Why has my smart gas meter battery failed? I was left off-supply over the weekend!


Our smart meter failed over the weekend which resulted in being without gas for nearly 24hrs? Can OVO provide answers to the questions below?

1. Why did the smart meter not proactivly inform me or Ovo that the meter was about to fail ? No warning it just died and left us ( family with 2 children under 5) without gas for heating,Hot water or cooking. Not very SMART ?

2. We thought the battery life of the smart meter was on avergae 10 years? this lasted 3 at best ? engineers that have visited say that on average its 2 -3 years? Why are we being informed its 10 years ? Essentially are we looking at replacements every 3 years? Not very SMART ?

3. Upon discovering we had no gas we tried to contact OVO out of business hours... which is a challenge , number on this site and on the internet are business hours only and it took a lot of searching to actually find an emergency contact. once we did get through we were informed that there was nothing they could do till 9am the following day?? We are in a heat wave but imagine this in the middle of winter with young children and no Gas?? Not very SMART?

4. When the emergency engineer did arrive the following day to replace our SMART meter they replaced it with a pre paid card meter ? Why? We didnt have a pre paid card meter before and didint want one, we want a replacement SMART meter like the one we had before.

5. So we contact OVO again this morning and a new job is raised to replace the incorrect Pre Paid card meter that was installed yesterday. The engineer arrives.... sorry i'm a pre paid card meter engineer and I cant replace the (incorrect) pre paid card meter with a smart meter that you require. Engineer leaves and we contact OVO again... another emergency job logged. Not very SMART !

So in summary its a dreadful customer expiriance and massivly inconveniant that working familes with young kids have to face such disruption to accommodate a process that is anything but SMART !

Why are smart meter batteries failing so fast? Why can we not easily contact OVO out of hours when we have no Gas? Why are we facing potentially havIng to be subjetced the the replacement of 3 meters to get back to the orginal smart meter we need? Why cant a failed smart meter just be replaced with a new smartt meter in one emergency callout ? Engineers onsite today informed me that they carry them but cant install them?

Look forward to OVOs reponse on how this is going to be resolved and how we will be compensated for the massive disruption to a long term customer, who after this experiance will be seriously questioning if they remain with OVO.


Best answer by Nancy_OVO 16 July 2018, 17:48

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36 replies

Userlevel 5

Updated on 26/06/24 by Abby_OVO

First of all, I just want to say sorry for this experience and the inconvenience it's caused you and your family, it’s never nice to hear of issues occurring which leave a family off-supply.


All gas meters (Smart and traditional) have an internal battery that power them. This is designed to last for up to 20 years, with a meter recertification (exchanging the meter to replace it with a new one) scheduled every 10 years, so it’s unusual for this issue to crop up so soon. If your gas smart meter is making a beeping sound, it indicates that the battery is low and the meter will need replacing. If the battery fails this can affect the supply, as in your case, so it’s important to reach out to our Support Team if you do ever notice that your meter is beeping.

It’s really distressing to hear that this happened out-of-hours and you were unable to give us a call - we do have emergency contact details here and would encourage you to use these to report any urgent issues when our phone lines are closed.


Additionally, I'm so sorry that a prepayment meter was installed during your emergency appointment. This isn’t what should have happened and I can only apologise for the hassle you’ve now had to go through to get a pay monthly gas meter replacement.  I think the best course of action would be to contact our Support Team to raise this as a complaint - this will make sure we investigate what went wrong and will provide important feedback to any internal processes that might need improving. We’ll also be able to see what we can do to put things right - getting you the right meter as quickly as we can and discussing a fair goodwill gesture to make up for the shortfalls in service you experienced.


Thanks Nancy, but I have just got off the phone with OVO and been told I have no option but to wait for the Pre Paid Card meter we did not ask for to go below £1? And we will have to be subjected to 2 further reinstallations to get back to our original position of s credit smart meter.

We have a young family and this is not being treated with any proactivity or urgency? I will follow the action you have suggedted but was was this not offerd over the phone call I have just had 10 minutes ago?
UPDATE : the latest emergency case raised for an engineer to replace the pre paid card meter was raised at 9:30am today and we were told that the engineer would be onsite within 4 hours to replace the meter with a credit Smart Meter, no engineer arrived! you conuld not make this up.. another day wasted after arranging to be at home and not at work!

Now being informed we have to wait for the pre paid card meter we did'nt ask for to run below £1 credit and then to log a new emargency call to have a credit dumb meter fitted and the they will arrange ANOTHER visit to have a smart meter installed to replace the one that failed !!!!

so we will have been subjected to 3 replacement meters to get back to our orginal position and 3 days we have to arrange for someone to be at home. NOT ACCEPTABLE OVO formal complaint being submitted and energy watch dog contacted. NOT the way to treat a long standing customer!!
thanks for the response Nancy but its frustrating that it takes an escalation on this forum to be advised how to try and resolved deapite 3 calls to the OVO customer services desk today !!
Userlevel 5
Hi @SalamancaRhodes

I'm really sorry to hear this. I get the impression you've been given the wrong information here. I'm positive we can get a pay monthly gas meter installed again without all this hassle. Please send the team on Facebook a PM with your account number, full name and DoB so we can look into a simpler solution for this.


Our gas supply was cut out around 10am this morning 1 Oct.

Called Northern gas networks to get them to check the supply and they sent an engineer who arrived within an hour.

