Smart meters, not worth the pain?



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Userlevel 6
@Transparent Praise be!!

This is great news!
I had my Smart meters fitted just over 3 weeks ago and wished I had seen this forum beforehand and not bothered with the Smart meters.
First the Home Dispay unit only displayed energy used and not money spent. Eventually (after a number of phone calls and escalating my complaint) Ovo got it displaying £, only to find the gas meter is no longer sending readings and no one at Ovo can tell me when it will be sorted. They even wanted to close my complaint!
So a complete waste of time and a lot of frustration. Ovo customer services are very friendly but ultimately nobody takes responsibility for sorting out the problem. I have emailed the CEO but it doesn't look like I going to get a response so I may just have to take my business elsewhere.
Userlevel 3
Hi @Chasdob

I sympathise with your frustration, although 3 weeks is a fairly short time for Smart meters ;-)
I just wish the moderators on these forums, or the customer service people could give us honest answers. We all know that it doesn't take weeks or months for data to sort itself out, so we must be in a queue. When you ring most telephone answering systems they tell you which position you are in the queue, and the waiting time. However, this doesn't apply to OVO and their smart meter data retrieval. Despite being a regular poster here, I have never managed to get a serious technical response to what is going on, except from a smart metering team person when discussing why my electricity meter was going wrong due to reverse current flow from my solar panels, and the firmware upgrade needing to fix it.

Tony
Userlevel 7
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Re-posted and written again from memory because the Forum software discarded what I posted here yesterday evening. Bah!


Hi @Chasdob - I agree with @tony1tf that 3 weeks is too short a time for you to have fully functional SMETS2 meters. There's quite a lot of test and commissioning which occurs up to 5 weeks after the Installer leaves site.

Had I known of your situation earlier, I would've counselled against asking OVO to make any changes to your meter software in the meantime.

The issue concerning erroneous costings on your IHD has been discussed extensively here on the Forum over the past 4 months. See here for example, where a Moderator was correcting my post within an hour of me uploading it! It was only on 19th June that OVO announced they had traced the fault to software in the Communications Hub, and not the IHD itself.

The code was changed first on my Comms Hub as a test, and subsequently on many others too. Just because you read here on the Forum that customers like myself and Tony1tf are receiving fixes for bugs we've highlighted, does not mean that the same code can then be rolled out across all OVO customers. Our SMETS2 installations have been used by OVO to check the effects of code changes because we are providing feedback with significant technical clarity.

So I'm unsurprised to learn that when the IHD costings bug was resolved for you that you then noticed the loss on data transfer for your SMETS2 gas meter.

OVO were quite correct to close the first Complaint you made. They follow clear guidelines. The issue with the lost meter connection is separate to the IHD costings resolution. Part of the problem with reporting faults is knowing when there is direct interaction between issues. That's why OVO have decided to assign @BenS_OVO , a member of the SMETS2 Team, to the Forum. We can describe symptoms, but we need to let Ben decide which are generic, which are site-related, and which will resolve themselves once something else occurs.

You ought to know that the status of the Smart Meters and Comms Hubs when they are shipped to the Energy Suppliers is "sub-optimal". Without apportioning blame on an open Forum, these items require code changes and harmonisation before they will correctly operate.

It was only this last Sunday morning (28th July) that I had code downloaded to my Comms Hub which left me in a position where I appear to have no further bugs on-site. That includes successfully reconnecting a gas meter link which appeared "stuck" in a partway state.

There is no way OVO Customer Support would know about this successful test for several days yet. That's why they can't possibly give you a date when your gas meter issue will be resolved.

It's quite likely that I'm the only OVO customer to have experienced all three of the commonly reported SMETS2 bugs, and yet now have a full working installation, including correct costings on the IHD. It will take several more days before OVO's engineers will feel confident that this new code is robust and suitable for wider distribution.

