity material. After all, we  are commenting favourably, and extending their marketing reach so I can’t see anyone objecting!

I was going to use an Aclara image, but there wasn’t a photo with such a clear view of the terminals in the base. I’m sure they’ll supply one if we ask.

Userlevel 7

I was going to use an Aclara image, but there wasn’t a photo with such a clear view of the terminals in the base. I’m sure they’ll supply one if we ask.

 

Well, we must just have to ask them. I’ve just confirmed the model of 5th port SMETS2 meters we’re fitting is the Aclara SGM1415B

Userlevel 7
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OK. That makes sense. The SGM1415B is the 5-terminal model without the additional 2A relay (which no one uses anyway!). I’ll email their Publicity Dept. and ask for photos.

I'm trying to book for 5 port smart meter (Smets2) but I can't. I don't understand are those available or not?? I'm trying to have one over 8 months. 

Userlevel 7

I'm trying to book for 5 port smart meter (Smets2) but I can't. I don't understand are those available or not?? I'm trying to have one over 8 months. 

 

Thanks for posting, @Constantin Pacurar 

 

You should be able to book this in online - one of the questions will relate to your appliances such as storage heaters, underfloor heating etc and if you confirm you have an appliance connected to a 5th port, it will ensure this is the smart meter type booked in. 

 

If you’re not able to confirm that, or if you have any doubt, call our Support team to get this booked in and any questions answered: 0330 303 5063.

 

I’m going to update this topic now, to make it much more clear.

Hello - I’m having an issue with my eco7/ smart meter at the moment and wondering if it is something OVO can help sort out (Not currently with OVO, but my current supplier aren’t able/ willing to help)

Basically, I’m renting a flat which has had an eco7 set up for years. The previous tenants however decided to get a smart meter installed and when this work was carried out the eco7 fusebox was disconnected, meaning that whilst we still have an eco7 fusebox, there is no electricity going from the smart meter to the eco7 fusebox.

We have had several electricians visit, all of whom have said the only remedy is to get our electricity supplier out to reconnect the fusebox, however this has been harder than I expected. Our landlady is really wanting to get the eco7 reconnected as she is wanting to install storage heaters in the flat.

Is this something that OVO can help us with?

Userlevel 7
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Hi @robturner07  and welcome to the Forum.

I think we could do with a bit more information on the existing Smart Meter, and possibly a photo.

The preferred method of having a separate E7 fusebox (more usually call a Consumer Unit) is to have a 5-terminal Smart Meter. This has two “live” outputs, one of which is only energised when the cheap-rate electricity is available.

It’s worthwhile noting that the concept of Economy-7 is being replaced by more flexible tariffs. As we include more sources of renewable energy within the Mix, there will be “cheap rate” electricity available on sunny and windy days too.

The 5-terminal Smart Meter is future-proofed against these changes because your Energy Supplier can send alternative tariffs to your site on a daily basis, allowing you to choose whether you’d like to take advantage of these daytime slots.

 

There is an alternative method to achieve the same effect if it is specifically Storage Radiators that you want to have installed.

You could purchase the innovative Quantum radiators, manufactured by Dimplex.

Dimplex Quantum control panel

The Quantum has an integral control panel which links to the Flex Platform, designed and operated by Kaluza.

The central Flex computer has direct connections to the National Wholesale Electricity Market and weather forecast data. This data combined such that the Quantum is supplied with the required quantity of the cheapest electricity in order to meet your set-temperature for the next 24 hours.

The user need not know when the radiator is receiving power, nor try to second-guess how much to store for the following day. The Quantum units can be connected to your ordinary Consumer Unit, rather than a separate E7 supply. Flex automatically adjusts your bill downwards because it knows how much energy was actually supplied for the radiators.

Userlevel 7

Hi @robturner07  and welcome to the Forum.

I think we could do with a bit more information on the existing Smart Meter, and possibly a photo.

 

 

Are we able get this sent over, @robturner07?

 

The preferred method of having a separate E7 fusebox (more usually call a Consumer Unit) is to have a 5-terminal Smart Meter. This has two “live” outputs, one of which is only energised when the cheap-rate electricity is available.

 

 

 

Yep I suspect a 4 port smart meter was fitted, and the main consumer unit was connected, with the off peak consumer unit being disconnected. 

 

If that’s the case, we will be able to fit a 5th port smart meter, but unless your smart meter has a fault, it will be at a cost of £106 (£325 if 3 phase). More info here:

 

 

You could purchase the innovative Quantum radiators, manufactured by Dimplex.

