Solved

My smart meter couldn't be installed becasue the traditional meter is too old and has asbestos fuses - what should I do now?

  • 30 October 2018
  • 14 replies
  • 3739 views

I arranged for smart meters to be installed. great. engineer really good and helpful. Couldn't fit
electric due to meter being too old - asbestos fuses. was told that Scottish Power would contact me in order to change meter. Still waiting , no correspondence, no contact by phone, how do I find out what is happening
icon

Best answer by Eva_OVO 1 November 2018, 12:05

Updated on 27/07/21 by Jess_OVO

 

Sorry to hear that we weren’t able to install your smart meters as planned. 

 

Why are asbestos backboards an issue?


In some properties, meter backboards were fitted which were made out of asbestos. There are a number of safety issues with asbestos backboards, and if damaged, can pose a serious risk to the occupants of the property. We're unable to remove or fit meters onto asbestos backboards, as there is a high chance that the asbestos would be disturbed and release dangerous particles into the air. Therefore, any job in which an asbestos backboard is present will be aborted by our engineers.

 

Who’s responsible for replacing a meter backboard?


As you can see on our great guide, the meter backboard is maintained by your District Network Operator (DNO). It sounds like Scottish Power Energy Networks are your DNO, so our engineer will have notified them of the issue.  The DNO should contact you to schedule in the necessary work based on it’s urgency, see the timeframes for each category below:

 

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, although if you’re still waiting to hear from them it might be worth contacting them directly to check when the maintenance work will be scheduled.

 

You can find out more about DNO’s (including their contact details) on our DNO guide.

 

I’ve had the meter board replaced - How do I re-book a smart meter exchange?

 

Great news! You can usually re-book a smart meter appointment on your online account or OVO app (download for Android or iOS). If you’re unable to do this here, reach out to our Support Team (they may need to log that the asbestos has been removed before booking).

 

You’ll soon be able to enjoy the benefits of a smart meter!

 

OVO member but not got a smart meter yet? - Book today!

 

Interested but not yet an OVO member? - Check out our plans!

 

 

View original

14 replies

Userlevel 5

Hi @andycornerpost, welcome to the forum!

Are ScottishPower Energy Networks the distribution network operator for your address?
Maybe the best bet is to get in touch with OVO first and see if they know what is going on.
You can contact the team on FacebookTwitter and the Help centre has online chat!

Userlevel 6

Updated on 27/07/21 by Jess_OVO

 

Sorry to hear that we weren’t able to install your smart meters as planned. 

 

Why are asbestos backboards an issue?


In some properties, meter backboards were fitted which were made out of asbestos. There are a number of safety issues with asbestos backboards, and if damaged, can pose a serious risk to the occupants of the property. We're unable to remove or fit meters onto asbestos backboards, as there is a high chance that the asbestos would be disturbed and release dangerous particles into the air. Therefore, any job in which an asbestos backboard is present will be aborted by our engineers.

 

Who’s responsible for replacing a meter backboard?


As you can see on our great guide, the meter backboard is maintained by your District Network Operator (DNO). It sounds like Scottish Power Energy Networks are your DNO, so our engineer will have notified them of the issue.  The DNO should contact you to schedule in the necessary work based on it’s urgency, see the timeframes for each category below:

 

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, although if you’re still waiting to hear from them it might be worth contacting them directly to check when the maintenance work will be scheduled.

 

You can find out more about DNO’s (including their contact details) on our DNO guide.

 

I’ve had the meter board replaced - How do I re-book a smart meter exchange?

 

Great news! You can usually re-book a smart meter appointment on your online account or OVO app (download for Android or iOS). If you’re unable to do this here, reach out to our Support Team (they may need to log that the asbestos has been removed before booking).

 

You’ll soon be able to enjoy the benefits of a smart meter!

 

OVO member but not got a smart meter yet? - Book today!

 

Interested but not yet an OVO member? - Check out our plans!

