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I've been told I can't have smart meters installed as the gas won't communicate - Why is this?


Userlevel 1

Been told today by the smart meter fitter that the gas meter will not communicate! So they will not fit it!

Only 3m away from electric one? Old BG one was ok? That worked!

Not sure why, why not? After waiting nearly two years for upgrade as OVO cannot read BG meters! Still does not work! I am paying for these, so what now!

You cannot leave readings online! Another problem! Do I have to email them in?

Shocking this has not been sorted!

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Best answer by Ed_OVO 17 July 2020, 15:26

Updated on 13/01/21 - You can now enter manual meter readings if a smart meter hasn't provided up to date readings for 5 or more days. More info here

 

Hey @Raydetinu - this is very strange, typically the reasons we can’t fit a smart meter are:

 

  • Distance between meters is too great (yours sounds like they’re relatively close).
  • The meter box is metal - this can affect the signal, meaning it wouldn’t work.
  • The meter box is too small to house a smart meter
  • If you live in a block of flats with several meters close by, the signals could interfere with one another, causing signal issues.

 

If you could get some pics up on here, we could try to work out the potential issues, and maybe run it past some expert forum members - @Transparent@ITGeek123@Mw2870@Steveo - Just tagging you for the follow-up!

 

As for the online thing, it’s a pain, we’re seeing a few users suffering with this, so we’re working to get it sorted as soon as possible. You can send us your readings in the meantime, on FacebookTwitter and our Help centre has online chat!

 

Thanks,

Ed

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64 replies

Userlevel 5

Updated on 13/01/21 - You can now enter manual meter readings if a smart meter hasn't provided up to date readings for 5 or more days. More info here

 

Hey @Raydetinu - this is very strange, typically the reasons we can’t fit a smart meter are:

 

  • Distance between meters is too great (yours sounds like they’re relatively close).
  • The meter box is metal - this can affect the signal, meaning it wouldn’t work.
  • The meter box is too small to house a smart meter
  • If you live in a block of flats with several meters close by, the signals could interfere with one another, causing signal issues.

 

If you could get some pics up on here, we could try to work out the potential issues, and maybe run it past some expert forum members - @Transparent@ITGeek123@Mw2870@Steveo - Just tagging you for the follow-up!

 

As for the online thing, it’s a pain, we’re seeing a few users suffering with this, so we’re working to get it sorted as soon as possible. You can send us your readings in the meantime, on FacebookTwitter and our Help centre has online chat!

 

Thanks,

Ed

Userlevel 1

Thanks Ed,

I don't understand it either as old BG meters were ok, just that ovo cant read them!

 

Photos attached of outside meter and internal electrical meter cupboard!

Cupboard

 

Userlevel 5

Is there a thick wall in between these 2 at all? This can cause communication issues as well.

Userlevel 1

Well yes, it's an old house! So outside wall is solid block! But worked before that's what I don't understand?

Ray

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Hi @Raydetinu and thanks for posting here on the Forum.

Is the electricity meter cupboard that wooden one below your In Home Device?

Could you please fill out your Forum Profile for us? That’s where we look to see useful background detail like where you are in the country. Different regions use differing Communications Hubs (bolted to the top of the electricity meter).

I doubt that even a solid stone wall between the internal meter cupboard and the gas meter could prevent the Home Area Network (HAN) signal passing through. It employs the same 2.4GHz frequency which we use for wire-free doorbells and the earlier/slower WiFi connections.

However, you can readily check this for yourself.

At top-left on the IHD unit there’s a signal-strength icon. Simply take the IHD outside and move it slowly around in the vicinity of the gas meter. You’ll see drop-offs in signal strength, but if there’s any useful signal present, then the icon will still be visible.

A complete failure of the HAN signal will cause the IHD to display an error message such as “Waiting for current data”.

Let us know what you see and we’ll try and advise you further.

Userlevel 1

Thanks ninja,

Yes home device is on electrical cupboard.

Updated profile.

Am in Cornwall.

Photo attached of device on gas meter house, move it around still the same.

Hope this helps? Not perfect but worked before?

Ray

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Well that looks fine to me @Raydetinu. I doubt that it’s signal strength which prevented the SMETS2 gas meter being commissioned.

If you want to delve even further into this yourself, you can actually get a direct reading of HAN signal strength by using the three red menu-buttons on the gas meter. You can get it by clicking through the menu options to Device Info and then HAN Settings

Don’t worry if you can’t figure out how the menu works. You won’t do any damage by trying it out.

Based on what information you’ve given here, I’d suggest you send an email to them and put “Attention SMETS Engineering Team” in the subject line and at the start of the body-text.

Make sure you provide enough information for them to correctly identify you, including post-code and account number.

