My smart meter fitting experience resulted in gas supply being capped as the engineer thought they identified a spillage with my gas fire appliance...

  • 12 February 2021
  • 11 replies
  • 149 views

Hi everyone,

Thought I'd leave my tale of woe about my smart meter installation.

New smart meters fitted Jan 19th(already had smart meters which were working!!)for whatever reason. Installer fitted both electric and gas meters and gave me the Ihd for them.

He then tested gas meter told me I had a 2mbar drop on gas pressure (4mbar permitted),then he told me I had spillage in my gas fire and capped my supply off.

Opens his phone and tells me to look on yell.com(yellow pages) I need a gas engineer to come sort the problem out.

So Jan 19th no central heating and no hot water.... wonderful.

Electric meter installed working  ok 

Installer then turns the ihd device on and says this could take 24-48 hours to sort itself out.

Luckily for me I'm friends with a plumber who's gas Safe registered he came round redid the pressure drop test with a digital meter with printout (not the water gauge the installer used) and this recorded a drop of 0.79mbar which he said is absolutely fine. The condemned gas fire,he looked around the flue and the self contained fire and didn't see any spillage,no smell of gas so nothing really wrong. Uncapped the supply and lit the boiler and we were back on.

Now the point of this story is apart from the cost and hassle of getting a gas engineer out is I've now got 2 'smart' meters which do not talk to my Ihd or send readings to OVO on my online account in shows the correct serial number for the electric meter but no readings from 19th Jan.

The gas meter is not the correct meter serial number and I've not sent any gas readings since 19th Jan so I'm acrueing a very large gas bill when someone finally gets round to sorting my meters out.

I've rang OVO and filled out their detailed form about the new meters (type,serial num,readings,comm unit) and  have since been told it's likely to take up to 45 days to be looked at by the smart team.

Overall a very poor experience with no end in sight.

In the meantime I'm racking up gas and electric charges.

Unhappy

Gooner1511 ☹️

 

 

 

 


11 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

Hi there @gooner1511 ,

Sorry to hear this trouble!

The first thing that’s worth noting, is that it takes six to eight weeks for newly installed smart meters to be fully commissioned and activated. Once this happens, the meters can then start to submit readings properly, but only after this process has completed. One of the ways you’ll know it’s all up and running, will be when your IHD shows the correct tariff data. If you don’t see that yet, it’s still setting up.

As for your bills, provided you continue to make payments to your account each month as usual, you should build up credit and this will re-balance your account when the meter readings next go in. You won’t pick up any more of a bill than normal, as long as you’re still making payments.

In the meantime, see if you can pop some manual readings in when you get chance, since this should help to update your account and help the system to catch up.

Thanks for the reply,if I put gas meter readings in they'll be from the new meter which isn't even registered to my account so to avoid confusion I'll wait until this is hopefully progressed.

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

You’re welcome.

Yup, that’s a good plan as well. If you try to enter the readings from a meter that’s not currently registered, it will almost certainly cause issues and either get rejected instantly, or throw your account massively out of sync. Your account credit should help to smooth things over once the next reading comes in though. As long as you keep making payments and don’t have a sudden surge in energy usage, there shouldn’t be any bill spikes!

As for the testing, I’m not really sure why the installer thought they found a problem, and as a forum volunteer I wouldn’t be able to access your account notes to see what happened. But it does seem a bit strange though.

What I also know is that OVO isn’t responsible for anything beyond the meter, for which we’ve got a guide for that at 

As far as I’m aware, an engineer installing smart meters is allowed (and most likely required) to cap off anything that looks like a possible safety issue that they come across, in order to make it safe temporarily. But any repairs of appliances etc beyond that are beyond the suppliers control and that requires another engineer.

Blastoise186,

Yes pay the bill by DD so it's accumulated quite s bit so far.

Rather than a faulty appliance personally I'd say faulty diagnosis,which my gas engineer told me the installer most likely didn't have the correct gas Safe certificate.

Different certificate for different parts of gas,ie the installer has a cert for installing meters but probably hasn't a cert for gas fires,boilers, cookers etc so to be safe he's capped it off because he thought it was a safety issue. Which is potentially a lot of hassle to the consumer like in my case.

