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Can OVO offer a Meter Exchange from Single Phase to Three Phase? Need to upgrade to support some green tech I'm installing!

  • 10 January 2022
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I would like to upgrade my supply from single to three phase.  We are installing solar panels, an ASHP and car chargers and will need the increased supply.  I was in the process with SSEN and Bulb, but that was obviously stopped.  We then contacted another supplier and they said they would be able to install a three phase meter.  We moved to the new supplier, but they have now said they will not complete a meter exchange from single to three phase.  Before I move to OVO, please can you confirm that you are able to offer the meter exchange from single to three phase?  

Many thanks.

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Best answer by Jess_OVO 11 January 2022, 11:50

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Hey there @Adam Vetere !

Sure thing. Definitely worth double checking first. :)

Before I get started, I just need to throw in a quick heads up, to keep the powers that be happy. As I’m only a forum volunteer, my advice can’t be seen as OVO’s official position but I always try to make sure it’s accurate.

From my understanding, OVO is definitely able to do Three-Phase Meters and has the capability to upgrade from Single-Phase to Three-Phase (and also downgrade from Three-Phase to Single-Phase) as long as a supply of some kind already exists - which in your case obviously does. There is a charge for this though, and as per the table in the thread below, this particular job would set you back £325 under Upgrade/Downgrade Single-Phase to Three-Phase..

Historically, Smart Meters haven’t been available for a Three-Phase Supply, so if you’ve got one at the moment on Single-Phase, it might have to be replaced with a traditional meter for now, resulting in manual readings again. OVO has been trialling Three-Phase SMETS2 Smart Meters over the last year though and they’re definitely on the way! Even if you couldn’t get a Three-Phase Smart Meter from OVO yet, you would definitely be able to once OVO starts to roll them out with official support. I think @Tim_OVO and @Jess_OVO might be able to find out the status of that, but we can’t make any promises as to when you’d be able to get one other than Coming Soon.

Was there any particular reason why the other supplier refused to upgrade you by any chance? If you don’t mind sharing that info, it would help us to figure out if an upgrade is possible at all.

Could you also show us some photos of your existing meters please, along with photos of everything near to the meters. This might sometimes give us a few extra clues as to why an upgrade might have been refused.

Just in case it helps, I also found a similar thread from a while ago. Feel free to check this one out. :)

 

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Hi Blastoise186,

Many thanks for the reply!

They have stated that they will install a new three phase supply into a new property, but will not undertake a meter exchange for a supply upgrade - they used Covid as the reason??!!  

There are no physical space restrictions or impediments as the three phase supply will be installed into our new double garage.  There is plenty of space and access.

I understand the issue re Smart Meters, but we can live with this as until they are ready from OVO.

Thanks for letting me know about the fee, which is also fine.

I assume somebody from OVO will confirm your response, which by the way, has been extremely helpful - thanks again!

Adam

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No worries.

I’ve heard that excuse before from elsewhere. Both of them in fact. However, OVO definitely can do this kind of work for existing supplies and COVID-19 safety precautions are in place across the entire company, so that’s not really a barrier either.

If you’d like to, Tim or Jess will probably be able to confirm what I’ve said when they stop by. :)

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Yes please, that will be really helpful - again, many thanks!

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Updated on 19/05/22 by Jess_OVO

 

Great to hear about the big green changes you’re making at your home. We’re happy to confirm that we do offer a 3-phase traditional meter upgrade and could get an appointment scheduled (for the advised fee) once your switch to OVO is complete. 

 

You’ve also found the perfect place to share advice and learn from other OVO community members who are also ahead of the game in terms of green tech and low carbon living. As you mention getting solar panels installed check out this collaborative guide on all things solar:
 

 

We’d be really interested to hear how your solar installation goes too. Have you already found a solar panel installer yet?

We’ve also got a fair few Air-Source Heat Pump owners here too, sharing their experience of this new way of heating their homes. Take a look at the latest ASHP myth-busting thread we’ve posted over here:
 

 

Did you apply for any funding to support your heat pump installation? Any advice to share that might help others on a similar heat pump journey?

