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Why is my SMETS2 gas meter not sending readings?

  • 22 February 2019
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Has anybody had any successful fixes of these problems recently?
Im still not getting any Gas readings.

Customer services have now said I need an engineer visit to commission the gas meter!.

Ive been told there are no current slots and hopefully some will become available in September. Crazy , why I was left without the gas meter commissioned I don't know. It would also be helpful if we could do the commissioning ourselves. Im sure its just going to be a few button presses on the meters and comms hub to connect the gas meter up.
I actually cannot understand why we are having these problems. I know of other people (friends and relatives) that are with different providers but have identical SMETS2 meters and THE SAME Chameleon IHD as us and have never hadn’t one problem! Their readings are accurate and they’re IHD always has shown the correct usage and pricing. How is OVO even supposed to get readings from my meter now and bill me correctly? I tried to contact OVO last week and give them my current electricity reading, I was told Thankyou that’s now been logged on our system... many days later it is still showing my last smart read from weeks ago.
Im going to leave it another 7 days and then I’m off and moving provider. I’m going to literally now apply to have my £700 of credit refunded and jumping ship, this company seems to be on a downhill spiral and I for one don’t think I want to be part of it any more
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Hmm, @ScoobyDoo - I'm not convinced you'll need another site visit. OVO's SMETS2 Team successfully reconnected to my gas meter remotely and got it to receive a software update despite their system suggesting that there was no data being sent between the meter and the Comms Hub.

I'm becoming increasingly aware that sending engineers to site to exchange meters is to be avoided if at all possible. It simply introduces yet another commissioning cycle, trying to create harmony between bits of equipment which may or may not succeed.
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@bperry306 I can understand the frustration. Although I now have fully operational meters, I have suggested that OVO continue to use my site to test code. For that reason they have not yet spent/wasted time to use my smart-readings for billing.

Let me attempt a simplified explanation of what seems to be happening:

There are four different pieces of SMETS2 hardware to be installed on site:

Electricity Meter = E

Gas Meter = G

Communications Hub = C

In Home Device = I

Each comes from a different manufacturer and contains code which has been proven against a defined standard specification written by Company D

We'll imagine that there are just 3 Energy Suppliers, referred to here as O, P & Q, each of which has different billing software bespoke to them.

D doesn't want to permit a monopoly, so they authorise two manufacturers for each Meter, which we must therefore designate E1, E2, G3, and G4.

Now... what could possibly go wrong?!


O sends engineers to site who first install E1 and C, and then G3, followed by I.

P's engineers find that it's much quicker to run up G3 whilst it's next to C, and install it into the final location after communication is established.

Q thinks that's unnecessary. They work out that if you install E1, C & G3 all at once, you can stand mid-way between them, power up I and it automatically finds the the links and everything starts communicating.

D and P notice that around 10% of G3's cease to operate partway through their commissioning cycle. They report their findings to Manufacturer 3 and P switches to install G4s.

Q notices that around 10% of E1s cease operating around two weeks after commissioning is completed and it mucks up their software billing system. They report the issue to Manufacturer 1, who tells D that that they've isolated the problem and that everyone should now use the new firmware.

O starts getting reports that customers with E1s are having communication problems. They inform D. D tells them that this can't be due to Manufacturer 1 because they've just uploaded new firmware to all their meters. So O & D write a report to the Manufacturer of C informing them that they must have a firmware problem.

Manufacturer C is puzzled by this. They do in-house tests with all variants of E & G, and discover that 10% of them fail if G3 is powered up before being installed in its final position.

D sends out an Urgent Field Engineering Notice, advising O, P & Q of a new "correct" order in which to perform the on-site installation.

Q is puzzled by this because they haven't been seeing any problems since E1s have new firmware downloaded. They implement D's directive and about 10% of the installations fail. Consequently they lose trust in Manufacturer 1 and switch to using E2s.

Manufacturer 4 is upset that they're receiving fewer orders. They tell D, who instructs O, P & Q that they mustn't favour Manufacturer 3. O starts using G4 meters, and notices that installation failures drop to 5%. They send an email to D, copied to P & Q.

Manufacturer 3's lawyers write to D, protesting that none of their G3 meters has failed on site.

D placates them by assuring them that 90% of installations with G3s are operating to specification.



No one notices that there is no evidence of correlation between any of the 10% installation failures being reported.

Company O decides to appoint @BenS_OVO to investigate. He receives a pile of fault-reports.

50% of the reports contain factual errors.

Companies P & Q are rivals who won't reveal all their findings.

D's reports state that only 10% of sites have been identified as having faults, but that their internal analysis shows only 75% of sites are functional. No one knows why.

