Why did I receive a communication about booking a smart meter appointment if you're not currently installing these in my area?

  • 26 December 2021
  • 22 replies

why why and why - a National drive fir smart technology, letter from Ovo advising to book a smart meter installation yet zero intention of installing anything in my area - Highlands. discriminatory practices by another powerful and monied utility 


Best answer by Blastoise186 26 December 2021, 21:13

View original

22 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Updated on 10/02/23 by Emmanuelle_OVO


That invitation was probably part of a routine campaign, but the actual compatibility checks aren’t usually able to be performed until you go to book the upgrade.

It’s actually probably a bit more complicated than you think. There are a lot of factors that have to be considered before a Smart Meter upgrade can be offered and engineer availability is just one of them. There’s also things like whether you have WAN coverage for example.

It’s also been known for the Arqiva WAN used in the Northern Territory to be less reliable than the Telefonica WAN used elsewhere, but this is not something OVO or any other supplier has any control over. It actually went out to tender a few years ago and Arqiva won the contract for the Northern Territory with their Long-Range Radio proposal (which covers all of Scotland and parts of Northern England), while Telefonica won the contracts for the Central and Southern Territories with their Cellular proposal.

Unfortunately, it’s been a pretty bumpy ride for Arqiva since then. The Arqiva WAN does work well for some people, but there’s been a huge struggle with them getting the infrastructure in place and getting the signal coverage to be stable enough. It’s preferable to block the upgrade in these cases, than to allow it to go ahead and unfairly raise your expectations of it working, when it might not.

It will be possible in time, but you’ll need to be patient until then. I’m afraid switching supplier probably won’t help either - all of them use the same Arqiva and Telefonica WAN solutions, so if your problem is no WAN coverage, then you’ll get the same issue no matter who you’re with.


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

Meter stopped communicating with us? Fill in this Online Form

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

Many thanks - just frustrating that the government is pushing it but the infrastructure is far from compatible with their desires

Considering the amount of advice and almost coercion to have a smart meter ……

I have found it totally impossible to arrange a date to install a smart meter on my OVO gas meter ( St Ives Cornwall), I have one on the electricity meter….

no reason is given ,….just keep looking on website, if you have time to scroll through several pages…

very poor service, not impressed

and don’t get me on about direct debit……

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Hi @Glynw ,

I’m afraid the self-service portal can’t be used to book a gas meter upgrade if the electric meter was already done previously. Try Live Chat via though as they can check for slots. It’s worth bearing in mind that it relies on an engineer being available and slots can book up rapidly sometimes.

Have been on chat line …eventually got through , admittedly about the direct debit being raised by almost 100%

The suggestion was to book meter on website…..what is so different if electricity meter was installed previously?
and why didn’t somebody flag this up as a problem? We get both electricity and gas from OVO

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

I think the self-service portal looks to see if there’s already a smart electric meter and/or Comms Hub present at your property. If there is, it won’t go any further because you won’t pass the required checks.

It’s not technically a problem with the tool. It’s a case that your situation requires a manual review.

I find  that a strange answer, surely the whole point of having an engineer coming out is to enable both smart meters? 
do I take it that you cannot have both gas and electricity each on a  (separate if necessary )smart meter?  !!

it is the same supplier….

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Usually, both meters are upgraded together whenever possible. However, there might have been a problem during your appointment that prevented the gas meter from being upgraded. They can both be on the same Comms Hub though, that’s a piece of cake. Likewise, it’s a piece of cake to add a smart gas meter later as far as the engineer appointment and technology behind it all goes.

Booking it in with the Support Team should get your site finished off.

I thank you for your time and excellent advice

wish me luck in trying to pin down OVO 

and contacting the support team, I was number 1 in the queue today and it took about 20 minutes for them to respond 

I live in a small bungalow. 3 bedroom, no heating in the rooms, two storage heaters and all the usual household appliances. I have asked for. Smart meter, but was first told that I am not eligible because there are two meters in the house and I would lose the one for heating if a smart meter was installed. I asked if it was possible for the two meters could be replaced for one and was then told yes, but there are no engineers in my area. My monthly bills are about to go up to nearly £500pm. I don't know what to do! The house is freezing just now, we have a toddler. I have to leave her bedroom door open through the night to keep her room warm. It's a private rent.

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Hi @Siobhan23 ,

We can probably give you some advice on this, but I could do with seeing photos of your meters first. Could you post some snaps for us please?

Once we’ve seen them, it’ll make our advice more tailored. Hope this helps.


Userlevel 7
Badge +1


I’m afraid there’s currently no upgrade path for you right now as you’ve got THTC Meters, but a solution is in development that will allow you to get Smart Meters from OVO once an upgrade path is ready.

Please hang in there for now!

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Meanwhile… I’ll ask @Firedog and @BPLightlog to stop by. They’ve got more experience with Storage Heaters than me so they’ll be better placed to help with optimising your use of them.

I hope this will help you.

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Hi - I’m not sure that I can help too much. I don’t have storage heaters and have only picked up a few things along the way. 
Are you familiar with your controls for the heaters@Siobhan23 ? Are you charging them up overnight on the cheaper rate?

Userlevel 7

Sorry, @Siobhan23  and @Blastoise186 - I’m completely out of my depth with a set-up like this, and my brain’s tired after reading about THTC and the problems it’s causing. Let’s hope @BPLightlog has some bright ideas 🌞

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Sorry, @Siobhan23  and @Blastoise186 - I’m completely out of my depth with a set-up like this, and my brain’s tired after reading about THTC and the problems it’s causing. Let’s hope @BPLightlog has some bright ideas 🌞

Well the signal for THTC is still on so it should provide a capability to use lower cost overnight electricity. As long as the storage heaters are utilising this and not on boost during the day, it should be workable. 
Not sure why the cost should be so extortion .. are you expecting another increase in April @Siobhan23 ? If so, might this be another case for switching back to single rate (possibly not with storage heaters)

I'm in a private rental. If the storage heaters are the problem then I'll have to talk to my landlady. I was on the phone to SSE today for 1.5 hours trying to get through to the right person. I got some advice, but no further forward with getting the meters looked at. They just seem to look at my usage and compare it to the the rest in the area.

They seem to be all or nothing, these heaters. I've got them turned down as much as I can. I was also told to try turning everything off next time I go to my mum's (I usually do when it's too cold and I can't afford to have plug in heaters on) and see how many units it goes up when they're off.

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

The use of storage heaters is based on them charging up overnight and then releasing their heat during the day. So overnight they’re meant to be off (but charging) and then on during the day - unless you’re not in the house when you turn them down or off. 
The basic set of info is :

  1. The ‘output’ setting of your storage heater should be turned off at night; and also when you are out of the room or out of the house.
  2. The ‘boost’ setting can be used to throw out extra warmth. But it uses expensive daytime electricity, so use all the stored heat first by opening the output fully before using boost.
  3. Avoid using supplementary plug-in heaters. It’s better to turn up the input on your storage heater and store more heat.

It’s also best to use as little other electric as possible during the day as it is charged at a higher rate

Thank you for all of this information. 

If I was to change heaters, what is more energy efficient than a storage heater? Baring in mind that this is a cold house.

Are there any grants for landlords to get insulation?

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Not sure if this is of use