Tell them you’ve had a partially completed SMETS2 installation and give them the URL of this Forum Topic so they can see what @Ed_OVO and I have written.

Since you’re in Cornwall you’ll receive an acknowledgement telling you they’ll be there drekly. :wink:

Userlevel 1

Ninja,

Well I could do that, but they did not actually fit the gas meter? Said it was not worth it! As no connection? I don't know what they did?

Not good is it! Especially as the BG one worked ok? And that was an old one!

Feel really let down, waited ages for this!

Ta ray

Userlevel 1

Ninja,

Anyway done what said and sent them an email!

Don't expect much tho.?

Can always hope!

Thanks anyway for looking! Really appreciate your input.

I used to help out a lot on the consumer action group site, but time constraints have stooped that!

Ray

Userlevel 5

@Raydetinu - glad to hear you’ve gone in touch via email, if you’d prefer, you can also send us a message to our Facebook or Twitter pages. We’d love to get an update here when you get a response, it’ll be helpful for anyone that has a similar situation to this one!

Userlevel 1

Hi, Ed.

Have been in contact with ovo on Twitter usually by DM! They have said all reported and will be touch, but may take 10 days?

Do you want me to put it up on the open pages?

Ta ray

Userlevel 5

It’d be fantastic if you could just stick another post here with any updates you have, would be very much appreciated @Raydetinu !

 

10 working days is the maximum timeframe we give for anything that we need a specialists eyes over, but hopefully, they’ll be able to get this sorted quicker than that!

Userlevel 1

Hi,

Nothing so far!

Maybe forgot or just ignoring it!

About 10 days when first complained!

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Hi @Raydetinu and Happy Monday! :slight_smile:

I’m pretty sure that OVO won’t be treating your issue as a “Complaint”. Nor should they at this stage.

The Complaints Process would generate a response from Customer Services within 5 days. What you require is an engineer to assess the situation from a technical viewpoint. That includes the results in photos here on the Forum where you’ve demonstrated that there is adequate signal from the Home Area Network at the position of the gas meter.

As he’s today’s Moderator, let me just tag @Ed_OVO to see if he can find out about any progress from the SMETS Engineering Team or the Installations Manager.

Userlevel 5

@Raydetinu - It’s a shame to hear you haven’t got this one sorted just yet.

 

There’s a new method of contact that is perfect in situations like this - webchat. You don’t have to call, but you get a dedicated handler that can give instant replies. You can access the webchat here on the Help centre.

 

I’d recommend getting in touch there to get an update, and they can escalate if necessary.

 

It’s worth noting that it’s 10 working days as opposed to 10 days, look at the post you first mentioned the email, this time frame hasn’t passed just yet, but I understand you may have sent it before this.

 

Again, any updates here would be great, to see how this unfolds.

Userlevel 1

Hi,

Been told on Twitter, Got to wait!

Will follow up once 10 working days up! 2nd August?

Userlevel 5

Thanks for updating us @Raydetinu - Lets see how this one plays out after the 10 working days are up!

Userlevel 1

IHD now packed up, nothing!

Not good is it!

Why do I bother?

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Can you describe the symptoms please @Raydetinu ?

What do you mean by “packed up” and when did this change occur? Overnight?

This may not be the bad news which you assume. It suggests that commands have been sent to your Communications Hub, or possibly new code downloaded.

Given the timescales involved since your SMETS2 electricity meter (ESME) was installed, I would expect a change about now as part of the commissioning process.

What have you been seeing by way of Usage graphs when you log in to My OVO?

Has this alterered in any way since the IHD “failed”?

Userlevel 1

All it does is switch itself off then on again? With signal bars flashing all the time.

Display all blank!

See photo?

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

And what rate of flash have you got showing on the HAN indicator on your Comms Hub?

Have a look here if you want to see diagrams of the different flash frequencies.

Userlevel 1

I would say they flashing about 1 in 20 sec.?

Does that mean anything!

I don't understand how one day it was ok and next not!

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Well if all 4 LEDs are flashing at the same rate, then that’s almost certainly the Slow Flash pattern. So the Comms Hub thinks everything is OK because the HAN is active.

Arranged code changes are almost always undertaken just after midnight. That coincides with the time that your usage-data is collected.

Userlevel 1

So, does that mean the smart unit is working ok, but the IHD is defective?

Still awaiting response to no gas smart meter! 10 working days now!

Have reminded them on Twitter!

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Based on past experience from other Forum Members, I suspect that all units are still functional, including the IHD.

The most likely cause of the missing data is a minor software error.

Try reporting it via the new Help Centre, where there’s a Live-Chat feature. Perhaps all that’s required is for someone to send a SMETS Command, telling it to re-start the code.

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