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
  • 2 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

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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.

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