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Can my smart meter work out how much I export from my solar panels?



Does the smart meter recognise the electricity I return to the grid through my solar panels?
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Best answer by Chris Juden 18 March 2017, 13:48

Updated 16/07/2019

 

What you're talking about is 'export metering' and I believe that ALL smart meters have the facility to do that. I also believe, having read it somewhere on OVO's website, that if you also get your FIT payments from OVO, they will pay you on the basis of those readings, for the actual amount of electricity you've exported to the Grid. And that will usually exceed 50% of the total generated, which is the amount a small generator is 'deemed' to have exported in the absence of an export meter. So it's especially worth having a smart meter if you have solar panels already. Which is my situation too, and is why I'm so frustrated by OVO's smart meter booking process.

Smart meter booking at OVO is organised on the 'lucky dip' principle. No waiting list, no prioritisation of those most in need of a smart meter or best placed to utilise its extra features. The system (if one can call it that) requires you to enter your details and answer some questions on the OVO Smart Meter Booking page, upon which you will invariably (in my experience) receive the Good News - Bad News message: "Good news, we can install a smart meter in your property" (bad news) "However, due to high demand, we don't have slots available to book an installation. It might take a little longer to get someone out to fit one."

It works just like the children's party bran tub: stick your hand in, feel around and... in this case nothing. Going by my experience, of shoving my hand in OVO's bran-tub dozens of times over a period of FOUR MONTHS, your fist will come out empty. In which case all you can do is go away and come back later to stick it in again, in the vain hope that in the meantime OVO might have hidden another smart meter in there, and that some lucky blighter hasn't stuck THEIR hand in first!

So good luck with that!
 

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I’ve moved your post here, @wil Parry, there is a host of info around smart meters and solar panels above. 

You will lose the 50% deemed as the smart will measure the export accurately. 

Thanks! 

 

I’ve installed 4kW of solar panels and get 50% deemed export for FIT purposes. If I install a new smart meter will it give me an accurate export reading and, if so, will I loose my 50% deemed export?   

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I thought you started this thread by referring to solar panel output, not the more general proposed benefits of smart meter/IHD readings to examine usage

I would have thought that an instantaneous reading of energy consumption is an essential to understanding how to reduce energy impact and reduce consumption and bills.  The effect different appliances have on the total consumption on a daily basis can only be accurately identified by instantaneous readouts surely.

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Agreed - but why would you need an instantaneous reading of this anyway?

I don’t disagree that the Smart Meter  records and shows the amount of energy exported but if I want this information I really do not want to visit the meter cupboard every time.  The IHD does not show instantaneous usage nor does it show the amount of energy being exported.

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The smart meter will record - and show - the amount of energy exported, as this is what is used to provide the reading for the FIT payment. The IHD (Pipit or similar) will not show this, as it does show instantaneous usage/costs etc. for the property as a whole, but, as far as I know, not for solar panels in isolation.

……………...

To answer your question, yes, the smart meter will measure and display your exported electricity.

I’m afraid that information is incorrect.  I had a Smart Meter fitted some years ago, matched a with a Pipit 500 display.  This was one of the early models of information display and for some inexplicable reason the information on the display changed, it used to have an instant readout of energy use which stopped working and is no longer an option to select so pretty useless for monitoring energy consumption for an end user.  The unit can only be reset once a year on the renewal of the annual billing cycle.  It certainly does not have the facility for measuring and displaying exported electricity from my Solar PV’s.  I have suggested to OVO that they should implement a rolling update programme for Smart Meters and Information Displays but my suggestion, as you might expect, has fallen on deaf ears.

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Your post raises a couple of queries/issues.

(1) It would seem that OVO are currently unaware (they are now, though!!) that you have solar panels installed and are receiving payment from npower. The issue though, is that you are  feeding in energy, thereby reducing your billed consumption (from OVO). When I had solar panels installed, OVO insisted I had a smart meter installed - my old spinning-disc type meter was going backwards thanks to the solar panels and I was building up credit directly (in addition to the FIT benefit). So expect to be forced to have one, whether you want it or not!!

(2) This doesn’t mean you should change your FIT arrangement from npower to OVO - you can leave it as it is, whilst getting OVO to supply your electricity.

To answer your question, yes, the smart meter will measure and display your exported electricity.

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You’ll need to have a smart meter installed for OVO Beyond to work for you, @JohnnyT, it’s the brains behind everything! :) 

 

Take a look at the best answer for more help with your query.

I am thinking about having a smart meter installed since OVO has indicated that I will have to do this if I want to remain on my present tariff upgrade,  OVO BeyondBETA.  Is this correct?

