Our engineer would have showed you the ropes when they fitted your smart meter. But they will also have left you a smart meter user manual to use. If you can’t find your guide, you can download a copy here.
You might have 2 smart meters (1 for electricity and 1 for gas), or just 1 (for electricity). Either way, it’s important to know how to use them. Because, occasionally, there may be a communication problem between your In-Home Display (IHD) and your smart meters. If so, you’ll need to know how to find your way around your smart meter display screen, and be able to take meter readings.
Smart meters are designed to work all over the world, and with a range of energy systems, so there are some symbols you can simply ignore – such as the € sign for euros.
You can tell which symbols apply to you and your smart meter, because they’re black, while the ones that aren’t relevant to you will look grey.
Here’s an example of a smart meter screen:
If you have a Feed-In Tariff, these symbols show whether you’re currently importing or exporting electricity.
This tells you whether your energy is ON, OFF or READY. The plug symbol refers to your electricity, and the flame is gas. In this illustration, the plug is black while the flame is grey, so the information refers to electricity. If your screen shows OFF or READY, your meter’s off supply, so you need to wake it up and get it back on supply.
If you’ve got unread messages from us on your smart meter, this symbol will be lit.
This tells you which unit of energy you’re looking at. M³ (cubic metres) is gas and kWH (kilowatt hours) is electricity.
HAN stands for Home Area Network. This is the network that your smart meters use to communicate with each other, and your IHD. The symbol on the screen shows that the meter has been set up to provide a HAN, although it may not be communicating with other devices if it hasn’t yet been linked to them.
These shapes become letters or numbers, to give you messages or show you amounts, such as how much energy you’ve used, or how much credit you’ve got (see below).
Just press ‘9’ on your smart meter keypad to show the meter reading in kilowatt hours (kWh) for electricity and cubic meters for gas.
If your smart electricity meter is on an Economy 7 tariff (where you pay a standard price during the day and a lower rate for 7 hours overnight), press ‘6’ and then press it three more times until you can see ‘IMP R01’. This shows your off-peak (night-time) reading in kWh. Press ‘6’ again and you’ll see ‘IMP R02’. This gives your daytime reading.
It might take up to 6-8 weeks before you get your first statement for your new smart meter(s). You can also log into My OVO whenever you like to see exactly how much energy you’ve used and what it’s costing you.
Unfortunately not – your electricity and gas smart meters must go in the same place as your old meters. Moving your old meters is not covered by a smart meter installation and would need to be arranged separately. You’ll need to speak to your local Distribution Network Operator (DNO) or the National Grid.
It’s not just better for us – we believe it’s better for you, too. Your engineer will probably have encouraged you to choose the half-hourly option when they fitted your meter, as it’s better for many reasons - but you can choose daily, or even monthly, too.
For example, if you’re checking My OVO to see how much energy you’ve used, and you’ve chosen to send us your data once a month, we can only show you what you’ve used as a monthly total. Choosing this option would also mean that you’re then billed on the first day of each month.
However, if you’ve chosen for your smart meter to send us data every half hour or daily, you can see a much more precise, detailed breakdown of what energy you’re using and when. That will show you where your energy use peaks, so you can decide how to reduce it and save money.
We can also use this comprehensive information to give us extra purchasing power when we’re buying energy on your behalf. This can lead to extra savings, which we pass on to you in the future as lower prices. And don’t worry - we’ll never use this information for marketing purposes.
‘No WAN’ or ‘no HAN’ mean that your smart meter isn’t communicating to OVO – or your In-Home Display (IHD).
Your electricity smart meter uses WAN (Wider Area Network) to communicate with OVO. WAN uses a mobile phone signal to send us data, like your electricity and gas meter readings.
Your electricity smart meter has a SIM card inside (your gas smart meter doesn’t), just like a mobile phone. So if it’s in a place with no mobile phone signal, it won’t communicate with us. This is what the industry calls ‘no WAN’.
If there’s ‘no WAN’, we won’t get your meter readings automatically, so you’ll have to give us them through My OVO.
If your electricity smart meter is somewhere with a weak mobile signal, its connection to OVO might drop in and out. This is known as ‘intermittent WAN’.
Just like ‘no WAN’, it means we won’t get your meter readings, so you’ll need to give them to us in My OVO.
Your electricity smart meter also creates a short-range wireless network called HAN (Home Area Network). This allows it to communicate with your gas smart meter and devices like an In-Home Display or Smart Gateway.
Since your gas meter doesn’t have a SIM card of its own, it uses HAN to send its messages to your electricity smart meter, which then forwards them to OVO.
If there’s ‘no HAN’, your gas smart meter won’t communicate with your electricity smart meter, so we won’t get your meter readings automatically. Again, just like ‘no WAN’, you’ll need to give them to us the old way through My OVO.
We may be able to give you a device to help, like a Smart Relay. However, these devices only work in certain circumstances, so they might not be right in your home, and we can’t guarantee they’ll put things right.
If we don’t get regular readings from your meters, we have to estimate your bill. When this happens, we’ll send you a quick survey to fill in; your answers will help us work out what’s causing the problem and how to sort it out.
If you need more help
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What do I need to do before my smart meter installation?
Coronavirus update: As of 23rd March, we’ve stopped taking any new, non-essential smart meter appointments, until at least 1st May 2020.
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