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My gas smart meter's not communicating and I can't read the screen due to condensation - How can I get the meter replaced?

  • 23 November 2021
  • 14 replies
  • 132 views

I had a smart meters fitted for electric and gas in August this year, since being fitted the gas meter had never given a reading( the electric has). I’ve had countless phone calls with customer support at OVO  with them trying updates remotely that didn’t work and then was told that an engineer would contact me to sort this out, but they was no way of saying when, I would just have to wait.

when I made a complaint about this I was told that there was nothing else that could be done and that they couldn’t leave a complaint open so I must agree to what was happening. 
 

I moved to ovo to be more environmentally friendly and thought by having smart meters I would not have to worry about readings! 
I have to say its been there worst experience I’ve ever had with an energy supplier and would strongly advise anyone else not to bother.

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Best answer by Jess_OVO 24 November 2021, 15:24

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Userlevel 7

I’m so sorry to hear of the communication issues you’ve experienced with your new gas smart meter@mattwhyman, particularly as it means you’re still having to submit your gas meter readings manually.

 

It sounds like you’ve already been in touch with the team and they’ve been unable to get things sorted remotely,  which is why we’d need to schedule in another engineer’s visit. I appreciate the frustration that’s been caused by the lack of clarity over when we might able to get something arranged. We’d always try to get an appointment booked in as soon as possible but this is dependent on engineer availability in your area.

 

As you mention you’ve raised a complaint but weren’t happy to close the complaint without an appointment timeframe you should’ve been given the option to escalate your complaint. Even once a complaint has been closed it can be re-opened and escalated at any point so we’d encourage you to get back in touch with the Support Team to request this. You can see our full complaints procedure here.

 

Quite apart from the meter communication, if your meter screen is blank, or can’t be read due to condensation behind the screen this would be classed as a faulty meter for which we can schedule a faulty meter exchange.

 

It might be worth checking out the advice given in this related topic as we’d need to make that if the condensation is due to an issue with your meter box, this is fixed before a meter replacement is arranged. If you haven’t already I’d recommend taking some photos of the meter showing the condensation and emailing these over to the Support Team to make sure this can be addressed as a priority.

 

I’m hoping we can get the initial issue resolved quickly so you can enjoy the full benefits of going smart!

Thanks for your reply but….  I’m sick of contacting ovo I feel they should contact me. Also I can’t give readings as my gas meter screen is just fogged up, with no read out. 
so you are just guessing what I use and have been since August.

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

If you can’t read the gas meter at all, then this counts as a fault and you qualify for a free Meter Exchange to get that sorted out. I don’t think it has to be done as an emergency job, but it can definitely be investigated and sorted out.

I can understand the difficulty you might be having here, but if you let the Support Team know about this and show them a few photos as proof, I can promise you that they will make arrangements to get it fixed.

Userlevel 7

 

If you can’t read the gas meter at all, then this counts as a fault and you qualify for a free Meter Exchange to get that sorted out.

 

Our community volunteer, @Blastoise186, has given some tip-top advice with this one. Quite apart from the meter communication, if your meter screen is blank, or can’t be read due to condensation behind the screen this would be classed as a faulty meter for which we can schedule a faulty meter exchange.

 

It might be worth checking out the advice given in this related topic as we’d need to make that if the condensation is due to an issue with your meter box, this is fixed before a meter replacement is arranged. If you haven’t already I’d recommend taking some photos of the meter showing the condensation and emailing these over to the Support Team to make sure this can be addressed as a priority.

 

I hope this information is helpful in getting things sorted - Don’t forget to pop back with an update or any further questions you might have, we’re always happy to help here where we can. :thumbsup:

Userlevel 2

Gas Meter was replaced with same fault 3/3/2021. Would appreciate any help again please. Tia 

 

Userlevel 7
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Oh no, not again! You really do like to destroy gas meters eh Steve? XD

Just for context, @Steveo initially reached out to me via PM, but we’ve agreed to move this out into the main forum so that images can be posted and to allow others to help out.

From my understanding, it’s not practical to simply keep replacing the meter if the replacement is inevitably going to get flooded again with more condensation. You can of course get another Meter Exchange done for free as that meter is clearly faulty, but I’d be more confident in the next one actually lasting more than nine months if you’re able to figure out the root cause first and see if that can be resolved.

I’m tempted to deploy our sekrit weapon, but I don’t think I need to this time.

To me, it’s just really strange. Either you’re just getting unlucky with dodgy meters, or you’ve got a dodgy meter box. Or you got unlucky in that your refurbished gas meter wasn’t sealed properly perhaps? Those are my three main theories, but other members might have their own thoughts.

The more I think about it though, the more I think you’re just getting unlucky with these refurbished gas meters. I’m not seeing any obvious signs of water ingress into the meter box. And in fact, looking at your old thread, it seems as if the replacement meter is older than the one it replaced - the fact the original was stamped M17 (for a 2017 manufacture) and the “new” one is stamped M16 (for a 2016 manufacture) and was clearly pre-owned. The only reason that a Meter Index will usually start at anything other than zero, is because it’s previously been used elsewhere - OVO knows this and your bills will have taken this into account by disregarding everything up to 05486 to counter it.