If I have to have a smart meter installed, how does the smart meter interact with the existing meter for our solar PV installation (the feed-in tariff is provided by npower, not Ovo). For example, will the smart meter be able to measure the amount of electricity fed into the grid from the solar PV installation?

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We’ll let the team know your thoughts @Steve587.

Gutted to hear that you've now changed supplier @Gizmo. In order to remove you from the Forum we'd need to ban you as a user. Would you like us to do this?

Lucy
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Seems a bit of a convoluted way to get tariff information, rather than it being available directly. It seems to imply there are different rates depending where you live
Thanks Emma but it’s a bit late for me as I have now changed suppliers (to someone who’s rates were more transparent)

Happy for you to remove me from the forum.
Hey @PeterS and @Gizmo

Just so you know - smart meters are compatible with both PV and Economy 7.

If you'd like to find out what our Economy 7 rates are, you'll need to get a new quote. Once you've entered in your details and clicked 'Next' you'll be offered 3 quotes. You can then click on 'Refine your quote' which is where you'll be taken to a page with the option to tick 'I have an Economy 7 meter'. Once you've clicked 'Continue' you'll be offered the Economy 7 rates for your area - https://switch.ovoenergy.com/get-quote.

Thanks,
Emma
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Sorry, I don't know anything about how Economy 7 interacts with having solar panels, but OVO made me have a smart meter fitted, as the old type meter was running backwards!! If there's some sort of incompatibility @PeterS, I don't know why that would be, but you may in fact be benifitting overall!! @Gizmo - I googled "Economy 7 OVO" and although it gave an explanation (also for Economy 10 as well), there didn't seem to be any rate information, so I can see why you're frustrated.
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Hi @PeterS and @Gizmo,

I've moved your comments to a thread about Solar panels and Smart meters.

@Steve587 can you help with this one?

Thanks,
Nancy
Looking for the same info as Peter,

We have just had PVs fitted and will be looking at an EV in the near future,
currently we still have the old (30 year old!) meters installed but would like to know the rates for economy 7... why do OVO make it so difficult to find out ALL of their tariff rates?
(This was my first post to a forum, hoping the query is beneficial to others too)
I'm on a FiT as I have some PV solar panels fitted, plus I have an Economy 7 meter. (A single meter which switches the tariff, not the dual circuit type).
Having PV panels have so far prevented a smart meter to be fitted, as they were incompatible. Has this been remedied and are OVO's SMs compatible with PV AND E7?
This might be a query for Ovo direct I guess?
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Hi PeterR1947,
There will be no problem in having a smart meter working with your solar panels, but don't expect the smart meter to do anything "smart" for getting your FIT readings - assuming your set-up is like mine, you will still have to take individual readings and submit them to OVO to get your FIT payments.
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As a new customer, I have just signed up to have my smart meters installed; will there be any problem with the electricity smart meter as I have solar panels fitted?

Absolutely not, @PeterR1947

Check out the chat in this topic for more info on how a smart meter works with solar panels. As for getting your Feed in Tariff with OVO, check out this page: https://www.ovoenergy.com/ovo-answers/topics/payments-and-statements/payments/whats-a-feed-in-tariff-fit-and-how-do-i-apply.html.

Tim
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As a new customer, I have just signed up to have my smart meters installed; will there be any problem with the electricity smart meter as I have solar panels fitted?
I suppose after a whole year of trying to sort this with my installer who still says they will sort it (13th June'17) and with Ofgem and Ovo & FIT & Roo-fit & MCS, I'm just really tired of the whole situation. Certificate or not I am still producing green energy which is a plus for the environment so I'm going to take a break, Thanks for all your input
If Ofgem understood the whole picture they would help, if they can't help then I don't see the point of their existence.
If you have paid a lot of money to install solar panels and are not claiming your FIT payments then I would respectfully suggest that it is you who do not understand the system and until you do it is unlikely that you will get anywhere with any of the organisations I have previously directed you to. You can criticize as many organisations as you like but until you sort out your own understanding of the system and your rights and responsibilities within that then you are not going to get any further. You need to start with obtaining your MCS certificate, which, in my opinion, shouldn't be too difficult. Until you do that you are not going to progress with anybody, they all require that initial certification and if your installer has not provided that then he/she should be held accountable for your lost revenue. Was he/she registered in the first place? If you have been chasing him/her for over a year then that in itself sounds suspicious. Might be worth directing your anger towards the installer and trying to progress the MCS certificate instead of everyone else who can only help once you have the MCS certificate.

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