Safety first I agree but like my gas engineer said to leave me with no gas supply when a gas fire which is not being used is the problem condemn the fire and leave the supply on especially at this time of year.

Let's hope the meters work after all this 🤔

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

That would make a bit more sense, especially if there’s a way to isolate just the bad appliance without compromising safety. I’ll see if @Tim_OVO can feed that back internally.

Based on the mention of the 19th January, that makes your meters roughly three weeks into the commissioning process, so they should be around halfway through right now. I’d estimate the process should complete by the 24th March at the latest. If you still don’t see any progress by then, feel free to stop by again.

Userlevel 7

 

Rather than a faulty appliance personally I'd say faulty diagnosis, which my gas engineer told me the installer most likely didn't have the correct gas Safe certificate.

Different certificate for different parts of gas, ie the installer has a cert for installing meters but probably hasn't a cert for gas fires, boilers, cookers etc so to be safe he's capped it off because he thought it was a safety issue. Which is potentially a lot of hassle to the consumer like in my case.

Safety first I agree but like my gas engineer said to leave me with no gas supply when a gas fire which is not being used is the problem condemn the fire and leave the supply on especially at this time of year.

Let's hope the meters work after all this 🤔

 

Yep that makes sense to me, @gooner1511 - but to be fair I’m not trained in either. As you say: safety first. My understanding is that the engineer can test appliances but is only responsible and covered insurance wise for the meter. Perhaps that’s why they recommended you hiring someone specifically. Or maybe it’s as simple as shutting off the fire appliance wasn’t possible or the less safe option….

 

I haven’t actually heard of the term ‘spillage’ in this context. Is this a term referring to a micro leak does anyone know?  

Tim_ovo,

I'm an electrician not a gas fitter but the way spillage was explained to me was there should be visible signs of gas / soot escape around the flue or surrounding the fire.

In my case there wasn't any gas or soot escape around the flue or fire it was a visible soot mark within an enclosed fire.

The first thing my gas engineer said was is there any smell of gas (there wasn't) which obviously is the main safety aspect.

The main thing in my case is if the meter installer hasn't got the relevant gas Safe module (ie install fires, boilers, stoves etc) he shouldn't be condemning something he shouldn't be inspecting.

I know with gas we eer on the side of caution which is correct but capping off the supply rather than an appliance which the meter installer considers faulty I find strange.

Maybe the gas Safe rules say this, like I've said I'm not a gas engineer, just my observations.

gooner1511

 

Over 2 months since smart meter fitting (Jan 19th) still no meter readings and still not the new correct meters (electricity is correct meter but not recording on my account).

Six to eight weeks to be commissioned,this has long since passed but no communication of any sort from OVO.

The Ihd still only displays electricity and not dual fuel.(no account details)

10 weeks this Tuesday and I'm no further forward than when I first posted

Will be ringing tomorrow for an update but I won't be holding my breath.

Wish me luck ;)

Gooner1511

 

 

 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

Hi @gooner1511 ,

I’d also recommend checking your account in MyOVO first, before you contact the support team. It’s possible that your IHD might just need to be paired up with the meters, and if so the support team can do that for you fairly quickly.

One trick I’ve come across is to check the Meter Info to see if the details there match up - and also check the Supplier Contact details as well. If they don’t match with what you expect, that could indicate the IHD isn’t paired yet.

Hopefully this can get resolved soon though!

Userlevel 4
Badge

Hi everyone,

Thought I'd leave my tale of woe about my smart meter installation.

 

Wow, that is terrible. I have to say that this seems quite typical. It took me 6 weeks and several messages to support to get my smart meter to work, and this should have been a really standard and straight forward case. And even now it is not really working properly. Clearly the backend infrastructure is far from mature.

 

 

I again telephoned the customer support and was told it would take up to 45 working days from the date when the smart meter health check was completed by myself,so would expect this to be looked at by the end of may. (Meters were installed on Jan 19th)

It seems a bit excessive (up to 5 months) if I'm honest,if it cannot be completed by remote means I'll have to wait for another engineer visit.

God knows what that will bring.

The saga continues....…

P.S wish I hadn't bothered with the 'smart' meters!!

Gooner1511 🤔

Reply