What to do if your smart meter isn’t sending readings
Is your smart meter not sending readings? Learn what you need to know about smart meter alerts and what to do when your smart meter isn’t sending readings to your supplier.
As with all technology, there may be times when your smart meter might not run quite as smoothly as you’d like. But the good news is that it’s usually a quick fix to get it back on track. Read on to find out what you can do if your smart meter stops sending readings:
How to tell if your smart meter isn’t sending readings
There are a few ways you could find out your smart meter isn’t sending readings as it should:
- You get an alert on your account to say your smart meter hasn’t sent a recent reading
- You get an estimated bill rather than an accurate one
- You see that your account balance isn’t updating as it normally does
Why might your smart meter not be sending readings?
If your smart meter isn’t sending readings, there are several possible reasons why:
- Your smart meter is an older SMETS1 model which was installed by another supplier, and might not be able to send us reading yet.
- You opted for your smart meter to send us readings on a monthly basis, rather than daily or half-hourly.
- It can take up to 6 weeks after installation for the meter details to be updated on your account. Until this happens, your account won’t show the smart meter readings.
- It could mean that we’ve lost connection with your electricity meter – either via WAN (Wide Area Network), the HAN (Home Area Network) or both.
- If the electricity meter’s in a cupboard or cellar, it could be preventing communication (if you're in a good signal area otherwise).
- If you’re getting estimated readings for your gas use, it means your gas meter isn’t getting through to your electricity meter via your HAN. This can happen if your meters are too far apart, or separated by a thick wall.
If you're experiencing problems with your smart meters, read our troubleshooting guide, to help you fix these in no time.
What to do when your smart meter isn’t sending readings
If your smart meter isn’t sending readings, don't worry. Find out what to do here:
- SMETS1 smart meters are being remotely upgraded. If you have a SMETS1 smart meter that’s not yet upgraded, you may have to send manual readings yourself until that happens.
- If you signed up for monthly readings, get in touch and let us know you’d like to set up more frequent readings. You can choose from daily or half hourly automatic readings. This way you’ll get far more accurate bills and insightful information to track your use.
- Even the latest SMETS2 meters can sometimes stop sending readings. This usually fixes itself – so as soon as your smart meter sends a reading, your account balance will update automatically.
- If your smart meter has never sent us an automatic reading, please take a meter reading yourself and send it over to us.
- Get in touch with us via the webchat and we can go through a meter health check. We might be able to reset your meter remotely, send you some kit to help boost the signal if it’s a HAN/WAN issue, and diagnose and assess other issues.
- If you fancy doing a little self-assessment on your smart meter – the OVO Forum hasa some fantastic DIY health check tutorials, for both SMETS1 and SMETS2 meters. See if you can diagnose and fix the problem yourself!
How to tell if your smart meter is a SMETS1 or SMETS2
Not sure if you have a SMETS1 or SMETS2? The easiest way to tell is to simply take a look at your smart meter. There are 3 ways to tell the 2 models apart:
- The first 2 digits of the meter serial number are the year of manufacture. If that’s followed by a P, it’s a SMETS1 – and if it’s followed by M or K, you have a SMETS2 meter.
- SMETS1 meters have numbered keypads. Whereas SMETS2 electricity meters have A and B buttons, while the gas meters have A, B and C buttons.
- If your meter is a Telefonica/Arqiva/WNC/Toshiba device with 2 to 5 LED lights on top, it’s a SMETS2 meter.
If you had your smart meter installed before 2018, it’s likely it’s a SMETS1 model. But to be 100% sure, contact the supplier that installed it. If we installed your smart meter, we’ll happily help you find out which type you have. Reach out to our Support team via the Help Centre.
Set up more frequent readings on your smart meter
If your meter is sending us readings but you’re still seeing estimates, you might have signed up for monthly readings. To take advantage of all the benefits more frequent readings can bring, it's easy to change to daily or half-hourly readings. Simply get in touch with our Support Team via the online chat and they’ll be able to help you.
How to take a smart meter reading yourself
If you have to take a smart reading yourself, don’t worry, it’s not rocket science! Here’s how:
For all SMETS1 meters
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.
For SMETS2 electricity meters
Press A 3 times and you'll see the meter reading displayed.
For SMETS2 gas meters
Wake up your meter by pressing any button – it should automatically default to the reading screen.
To find out more, check out our How to read your smart meter page.
