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Your 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.

Coronavirus update 

Read important information regarding smart meters here.

How long will I have to wait until I get my smart meter? 

After joining OVO, it takes us about 6 weeks to gather the information we need before we can offer you a smart meter. We also have to wait for an engineer to be available in your area, which can vary depending on where in the country you live. 
Once an engineer is available, it’s easy to book a smart meter appointment online through My OVO. Usually, you'll be able to choose an installation time for a date within the next 8 weeks - but in some areas where we have really high demand, you might only see one or two available dates. We recommend booking sooner rather than later to get your smart meter as soon as you can. 

What information will I get before my smart meter installation?

We’ll send you a confirmation email when you book, telling you everything you need to know about your smart meter installation. Then:

  • 10 days before your installation, we’ll send you a text reminder. 
  • 4 days before, we’ll send you another text reminder. 
  • The day before, we – or one of our partners (Lowri Beck or SMS) – will either call or text you again. This is your last reminder.

On the day, our engineer will call ahead to tell you when they’ll be arriving, within the 4 hour installation slot you booked. 

Who will install my smart meter? 

An engineer, either from OVO or one of our partners – Lowri Beck or SMS. 

You can tell that an engineer is working for us, as they’ll be in uniform and will carry an ID card – just ask them to show it to you. They’ll introduce themselves and tell you what they’ll be doing. If they’re not in uniform and don’t have ID, please don’t let them into your home and give us a call on 0330 303 5063 to let us know what happened. 

If you’re contacted by a company claiming to work for OVO, but whose name you don’t recognise, just give us a call and we’ll check that they’re legitimate. 

Are your engineers fully qualified?

You can rest assured that all our OVO engineers – and anyone we work with in partnership to carry out installations for us – will have the correct accreditation ( Smart Meter Installation Code of Practice or SMICoP) and training to complete your installation safely.

What will happen on the day?

One of our engineers will arrive within the time-slot you booked – they can arrive at any time during the 4 hour time slot. But there are a few things you’ll need to do before they arrive to make sure everything runs smoothly. If you’ve got any concerns about meeting any of these requirements, give us a call in advance so we can make specific arrangements to avoid cancelling your appointment. 

  • We're legally required to make sure someone aged 18 or over is home to let the engineer in and be present for the whole installation. Make sure an adult will be home during your booked appointment, or we won't be able to fit your smart meter and you might be charged a £30 cancellation fee.
  • Make sure the area around your meters is clean and completely free from obstructions – you’ll need to move items like hoovers, bags and storage boxes completely out of the way.  For health and safety reasons, we may need to postpone the appointment if the engineer can’t safely access the meter area and we might charge you a £30 cancellation fee.
  • Switch off and unplug any sensitive electrical equipment, like your TV, satellite system or alarms – but remember to switch them back on again after the installation. Some older appliances may be difficult to get going again, so please make sure you know how to get them started – for example, how to relight the pilot light in your boiler.
  • Please keep any dogs or other animals in a separate room away from the engineer during the installation.
  • Our engineers need to keep their shoes on for health and safety reasons, but they’ll use covers when they’re inside your house to stop your floors getting dirty. Please let us know in advance if this will be a problem for you.
How long will I need to be home for? 

Each smart meter will take about 45 to 60 minutes to install, but this may vary depending on the age and type of your current meters and how they’re set up. So please put aside a bit more time than an hour for one meter – and a bit more time than 2 hours for both meters – just in case things take longer.

For example, if you have relatively modern meters that are next to each other and easily accessible, your installation could be much quicker than if you have older meters tucked away somewhere that’s hard to access. Old meters could also have rusted up, making it harder to detach them from the wall.

Will the power have to be turned off while my smart meter is being installed?

Yes, but not for the whole time. Our engineer will get set up and then, once they’re ready to start the installation process, they’ll need to switch off your electricity, and then your gas, for about 20 minutes each. 
If you have any medical equipment at your home that needs a continuous electricity supply, please let us know before your appointment.

My smart meter is positioned awkwardly. Can you move it for me?

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.

What might stop an engineer from installing my meter on the day?

