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I couldn't have my smart meter fitted as engineer said there's asbestos in my meter board. What do I do?

  • 7 February 2021
  • 11 replies
  • 198 views

Hi

my smart meter was being installed Friday but the engineer failed it and said it has an asbestos backboard behind the meter.…

I am not sure it is. I have a digital meter which would be fairly new? I’m not sure they would have fitted that meter to asbestos…

 


any ideas?

 

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Best answer by Tim_OVO 8 February 2021, 13:48

Hmmm yep tricky one, @Darthtrader - your DNO (Distribution Network Operator) would be the ones to replace that meter board, if it does have aspestos. 

 

See this similar topic where a forum member has a aspestos main fuse, and the options the DNO provided for an appointment. I’ve copied the key info here:

 

OVO engineer job cancellations when a DNO visit is needed


If one of our engineers is unable to complete a meter exchange or another job due to an issue with DNO equipment, the engineer will categorise the issue (depending on the type of fault and its urgency - see the table below) and send a report (called an E88) to the DNO. The DNO will then contact you directly to arrange a visit. Once the DNO has attended, you will need to contact OVO to be re-booked for your appointment.
 

Category Timescale for DNO to attend
A Emergency - fix will be implemented ASAP, usually that day.
B 4-6 weeks
C 4-6 months


Unfortunately we cannot speed any of these up - as they are decided by the DNO. 


We would advise reaching out to your DNO to confirm the category, and therefore the ETA for contact. 

 

When the job is done, rebook your smart meter appointment with our Support team here.

 

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11 replies

Userlevel 7
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Hey there @Darthtrader !

That does seem rather… Unusual to me. How old is the property if you’re OK with me asking?

It is true that asbestos causes nightmares and I can understand why the engineer didn’t want to go ahead. Probably the best solution would be to see if that backboard can be switched out with another one that isn’t filled with asbestos, which should resolve the problem.

Yea I am trying to figure out if it is asbestos. No one seems to know. The house is 1950/60. It’s ex council so it rings all the alarm bells for asbestos…. 

Userlevel 7

Hmmm yep tricky one, @Darthtrader - your DNO (Distribution Network Operator) would be the ones to replace that meter board, if it does have aspestos. 

 

See this similar topic where a forum member has a aspestos main fuse, and the options the DNO provided for an appointment. I’ve copied the key info here:

 

OVO engineer job cancellations when a DNO visit is needed


If one of our engineers is unable to complete a meter exchange or another job due to an issue with DNO equipment, the engineer will categorise the issue (depending on the type of fault and its urgency - see the table below) and send a report (called an E88) to the DNO. The DNO will then contact you directly to arrange a visit. Once the DNO has attended, you will need to contact OVO to be re-booked for your appointment.
 

Category Timescale for DNO to attend
A Emergency - fix will be implemented ASAP, usually that day.
B 4-6 weeks
C 4-6 months


Unfortunately we cannot speed any of these up - as they are decided by the DNO. 


We would advise reaching out to your DNO to confirm the category, and therefore the ETA for contact. 

 

When the job is done, rebook your smart meter appointment with our Support team here.

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

Yea I am trying to figure out if it is asbestos. No one seems to know. The house is 1950/60. It’s ex council so it rings all the alarm bells for asbestos…. 

 

Hmm… That’s kinda borderline in a way. I can’t remember exactly when the discovery was made about asbestos being really nasty stuff and when the policies would have changed as a result. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was after your house was built.

 

Thanks for bringing this up though @Darthtrader !

 

I know for a fact that by 2000, asbestos was definitely off the menu though! But yeah, based on the info that the old Elf n Safety Man told me, it’s very likely that your house would have some traces of asbestos due to age.

 

The best advice I can probably give then, is to try and figure out how to get that stuff flushed out and disposed of safely. Hopefully your DNO can help there.

 

In the meantime, probably not a good idea to drill through any walls!!!