They will probably re-test code on my meters. They have specific consent to do this, and it would cause me less disruption than most if I totally lost gas and electricity. I have a number of off-grid facilities, including internet connections which I can use to report faults without requiring mains power!

Please feel free to post again here. There are Forum members here who are technically astute and we're a pretty friendly bunch.
Hi Transparent & tonyltf,

Thanks for the comments.

I could understand these problems if this were some kind of development system or trial, but this is supposed to be a commercial system.

I work for a electronics company in software/firmware development so know that there can be latent problems which only manifest themselves under corner conditions.

My real complaint is that I was cold called by OVO and asked if I wanted Smart Meters, I did not go to them and ask. Having agreed to have then fitted, nearly 4 weeks later, the system is not working, has never worked, is no nearer working than when it was installed (the display unit has now lost connection) and OVO cannot tell me when it will work. I cannot think of any product where this would be acceptable!

I feel I am part of a half baked, poorly arranged trial.
Hi, had the smart meters installed a couple of months ago now. Electric worked after a few days and tells me how much is being used and the tariff. The gas one still doesn’t show any readings and my account online says the electric readings are being sent with the smart meter but the gas ones aren’t.
Hi Transparent.

Thanks for your posting. Clearly you are very knowledgable about this and I hear what you say. However though Ovo are never anything but polite, but I’m finding it hard to be sympathetic. The problem may not be of their making but they simply appear to have little sense of how this technology works, or how to resolve it when it doesn’t. As an end customer, I shouldn’t care how it works — but I know it doesn’t, and I’m afraid I only have Ovo to talk to.

A typical dialogue (I’ve had many) with Ovo will go something like this:

Me: my smart meters have stopped working.

Ovo: no they haven’t, we’re getting daily readings.

Me: no you’re not.

Ovo: yes we are.

Me: no, really you are not.

Ovo. Oh, no we’re not. We’ve lost comms.

Me: why?

Ovo: we don’t know.

me: what should I do ?

Ovo: wait 3 months.

Me: what will happen in 3 months?

Ovo: we don’t know, let’s wait and see.

Me: will connection resume in 3 months?

Ovo: we don’t know.

Me: oh ok, and if it doesn’t?

Ovo: we’ll swap out your meter for the fourth time.

Me: will the new meter work or will it have the same issues ?

Ovo: we don’t know.

And on it goes, with no end in sight. I wouldn’t have any confidence in buying a toaster from these people.

they are very nice, they are charming — but they don’t know what they are doing.

andrew.

Ask ovo to switch your smart meter to dumb mode which will turn of the smart meter then you can go back to giving manual readings.
Userlevel 7
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Hi @Melchett and welcome to the Forum :slight_smile:

Meter certification is a mysterious area of science. It’s true that there is a time-limited certificate for all meters, transformers and electrical distribution equipment in general. But few will actually experience the extremes of degradation that the certification process is intended to guard against.

I’ve seen electricity distribution boards inside West Country farm buildings which still operate perfectly satisfactorily despite being used as bat roosts for the past 70+ years! Perhaps the nutrient-rich layers of guano act as an effective protection from the hostile climatic conditions.

You have elected to make your first post here on a Topic which highlights problems with Smart Meters. Have you perhaps also read the Topic about SMETS2 Meter Installation where there’s a more neutral tone of discussion?

The Smart Meters themselves are inherently reliable. We’ve now had 4 years of SMETS1 installations, and it’s 15 months since OVO moved across to fitting only SMETS2 meters.

Most of the problems you’re now reading about here on the Forum boil down to two distinct issues:

1: Software updates to Meters are occasionally disrupting communication with the In Home Device (IHD). This isn’t as serious a problem as you might suppose. None of OVO’s customers are yet using this communication channel for controlling appliances in the home or for monitoring a Time Of Use tariff. Moreover you can still view your Usage Statistics via your Online Account.

2: Errors in the new Billing System… which is not tied to use of Smart Meters anyway, and is mainly going wrong when historic data is migrated across from the old software.