 

 

Userlevel 1

Hi - I’ve been told that my house has a pre-1937 fused neutral cutout (which has asbestos). According to my sparky, this needs to be replaced within 28 days or it’s in breach of HSE rules. I reported it to Ovo 2 weeks ago now, and still no sign of any appointment to fix it. 

 

Has anyone else had any luck getting Ovo to deal with one of these?

Userlevel 6

I’ve moved your post here, @killicrankie, there is some handy info above. You’ll need to contact your DNO for help with this. If you need help finding out who your DNO is, check out this topic!

Thanks! 

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Hi @killicrankie - I agree with @Amy_OVO.

The incomer fuses and isolation block are the property of your Distribution Network Operator (DNO). It’s their responsibility to bring them up to the correct specification.

If there’s no other “faults” on your side of the existing meter, then there shouldn’t be any cost incurred by you.

Userlevel 7

Good advice here, it is the DNO that will need to visit to upgrade the cut out.

 

In some cases it might need to be an urgent DNO visit. But the DNO won’t know this until they’re told by the supplier. So it’s good to have the supplier visit to perform a ‘site survey’ job, (or just book in a free smart meter appointment if you don’t have one of these already), and the engineer can assess the cut out whilst they’re there, notifying the DNO of the job’s urgency. 

 

Disclaimer: some circumstances will mean that smart meter appointment can’t proceed until the DNO visit. In this case, we’d simply re-book the appointment after the DNO visit. 

 

Hope this help,
Tim

 

 

Userlevel 1

Hi all,

 

Thanks for your useful comments on this. I already spoke to the DNO a good couple of weeks ago and they told me that the request had to be raised by my supplier, in this case Ovo, using a B11 flow.

After requesting this and follow on conversations with Tim today on the phone (many thanks!), it turns out Ovo can’t raise the request without a site visit themselves. 

Anyhow, it’s all booked in now with Ovo, then hopefully I can book in the DNO, then Ovo again, then I’m all up to date. Simple!

 

Userlevel 7

@Transparent this is a quality bit of resource, I’d like to make this it’s own topic - any objections?

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Sure - that’s fine by me.

And I’d also like to know who is @killicrankie’s DNO. (Please fill out your Forum Profile!) We know that their approach differs across the country. Indeed, Kaluza had to comply with stipulations (and additional costs!) from two of them when installing the V2G chargers.

So if this is a separate Topic, we can start to build up a picture of which DNO’s require specific action to be taken, and which are more accommodating to enquiries from customers.

Userlevel 1

Hi @Transparent,

That’s useful information. I was aware of the regulation that this should’ve been replaced by 2013 (we missed that my a little!) and of the 28 day timescales for the work, but it’s good to know that it’s not immediately dangerous.

My DNO is UK Power Networks, covering London.

It does seem strange to slow the process down by going through the supplier. It’s now 17 days and counting since reporting to Ovo, though this is partly due to the pandemic, it would be great if the Ovo customer support guys were more aware of regs on this and didn’t just say “call back in 2 weeks”.

 

Userlevel 1

It also seems to slow the process down by Ovo requiring that their engineer inspect the issue. I wonder if it would be useful to allow customers to nominate a qualified and registered electrician to communicate the observed fault to the supplier (or DNO), saving everyone time on this.

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

I agree with you @killicrankie. It should possible for a DNO to receive an email with a photo of a customer’s meter board and automatically take it forward from there. Any network engineer would see the dual fuse-housing and assign the required B11 code to a job-sheet.

In fact the DNO will benefit financially from doing so. They are operating under a pricing constraint called RIIO-ED1. Ofgem requires them to make efficiency savings to hit agreed targets.. Being able to receive and act on such a report directly from the public can be logged as a credit towards those targets.

Userlevel 1

That’s a brilliant idea @Transparent . That would be the quickest way in getting this resolved.

In fact, if the DNO won’t do this, it would also make sense if OVO could do this instead of booking an engineer to visit.

Userlevel 7

I’ve moved your comment to a new topic here, @Transparent - I’ll need your help to edit to so it stands alone without users having to see this thread for context!

Reply