His diagnosis was a fault with the smart meter. So disconnected the supply pending OVO fix. He was very helpful and efficient.

Turns out there is absolutely no support at a weekend from OVO. I can't even place a support call. So i have no gas at all for heating cooking and hot water and nothing I can do about it. This is unacceptable (except I have to accept it!)

Is it just me? Or is it connected to the change in the tariff? 

I also noticed like others that the usage reading from the app for 30 Sept don't seem to have been update after 00:30.


Userlevel 7

Hi @Khd888 and thanks for flagging this one. I’m so sorry to hear of the potential meter fault that meant that you didn’t have gas on Sunday. 


It’s correct that unlike electricity, where the equivalent engineer who visited (Distribution network operator) is able to replace faulty meters, the gas transporter can’t. If that happens on a Sunday, the quickest OVO can send someone out is Monday morning, via our Support team. If you haven’t arranged this already, please do using that link


As for that usage screenshot, I wonder if the potential smart meter issue may be related to this...

On Saturday I went to have a shower to realise there was no hot water.on investigation my boiler was showing a code 133 this means no gas to boiler.went and looked at my meter it had a blank screen.contacted the number that ovo has on there emergency links to nags they will only come out if there is a leak or possible explosion so no luck there.after about an hour of trying to find a number gave up and waited till Monday morning.on Monday contacted one of the many numbers finally spoke to someone who was only interested if I was going to pay my bill.I’m on direct debit so not going to pay.I was told that a request was made to get an engineer out to have a look at my’s now Wednesday still no contact and no engineer.not what I would call a professional company.on looking at the forum pages this seems to be a common occupancies no emergency number also problems with smart meters which are not so smart.does anyone have a clue what ovo is doing to help can I get a normal meter that isn’t smart that doesn’t break down

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Hi @Rickmil ,

Can you try pressing any button on the gas meter to see if it wakes up, then take a photo of it so that you can post it here for us?

Tried all the buttons not doing anything no display at all

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

I see. You’ll need to get the meter replaced. It will most likely be smart as you cannot downgrade anymore. Please contact the Support Team and they can make the request.

Userlevel 7

I agree, @Rickmil - it sounds like the meter needs replacing. That warrants an emergency appointment. I’m not sure if that’s what has been booked as this means an engineer shows up that day. Please call us to report that you have a faulty meter and need an emergency engineer appointment: 0330 303 5063.


If one has already been booked, the agent should be able to check why the engineer still hasn’t arrived. This seems unlikely though...

Finally got put through to someone who organized an engineer.took 3 days till i spoke to an operator who knew what to do got sorted within 20 mins had engineer out in 3 hrs.first 2 operators need more training.all sorted eventually


Gas meter was reported faulty 10 days ago as it was not updating with new readings, gas was still being supplied.

Today gas supply has stopped completely and now unable to contact OVO due to it being after 6pm. Will have to wait until tomorrow to speak to someone but looking for any advice or feedback from anyone who has had a similar issue with a faulty meter, no supply or poor customer service.

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

You should be able to apply for an emergency meter exchange (EMEX) if you are off supply. 
There are the social channels as well as the support call but of course, out of hours is always difficult. 

Userlevel 7

Hey @Andy Ox,


Really sorry to hear this,


Please contact Support and they’ll be able to book an emergency meter exchange and get someone out to you within the next 3-4 hours. 



Hope this helps. 

Hi, I have this morning had contact with OVO customer service and they have organised for a meter replacement today, the engineer is here and changing the meter. Unfortunately my electricity meter is generation 1 and not compatible with the new smart meters so he is initially fitting an older manual gas meter just to get the supply working.  How do I go about getting this upgraded so I can get new smart meters fitted for both supplies.

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

You should put in another request for a smart meter @Andy Ox and that should take care of the emergency unit. It might depend on the status of the other if that’s upgraded at the same time. SMETS1 meters are going through an upgrade process anyway and if it’s not upgradable it will be changed

Left with no gas and being told someone would come out 

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

I’m afraid we can’t summon help at this hour. You’ll need to phone through in the morning

Userlevel 7

Hey @Raydog,


Really sorry to hear this,


You may need to request a faulty meter exchange, please contact Support on 0330 303 5063, they should be able to get an engineer out to you in the next 3-4 hours. 


Keep us posted with how you get on. 

Userlevel 2

We have lost all gas supply into our house.

Ovo phone lines are closed.

We have continuous use smart meters. They are not prepayment meters


Can anyone help me diagnose the gas smart meter to see if that is stopping the gas supply?


If i press a button on the gas meter there is a flame symbol and HAN

On the electric meter the WAN is flashing but the HAN is not lit



Userlevel 2


Pic of gas meter if that helps at all


The text "Press A" alternates to "connect" every few seconds

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Hi @Adwatp Try pressing button 0 on your gas meter. This should go through a few screens such as the current date and time. If it shows a message such as COMMISSION however, it might need to be re-activated. 

Userlevel 2

Hello @BPLightlog 

Thanks for responding

I can see no word like commission 


I am really disappointed by not being able to speak to Ovo about not having any gas over the weekend.

British Gas have been more helpful and you can actually speak to someone.


I will seriously consider getting my supply from BG having been with Ovo for many years


Ovo used to be really good for customer service. Sadly no longer


I anticipate a long wait to speak to Ovo on Monday morning