Dimplex Quantum control panel

The Quantum has an integral control panel which links to the Flex Platform, designed and operated by Kaluza.

 

@Transparent please be aware that the OVO are no longer offering Dimplex heating solutions to new customers. See our update page here for more info. 

Userlevel 7
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Thanks @Tim_OVO . I wasn’t aware that the Quantum storage heater was a Trial. I thought it was a fully commercial product, available from Dimplex outlets.

Hi @Transparent and @Tim_OVO  - Thanks so much for your replies, super helpful!

 

Yeah, our current smart meter rs a Landis + Gyr one, pictures below - It looks like it is a 4 port meter instead of the 5 port, so would need replaced if we want to use the eco7 function.

 

 

Thanks again for your help both!

Userlevel 1

Hi - first time posting on this forum!

I’ve recently moved into a property which has an old Siemens S2AM-100 dual rate meter and a rotary time switch (that doesn’t seem to be set to the right time!). I’m currently on British Gas’ Standard Variable Tariff (single rate) so the incorrect time doesn’t currently matter as they just sum the R1 and R2 readings. I have a gas hob, and currently no proper heating.

I’m looking to install electric storage heaters, and my electrician advised I needed a new meter, as I believe despite the existence of the time switch there is only 1 ‘tail’ actually coming from it. So I contacted my current supplier to enquire about a new meter. They attended today but were unable to install a meter as apparently their smart meters are unable to cope with the dual rate requirement for storage heaters.

Browsing the OVO forums, it looks like the latest smart meters installed by OVO would allow me to have a 5-terminal electricity smart meter with the connection to a smart gas meter - is this correct? And would this allow my electrician to install a modern storage heater as proposed?

Thanks in advance! 

Phil

Userlevel 7
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Heya @philearp !

Welcome to the forum! :)

You’re actually in luck, because to be honest… The smart meters that British Gas installs are often terrible - the Landis+Gyr E470 is a nightmare that I’d rather avoid if it were me!

And yes, predictably… That model cannot handle your setup as L+G does not offer a Five-Terminal variant of the E470 that I know of.

I’m actually curious about your current meters, would you be OK to share some snaps please? We don’t see Siemens ones very often!

And yes, the Aclara SGM1416-B should handle your setup just fine. It’s a SMETS2 meter that’s also a Five-Terminal model and that’s one of the options OVO has, along with installing a SMETS2 Flonidan UniFlo Smart Gas Meter. If your current gas meter is the diaphragm type, then a UniFlo will definitely fit just fine. We can identify the type you currently have if you’d like us to. You’d then be able to get the electrician round to install your storage heaters properly. It’s important that your electrician works with you and OVO to get everything wired up properly, so that the meter can correctly control the storage heaters as intended. For now, feel free to ask them to install the storage heaters and do as much wiring as possible, but not commission them juuuust yet. It’ll save time later.

If you’d like OVO to do this, you’ll need to switch your supplies over first. I also need to ask @Tim_OVO or @Jess_OVO to double check whether they can think of any other possible blockers. Usually if you’re already E7 you can switch to OVO and remain E7, but in your case this might be a little more complicated. I think you can get away with it, but I’d rather play it safe! But if not, get BG to put you back on Economy 7 for now without a Meter Exchange and then switch to OVO while maintaining E7. That should work.

Userlevel 1

Thanks for such a prompt reply!

Yes - here is a picture of the full electricity meter setup - I’m not an expert but it looks like there’s just one single ‘live’ tail going out the bottom right corner of the cabinet to the consumer unit.

Siemens S2AM-100 Dual-Rate Meter (top-left), Time switch (top-right)


Here is a close-up of the meter itself. Property was built in the late 80s, but no idea what has been done between then and now!

Siemens S2AM-100 Dual-Rate meter

And here is the gas meter, located in a separate cabinet on an external wall.

Gas Meter

Hopefully it is possible to switch as-is.. British Gas were very unhelpful when I started talking about Economy 7 tariffs - I think they’re only offering it on a fixed tariff which has an exit fee :expressionless:. I’ll leave it to your colleagues to advise!

Userlevel 7
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Oh wow, that is an old setup! This is only the second time I’ve seen an Imperial Gas Meter on this forum and I’ve been on here for around 15 months now. And by the looks of things, it’s probably due for an upgrade - the service life is likely to expire for both meters soon.

You can definitely switch to OVO with this setup (provided no other blockers exist), just be mindful that switching right now doesn’t guarantee the best deal. But then again, you’re with British Gas anyway, so almost any supplier will be cheaper than what you’ve currently got.