It’s probably a bit too close to Christmas right now to have an engineer come out this year, but you can definitely put a request in to have a faulty Meter Exchange done on the house. Depending on stocks (and other factors), this may result in you getting upgraded to SMETS2, which would also mean the electric meter gets replaced as well.

If there’s one thing I know, having both meters replaced in a way that means going from S1 to S2 in this sort of situation is still free, given that it’s required in order to make them work at all.

As long as you don’t mind waiting a “year”, the Support Team should be able to take care of this for you. And by a year, I mean next year. XD

Userlevel 2

Thanks again. In my mind it can only be a faulty meter, as the meter box is bone dry as you mentioned. I will report it to the support team today. Are they fitting the smets2 atm ?

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

No worries.

Yup, that’s right. OVO definitely installs SMETS2 by default for all new upgrades and installs, since new installs of SMETS1 stopped some time ago in all but a handful of edge cases (which are pretty rare!). I can’t guarantee whether the replacement you’ll get this time will be S1, S2 or a Traditional though, as it partially depends on what the engineer has with them. I also can’t promise that it won’t be a refurbished meter either, as my TARDIS broke down last week and the Chameleon Circuit is stuck as a 1960s Police Box, so I can’t really use it right now! What I can say for certain, is that you’ll definitely get something and won’t be charged.

If it is a traditional meter though, you’ll be able to book another upgrade at a later date to get back to Smart again (you won’t have to pay for this either). The priority for an Emergency Meter Exchange is more about getting things working, even if it means temporarily losing Smart functionality for a while.

As for that Sekrit Weapon, well it’ll remain a sekrit for now. Maybe next time you manage to bust another gas meter… Then I might reveal what that is… Hehehe

Userlevel 2

Have just emailed the Support team, looks like it may be some time before they can reply ! Hope you don't have to use your Sekrit weapon too soon 😀👍

Userlevel 7
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Hehehe, no worries!

My sekrit weapon will remain just that… For now at least.

And yeah, the more I think about it, the more convinced I am to dismiss my other theories and just go with the one about a dodgy refurb meter - most likely just a single dud unit as those Secure Liberty gas meters are usually pretty good at resisting that kind of damage. But as with anything of this type, cracking open the case at all for any reason and poking about inside affects the seals and messes with the weatherproofing, even if that was for a legitimate reason such as to refurbish it.

I think most of the company is probably taking at least some time off over Christmas, so this may affect the response time. But as long as you’ve had the auto-reply that acknowledges your email was delivered, then it’s on the system and a support request will have been created successfully. Someone will reply when they’re able to.

Just try not to destroy yet more gas meters please! They’re not cheap you know! XD

Userlevel 7

Great to see our community volunteer, @Blastoise186 doing some great trouble-shooting into your gas meter issues, @Steveo.

 

Worth checking the advice given in the best answer above - whilst we’d obviously replace any meter where the screen is unreadable as a reoccurring issue it would be worth getting that meter box checked to make sure the condensation issue doesn’t affect any future replacement meters.

 

Have you checked that we’re receiving the gas meter readings directly from the smart meter on the meter readings page of your online account or OVO app (download for Android or iOS)?

Userlevel 2

Great to see our community volunteer, @Blastoise186 doing some great trouble-shooting into your gas meter issues, @Steveo.

 

Worth checking the advice given in this related thread too - whilst we’d obviously replace any meter where the screen is unreadable as a reoccurring issue it would be worth getting that meter box checked to make sure the condensation issue doesn’t affect any future replacement meters.

 

Have you checked that we’re receiving the gas meter readings directly from the smart meter on the meter readings page of your online account or OVO app (download for Android or iOS)?

Hi…. As above ! No issue with meter box. As my account has asked for a gas meter reading, I assume they are not receiving readings !

 

Userlevel 7

Glad to hear that there doesn’t appear to be any obvious damage to your meter box but it’s worth double-checking as it’s fairly unusual for a refurbished meter to experience the same condensation issue as your previous meter, @Steveo.

 

A request for meter readings could suggest a communication issue, in which case we’ll need to get a faulty meter exchange arranged as soon as we can to ensure your usage is billed accurately. There’s more advice on how to check the communication of your meters on your online account on this great guide.

 

I appreciate you’ve already sent an email to the Support Team but as we’re nearing our Xmas closures it might be worth giving the team a call if you’re in need of a speedy response. The team are taking calls on 0330 303 5063 from 8am - 6pm until the 23rd and back again on the 29th and 30th (see our full Xmas opening times here).

 

Hoping we can get the condensation issues cleared up for you pronto! :slight_smile:

 

 

Userlevel 2

I appreciate you’ve already sent an email to the Support Team but as we’re nearing our Xmas closures it might be worth giving the team a call if you’re in need of a speedy response. The team are taking calls on 0330 303 5063 from 8am - 6pm until the 23rd and back again on the 29th and 30th (see our full Xmas opening times here).

 

 

Thanks…….replacement meter being fitted next month 👍

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