Does that help to provide you with a more balanced view of the current situation?

Userlevel 2
Hi @Ivor Appleyard

Thanks for the post.

im able to submit manual readings now, even with the smart meters being in ‘smart’ but non-functioning mode.

I’m booked in four a fourth meter swap in November, even though Ovo seemingly have no clue if this will work, as they have no clue why the previous 3 didn’t. They don’t even try to find out. Swapping out is always their only answer.

Im only pursuing this now out of spite —- it’s at their cost to keep swapping these. But they don’t seem to care. And yet the company keeps growing. Damn useless company.

andrew
Userlevel 7

Hi @Melchett and welcome to the forum - can you say hello here?

 

What did you think of @Transparent’s detailed reply?

 

I agree with their point that smart meters in general offer a big net-gain to customers and suppliers alike. And to the grid. It’s worth remembering that this is a support community. That means people use it mainly for support with queries and issues. Think of all the smart meter customers in the UK that haven’t had an issue……. I bet there’s lots!

 

I’d love to hear about your first few weeks with a smart meter. It might be a critic>advocate story that’s worth sharing. Can you post here after they’re installed? 

Userlevel 7
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Hi @Andrewmk.

I've had my second change of Smart Meters on Wednesday (18th Sept). The commissioning process is still under way and there's no live data yet available for me to see online. However, I do now have live data for both gas and electricity visible on my IHD. I haven't had that for either of the two previous sets of SMETS2 hardware.

Can I point out that @BenS_OVO is only here on the Forum so that we can be feeding back useful information to OVO's SMETS2 Team to assist in diagnosing that is going wrong. He's an engineer, and not an official avenue to get problems resolved.

I've had quite a lot of communication with him, but that reflects the copious amount of feedback I've been giving to OVO.

Ben has achieved some success in restoring data-flows with Comms Hubs, and it does seem reasonable that he attempted to do so on your site. However, there are a number of different reasons that the SMETS2 meters fail, and Ben only has a certain number of fixes to try.

In some cases it isn't possible to maintain a reliable data feed, despite code-changes downloaded by Ben which appeared to work for a while. That's what happened in my case. Fixing one fault (the Zigbee link with the gas meter) was successful, but a more serious error then occurred which left OVO unable to continue tests running on my meters.

At that point, OVO have little choice to remove all parts of the SMETS2 installation which appear to be faulty.


I agree with you that OVO are having to face the costs of sending installers to sites and replacing meters. I am unhappy with this because I believe most of the faults being reported are down to failings by others.

Fortuitously, the Dept for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has launched a public consultation on Smart Meter Strategy post-2020. I would urge you to read the document and respond with observations and suggestions.

That Consultation isn't the right forum for complaints related to a specific site, but it does allow "us" the ability to shape what will happen in the future. That strategy will necessarily be guided by what we've experienced of the current problems.
Userlevel 2
Hi @Transparent

thanks for your posing. Your obviously very invested in this, very knowledgeable and a great asset to the community.

its plain to see there are more than a few teething problems here. And I accept that — as I’m told over and over this is new technology and I get that. I accept that. I am happy with that as an explanation.

My gripe is less to do with this. it’s with Ovo.

*All* I want is for someone — an individual, *** anyone ** tosay ‘there is a problem here, I’ll work on getting fixed’.

Thats all. I’m a simple man —. I don’t want any more than that.

i don’t care if it is fixed today, tomorrow, next week, next month.

i don’t care.

It is the depressing grind of sending emai after email, of having what I’ve written ignored. It’s with Ovo not reading the case notes, it’s with having to explain the issues over and over and over and over. It’s with having no one point of contact, it’s with every email being dealt with by someone new. It’s with no consistency, it’s with lack of investigation. It’s with each email going to the bottom of the queue taking 2 days to come back. It’s with my issues and complaint being ignored. It’s with being lied to. It’s with being treated as a nuisance. It’s with this crap going on month after month after month after month. It’s with the plague of modern ‘customer service’ of no-one taking ownership of a problem and seeing it through.

