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How to arrange an economy 7 meter fitting to get Warm Homes Scotland grant - why is a smart meter in eco-7 not enough?


We are trying to arrange for an economy 7 meter installed at my father-in-law’s house so that he can take advantage of a Warm Homes Scotland grant to upgrade the insulation and storage heaters in property. For some reason, an economy 7 merter is required, the smart meter isn’t good enough.

 

We rang Ovo back in June and told that Ovo could install an economy 7 meter for £106. However, as neither myself nor my partner were attorney’s on the account, we have spent the last two months waiting for Ovo to sort that out, which they finally did today. However, when my partner rang this afternoon, Ovo said they do not install economy 7 meters!

 

So, my question: Does anyone know if Ovo still install economy 7 meters? If they do, who specifically do we need to speak with to get this sorted?

 

Any help, much appreicated!

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Best answer by Jeffus 27 July 2022, 17:20

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Userlevel 7

Hi @sjb20162 and welcome to the OVO online community,

 

I’m so sorry to hear of the challenges you’ve faced when trying to manage your father-in-laws account. It sounds like you’ve managed to get some Power of Attorney documents registered which should make things easier when contacting us to discuss the account in future.

 

In terms of making the change to an Economy 7 plan, have you been advised that a smart meter installation isn’t possible at that address previously? We’d usually recommend this as the best way to switch from a single-rate to a dual-rate plan as the smart meter can be remotely updated to allow this change. You can read more about this in the guide below:

 

 

If you’re not able to get a smart meter installed at the property due to potential signal issues or other technical barriers, our Support Team should be able to arrange for a traditional dual-rate meter installation instead. So I’m sorry to hear that there may have been some confusion when you recently called to get this appointment arranged. It would be worth getting back in touch with the team and linking them to this page, which outlines the charges for the job you’d require.

 

I hope this helps get things sorted - Let us know if you need any more advice here. 

Theme for your reply, however you've misunderstood the issue. We need to have an dual tariff meter installed. The property had a single tariff dumb meter until about 2 years ago at which point a smart meter was installed. For whatever reason, the grant for new storage heaters requires a dual tariff meter installed. Why a smart meter isn't good enough, I don't know! 

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

In terms of making the change to an Economy 7 plan, have you been advised that a smart meter installation isn’t possible at that address previously? We’d usually recommend this as the best way to switch from a single-rate to a dual-rate plan as the smart meter can be remotely updated to allow this change. You can read more about this in the guide below:

 

 

If you’re not able to get a smart meter installed at the property due to potential signal issues or other technical barriers, our Support Team should be able to arrange for a traditional dual-rate meter installation instead. So I’m sorry to hear that there may have been some confusion when you recently called to get this appointment arranged. It would be worth getting back in touch with the team and linking them to this page, which outlines the charges for the job you’d require.

 

 

Theme for your reply, however you've misunderstood the issue. We need to have an dual tariff meter installed. The property had a single tariff dumb meter until about 2 years ago at which point a smart meter was installed. For whatever reason, the grant for new storage heaters requires a dual tariff meter installed. Why a smart meter isn't good enough, I don't know! 

 

Hi @sjb20162 i can't be certain but may be there is some confusion on wording? 

Smart meters are gradually replacing all manual meters including manual single tariff meters and manual dual tariff meters for economy 7.

 

You can can get

- dual tariff manual meter setups for economy 7

- dual tariff smart meter setups for economy 7

 

It is not that you a need manual economy 7 dual tariff meter, what you need is a dual tariff economy 7 meter which could manual or smart? 

What you can't have is a smart mter with a single tariff. 

Do you have a copy of what they have asked for? If you cost post the exact wording about meters it may help?

 

Right, so I don’t actually have anything written down as it were, everything was said over the phone to my partner, so apologies for the confusion. But it seems that *any* meter that is capable of dual tariffs should be sufficient. However, the person my partner spoke to said they could not install a dual tariff meter of any kind at the property, which seems….unlikely.

Userlevel 7

I’d recommend you scope out your option for a smart meter, @sjb20162 - it can be dual fuel, it’s free, it will happen eventually either way. Book one here

 

Until then we might be able to suggest reasons why a smart meter isn’t possible if you share some details of the meter area, property etc, or discuss this directly with the OVO Support team here.

Ok. I’m finally in the property in question! I’ve snapped a picture of the meter to hopefully make it obvious if there is some reason a dual tarriff meter upgrade isn’t possible. Let me know if the picture spurs any new questions

 

 

Ok, a few more details. Definitely a four port meter. The property is on the Isle of Skye, IV44 8RD if that makes a differenece. I’ve managed to find the link to request a SMETS2 Five port meter, but that says that they can’t install such a meter at the property. Helpfully, it gives no indication as to why that is. The full message is below:

Sorry, we can't install a smart meter yet

We check multiple criteria to make sure we successfully install your new smart meters on the day. Your account does not pass our eligibility check right now. Eligibility can change so please come back to try again soon.

