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What happens to my current British Gas PAYG smart meter credit if I switch to OVO?

  • 18 March 2021
  • 4 replies
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I recently moved into a new (rented) property which was supplied by British Gas.  It has a smart meter and was initially set to use PAYG topups.  I want to switch to OVO on a monthly DD.

What will happen to my existing credit on the meters that I have already topped up?

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Best answer by Tim_OVO 18 March 2021, 12:07

Hi @appshine and thanks for posting!

 

In simple terms, British Gas would refund any credit left on your smart prepayment (PAYG) meters after you’ve switched to a new supplier. I’m not sure on the exact time frame and refund method of British Gas. That’s the usual advice. However, it’s more complicated, as we’re not sure what type of Landis+Gyr E470 smart meter you have, and you’re asking about switching to OVO, who don’t offer PAYG plans. 

 

Will the meters you have remain smart meters if you switch? That depends on if they’re S1 or S2. If it’s S1, then it currently won’t remain smart (timetable for BG S1 upgrades here).  If it’s S2, it will.

 

How to tell? The info below is taken from this topic guide on Landis+Gyr E470 smart meters:

What does a S1 Landis+Gyr E470 look like?
 

 

What does a S2 Landis+Gyr E470 look like?
 

 

The next thing to consider is that your electricity meter is listed on the national database as a PAYG meter. That means that any attempt to switch to an OVO (pay monthly) plan will be ‘rejected’. 

 

Your options in this case are to switch to Boost Power, who are OVO’s PAYG sister company. That option will only work if you have S2 meters. Otherwise you’ll switch to Boost and your meter won’t work as PAYG.

 

The other option is to ask British Gas to change you and your meters to a credit set up. Then you can get your switch to OVO started here. That works if you have S1 or S2 smart meters. Just bear in mind that if you have S1 meters, you’ll need to manually submit meter readings to OVO till they’re upgraded

 

It’s complicated isn't it!

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4 replies

Userlevel 7

Hi @appshine and thanks for posting!

 

In simple terms, British Gas would refund any credit left on your smart prepayment (PAYG) meters after you’ve switched to a new supplier. I’m not sure on the exact time frame and refund method of British Gas. That’s the usual advice. However, it’s more complicated, as we’re not sure what type of Landis+Gyr E470 smart meter you have, and you’re asking about switching to OVO, who don’t offer PAYG plans. 

 

Will the meters you have remain smart meters if you switch? That depends on if they’re S1 or S2. If it’s S1, then it currently won’t remain smart (timetable for BG S1 upgrades here).  If it’s S2, it will.

 

How to tell? The info below is taken from this topic guide on Landis+Gyr E470 smart meters:

What does a S1 Landis+Gyr E470 look like?
 

 

What does a S2 Landis+Gyr E470 look like?
 

 

The next thing to consider is that your electricity meter is listed on the national database as a PAYG meter. That means that any attempt to switch to an OVO (pay monthly) plan will be ‘rejected’. 

 

Your options in this case are to switch to Boost Power, who are OVO’s PAYG sister company. That option will only work if you have S2 meters. Otherwise you’ll switch to Boost and your meter won’t work as PAYG.

 

The other option is to ask British Gas to change you and your meters to a credit set up. Then you can get your switch to OVO started here. That works if you have S1 or S2 smart meters. Just bear in mind that if you have S1 meters, you’ll need to manually submit meter readings to OVO till they’re upgraded

 

It’s complicated isn't it!

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

Hiya!

I’ve been digging into some research on this one today. Tim is indeed correct with everything there. When it comes to PAYG refunds, they can generally be issued by cheque if no other options are available. When this happens, whatever credit balance was still on the meters at the point when the old supplier (such as British Gas) takes you off-supply and you come on-supply with the new supplier is generally what’ll be issued as the refund.

Please note that the switching process does wipe your credit balance off the meters as part of the process though.

My best advice would definitely agree with Tim here as well. If you’re planning on moving from PAYG with ANY supplier to OVO’s pay monthly tariffs, definitely get your old supplier to switch you to Pay Monthly/Credit tariffs first! The easiest ones to use for this would be the standard variable tariffs, since these don’t lock you in. From there, you can freely switch to OVO and it’ll go through just fine.

In short, the process is as follows:

  1. Switch from Pay As You Go/Prepayment > Pay Monthly/Credit with the old supplier using the standard variable tariff
  2. Wait for the old supplier to swap your Prepayment Meter with a Credit Meter and/or change your smart meters from Prepayment Mode to Credit Mode
  3. Start a switch to OVO, choosing whichever tariff suits you best
  4. Allow the switch to go through from there
  5. After coming on-supply with OVO, the old supplier should definitely be well on the way to sorting out the refunds from PAYG and issue the final bills

Thanks for your replies - looks like I have the S1 meter.

So it looks like I will have to switch on to a monthly DD arrangement with British Gas for now and then look to switch to OVO in the future.

Can you clairfy.. if I change my account with BG to a monthly DD arrangement, will I still have to wait for my meter to be upgrded to a S2 meter before I switch to OVO if I want it to remain smart?

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

No worries @appshine !

I have good news there. If you go onto Pay Monthly with British Gas now and then switch to OVO, the only side effect is your meter will go dumb for a bit, but will still be upgradable anyway. So feel free to switch now if you’d like to. You’d just have to submit manual readings for a while.

What will happen later on, is that your meter will be upgraded to S2 firmware and then migrated onto DCC, even if you’ve switched to OVO in the meantime. When this happens, it will re-activate and resume sending readings. OVO will notify you when this process starts. There’s more info about this over at SmartMe. We use this resource a lot and it helps us out a ton!

If you need anything else, feel free to give us a shout. We’ll be happy to help. :sunglasses:

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