You a clearly a great guy and this community needs you. I appreciate your help, I genuinely do.

But it seems nothing will kick Ovo into action. They are now too big to care. As said previously, I’m here to warn others off this terrible company.

Andrew
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I'm just going to tag @Darran_OVO here. @Andrewmk is making some relevant observations here, which Justin might like to consider. (Andrew I realise you don't know who Justin is, but let's leave Darran to mull this over!)

Once a customer is trying to report precise details of what's going wrong with a SMETS installation, it seems that the generic responses from each new CS Staffer aren't scratching where it itches.

I like the idea of a single named contact, although I also realise that the CS roster system is unlikely to support that.

Other organisations use a pseudo name like "Mary Smith" who isn't an individual but is actually a close-knit team of 4 or 5 people who concentrate on one particular issue. Only those issues get bounced to the Mary Smith team and they handle those cases through to their conclusion.

The problem I foresee is that the technical problems with SMETS aren't going to reduce any time soon. There are new geographical areas which are throwing up more complex problems, and DCC is changing its processes too. Thus software issues have a varying range of symptoms which get reported.

a. It can take at least a month before a new SMETS2 installation is fully functional and part of the Billing System.

b. It takes another month before an Engineer can return to site and change part or all the installed kit.

c. It takes a couple of weeks before the OVO SMETS2 Team can confirm that all is now working.

These delays mean that a Smart Meter installation failure takes longer to resolve than the 1+8 weeks timescales enshrined in the Complaints Procedure.

I my case, I have yet to experience fully operational SMETS2 meters since my first engineer's visit on 11mar19; that's over six months ago. I haven't complained, but I'm not a "normal customer"!

I'm actually enjoying learning more about the SMETS systems by watching faults being diagnosed and corrected.

But for most customers, this is growing extremely frustrating. Something needs to change in the handling of customers reporting Smart Meter faults before OVO receives an ever-increasing number of formal complaints.
Userlevel 7
@Andrewmk and @Transparent thanks for continuing to share your experience and feedback.

Although for you, not an ideal situation, there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes with this new tech to improve the number of successful installs. We are currently around 80% +, which is still not high enough, SMETS1 install success is over 90%, but provides some context on the huge number of successful SMETS2 meters we have installed and that are working as expected.

As you know, there are a large number of variables, which are not simple to resolve, hence we are completing huge amounts of testing on an ongoing basis (that @Transparent was witness too during the VIP day).

We (and the rest of the industry) are constantly testing:
-Right meter for the right location
-Right Firmware for the meters
-The Hardware that is constantly evolving
-The variation of Comms Hubs for a specific meter set up

We need to constantly test all of these things and more against not only our systems but the DCC as well.

@Andrewmk in your specific case, we definitely need to resolve this, but we won't officially class a meter as out of comms, or not communicating until 3 months have passed, as we've found through testing that after a period of time, some meters start communicating which resolves the issues, or there will be a new update to firmware in that time (it's constantly being updated and improved), that will fix the issue. You can still read the meter manually I believe (again not ideal, but at least that is still possible).

Also worth noting that @BenS_OVO has definitely taken on board the feedback re the lack of information when you've been in touch about this. He's going to raise directly with the teams involved to make sure all the information and reasoning is given when customers call in with issues.
Userlevel 7
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I don’t think your experience is as unusual as you might suppose.

Readings from Smart Meters are handled differently than monthly manual readings. After all, it’s much easier for an algorithm to analyse a trend if it has daily data as an input!

For a similar reason the estimates used to calculate DDs will also differ.

The difference in handling gas and electricity readings shortly after the Smart Meter installation can be attributed to the processes used by ECOES and Xoserve, which are the national databases for electric and gas respectively. It is they who obtain the readings from the old meters, check this against your self-declared usage, update the MPAN numbers etc.