Most installations go ahead without any problems (we’ve installed over 660,000 individual smart meters around the UK as of December 2017), however any of the following things will stop us from installing your meter:

  • No one over 18 at home: It’s essential that someone over the age of 18 is in the property when the engineer arrives. If not, the smart meter installation can’t go ahead and you may be charged a £30 cancellation fee.
  • Can’t access your meter: If the area around your meter is too messy or things are in the way, we might need to make another appointment to come back. If this happens, we might charge you a £30 cancellation fee.
  • Meter box is in disrepair: If the meter box, the housing around your meter, is damaged or in disrepair, you’ll need to arrange for it to be replaced. Our engineer won’t be able to repair or replace a damaged meter box, and won’t be able to install your smart meter. 
  • Technical hitches: It might be that our engineer faces some technical issues when they visit – perhaps if you have a slightly different type of metering system to what they thought, or your meter is in the wrong place (e.g. you live in a high-rise flat but your meter is in the basement).
  • Communal cupboards: Sometimes meters are kept in communal cupboards – for example, in council properties – and our customers don’t have the keys to open them. So it’s really important to make sure you have access before you book your smart meter installation. If our engineer arrives and can’t access your meters, the installation will have to be cancelled and we may charge a £30 cancellation fee.
  • Parking problems: When you book, please tell us if there are any parking restrictions, like Pay & Display. If you live in an area with residents’ parking, you’ll need to arrange a temporary parking permit for our engineers. If we have a problem parking on the day, we won’t be able to install your smart meter and you might be charged a £30 cancellation fee.
Will the installation cost me anything?

Your installation is free, but if existing meters, faulty wiring or gas leaks need fixing before we can safely fit your smart meters, there may be a charge. Rest assured, we’ll let you know any charges before we carry out the work.

Will the engineer carry out checks to make sure everything works properly when they’ve finished?

Before and after your electricity meter is installed, the engineer will do a test with a plug socket, to check that everything is working after the installation just as it was before. If you're having a gas meter installed, the engineer will check your larger gas appliances such as boilers, cookers or gas fires to make sure your gas supply is flowing properly.

Will you tell me how my smart meter could save me money?

Yes. Once your smart meter is installed, our engineer will give you energy efficiency advice, based on the appliances in your home. They’ll also leave behind a helpful booklet called ‘All about your smart system’ and the contact details of our partners at the Centre for Sustainable Energy.

What happens if OVO cancels my installation?

If we need to cancel your installation appointment, we’ll give you at least 24 hours’ notice and ask you to rebook a new date and time. If we give you less than 24 hours’ notice, we’ll give you £30 credit for the inconvenience – and we’ll ask you to rebook.

Can I change or cancel my appointment?

If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, get in touch with us right away. You need to give us at least 24 hours’ notice or you’ll have to pay a £30 cancellation fee.

What happens if I miss my appointment?

If you miss your booked appointment, you’ll need to book a new installation and you may be charged a £30 cancellation fee.  

Can I get a smart meter installed if I rent?

If you’re responsible for paying the bills in your new home and are the named account holder on your energy bills, you don’t need your landlord's approval to book a smart meter installation. However, you might want to let them know what’s happening first.

If your landlord pays the energy bills and they're the named account holder on the bills, they’ll have to approve the smart meter installation. You can tell them about all the benefits and explain that the government wants every home to have one by 2020.

If you're planning on switching soon, you might want to wait and get your smart meter installed with your new supplier. If you have a smart meter installed before you switch, it might keep its smart features with your new supplier depending on the kind of smart meter you have. You can find out more about the different generations of smart meters and what this means for your switch here. 

We're currently installing smart meters for our customers across the UK. You'll need your OVO account number and postcode to book –  click here to get started.

I'm a landlord. Can I ask my tenants to install or not install a smart meter?

You can arrange a smart meter installation for your tenants, but only if you own the OVO account for that property. If your tenant owns the account, they would have to authorise and book the installation.

When will I get my first bill with my new smart meter?

When you have a new smart meter installed we need to carry out a few admin processes and set up communication with your meter so we can exchange information with it. As a result it may be up to 6-8 weeks before you receive your first statement relating to your new smart meter/s.

Remember, now you’ve got a smart meter, you no longer need to send us meter readings. So once we’ve set up communication with your meter and got your bills up and running, you can log in to My OVO whenever you like and see exactly how much energy you’ve used and what it’s costing you.

Related FAQs

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