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Why is my SMETS2 gas meter not sending readings?

  • 22 February 2019
  • 94 replies
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Hello,

I've recently had a new smart meters installed. The electric one is working fine, but the Gas meter has failed to send a single smart reading. So far i've had to submit manual readings.

Does anyone know how to re-sync the two meters so Gas readings are automatic sent to ovo?

I've got some of the 2nd generation meters.

I am talking to Ovo about the issue but they are being very slow, and whenever i do get a response they keep referring me back to fixes for the older style smart meters.

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Best answer by Nancy_OVO 26 February 2019, 13:29

Hi @TomOTron5000,

How long ago did you have the meters fitted? If it was under 6 weeks ago, we may still be in the process of updating the meter details on your account, which might make it look as though we're not receiving readings.

Until the new meter is essentially "plugged in" to your account, your online account/billing won't be aware we're receiving readings. We normally advise a time frame of up to 6 weeks for this to be completed, but if it's been over this time frame I'd recommend getting in touch with the team on Facebook: m.me/ovoenergy

Cheers,
Nancy
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94 replies

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@martyndutfield @Transparent see the photo of my meter box attached, looks almost identical apart for the curled up wires from my zappi CT sensor on the bottom of the box. It's a fairly common installation process for a "good" reason, the meter box is sunk into the brick wall, in my case the garage wall. Because the incomer come up on the outside wall of the house it comes up on the front edge of the box, hence the angled bit of chipboard. My guess is that this happens as the meterbox, meter and incomer are all installed at different times. It probably saves 5p of copper wire per house! I saw loads of installations like this when I was meter reading.

Mine is 32 years old so still in good condition. The only time this is not good is in a damp environment when the chipboard gets damp and deteriorates. I once went to read the meter at a local block of flats where the chipboard had deteriorated and the meter had fallen down as it had detached from the backboard; when I moved the meter to read it, there was a bang and a flash and all the communal lighting in the block went out. Needless to say I scarpered to a safe distance then called Western Distribution.

So, as long as it's dry and secure it should be OK.

Peter

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@bperry306 I'll have a look at this today
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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...
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.
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Welcome to the forum, @PennyLane!

Thanks @PeterR1947, that's the exact advice I'd give. You can find more info here.

Thanks!
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Such a faff, @neilje12 - sorry to hear this!

 

It does sound like a communication issue now, rather then the meters not being commissioned. Brace yourself for a load of checks to diagnose this and other issues. If you’ve got a ‘SMETS2’ meter:

 

  • Is the WAN light flashing every 5 seconds, 3 seconds or 1 second?
  • Is the HAN light flashing every 5 seconds, 3 seconds or 1 second?
  • Is the HAN Wifi symbol missing on either meter or the IHD?
  • Are any of the lights on the comms hub flashing every second?
  • Is the meter clocking usage?
  • Where is your electricity meter situated? E.g. inside, outside, in a metal box, near thick walls, the basement or anywhere that could be blocking signal.
  • Where is your gas meter situated? E.g, outside in a brown box in the ground, inside under the stairs
  • Are you in a good/medium or bad mobile signal in your area and next to the meter?

 

Send over these results via an email and we’ll work out what we can do to help: hello@ovoenergy.com

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Hi @bperry306 - you're absolutely right to jump in on an existing Thread.

Within the Forum we've been discussing a number of "problems" with SMETS2 meter installations. Some are straightforward failures or are site-specific. However there are three issues which appear to be generic. These are:
  • incorrect costings displayed on IHD
  • gas meter doesn't send readings, but the link between it and the Communications Hub reports as being OK from both ends
  • a working electricity meter suddenly stops sending readings.
So you're experiencing 2 of the three.

It has taken several weeks of careful examination of customer-reports to track down the generic faults, all of which appear to be due to software.

This is tricky because so many of the faults reported to OVO are missing essential technical details, and sometimes there can be interaction between different faults.

Have a look at the overview I wrote here on another Topic earlier today.

Every Energy Supplier is having to work through fixes for code which was "inadequate" on the "approved" devices that they have been supplied with. So switching Supplier at this stage isn't advisable.

OVO's SMETS2 Team have assigned @BenS_OVO to monitor the Forum. He and I have been in communication earlier this evening, and he will be returning to read through more recent Forum posts tomorrow morning.

Please don't try to pressurise OVO's Customer Support to resolve an issue too quickly. Much of what we've discussed on the Forum over the past week isn't even known to the Support Team yet! They will only be made aware of software updates and timescales once we're sure that the on-site tests really have resolved the issues.

Please feel free to post here again if you want clarification. This Forum is an excellent platform to share problems, and ensure we're adequately reporting symptoms to the right people within OVO.
Thankyou so much Transparent, you were actually the person I was hoping to receive a reply from!

I’ve been reading through pages of similar issues and I believe the world would be a better place with you in charge of all customer problems as you seem to be the only one providing helpful and relevant responses 😄

i will I’ll keep my eye on the forum and hopefully someone at OVO can get this fixed for me within a reasonable time frame 😊👍🏻
Thanks @BenS_OVO 😊👍🏻
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 😄🙈
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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?
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Thanks @PennyLane

It may be a communication issue that's preventing your meter readings being sent to your MyOVO page. If we don't have readings, we can't advise on high usage, so that needs sorting first! Please answer the following questions in an email to hello@ovoenergy.com

1) What are the meter serial numbers?