It also takes a month to commission and verify readings from the new Smart Meters. If your IHD hadn’t been displaying “waiting for current data” you may have noticed this. Initially it would have displayed usage based on a default data-set held within your Communications Hub. Once DCC hand over the meter configuration to OVO, your real tariff data will have been installed.

The reason your IHD suddenly sprang into life is probably that OVO downloaded updated code to your Communications Hub.

There’s a lot of procedures which go on behind the scenes.

… and that’s why I wrote the Topic on Installation of SMETS2 Meters in the first place.

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Thanks for posting this @Andrewmk

To clarify matters for others who read this, the earlier SMETS1 meters were supplied under contracts between Energy Suppliers, like OVO, and the meter manufacturers. The meter communications were those implemented by the Energy Suppliers themselves, most commonly in partnership with mobile phone network operators.

In other words, SMETS1 hardware and software was under control of the Energy Suppliers themselves... hence the issues when you tried to switch!

The later SMETS2 meter network was commissioned under contracts between the Data Communications Company (DCC) and suppliers. You can actually read those contracts here for the communications service providers. And here is the specification for the interface which a SMETS2 electricity meter manufacturer must provide if they wish to get hardware approved to operate on the National Smart Meter Network.

In other words, the design of these meters and their functionality is no longer in the hands of Energy Suppliers like OVO.

Whilst there is a lot of flak being aired on this Forum, much of it is directed at the wrong parties.

The test and approval process by DCC may need to take its share of the blame.

And the Energy Suppliers are obliged to keep fitting Smart Meters under the terms of their Licence Agreements with the Energy Regulator, Ofgem.

OVO is caught between a rock and a hard place.

Everything was fine for the first few months, it seems to have been the smart meter installation, and resulting disruption to the billing/statement cycle that has upset things.

Statements produced on 5th Jul, 5th Aug, 5th Sep, 7th Oct all like clockwork, prior to the meter change.

I then didn’t get a statement until 10th Dec, which was for gas only.

Followed by a statement on 16th Dec, for electricity only (with the transition between meters).

Whilst I can understand the meter change potentially delaying the electricity billing (although I thought the data flow would be a bit more real-time in this day and age!), I’m not sure why I didn’t receive at least a gas only statement in November.

It also seems all the more odd that I started getting “change your DD” notifications in November when no statements were generated and my account was just building up credit.

Statements back to normal for 6th Jan, and hopefully another in a few days on 5th Feb.

My account balance has remained in credit the whole time.

Also my direct debit amount has never actually been changed, despite e-mails from Ovo on two occasions telling me they’ve changed it. I’m also not going to change it now to the £10/month it’s recommending as that will definitely result in a debt building!

I’d been hesitant to contact Customer Services regarding the direct debit as suspected it would knock-out my self-service reward, will see what the Feb statement brings.

I was curious if anyone else had experienced similar billing/DD issues around a meter switch, as it might indicate problems with the algorithms used to monitor DD amounts, perhaps they cannot handle statements falling out of the regular cycle?

We had almost a  year of hell with OVO when they installed the smart meter. I’m a physicist and I’m pretty sure the meter was reading wrong. It is well documented that many smart meters don’t like the DC conversion that LED lights used.

Complained to OVO and then had a four + month fight with them to get it sorted which it never was. So today, I bit the bullet paid them off and left.

Smart meters only save you money if you don’t normally keep your eye on consumption- and as can be discovered by looking on the web, they can get the consumption wrong.

I would say avoid.

Userlevel 7
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Hi @CrispyUK . I’ve responded to two of your points over on the other Topic you started this evening. (That Topic and my response now relocated below)

There’s loads of other Topics about Direct Debits, such as this one here.

Remember, you’ve raised this point in winter. The guidance from Ofgem is that the Energy Supplier should expect to hold in credit sufficient funds to cover your next bill. You can ask to be repaid amounts beyond this.