 

Sounds like you’re also streets ahead in terms of decarbonising your transport too! Are you a multiple Electric Vehicle (EV) household? :oncoming_automobile::red_car:  

 

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Hi Jess,

Thanks for your reply.  That’s so re-assuring to know that OVO can provide the three phase meter.

The solar PV array was installed this week, but we cannot commission it until we have the three phase supply and meter installed.  We will have a Tesla Powerwall and Gateway installed too, along with a Zappi car charger and a MyEddi.

The ASHP and Mixergy cylinder will be installed in February and will be a twin cartridge unit from Mitsubishi.  Once installed, we will formally submit our application for the RHI grant - we have had to commission a new EPC rating and the services of a Chartered Surveyor because of issues with cavity wall insulation and the DPC levels of the house…..

Exciting times and glad to be doing my bit, but extremely frustrated by the issues with increasing the supply to a three phase supply and the red tape with the grant.

Will keep you posted!

Adam

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The solar PV array was installed this week, but we cannot commission it until we have the three phase supply and meter installed.  We will have a Tesla Powerwall and Gateway installed too, along with a Zappi car charger and a MyEddi.

 

And the green tech list keeps on growing. Must say we’re really impressed, @Adam Vetere! You’re joining a growing number of community members here with similar kit too.

 

I’d love to here more about the integration of the Tesla Powerwall and Gateway - Is the Gateway an integral part of the Powerwall or an optional extra?

 

Know we’ve had some Powerwall owners pop up here previously (@JohnR, @Stargazer8t6, @jenthomson, @Graham110011, @timciren) but not sure if there’s been much discussion of the Gateway.

 

As for the Zappi car charger, I’m sure @PeterR1947 has mentioned having one of these - Are you still using the Zappi, Peter, or was this replaced now you’re taking part in a V2G trial?

 

 

The ASHP and Mixergy cylinder will be installed in February and will be a twin cartridge unit from Mitsubishi.  Once installed, we will formally submit our application for the RHI grant - we have had to commission a new EPC rating and the services of a Chartered Surveyor because of issues with cavity wall insulation and the DPC levels of the house…..

 

Know @hambrook will be interested to hear that you’re getting a Mixergy cylinder too (he’s a big fan!) - What size cylinder are you opting for?

 

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We have 7.4 kWp of Solar PV, Tesla Powerwall 2 with Backup Gateway 2, 2 x MyEnergy Zappi charger, 1 x MyEnergy Eddi and hub and 250L Mixergy Cylinder (currently redundant during Heat Pump trial) a Tesla Model S 75D.  Let me know what you need to know!

 

As for 3 Phase I can not believe Ovo’s selected installer installed a 32A  Heat Pump without getting 3 phase upgraded. I am awaiting the official paperwork and have alerted the local DNO 

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@Jess_OVO I’m not using the zappi at present as I have to use the Quasar during the V2G trial, the zappi however is powered up to keep the electronics alive.

The zappi is a brillant charger if you have PV panels, just plug it in to the vehicle and as soon as there is 1.4 kW and above spare power, it charges the car automatically.  It can also use cheap rate leccy at night, again automatically and will also act as a “normal” 7kWh car charger.  When connected to a hub OTA firmware updates are easily downloaded and installed.

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The Gateway is a separate unit and will allow us to utilise the stored energy in the battery in the event of a power cut, without it accidentally discharging back to the grid.

The cylinder is 210L.

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The Gateway is a separate unit and will allow us to utilise the stored energy in the battery in the event of a power cut, without it accidentally discharging back to the grid.

 

 

@dnshorto - Know you’ve been looking into backup option for using stored energy during power cuts:

 

 

Just tagging you here in case this topic might offer another solution for you… :thumbsup:

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@Adam Vetere  Your set-up sounds great - we are not that dissimilar as we have solar PV, Tesla Powerwall & Gateway, Zappi, Eddi, ASHP and a Tesla Model S 70.