Looks like you’re missing a few tamper seals there as well actually. That’s a safety issue which definitely needs to be resolved. You can try to get BG to do that and it’s free of charge. But if they refuse or get stroppy again, OVO would be able to arrange that repair once you’re on-supply.

Upgrading to a Five-Terminal Smart Meter looks possible based on these photos. The timeswitch would be removed by the engineer and all the meter tails would be re-wired into the replacement meter. You wouldn’t need your electrician to do that. Not that they can anyway. :)

As for the gas meter? Piece of cake! That’s a Diaphragm type and the cupboard is a perfect size for a shiny new Flonidan UniFlo meter. Just a heads up - the new one would be metric rather than imperial, but the billing platform would handle this so you don’t have to.

There’s actually someone on here who would probably rather enjoy seeing that setup. The question is… Do I show him this one? XD

Userlevel 1

(As a bit of a nerd myself) I think it would be rude to not show them!

I’ll wait to see if there is an answer from your colleagues regarding the switch to OVO E7 with my current setup. Thanks for your help!

Userlevel 7
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No worries :)

I’ve pinged that user a lot recently, so I won’t try to get their attention right now. I might send him a PM with a link at some point though.

Tim and Jess should be back in the morning, so hopefully they can give their thoughts then.

See you around!

Userlevel 7

Good to hear from you, @philearp

 

Blastoise is spot on as per, OVO do offer 5 port SMETS2 smart meters:

 

 

My only question mark is what an electrician does vs what an energy supplier engineer can do on site, for a supply currently connected to a 4 port meter and a time switch.

 

I wouldn’t want to promise you our engineer could do all the work required if you then switched to OVO and encountered an issue on the install day. I’m also surprised that British Gas weren’t able to fit a 5 port meter on the day. Even if they couldn’t use L&G, surely they’d have lots of customers in a similar situation… this tells me there might be more at play then just a simple 5 port install. 

 

I’m also aware that we’ve tagged this member a lot (I know who Blastoise is referring to), and I don’t want to spam their inbox too much. But just in case they’re about today, let’s see what @Lukepeniket_OVO thinks: can an OVO engineer turn this into a 5 port smart meter set up with no time switch? - 

 

 

Siemens S2AM-100 Dual-Rate Meter (top-left), Time switch (top-right)

 

 

Userlevel 1

Thanks! 

A bit more info if it helps:

As the storage heaters are yet to be ordered/installed, I think my electrician was looking to have the ‘always on’ tail wired into the current consumer unit (similar to now), and that some sort of connector block (that the electrician could in future connect to) would be attached to the ‘switched off peak’ tail. 

The electrician would then redo the consumer unit when the storage heaters are installed to get the ‘always on’ and ‘switched’ feeds connected up and going to the right places.

Userlevel 5

Hello!! Weirdly I was going to comment on the setup but you've already tagged me which is amazing!!

 

So, yes we do install the 5 port Aclara meters to handle the storage heater circuits, no need for an external time clock as it's all controlled by the meter.

 

The next step I would do to enable you to be ready for an electrician is to fit isolators, one for your domestic (lighting power etc) and one for your off peak supply (heating/hot water) from that point onwards your electrician can connect the new off peak supply from your fuseboard to the isolator in his own leisure.

 

Now this next part is a personal preference of mine and as a Smart Engineer we have to talk about energy efficiency. If I was you I would look price up both electric storage heaters and gas central heating (I mean the meter is there already) and have a look at cost to install versus running costs for both systems. Whilst electric storage heaters may be cheaper to install I'm betting they will be more on the running costs.

Userlevel 6
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Shouldn't you be encouraging lower carbon heating? 😏

 

Userlevel 5

@M.isterW tis a valid point! I should be but I'm also all for economical solutions and hopefully the transition to hydrogen will quickly pick up 🤗

 

We could meet down the middle and look at ASHP like yourself have got 🙂 I would say your set up is one of if not the most green setups I have seen!!!! 

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

You’ve got to hand it to Luke. He clearly thinks ahead way more than I would!

Userlevel 7

Thanks for popping by, @Lukepeniket_OVO. I hope that’s helped you know the next steps, @philearp 

If you have any follow up questions, I think we have content that can answer them. First off, why an isolator? 

 

 

Second, what about the cost (if on supply with OVO):

 

 

Your current supplier should be able to fit these as well. You could reach out to them and price compare?

 

Lastly, storage heaters benefits and disadvantages. See OVO’s storage heater guide here. And to learn more about heat pumps, well, the likes of @M.isterW and content like this has you covered:

 

 

If and when you wanted to start the journey to get on supply with OVO, here’s the link to view our available plans. 

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