A lot of us actually keep substantially more than that in our OVO account because we earn more interest than we would in a bank!

The algorithms used for the three types of estimated usage which you sometimes see, have been reconstructed into new in-house software by OVO’s developers about 18 months ago. Before then OVO used 3rd party software, but this made errors which got them rapped over the knuckles by Ofgem. :open_mouth:

It takes quite a while for these algorithms to learn the patterns of usage. The formula used to calculate Direct Debits is one of the most problematic. If customers don’t respond at all to a “change your DD” notification, then it’s all the more tricky for it to arrive at the correct figure.

In your case it seems to have now settled on a reasonable outcome by tracking your account over the 7 months since you joined. But there are other customers who have received unpleasant surprises by not taking relevant action, such as emailing Customer Services.

I wanted to share my experience so far with Ovo and smart meters, to see if it’s normal or has something gone wrong in my case?

Ovo started supplying my energy in June 2019. My properly was purchased as a new build in June 2013, with a regular gas meter and SMETS1 smart electricity meter, up until switching I’d been with E.ON for the previous 6 years, no issues, just finally became uncompetitive at that point.

Shortly after joining Ovo, I received the first call from them to sign me up for smart meters, yep fine, run through all the details on the phone only to be told no appointments available - what was the point of calling me?!? Exactly the same next time they called. I didn’t bother answering after that!

Later in the year, I booked online for smart meters to be fitted on 29th October, engineer arrived, advised he couldn’t change the gas meter because of the earth clamp being inside the meter box, changed the electricity meter, left the IHD with me and said they’ve usually sprung into life by the time he’s finished swapping a gas meter so it should show me some info soon and headed off.

For 3 months my IHD just displayed ‘waiting for current data’ - although it has finally started working in the last couple of days!

Billing has been a mess since the meter was changed, unable to submit electricity meter readings for a while, despite receiving reminders to do so because my bills were being estimated. Then the meter details updated but I was still having to submit electricity meter reads manually.

My direct debit has been £42/month since I joined and I’m confident this is what it should be.

19th November, I started receiving e-mails telling me I needed to increase my direct debit to £74/month to avoid building up a debt. Given the billing situ, I just ignored this.

20th December, I received an e-mail telling me my direct debit was being changed to £73/month because I hadn’t done anything with it.

8th January, another round of e-mails starts telling me I need to change my direct debit to £67/month to avoid building up debt.

16th January, e-mail arrives telling me direct debit is being changed to £63/month as I haven’t done anything with it.

As of today, 1st February, the app still shows my direct debit set to £42/month, although it’s now recommending I change it to £10/month…!

Interestingly, all my previous electricity meter readings have disappeared from the app since I last checked it earlier in January.

Does everyone get a similar experience? I’m not overly bothered/upset about it myself, but it strikes me as a really poor customer journey. If someone was on a very tight budget, and not confident in their usage / direct debit amount, it could have created a lot of unnecessary worry!

I agree with the pain.

I had British Gas Smart Meters which were fine when I was with them, but when I migrated to OVO, they stopped being Smart. I held off getting new meters until the SMETS2 roll out became available and I had a Gas and Electricity Meter installed.

Worked fine for a few days and then Electricity Readings just stopped. Gas has been fine.

Raised the issue several times and it's all gone a bit quiet. Being told to wait 2-3 months in the hope that it will sort itself out is not really what I expect.

I've no idea what would happen if I changed supplier.
Userlevel 2
Hi @Darran_OVO

i appreciate your post.

But again, I need to keep stressing this — it doesn’t address the way you treat your customers.

its great that you are working behind the scenes to resolve problems. But you are pushing out a product with up to 20% failure rate.

in the first instance — that is appalling. But let’s this put to one side for now.

Think about the customer, not the meter. Up to 20% of your smart meter customers have a product that does not work. How do you treat them?

