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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

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!

**Updated 16/07/2019**
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Chris Juden gave his SUPPOSED answer, but he has no more clue than anybody else!
Either answer the question with a SPECIFIC AND CORRECT answer, or keep off Forums!

It REALLY annoys me when people don't have a clue as to the correct answer but just like to see themselves in print!!!
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just to be certain please Tim...
I've had solar for 18 months.
Smart meter fitted 2 weeks ago.
What readings do I need to give? The smart meter installer took away the old gas and electricity meters so presumably has the readings from them. He didn't look at my solar power meter, so OVO cannot know what was generated up to installation of the smart meter.
I'm due to submit a FIT reading by the end of this month.
Should I include a reading from my generation meter taken just prior to install? (I took a photo of all the meters before the engineer started work)

I assume that I need to continue submitting readings from the generation meter, and the smart meter will report only what was exported?
Presumably the first quarter that the smart meter was installed is calculated in two parts - a proportion that is calculated at 50% export, and the known export from date of installation of of the smart meter.

Can someone confirm please?

I do think it would be sensible to include this in the FAQ about installing smart meters with solar panels.


Good few queries here @EverythingNeedsAUserName

This OVO Answers page outlines all the options for you: https://www.ovoenergy.com/ovo-answers/topics/payments-and-statements/payments/whats-a-feed-in-tariff-fit-and-how-do-i-apply.html.

Now that you have smart metes, we'll need to change you to the 'metered export' payment type. The explanation of this is as follows:

"If you’ve got one of our Smart Meters fitted, this is the export choice for you. Our Smart Meters can measure the amount of power you export, so we can pay you for exactly what you give back to the grid. If you’ve got an installation of 30 kWh or above you must have an export meter fitted – just ask us and we can give you more details of this process".

You'll need to change your FIT arrangement to change the payment type. Contact our friendly, Bristol-based team on 0800 408 6622. They’re here from 9am until 5pm, Monday to Friday. Outside these times, email FITS@ovoenergy.com and they will get back to you within 48 hours.

Hope this helps,
Tim
Many thanks Chris
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!

**Updated 16/07/2019**
Userlevel 6
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I had a smart meter installed after getting solar panels and I can confirm it does give the export reading, but with my meter its a bit convoluted having to press a certain button and get the second reading that appears - I'm not sure that applies to all meters fitted, but in my opinion, my meter is hardly "smart". I don't know if the reading would be accessible via a display panel as I was not provided with a display panel and neither have I been offered one, some 2 years after having the smart meter fitted!!!

Hi @Steve587 thanks for posting, if you're still awaiting for your In Home Display (IHD) there is a backlog and waiting list for getting these out to customers. If this is what you are referring to please Private Message @Tim_OVO with your full name, address including post code, OVO account number, date of birth and mention you'd like to have a IHD, Tim can then get the ball rolling for you.

Hope this helps
Userlevel 3
Hi Tim
Thanks. Very helpful indeed. I'm glad I asked.

That linked page covers it - just not where I'd expect to find it.
It would have been sensible had I been told this when I booked the smart meter install. I'd specifically stated I had solar and asked if there was anything else I needed to do.
The FAQ would also do well to state what you've told me.

Jim
Userlevel 3
If I have one of your smart meters and it can measure the amount of power exported from my panels to the Grid, what is the need for all this FIT business!!!!!!!The smart meter can tell what has been exported, but there is no way for it to know how much you have used inside your house. As you get paid for the total you generate, your FIT readings are vital for this.
Maybe one day, there will be smart solar generation meters that also link in to the smart meter system. I'm not holding my breath!
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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OK, thanks for that Tim, very reassuring. Next question, how can I get my smart meter to tell me how much energy I am exporting to the grid? Can I get my IHD to display this information or is it only available at the smart meter?

It’s only available on the smart meter at the moment @Buster. To see this information, just press ‘9’ on your meter.

Lucy
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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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Great response @Chris Juden - nailed it!

@peete52 I've edited the title of this topic and added some tags. You won't be the only customer with this query, and I want to make sure this topic is nice and searchable.

Thanks,
Tim
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Hi Matt
Yes, having seen a similar post to another forum member, I did this yesterday - wonder what the reply will be!! As I say, I've only had a smart meter for 2 years!!


