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No Smart Meter. No Smart Tariff. Too much noise??? :o(

Jason71

Active Member
May 8, 2019
3,052
3,060
Shropshire
Like many people on this forum I have been considering the Octopus Go Energy Tariff but also like many I do not have a smart meter.
Instead of switching to Octopus and waiting for SMETS2 installation which seems to take a long time for a lot of people I thought I would try to get my current supplier (Peoples Energy) to fit one then switch to Octopus.
Until today the plan was working. I had an installation booked for Friday but the installer has just cancelled it. According to the nice (but not very technical) lady I spoke to "My area is not suitable for installation because there is too much noise on the network"
After a bit of Googling I have established that the SMETS2 communicate over a dedicated wireless network often referred to as the "WAN" (Wide Area Network I assume) which is run by a company called the "Data Communications company".

What I am assuming is that the problem is that there is poor WAN coverage in my postcode. I live in a moderately sized town in a fairly rural area but not in the middle of nowhere. It is true though that my street has always been a particular black spot on most mobile networks with very weak coverage.

Though I have found the above info on the internet I cannot see anything about people being refused installation due to poor WAN coverage so it does not seem like a common problem. Has anyone else had or heard of this issue. I cannot imagine a solution is going to be speedy :(

The irony is apparently the main reason for SMETS2 using this WAN as opposed to SMETS1 that used the normal mobile networks is for improved coverage!
 

MaDProFF

Member
Jul 26, 2019
415
135
East Sussex
I was refused installation because of connectivity for EDF, but talked them into installing an old meter with the correct off peak times for my tariff. Gen 2 smart metres are a real issue for many people.
 

Roy W.

Battery running low...
Jun 3, 2019
2,334
2,393
Derby, UK
Like many people on this forum I have been considering the Octopus Go Energy Tariff but also like many I do not have a smart meter.
Instead of switching to Octopus and waiting for SMETS2 installation which seems to take a long time for a lot of people I thought I would try to get my current supplier (Peoples Energy) to fit one then switch to Octopus.
Until today the plan was working. I had an installation booked for Friday but the installer has just cancelled it. According to the nice (but not very technical) lady I spoke to "My area is not suitable for installation because there is too much noise on the network"
After a bit of Googling I have established that the SMETS2 communicate over a dedicated wireless network often referred to as the "WAN" (Wide Area Network I assume) which is run by a company called the "Data Communications company".

What I am assuming is that the problem is that there is poor WAN coverage in my postcode. I live in a moderately sized town in a fairly rural area but not in the middle of nowhere. It is true though that my street has always been a particular black spot on most mobile networks with very weak coverage.

Though I have found the above info on the internet I cannot see anything about people being refused installation due to poor WAN coverage so it does not seem like a common problem. Has anyone else had or heard of this issue. I cannot imagine a solution is going to be speedy :(

The irony is apparently the main reason for SMETS2 using this WAN as opposed to SMETS1 that used the normal mobile networks is for improved coverage!
You’re probably better switching to Octopus and then pushing them for a smart meter. They will fit a SMETS1 if your area isn’t suitable for SMETS2.

I have a SMETS1 meter that was fitted by my previous supplier and it works fine with Octopus.

I’ve sent you an Octopus referral code in case you decide to switch!

Any questions about Octopus feel free to message me.
 

Jason71

Active Member
May 8, 2019
3,052
3,060
Shropshire
You’re probably better switching to Octopus and then pushing them for a smart meter. They will fit a SMETS1 if your area isn’t suitable for SMETS2.

I have a SMETS1 meter that was fitted by my previous supplier and it works fine with Octopus.

I’ve sent you an Octopus referral code in case you decide to switch!

Any questions about Octopus feel free to message me.
That might work. SMETS1 does not use the WAN. Though my mobile coverage is not great either so no guarantee that SMETS1 would work either and I didn't want to be stuck on their rubbish standard tariff for ages. but if its a choice between that and being on a standard tariff forever it might be worth a punt. If I go that route I will certainly use your code . thx
 

Roy W.

Battery running low...
Jun 3, 2019
2,334
2,393
Derby, UK
That might work. SMETS1 does not use the WAN. Though my mobile coverage is not great either so no guarantee that SMETS1 would work either and I didn't want to be stuck on their rubbish standard tariff for ages. but if its a choice between that and being on a standard tariff forever it might be worth a punt. If I go that route I will certainly use your code . thx
The mobile coverage where we live is a bit iffy too, but the installers use a meter that checks all the networks, so as long as one of them has a signal, it’s possible. The man told me our meter is on Vodaphone.
 