3) Is the WAN light flashing every 5 seconds, 3 seconds or 1 second?

4) Is the HAN light flashing every 5 seconds, 3 seconds or 1 second?

5) Is the HAN Wifi symbol missing on either meter or the IHD?

6) Are any of the lights on the comms hub flashing every second?

7) Is the meter clocking usage?

😎 Where is your electricity meter situated? E.g. inside, outside, in a metal box, near thick walls, the basement or anywhere that could be blocking signal.

9) Where is your gas meter situated? E.g, outside in a brown box in the ground, inside under the stairs

10) Are you in a good/medium or bad mobile signal in your area and next to the meter?

Thanks,
Tim
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Erm @PennyLane - I posted a message here where you can see the different flash rates which @Tim_OVO is referring to.

And for his final point, the mobile phone signal you're interested in is the one for the O2 network. You could have a brilliant signal for Vodafone, but still have problems with your Smart Meter.
Having just gone through god knows how long to try and get my smart meter working correctly, and not receiving a bill for electricity since November 2018 because I had a new meter fitted (well actually 2 because the first one wasn't apparently fitted correctly by the engineer), and fighting to retain my £15 per quarter discount because I inadvertently contacted customer services to report the absence of any bills for 6 months, guess what, no smart reading for June 2019 on my electric consumption, and my last statement is for the period May 2019. I never had any IT issues with British Gas (plenty of other issues mind you) but this has been going on far too long. I am sure there are a number of people out there who share my total lack of faith in the IT that Ovo provides, and I for one, cant wait for my contract to come to the end of its 2 year agreement in order that I can move to a company whose IT systems work for longer than 5 minutes (incidentally, it took over 5 months to get My Ovo working on my computer) and I still don't feel confident with the information provided on it.
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I'm assuming you are looking at your In Home Display, not the actual meter? It takes a while for the correct readings to be displayed whilst the account is set up and it is not completely due to OVO.

If it isn't reading correctly within two weeks, get in touch with Customer Services.
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Thanks @martyndutfield That photo tells us a lot!

Nice neat SMETS2 installation and good planning to include a separate 100A Switch-disconnector before the tails to the Consumer Unit. I don't think I can give the same accolades to the Service Fuse block by UK Power Networks 😖

If the Installer cuts the SWA Incomer too short, I don't think he's meant to fix a sub-board at a jaunty angle to overcome the mistake!

@Amy_OVO can you make sure Ben knows this photo is here please?

@martyndutfield I think you should wait at least a week, and then send an email to OVO for the attention of the SMETS2 Team, giving them an overview of your site, including such details of the date when you had the meter swapped and when you noticed the readings not arriving on your My OVO page.

That effectively puts you at the start of the Complaints Procedure which requires OVO to have reached a resolution within 5 days (phase1) + 8 weeks (phase2). You may be contacted with information which satisfies you that the solution is in hand. But if matters were to deteriorate, then you will have satisfied the criteria to take the issue to the Energy Ombudsman.

I really don't think it will go that far, but you're covering your bases.

In the meantime, check back here on the Forum to see if others are starting to post solutions.
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Oh, another thing @martyndutfield - you might also want to have a look at a discussion I had last week here with another OVO customer in Ipswich who has the same issue as you with SMETS2 meters.
Hi
thank you very much for your comprehensive response. Do you think that I should contact UK power Networks regards their installation?
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That's a good question @martyndutfield. It looks safe to me because I can see the two screws holding the angled board in place. But although I'm a builder working across all trades, I'm not a qualified electrician.

I suppose the answer partly depends on the age of the electrical installation versus the age of the house. If the incomer has been put in like this when the house was first built and that was over 10 years ago, then I'd be tempted to do nothing. It's stood the test of time.

But if you've more recently had a new feed brought to the house and it was left like this, then I think the DNO should know, because it's indicative of poor quality work being undertaken which could be affecting other houses in your area.

In my case I know several of the Western Power Distribution (WPD) Engineers and have their email addresses. So I'd just send them a photo by email and leave them to decide if they want to call in and inspect it in person. In my area there would no charge for such a service.

Perhaps we can ask for the opinion of someone here on the Forum who's more technically qualified than I.
@PeterR1947 what do you think?
Good idea. Thanks again for your help
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? 😄


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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.
Thanks @Transparent .

My install date was the 19th July.

The comms hub is a Toshiba one SKU1 Cellular and the Smets2 gas meter is a
Honeywell BK-G4 E

I take it that the commissioning takes a while, the electricity meter was commissioned within an hour and is reporting correct usage.

The gas meter still shows offline with no usage and no connection via the ZigBee network.
Do you know what the normal time frame for the gas meter to be brought online is?.
Hi - I had my smart meters fitted in April and all worked fine, however since 9th June the electric meter has stopped sending daily readings.
my June electric bill was estimated yet my gas meter was sent and shows on the bill as smart read
any ideas?
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I've moved you post here, @AndyA, please check out @Nancy_OVO's best answer for more info and pop our team a message for any further assistance.

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