You have first line line customer support agents who seemingly have targets of emails / calls answered not problems fixed. They are unskilled to answer many issues but refuse to escalate to those who can.

i repeat:-

Emails are largely ignored, issues not addressed, promises not kept. Promised return calls not made. Agents give conflicting information. And all of this can happen because every last call or email is answered by someone new., someone who doesn’t read the notes, someone who can can gloss over the problem because they know they won’t be handling the next call I make or email I send. There is no need to treat the customer well as nobody has ownership of the issue for more than 5 minutes.

So, sorry, your explanation doesn’t cut it with me. 11 months and counting with this. I have made numerous requests for compensation for having to arrange what will be my fifth period off work to be available for your engineer — all ignored.

You are free to fix the meters as you wish. But until you do, the problem is yours, not the customers. Stop treating your customers like they are the problem.


Andrew
Userlevel 2

Hi @Transparent , @Tim_OVO,

Thanks for taking the time to reply.  I’ve had a look at the SMETS2 installation thread suggested by @Transparent which was really detailed and a useful explanation of things.  However, I’ve also had a mooch round the rest of the forum and there still seem to be quite a few issues cropping up across a range of matters - whether it be the length of time for things to settle down, having to input manual readings for months afterwards (did I read that you were in this position @Transparent?), peoples’ bills seemingly suddenly rocketing once a new meter has gone in etc. As it is, beyond a bit of inconvenience when I forget to submit a reading or a reading date crops up when I’m away with work, it’s all pretty straight forward and I don’t have any issues. 

Whilst I appreciate that complaints and issues on here probably represent a tiny proportion of the overall numbers of smart meter customers, it still makes me a little nervous.  My friends will tell you that I am notoriously unlucky - they love it, I seem to attract all their bad luck! - and I can’t shake the nagging feeling that rather than making my life easier, I’m going to be battling through issues various over the coming months if I go ahead with it.   And given that I’m often working away from home, I may not even know there’s an issue until it’s progressed from being a small issue to a big issue, or I end up spending what precious spare time I have trying to resolve problems, neither of which is ideal.

If - and it’s a big if - I did go ahead with it and it turned into an issue, is there any way the smart functionality can be disabled and I can simply go back to submitting readings manually?

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@Darran_OVO @Tim_OVO @Nancy_OVO
@Transparent @Leo Moran @aaronr @UC Bear @PeterR1947 @NoPoke

Over 2 hours now, and no electricity readings. Should I just turn the solar panels on again and forget about OVO?

Tony
Userlevel 3
This is probably the wrong thread, so moderators please feel free to move it somewhere else. I just wanted to give some feedback to those of you who are 'eagerly' awaiting the results from the 4th smart electricity meter install here in Leicester, which I talked about at the Bristol VIP day. This is needed to get a SMETS2 meter with updated firmware which can cope with my solar panels without losing communication.

The installer - Richard - who has been here before, and knows me on first name terms now 😉 arrived on time. He hadn't been told the exact details of the problem, so I explained to him that he was supposed to have a meter with updated firmware. He rang OVO and found that this was not the case - new firmware would need to be uploaded on-line. Now that immediately created a problem, in that if the meter failed before the upload, then yet another visit would be needed. We discussed the problem, and I agreed that I would leave the solar panels off for 2 days, giving OVO plenty of time to get new firmware uploaded. The agreement is to get an email from OVO when the upload is complete - apparently the team cannot schedule an immediate update. This will cost me around £10 at this time of year, which I will attempt to claim back from OVO.

I left Richard and his new lad who was learning on the job to install the new meter, and they then announced that all was complete. I looked at the IHD, and it was still not showing electricity, so Richard said to wait a bit for it to update, but he wasn't prepared to stay till it did.
I have now been waiting for 50 mins since the power went on and the IHD is still only showing gas. I will give it a an hour or two more before ringing the OVO line and also possibly Richard's mobile number to find what is happening. At the present time I have little faith in the system!

Tony

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