Solved

Who owns the Smart Meters?

  • 29 January 2018
  • 5 replies
  • 1830 views

Who has title to the Smart Meters - OVO, the DNO - or who? Who initially funds the Smart Meters? The DCC levies charges for collecting the data. Who pays these charges?
icon

Best answer by Nancy_OVO 1 February 2018, 13:25

Hi @ianb,

I've added some tags to this so other users can find information they might need.

A company called Secure make the models of smart meters that we use. We pay Secure for the meters and install them. We are responsible for the meters and therefore take ownership of the charges. If you were to switch supplier, the new company would become responsible for the meter as soon as you transfer over to them.

The DNO (Distribution Network Operator) is responsible for the maintenance of the grid up to the point of the pysical meter. This is where their responsibilty ends. Our DC (Data Collector) collate and verify readings for us, but we need them to do this for both traditional and smart meters, so they're not responsibile for smart meters specifically.

I hope this has answered your questions, let me know if you have any more below!

Cheers,
Nancy

**Updated 24/07/2019**
View original

5 replies

Userlevel 6
Badge
Hi @ianb,

I've added some tags to this so other users can find information they might need.

A company called Secure make the models of smart meters that we use. We pay Secure for the meters and install them. We are responsible for the meters and therefore take ownership of the charges. If you were to switch supplier, the new company would become responsible for the meter as soon as you transfer over to them.

The DNO (Distribution Network Operator) is responsible for the maintenance of the grid up to the point of the pysical meter. This is where their responsibilty ends. Our DC (Data Collector) collate and verify readings for us, but we need them to do this for both traditional and smart meters, so they're not responsibile for smart meters specifically.

I hope this has answered your questions, let me know if you have any more below!

Cheers,
Nancy

**Updated 24/07/2019**
Nancy - thanks. If I've understood, OVO buy the Smart Meters from Secure and take title to them. Do these purchase costs then become part of the sums billed to consumers? - or can these smart meter associated costs be recovered (or such) from HMG? If customers with smart meters switch supplier, does the new supplier buy the Smart Meter from OVO?
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
Nancy - thanks. If I've understood, OVO buy the Smart Meters from Secure and take title to them. Do these purchase costs then become part of the sums billed to consumers? - or can these smart meter associated costs be recovered (or such) from HMG? If customers with smart meters switch supplier, does the new supplier buy the Smart Meter from OVO?

@Transparent you might be able to answer this better then me...... :8
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
Thanks @Tim_OVO, I'll have a go, but I ought to point out that I have yet to have a Smart Meter at my house.

Historically it has always been the DNO who have owned meters. If I were to tamper with the crimped metal seal, it is the DNO engineer who reads me the riot act!

Moreover, the DNO technically owns the piece of wooden board on which are fixed "their" meter and "their" 100A Service Fuse. I got in trouble when I once fixed a Surge Suppressor unit to their piece of wood because it was conveniently next to my consumer unit!

The situation becomes a little less clear once we have the Energy Supplier supplying a Smart Meter, especially since it's fitted neither by them or the DNO.

I seriously doubt that OVO actually have a pile of boxes containing Secure Smart Meters sitting in a warehouse. It's more likely a digital paper-trail whereby OVO initiates an "Order" to a Meter Installation Company (MIC?). They know it's from OVO, so the MIC requisition Secure to send them a meter.

Secure/OVO can each then generate a monthly invoice to send Philip Hammond and ask him to pay them the relevant Government grant.

I don't think we can establish ownership of the meter by following the financial transactions. And it would be bizarre if more money had to be transferred every time a customer changed supplier. The administration costs would surely outweigh the value of the physical meter!

More important is the matter of who is responsible for the meter.

I know of a case where the Smart Meter has been incorrectly installed. But this was only discovered when the property was purchased by a new owner who switched to his preferred supplier. At that point, no-one seems to want to be held responsible!

But if I ever wanted to find out who is "in charge" of the meter, I do at least know what to do.... I can telephone the DNO and tell them I've just snipped their meter seal! :P
They'll be knocking on my door wanting explanations within a few hours!
Userlevel 6
Badge
@ianb the cost isn't transferred to the new supplier, if that's what you mean. The new supplier just becomes responsibile for repairing any damage, replacing it and taking readings.

Your personal costs (unit rates, standing charges or Direct Debit) won't change as a result of having smart meters installed either.

I know that the Government has subsidised some of the smart project, unfortunately I don't know where their funds feed in. I can certainly try to find out though! I don't imagine customers would be able to recover the cost from them directly.

Hope this helps answer at least some of your questions!

Nancy

Reply