I have been waiting 2 years to have my asbestos board changed. I keep being passed around OVO say contact DNO and DNO say contact OVO. I am told electricity suppliers have to arrange it with DNO if they don’t have a qualified engineer to change the board according to the 2012 legislation. It’s very frustrating that no one seems to want to deal with it at the same time of being lobbied to have a smart meter

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

Hi there @Langleyjane .

This can be a slightly tricky one here, especially due to the asbestos. In some cases, it might be the responsibility of the supplier, other times it’s the DNO. I can try to figure this out for you though.

Could you snap a few photos of your meter, main fuse and backboard and pop that in your next reply? Ideally, if you can get them all into one photo, that makes it even easier for us to help out.

Userlevel 7

Hmmmm I thought it was always the DNO. They own the meter board, our engineers can’t even touch it or the cut out. That was my understanding. 

 

However it may be that the supplier (in this case us) send the DNO a report to confirm the work required, and the category (urgency) of the work. That leads us to the info in the ‘best answer’, copied here:

 

OVO engineer job cancellations when a DNO visit is needed


If one of our engineers is unable to complete a meter exchange or another job due to an issue with DNO equipment, the engineer will categorise the issue (depending on the type of fault and its urgency - see the table below) and send a report (called an E88) to the DNO. The DNO will then contact you directly to arrange a visit. Once the DNO has attended, you will need to contact OVO to be re-booked for your appointment.
 

Category Timescale for DNO to attend
A Emergency - fix will be implemented ASAP, usually that day.
B 4-6 weeks
C 4-6 months


If you’ve got 5 minutes, @Langleyjane, message our ‘online chat’ team, here so they can check with the ‘Siteworks Second Line’ team if we need to send a report to the DNO or not. 

Userlevel 7
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The mystery also deepens a bit here!

I’ve been researching this a bit today, partially via self-service, but I also reached out to a randomly selected DNO to see what they said. Here’s the chat log from Western Power Distribution.

Here’s the chat log in text format, for accessibility purposes. To view it, please open the spoiler below. This is intended to help mainly with screen readers, as they tend to struggle with images.

Blastoise186

Hi. I’m a forum volunteer on a forum that helps people out with their energy. Someone was asking a question about how to get a meter backboard replaced to get rid of one that has asbestos. Do you have any advice?

System message

Chat started

Ellie joined the chat

Ellie

Good afternoon

If the backboard is has asbestos they need to go to their supplier to have that changed.

If not then they can raise an enquiry with us.

They can use this form

http://bit.ly/2OpVPuv (editor note: this link goes to https://www.westernpower.co.uk/contact-us/contacting-western-power/general-contact-enquiries )

for NON asbestos.

Blastoise186

Thanks. That’s brilliant

 

However… UK Power Networks tells a different story, as per https://www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/electricity/replace-meter-board

And to make it a bit more fun, SSEN seems to be a bit vague: https://www.ssen.co.uk/GeneralEnquiries/InsideYourHome/MeterBoard/

I’ll continue working on this later. I sense a guide idea...

Thanks for your information. I have raised the issue with OVO again who have said they will ask the DNO again. How long this takes or how they will contact me I don’t know. Do they write, email or phone? If I don’t have success  I might go the the energy regulator or my MP because I am fed up with being passed around like a parcel at the same time as receiving requests to get a Smart meter. The problem is call centres just like to get you to phone someone else because I don’t think they know the answer.

Userlevel 7

I am fed up with being passed around like a parcel at the same time as receiving requests to get a Smart meter. 

 

Yep I can totally understand your point of view, @Langleyjane. I really do. 

 

@Blastoise186 super interesting to see your chat with WPD, you’ve put in the same URL (this one) for both examples below that. @Langleyjane if we can get clarity we’ll make sure this topic’s ‘best answer’ and any others are updated to make it clear what is needed. That way the next person that comes will know what to do straight away. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

Whoops! I’m not sure how that happened! :open_mouth:

Should be fixed now. Thanks for the heads up.

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