How to use the buttons on your OVO smart meter
Here’s a quick guide to the key functions on SMETS1 meters:
0. This displays the date and time
1. Press once to see today’s energy use, and twice for yesterday’s
2. Press once for this week’s energy use, and twice for last week’s
3. Press once for this month’s energy use, and twice for last month’s
4. See up to 12 month’s energy use, by month
5. Displays CO2 data for the current hour, day, yesterday, last week, and last month
6. Tariff details: plan name; standing charge; what you’ve used; cost per unit
7. This button doesn’t have a useful function for you – just ignore it
8. This button doesn’t have a useful function for you – just ignore it
9. See your meter readings (if you’re on Economy 7, press 6)
A. Used by prepayment members only. Switches the display to vend entry mode; serves as backspace key during vending; enables Emergency Credit when made available; initiates supply reconnection from ‘READY' state.
B. Use this button to wake up the display and scroll back through the display sequence
And an (even quicker!) guide to the functions on SMETS2 meters:
Elec - B cycles through menus, A cycles through sub-menus
Gas - C brings up menu, A and B scrolls through options
Upgrade to OVO Beyond
Our green upgrade, OVO Beyond, offers not only 100% guaranteed renewable electricity1 and 3-5% Interest Rewards, but also:
- 100% carbon-neutral gas, including 15% green gas2 (that’s one of the best fuel mixes around!)
- Not 1, but 5 carbon-busting trees3 planted in the UK on your behalf
- Personally customised Energy Spotlight tips that’ll help you cut 10%4 off your bills
Plus, you’ll be supporting our carbon-offsetting projects that:
- Save rainforests in Guatemala
- Plant trees in Uganda
And you’ll bring a breath of fresh air to children living in urban areas, by supporting our charity partner Earthwatch Europe, as they plant 8 Tiny Forests across our nation. That’s like covering an area the size of 8 tennis courts with 600 trees each!
Go “Beyond” with us, and you could cut your carbon footprint by a further 28%5! All this for just £6 a month.
Any further questions?
Find answers through our community on the OVO Forum
We have a huge OVO community, with thousands of topics being answered by members helping each other out. It’s a safe space for sharing information and discussing all kinds of talking points. Why not get involved?
If the answer you want isn’t there – feel free to ask a question, and one of our friendly forum users will be more than happy to help. The forum is proving so popular with our members, we've just had our first online meet up. There'll be more in the future, so be sure to come along and connect with other like-minded members!
Sources and references:
1 The renewable electricity we sell is backed by renewable certificates (Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates (REGOs)). See here for details on REGO certificates and how these work.
2 OVO Energy's Green Gas is made up of 15% green gas, with the remaining 85% offset to make your gas carbon-neutral. As of 31st July 2020, the proportion of biogas offered vs. the amount offset was higher than all other providers who share details of their green gas offering, except Green Energy UK - and that's something we're pretty proud of. The green gas we sell is backed by renewable certificates (Renewable Gas Guarantees of Origin (RGGOs)). See here for details on Renewable Gas Guarantees of Origin and how these work. We offset the remaining emissions by supporting UN REDD+ carbon reduction projects that are certified to the Verified Carbon Standard.
3 OVO plants 5 trees for every OVO Beyond member through our award-winning I Dig Trees programme with The Conservation Volunteers. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, so tree-planting helps to slow down climate change. Since 2015 we have planted over 1 million trees.
4 Savings of up to 10% are based on an estimated reduction in energy use for a dual fuel medium user (3100 kWhs electricity and 12000 kWhs gas) who upgrades to OVO Beyond without having a smart meter or smart thermostat installed yet. Savings are (1) calculated on this estimated reduction in energy use in the first year of having OVO Beyond, and (2) based on reducing your energy use by using your smart meter In-Home Display (IHD) and the OVO app to make changes to your energy habits (like optimising heating settings, switching lights off). Savings are an estimate only and your actual savings will vary depending on your energy use and the changes you make to your energy habits.
5 Based on analysis carried out by the Carbon Trust for OVO Group (2020), 28% of an average individual’s carbon footprint in the UK comes from energy. In this analysis, the carbon footprint includes the following lifestyle categories: energy, transport, shopping, food and drink and holidays. See table below for each category. This carbon footprint data has been calculated using BEIS 2020 emission factors. This excludes emissions from things that the average person cannot directly control such as supporting the NHS, defence, government bodies, etc. Please note these figures are not reflective of potential changes to your habits during the coronavirus pandemic.