I've just replied to that PM, @Steve587 🙂
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I had solar panels fitted to my roof two years ago and have since had smart meters fitted. The problem is that I keep reading reports that say that smart meters do not work where solar panels are fitted. The smart meters seem to be communicating my energy usage, as they should and my solar pv meter is registering the energy produced. Can anyone enlighten me as to the problems I am likely to encounter, if any, or the reasons why the general advice seems to suggest that the systems I have installed will not work together?

Hey @Buster

I've moved your query to a topic that already covers this.

In short, your smart meters can work just fine with a Feed in Tariff (FIT) arrangement. They can work out exactly how much energy you export to the grid, which often leaves you better off. You'll need to sign up this FIT with OVO to get these payments from us. Check out this link for more info and the actual application form: https://www.ovoenergy.com/ovo-answers/topics/payments-and-statements/payments/whats-a-feed-in-tariff-fit-and-how-do-i-apply.html.

Hope this helps,
Tim
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Interesting chat here @Buster and @Confused grandma - I've just edited your replies to include a quote of the comment you're responding to.

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?

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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I had a smart meter installed after getting solar panels and I can confirm it does give the export reading, but with my meter its a bit convoluted having to press a certain button and get the second reading that appears - I'm not sure that applies to all meters fitted, but in my opinion, my meter is hardly "smart". I don't know if the reading would be accessible via a display panel as I was not provided with a display panel and neither have I been offered one, some 2 years after having the smart meter fitted!!!
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Hi Matt
Yes, having seen a similar post to another forum member, I did this yesterday - wonder what the reply will be!! As I say, I've only had a smart meter for 2 years!!
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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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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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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
As I have both smart meter and export meter I really don't understand the need for sums and percentages an people to work out who owes who what!
I still can't understand why we just can't pay for what we use i.e. The difference between what I use minus what went in!
If I have one of your smart meters and it can measure the amount of power exported from my panels to the Grid, what is the need for all this FIT business!!!!!!!
Your smart meter will inform OVO of the amount of power exported to the grid but you may well be receiving your FIT payments from another supplier who will not have this information, even though your account is with OVO. Hence the need to supply FIT readings. My original energy supplier was British Gas and I received my FIT payments from them, I changed my supplier to OVO but still receive FIT payments from British Gas, OVO have the readings from my smart meter but British Gas still need my FIT readings.

Ok! My Installer's registration ran out the day I paid for my PV system so they couldn't register me with FIT,
I have never had FIT payments at all from anybody but I am still putting energy onto the grid all day long! and have been for a year,
Ovo know this but the industry seems to be in a muddle as they can't help me either,
I still don't understand why I just can't pay the difference between what I am producing and what I have used as I have both export meter and Not so Smart meter.!!!!!
My installer didn't give me an MCS certificate and I have yet to find someone near me in SE London or North Kent who will do that,
Ovo have all my relevant paperwork except this so they can't help, then there is the business of how much you get payed according to when you registered ??!! it all seems so convoluted and the National Grid are doing very well out of it!
My installer didn't give me an MCS certificate and I have yet to find someone near me in SE London or North Kent who will do that,
If I were you I would get in touch with these people who should be able to sort out your MCS Certificate given they are responsible for the certification process and should be aware that your installers registration lapsed on the date you paid, but the system was fitted whilst they were still registered and so therefore should still be certified.
http://www.microgenerationcertification.org/
Ovo have all my relevant paperwork except this so they can't help, No they won't, they will require the third party certification. then there is the business of how much you get payed according to when you registered ??!! it all seems so convoluted and the National Grid are doing very well out of it!
I only have a small system (2.0kwp) but my last quarterly FIT cheque was close to £100. Depending upon how you deal with this I would think you might even be able to backdate your claim for the FIT payments, it really is worth pursuing.
My installer didn't give me an MCS certificate and I have yet to find someone near me in SE London or North Kent who will do that,
If I were you I would get in touch with these people who should be able to sort out your MCS Certificate given they are responsible for the certification process and should be aware that your installers registration lapsed on the date you paid, but the system was fitted whilst they were still registered and so therefore should still be certified.
http://www.microgenerationcertification.org/
Ovo have all my relevant paperwork except this so they can't help, No they won't, they will require the third party certification. then there is the business of how much you get payed according to when you registered ??!! it all seems so convoluted and the National Grid are doing very well out of it!
I only have a small system (2.0kwp) but my last quarterly FIT cheque was close to £100. Depending upon how you deal with this I would think you might even be able to backdate your claim for the FIT payments, it really is worth pursuing.

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