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Jason71

Active Member
May 8, 2019
3,052
3,060
Shropshire
The mobile coverage where we live is a bit iffy too, but the installers use a meter that checks all the networks, so as long as one of them has a signal, it’s possible. The man told me our meter is on Vodaphone.
I think my supplier is only doing SMETS2 so once they decided they could not do it they were like "sorry you're done". Not sure I would want a SMETS1 from another supplier anyway since they can be a problem if you switch supplier. Having failed with plan A I am probably best taking your advice and just switching and hoping Octopus can sort me out with something.
 

omarks

Member
Feb 22, 2018
11
6
Wiltshire, UK
I have the same issue. Wanted to switch to Octopus agile tariff but they said the signal was too weak. Currently with Ecotricity who coincidentally said they were installing smart meters in my area so I thought I might as well get one. Got it installed and no surprise the guy said the signal was too weak - didn’t even get a display!

I’ve got an email thread going with Ofgem but not really getting anywhere with it.
 

BillBot

Member
Aug 16, 2019
86
24
Birmingham
My provider (Npower) told me that I could not have a smartmeter if I wanted to use an off peak tariff (i.e economy 7) because it was incompatable. Apparently they only record total usage not usage at certain times. It sounds like this is not true.

I currently have an old economy 7 meter but it seems to be broken because ever since I moved in, the night time reading hasn't changed. I have finally persuaded Npower to come and look at it.
 

Roy W.

Battery running low...
Jun 3, 2019
2,334
2,393
Derby, UK
My provider (Npower) told me that I could not have a smartmeter if I wanted to use an off peak tariff (i.e economy 7) because it was incompatable. Apparently they only record total usage not usage at certain times. It sounds like this is not true.

I currently have an old economy 7 meter but it seems to be broken because ever since I moved in, the night time reading hasn't changed. I have finally persuaded Npower to come and look at it.
It might be that nPower don’t have a dual rate smart meter yet. British Gas were in the same position a couple of years ago. The engineer came out to fit my smart meters, but as soon as she saw the dual rate meter she said “it can’t do dual rate” :D
 

vitesse

Active Member
Apr 2, 2019
1,026
294
Hertfordshire (UK)
Octopus will tell you if your existing smart meter, if you have one, is compatible. Mine wasn't but they changed it for a SMETS1 after they couldn't get a SMETS2 unit to work. I read that SMETS1 meters will eventually be consolidated into the same system as SMETS2 thanks to a software upgrade. Therefore, some time in the future, problems with compatibility will go away.
 
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BillBot

Member
Aug 16, 2019
86
24
Birmingham
I have got solar panels and Npower pay me the government money plus the money for the power I feed back in the grid. If I change provider will I need to change that as well?
 

Roy W.

Battery running low...
Jun 3, 2019
2,334
2,393
Derby, UK
I have got solar panels and Npower pay me the government money plus the money for the power I feed back in the grid. If I change provider will I need to change that as well?
Yes, that part is called the Feed In Tariff, or FIT, and you can change that as long as your new supplier does it. Octopus do. As I don’t have solar I’ve no idea if you can keep the two separate.
 

Jason71

Active Member
May 8, 2019
3,052
3,060
Shropshire
Yes, that part is called the Feed In Tariff, or FIT, and you can change that as long as your new supplier does it. Octopus do. As I don’t have solar I’ve no idea if you can keep the two separate.
aren't the FIT's these days way worse than then used to be? If you switch might you not get as good a deal as the one you are grandfathered in on at the moment?
 

Martinb999

Member
Jun 28, 2019
166
99
Canterbury UK
You CAN keep the solar and the electricity supply separate. I have panels and they are registered to British Gas and my Electricity supply is Toto.

So, you can change either the FIT (Solar) account or your electricity account, or both, to whoever you wish.
 
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Roy W.

Battery running low...
Jun 3, 2019
2,334
2,393
Derby, UK
aren't the FIT's these days way worse than then used to be? If you switch might you not get as good a deal as the one you are grandfathered in on at the moment?
I’m sure someone with solar will confirm, but I believe the FIT agreement stays the same rate for the duration of your guarantee period, even if you change supplier. Otherwise people would be forced to stay with the same supplier for 20 years.
 
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Jonslatt

Member
Aug 31, 2019
177
133
Malvern, UK
I’m sure someone with solar will confirm, but I believe the FIT agreement stays the same rate for the duration of your guarantee period, even if you change supplier. Otherwise people would be forced to stay with the same supplier for 20 years.

Correct.

You will have a separate export meter for your solar power (usually next to your inverter) which usually has to be read manually every quarter. This is totally separate to your incoming supply. I have changed incoming supply provider several times in the eight years I have had solar PV.

IMG_2290.jpeg




Incidentally I have a Secure smart meter (I think it is SMETS1) which uses my WiFi to send meter readings in. It is fully compatible with Octopus.
IMG_2280.jpeg
 
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Jonslatt

Member
Aug 31, 2019
177
133
Malvern, UK
I’m sure someone with solar will confirm, but I believe the FIT agreement stays the same rate for the duration of your guarantee period, even if you change supplier. Otherwise people would be forced to stay with the same supplier for 20 years.

Actually the price you receive for the electricity you generate each year goes up every April with the consumer price index (CPI). Usually a 2% a year or so increase but does compound up over 20 years :)
 
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