Hope it’s all going well but do get in touch if I can help at all.

I’m not sure what the etiquette of mentioning other energy providers on here is, but we are on Octopus’ Tesla Energy Plan which is available to anyone who has solar PV and a Powerwall. It has saved us a fortune as high mileage on the EV means we can’t keep the ASHP powered using the battery alone and daytime energy rates to heat the house were becoming very expensive.

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Mentioning other suppliers is allowed on this forum, especially if it’s in context of the thread. :)

In actual fact, because we help out people who come here from a lot of different suppliers, it actually helps us out to know if you’re not with OVO so that we don’t try to apply certain OVO specific advice - and also so that we’re looking in the right places for an answer.

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Great to see you back here, @jenthomson !

 

Offering some great insight in to all your green tech and earning a few extra shiny badges in the process! 👏

 

How have you found the ASHP coping with the snowy temperatures this week? ❄

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Thanks @Jess_OVO  - life is a bit calmer again and I can catch up on everything I’ve missed!

The ASHP is working great and so far, our bills are very manageable (mostly due to the tariff we are on), and if you came to visit, I don’t think you would ever know that our heating is powered this way.

I haven’t delved too deep into stats and efficiencies of our system yet, but when I do, I’ll be keen to see how much the outside weather affects things, if at all.

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Hi @Jess_OVO 

My current supplier (Bulb) has let me down with a 3 phase meter install to support a house refurb with PV Solar / ASHP. If I join OVO how long is the wait for a 3 phase meter install from the initial request (the property has 3 phase power, but only a single phase is connected via the old meter currently)…

 

Thanks

Dave

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Howdy @djKeston !

From my understanding, it takes around six weeks for the entire switch process to go through and you might not be able to request the upgrade during that time. However… After that it’s really just a case of putting the request in and waiting for an engineer to be ready.

OVO won’t be able to give you a Three-Phase Smart Meter juuuuuust yet though, but they can once the trials are complete. In the meantime, OVO is installing non-smart ones. :)

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Thanks @Blastoise186 

I was just trying to get an idea of install times … Octopus is saying around 6 months, I’m supposed to be moving back into the house in August so was looking to get it done by then :(

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No worries.

I don’t think OVO will make you wait as long, but I also don’t want to make false promises. Jess is currently patrolling all threads as part of her daily trawl, so she’ll probably spot this shortly. Tim and Jess just like to give us a chance to reply first! 😉

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Hi @djKeston,

 

Great question this one! So following a switch to OVO (which is about to get a lot quicker in July) you’d be able to schedule in a 3-phase appointment once you’ve got your opening statement, around 6 weeks from the start date at the moment. We can arrange an appointment with around 20 working days notice. However as this work is completed by a third-party contractor, we can't guarantee this date until engineer availability is confirmed. There’s more details on the 3 phase upgrade process in the guide below:

 


Hope this helps.

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Thanks @Jess_OVO 

I’ve started my switch to OVO from Bulb … hopefully I can find a way to speed up the 6 week wait for the 1st bill before requesting the 3 phase as the lack of 3 phase will actually prevent me from moving back in to the property and we are due to move back in in August. I’ll take this up with the OVO customer service team to see if anything can be done.

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Great to hear about the upcoming switch, @djKeston.

 

Check out the guide below which helps explain the process of joining us.

 

 

As we’ll need to get your opening meter readings confirmed, we’d usually advise waiting until you’ve received your opening statement before making any changes to your meter. This makes sure we’re able to access readings from the same meter which could be required if there’s any issues with your opening meter reading. 

Hi, I’m in a very similar position myself - starting the process of upgrading to 3ph through UKPN. Currently a bulb customer but they have told me that they aren’t upgrading meters for customers; hence the need to switch. Is this something that ovo can assist with? How straightforward is the process?

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Hi @Jon_darbs !

OVO is indeed capable of helping out with this. It’s mostly a case of contacting the Support Team and letting them handle most of the work really. :)

Thanks. I’ve just started the switch process, so hopefully everything goes smoothly.

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