 

Can a 5 port smart meter not be installed because a four port smart meter is already installed?

I obviously really don’t understand how all this works, but if there is no way to install a 5 port meter, can there still be an economy 7 tariff used on a four port smart meter?

 

If not, I suppose it’s just more proof of what a boondogle the smart meter lark is! But I’m not biased ;)

Userlevel 7

Great to see the meter photos to help us trouble-shoot things a little more for you, @sjb20162.

 

Sure @Blastoise186 will agree - looks like you’ve already got smart meters installed, which might explain why we’re not able to make another booking. A smart meter can function as a dual-rate meter even without five ports so it might be worth checking the guide below to see if there are 2 registers clocking usage already:
 

 

If not, we might need to check we’re currently communicating with the meter in order to update the meter mode. Have checked whether we’re receiving readings at the moment:
 

 

Now we’re cooking with gas (although not at this property, no gas connection). Anyway, I’ve followed the steps above to check the second rate, and their isn’t one. If I press and hold the B button for five seconds then press the A button, the screen gets a bunch of ***** all over it for a few seconds then returns to display rate 1.

The meter has very good signal strength (SSE put up the smart meter mast about 100m from the house) and it has send a reading every day since it was installed as far as I can tell. So, how do we go about getting the meter software upgraded to support dual tarrifs? My father-in-law comes to the end of his fixed price deal in September. If we sign up for an economy 7 tariff, will the meter get up the software update automatically?

 

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I’ve identified that meter as a SMETS2 Landis+Gyr E470 Type 5394 and the Comms Hub is an EDMI Standard 420 for the Northern Territory. SSE has been known to use a lot of L+G meters for S2 installs in recent times. It should work with OVO just fine, albeit with the caveats that neither myself nor anyone else on the forum has managed to fully document this model just yet. But we’re still working on it in the background!

This will be the reason why you can’t get another smart meter via self-service.

If you do go for an Economy 7 tariff, the meter should be reconfigured automatically via SMETS Commands as part of the process, no firmware update needed.

This is getting stupid. I have rung the Ovo customer support line this afternoon, and they once again have said that there is no way they can offer an economy 7 plan on that meter as it is a single rate meter, but that isn’t what you guys are saying here! I really have no idea what we can do. Surely this can’t be so hard. We just need a dual tariff meter installed/upgraded whatever. Don’t care if it’s smart/dumb/four terminal or five, but surely this is possible (even if there isn’t any actual savings with an economy 7 plan at the moment!).

 

I just rang again because I’m trying to understand how all this works (or doesn’t). I spoke with another agent that said there is no way for Ovo to supply a house that is on the “national database” as a single tariff property with a dual tariff plan, regardless of what meter is installed. I asked if there is a way to get that entry in the database changed, and he said no. But none of this makes any sense whatsoever, because by that logic, then all of the stuff on Ovo’s own website about Economy 7 smart meters and a future with variable tarriffs and what not doesn’t actually exist. Am I missing something? Am I going mad? Am I stupid? Am I using the wrong words when I ring customer service and I said “please can you set us up with a whichamacallit meter” they would know instantly what I was talking about and get everything sorted?

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Hi @sjb20162

Try sending a private message via the OVO twitter account. It is an official OVO Support channel and the staff there can access your account

I only use twitter for things like this, nothing else. You should get a reply in a day in the week. 

They will ask a few security questions. 

You can post a link to this thread along with any other info and any pictures and screenshots as needed. 

https://forum.ovoenergy.com/smart-meters-136/how-to-arrange-an-economy-7-meter-fitting-to-get-warm-homes-scotland-grant-why-is-a-smart-meter-in-eco-7-not-enough-10835

The really good thing is everything is permanent so you don't need to keep repeating yourself. Also everything is date/time/person stamped as an audit trial which can be really useful. 

I have found it works for me. 

Userlevel 7

I’m so sorry for any confusion we’ve caused you here, @sjb20162.

 

I’ve double-checked with the team who have explained the barriers to switching your single-rate smart meter to a dual-rate plan. Whilst your meters are technically capable of this change, currently our billing platform is not able to support adding a second register. Our developers are working on this and we hope to be able to offer this in the coming months, but unfortunately at the moment we can’t confirm when this will become possible.

 

As you mention the change is required in order to apply for a grant, it might be worth researching other suppliers who offer this type of plan. As long as they can communicate with the smart meters when you switch, they should be able to complete the remote mode switch that your meter requires.

 

Once again, I’m really sorry we can’t currently support this and for any mis-advice that may have been given here.

 

I hope this information helps decide the best option going forward.

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