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How do I activate my smart meter?


I had an Ovo Smart Meter installed about 8 months ago, and at the time the engineer was unable to connect it to the mobile network to make it actually be smart.

Ovo have called me a few times now saying that they think they can talk me through the process over the phone to get it all connected up and it’ll take about 20 minutes to complete. However, whenever they’ve called so far I’ve been in the middle of something else, they promise to call back at a better time but the call never arrives.

So my question is, can anyone here send me the instructions, or talk me through the process to activate my smart meter and make it smart?

I’ve called the help line but they tell me all they can do is go through a smart meter health check and I need an engineer to visit my property, but that is definitely NOT what the phone calls I’ve so far had have said.

Thanks :) 

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Best answer by Transparent 28 May 2020, 12:36

Up to date 2/06/2020

OK. So that WAN slow-flash tells us that your EDMI Comms Hub has a live connection to the Arqiva 400MHz network, and thence to DCC.

The next step is to send an email with a subject line “Attention SMETS2 Team” and get them to check what they can see of your meters via the BOL (Business Orchestration Layer).

Give them enough information to be able to identify you:

  • Name as on your account
  • address including post-code
  • OVO account number

Make sure you give the URL of this Forum Discussion. At the very least they’ll be able to pick up the meter serial numbers from the high-res photos you’ve posted above. :slight_smile:

Let us know how it goes.

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Userlevel 7
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Hi @MisterMints and welcome to the Forum.

You make an interesting point. I’m intrigued.

I’ve now been present at five SMETS2 meter installations. I have a background in electronics and software design, and I’m the Ninja who wrote the SMETS2 Installation Topic.

Even so, I’m puzzled over what it is that wasn’t completed on your site which could be done without a visit from an OVO Engineer. I can’t think of anything you could complete without phone access to the Bristol team monitoring the BOL connection to the Data Communications Company (DCC), and the Enigma software they use on-site for installation reporting.

Could we have a bit more detail here please?

1; Fill out your Forum Profile so we can see which area of the country you’re in.

2; Do you have gas as well as electricity?

3; If you’re in the South or Central Territories, what version of Communications Hub do you have?

 

And tell us a bit about your own background: Engineering? Telecoms?

Thanks.

Hey @Transparent 

I’m based in Stockport. The engineer said at the time that in my area/the north, the Smart meters use O2 to communicate (whereas in the south, and Warrington on its own for some reason, they use EE) and O2 is (according to him) notoriously difficult to get a connection on.

I have no issues with O2 in my home on a personal phone line though, so not sure why it would be different on a commercial/Smart meter connection.

He stuck around for about an hour with an app on phone or some other device trying to connect it to some kind of server to authenticate and tie everything together, but without any luck. In the end he gave up, left me with a dumb smart meter, no display screen, and a promise that another engineer would call round to try again in a few weeks. That obviously never happened.

I have both gas and electricity and therefore a meter for both.

Background wise I have no engineering or telecoms experience. I do have a degree in Computer Science though, so not completely allergic to technology! :joy:

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Wow! Lot’s of useful information there @MisterMints. Let’s see if I can do it justice:

 

1: Yes, you’re in the Northern Territory. But I don’t agree with all of the telecoms information you quote as coming from the Engineer.

For the earlier SMETS1 meters, each Energy Supplier was free to choose their own manufacturer and network provider. OVO used Secure for the meters and partnered with Utiligroup to provide the network connection and software. (See their Announcement from 2016.)

Secure SMETS1 electricity meter and Pipet IHD

Quite a few other companies used the same combination, which is why you could switch between them and still maintain Smart capability.

 

2: From March 2019, OVO could no longer obtain “credits” for installing SMETS1 meters. As far as the network capabilities would allow them to do so, they used SMETS2 Aclara electricity meters with Toshiba Communications Hubs in Southern and Central territories, and EDMI meters & Comms Hubs in your Northern Territory.

EDMI SMETS2 Communications Hub

 

3: All SMETS2 meters are connected to the National Smart Meter Network, which is run by the Data Communications Company (DCC). There are no more proprietary smart meter networks.

The network telecommunications in South & Central territories are operated for DCC by Telefonica, and use a modified 3G signal on their O2 mobile phone network.