@BenS_OVO reads a message from @bperry306 saying he's thinking of moving to P because they also use I devices, and they work ok.

Ofgem writes to O, P & Q telling them they're failing to meet the targets for number of installations, and that numbers must increase.

D writes to O, P & Q stating that the number of failed installations appears higher than previously thought, and that they should spend more time on-site whilst tests are done on each installation.

@BenS_OVO ponders the meaning of life...
@Transparent
Nice write up :)

What is annoying is that we get these smart meters installed and then some part doesn't work and we are then left in the dark.

Ive been told a few different stories by customer services:-

1) Leave it 4 - 6 weeks and it will start working
2) An engineer visit is required to commission the gas meter but we cant tell you when this is going to be.

The customer is then left wondering what the heck is going on and no working system.

Is there anyway to get the faults raised to someone in the right department so we can get a final answer on the problem and a solution. Maybe @BenS_OVO ??.

My problem is that the gas smart meter is making a connection to the comms hub and therefore no readings are being sent.
Thanks @Transparent for your in depth reply, you seem to really know your stuff and honestly I’m appreciative of your responses.

I have one question I’m sure you can help me with. I read somewhere else on this forum that the smart gas meter communicates to the electricity meter, then the electricity meter sends the information out to both my IHD and off to OVO eventually. If this is the case then why to this day can I see my current gas usage on both my IHD and on my OVO app but I cannot see any of my readings for my electricity for the past few weeks? My IHD won’t even give me an option to view electricity anymore it’s just stuck on gas. Surely if the meters are set up to function in this way then my information is being sent out but only for the gas so I would assume my electricity meter does in fact have communication. It’s clocking the usage correctly on the meter display. Is there anything I can do myself with my meter buttons? Is there any kind of re-connect button sequence I can press? 😄

Like I said I can can see my usage on the electricity meter itself but now I have smart meters I have NO option on the app or online so submit my readings anymore, and OVO are not receiving my readings from the meter automatically so how do I tell OVO my usage so I’m billed correctly?

there must be something I can do to fix this 😄🙈
@Transparent

Nice write up :)

My problem is that the gas smart meter is making a connection to the comms hub and therefore no readings are being sent.


@BenS_OVO

Sorry the forum wouldn't let me edit the post.

It should have read that my gas smart meter ISNT making a connection to the comms hub.
Userlevel 2
@ScoobyDoo I need you're account info to look into this, I'm going to send you a PM.

We have a few Service Errors that have been pretty common. Once I look at your account I'll post the cause of the issue in this forum...and (I hope) the planned fix 😁
Userlevel 2
Hey again @ScoobyDoo,

Jeezz, this is not what I wanted it to be. It would be so much easier if I could blame the industry or maybe even one of our 3rd party manufacturers.
However, this one is an engineer fault. The CHF (comms hub ID) was entered wrong, which caused the GICOM (Gas installation Service Request) to fail.

Now the question is how we fix this? Normally this would lead to a revisit BUT this is actually fixable over the phone. I think I need to speak to someone high up to see if they are happy for certain customers (who are confident enough to do this) to re-pair their meters over the phone.

What do you think? Might be able to use you as a guinea pig.
Thanks for the quick update @BenS_OVO.

I would be more than willing to be the Guinea pig.
I'm confident I could use the meters and hub to correct this over the phone, I am in the tech industry and would be more than willing to do this.

It will save an engineer visit and also hopefully fix the. Issue quicker.

Just le me know when you've spoken to someone and I'm free to sort it out.

Andy
Userlevel 2
Sweet @ScoobyDoo,

I'll PM you to sort out the details.

Cheers!

(I love progress!)
Userlevel 7
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OK... that's interesting feedback from @BenS_OVO

The reason that these numbers are being entered incorrectly by Installation Engineers is that the App they use during their work isn't up to the job.

On the three occasions I've seen OVO SMETS2 meter installations (the latest being 10jun19) the engineers are reading tiny numbers printed beneath bar-coded labels and manually entering them into a mobile phone!!!

It's far too easy to misread a numeral 8 as a letter B, and then the whole subsequent commissioning sequence falls apart!

I commented about this issue here on the Forum way back on 15th March.

How much progress has been made on resolving this?
Are OVOs engineers now able to scan bar-codes?


And whilst on that subject @BenS_OVO - some (non-OVO) Installers are placing stickers over the bar-codes when they complete on-site installation work.

Have a look at this photo, posted on the Forum last week.

Ok, I realise that the CHFID is still visible, but the Gas Proxy is unreadable!
Really pleased for @ScoobyDoo and glad you’re getting this solved.