The telecommunications in the Northern Territory are operated by Arqiva. Due to the large distances involved, they are using 400MHz wireless frequency, which they “bought” when it was no longer required for ITV analogue broadcasts.

 

So before we progress this conversation any further, I think you ought to tell us what meters you have got installed. Either give us the manufacturers’ names, or post a photo here.

Photos of my meters below

 

Userlevel 7
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That’s brilliant @MisterMints - and makes the situation a lot clearer.

This is the normal set-up of  SMETS2 meters which I’d expect to see in the Northern Territory,

The Uniflo gas meter has a battery in it. The display will become “live” and give you a reading if you press any of the buttons. It will return to sleep again if you leave it for around 30secs in order to conserve battery life.

The Aclara electricity meter appears to have a blank display screen in your photo, but I’m assuming it is actually showing your readings. Correct?

The next bit we need to clarify concerns the EDMComms Hub bolted on top of the electricity meter.

This has two LED indicators. These are bi-colour and can show red or green.

Normal status of the Comms Hub is indicated by the LEDs providing a slow-flash pattern, one short flash every 5 seconds.

Alternatively, the most common fault conditions are indicated by a medium-flash, once every 2 seconds.

I doubt that you’ll ever see the other patterns because they occur during commissioning.

So what are those LEDs doing?

 

And I’m going to tag @BenS_OVO here just to make him aware of this discussion. Don’t worry if he doesn’t pitch in with a response. But there are some unusual circumstances about the way your site has been left, and he’d probably like the SMETS2 Team to know.

Thanks for the info @Transparent 

I’ve taken a look at the electricity meter - it has 3 flashing LEDs

  • 2 in green which flash in sync (the ones that say WAN and HAN in the pic on the top) every 5 or so seconds
  • 1 which flashes red at the bottom left of the meter

(The meter does have a live display, I think it just didn’t come out correctly in the photograph)

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Up to date 2/06/2020

OK. So that WAN slow-flash tells us that your EDMI Comms Hub has a live connection to the Arqiva 400MHz network, and thence to DCC.

The next step is to send an email with a subject line “Attention SMETS2 Team” and get them to check what they can see of your meters via the BOL (Business Orchestration Layer).

Give them enough information to be able to identify you:

  • Name as on your account
  • address including post-code
  • OVO account number

Make sure you give the URL of this Forum Discussion. At the very least they’ll be able to pick up the meter serial numbers from the high-res photos you’ve posted above. :slight_smile:

Let us know how it goes.

I emailed them, and got two replies back @Transparent 

 

The first one wanted some more details about what had been said, who had been calling me and so on, and I replied with a link to this post and some more details about the calls I had received.

The second reply was from someone else, and the way it is written sounds like they didn’t read the previous reply or this forum post. It just says they are “aware that a second appointment is necessary in order to try and connect your meters so that they can communicate with us”.

No information on who has been calling, no recognition they’ve said they could do it over the phone (just that I am on the list for 2nd visits and would need to wait for the COVID to calm down), nothing really of any note to get to the bottom of the question or situation.

I’m baffled. Whoever has been calling hasn’t been updating my notes, as the last email just references a call I made to the OVO contact centre to ask who had been calling me!

Userlevel 6

Sorry to hear the second email wasn’t as helpful, @MisterMints, did you reply to the first email? This agent seems to be more understanding of the issue, please keep us updated. 

Thanks! 

Hi @Amy_OVO I replied to the initial email from Abigail, and the follow-up email came through a day or so later from Oliwia. I haven’t replied to that one as it seemed to be a fairly blunt “you need to wait for someone to come round” response

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

That’s a real missed opportunity from Customer Services.

Either they could’ve responded with “We’ve checked to see if we can access your meters, but it hasn’t been possible to do so because on-site commissioning hasn’t been completed

Or possibly, “We apologise that you were given the impression that the meter commissioning could be completed by you acting on our telephone instructions. This isn’t the case, but we can confirm that your site is on our list for completion once the Coronovirus restrictions permit us to do so.

You won’t realise this @Amy_OVO , but I’ve found it impossible to pick up a conversation (email or phone) with the same member of staff within CS. Even when I have sufficient detail to mark an email “For the attention of Abigail” the email simply gets handled by the next available staffer. :disappointed_relieved:

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