Ive decided to stop being a dramatic fool and be patient with OVO and stay with them.

@BenS_OVO do you need any information from me to get mine solved?

Is anyone able to shed any light on my questions from my last post above? 😊
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Let me quickly try to clarify one issue @bperry306 - the Gas Meter sends its data to the Communications Hub, which is bolted on top of the Electricity Meter.


The Communications Hub sends data to OVO (via the National Smart Meter Network), and separately to your IHD.

So in your case, the data seems to have ceased being transferred from the Electricity Meter to the Comms Hub, which is why it's no longer shown on your IHD.

This may or may not be related to the fault I found with the replacement Electricity Meter which was installed for me on 10th June. Just because we apparently report similar symptoms doesn't mean the loss of functionality was for the same underlying reason.

@BenS_OVO needs to be sure that the code which resurrected my meter communications is safe and compliant before he suggests that OVO propagate it more widely.
Userlevel 2
Hey @bperry306, I'm out the office today so I will have to look at your account tomorrow. I'll PM you for your details.
@Transparent is totally correct about the Comms Hub being the...well..hub of all the data. It the blessing and the curse of the infrastructure. A blessing because in theory all we need to do is set up communication with this one piece of hardware and all should be fine. With the MESH system we should get great coverage going forward.
The curse is that these comms hubs are owned by a central company appointed by the government (the DCC) and we have to get all of our hardware and software to work with this. It's why there's been so much talk about firmware...


...as you can see from our test wall; there's many variants we have to test!
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So regarding the reference numbers our engineers have to input in order for a successful installation and commission; yes @Transparent is correct, we were having a few issue with human error. Luckily we have a new(ish) installer app featuring a state of the art bar code scanner which cuts down this error significantly. It's not 100% accurate as sometimes in certain conditions the bar code cannot scan (light, condition and size of the bar code etc) and in these stations the number needs to be inputted manually.

Our engineers are taking to this new installation app like a fish to water and I'm confident we will see very few of these issues in the coming months & years (and decades and so on).
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That photo of the Smart Meter Test Wall which @BenS_OVO tried to post above is appearing "broken" on my browser. In case it's the same for others, here's a photo I took of that OVO Test-Lab at the beginning of June.

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Has anyone else wondered how OVO run usage tests on SMETS2 gas meters?

Well, you need wonder no more. Have a look at this zoomed-in section of the above photo


Although the lighting is low and resolution poor, you can probably see the small fan screwed to the inlet manifold, which blows air through the meter. 🙂

One thing that puzzles me about this arrangement is that the fan will induce turbulence into the air-stream. This could influence the accuracy of readings.

Why don't the engineers put the fan on the output manifold, and suck air through the meter?
Userlevel 2
Nice zooming!
What our guys and gals are testing with the fancy windmill type things are just that what we are seeing on the usage screen is replicated on our systems (S2 UI and our Billing system).

They aren't necessarily worried about the accuracy of the consumption that goes through the meter. As an example when we get challenges from customers saying their consumption is wrong and not being replicated in their usage, we send the meter off to the manufacturer for consumption test. This is something we do not do in house.

So long story short: They are just there to load the meter and see if that load appears on their test systems.
I have a strange update! I received this email yesterday from OVO. I got home from work to find still my IHD was not showing any kind of electricity usage or data and also on MyOVO the readings had not been received since back in July. I thought maybe I should leave it overnight (no idea why this would make any difference but hey) and this morning it is still the same. Do you think I received this email by accident? 😄


Userlevel 7
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Hi @bperry306 - I wouldn't yet conclude that the email was a mistake.

Just because the SMETS2 Team say that they are now receiving your meter readings doesn't imply that the feed has yet been passed to either the Billing Dept, nor the team who reconfigure your My OVO page.

I'm more puzzled that your IHD isn't displaying any readings. I don't see how your Comms Hub firmware could've been updated to send readings to OVO on the Wide Area Network (WAN), and yet removed that same capability from the Home Area Network (HAN).

Perhaps @BenS_OVO can suggest why on Monday.
Userlevel 2
@bperry306 I'll have a look at this today
Thanks @BenS_OVO 😊👍🏻
Thanks for the 2 responses and apologies for the tardy acknowledgement.
This problem has not been solved despite it being labelled as so.
To update, I phoned customer services and it was explained that it can take up to 6 weeks for all the information to update.
So here we are 2 months later and the situation is worse not better.
On my account my usage was updated half hourly, but there's been nothing since 12th July and a message saying no data available, check later!
My last 2 bills have been estimated.
Prior to moving house I was with NPower and didn't have any issues with the smart meter or IHD. I really don't get why OVO are having these issues if other companies aren't.

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