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N Power and Smart meters Not compatible
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# 1
eebai
Old 22-10-2010, 9:57 PM
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Default N Power and Smart meters Not compatible

I recently switched from British gas to n power as n power had the best deal. I thought i would just check if n power where set up to offer the same services as British gas do when you have a smart meter installed. i.e auto meter readings, energy saving features to monitor high usage appliances etc etc.

i called n power customer service initially the customer service rep did not have a clue what i was talking about. Then she went away kept me on hold for 10 mins to then inform me that n power are not set up to use smart meters. They will treat your account as a regular meter, so you will still have to provide your own meter readings, bills will still be estimates. So all the benefits of a smart meter are useless with n power.

Once i found this out I asked n power to cancel my switch to them and leave me with British gas. They informed me it was too late and I have to go through the switch process. I also asked why they have no information to tell potential customers that they are not compatible with smart meter and the rep basically told me it was not there problem and no information for potential customers was required. I would beg to differ because I am now switching back to British gas. N power you are going to lose customers if you don't get your act together with smart meters it is a national rollout. So please change your information so to avoid wasting people’s time switching to you.
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# 2
seafarers_wife
Old 22-10-2010, 11:08 PM
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npower are currently trialling smart meters, they have them installed on a pre payment basis and the current trial customers have already been selected, and had the meter installed for a number of months. i beleive that smart meters are only at the trial stage with all suppliers and are not yet being rolled out to every customer although i cant wait for the day when i dont have to do my meter reads on a monthly basis, although probably will so i can keep track of how much ive spent myself
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# 3
Terrylw1
Old 23-10-2010, 1:37 AM
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Whilst smart metering is still being trialled across the industry, Npower do support smart metering.

Since they are running trials on both credit & prepayment, they have select lists.

However, this does not mean that they can't bill you.

Smart metering bills just the same as current technology. The only issue you have is the ability to get auto reads. Those on the trials that support that, can have that ability.

Npower has a policy when losing smart customers that they have to revert the metering to a normal type. This is most needed if you have multiple registers set up for the smart part ie.g. your readings are coming in. Maybe Bgas should have done that before letting you go?

I think you have to cut call centres some slack on this one because a) Bgas should have made you aware that you are going to have big problems switching since smart metering are not officially launched, b) they may have had to reduce your meter if you are set up to send reads via the new technology and c) have any Suppliers been briefing their staff to handle experimental metering?

They still should have done a lot more to help since they, like other Suppliers have trial metering managers.

This problem is exactly like Bgas about 4-5 years ago when they started losing customers they put on import/export meters since they were one of the first to trial it and others had not. So, when customers left them, they had loads of issues.

Are you on a smart meter trial? If so, Bgas should be helping you understand the implications of switching otherwise you might get this problem with all Suppliers.
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# 4
spiro
Old 23-10-2010, 9:07 AM
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Terrylw1 is right. All the smart meters currrently being installed are trials and in most cases a meter installed by one supplier will not communicate with another supplier. This will remain the case until an agreed standard is introduced.

Basically if you have had a smart meter installed and want to continue from its benefits dont change suppliers but that isnt very money saving if you can get a better deal elsewhere. Submitting readings online every month doesnt cost anything except a couple of minutes of your time.
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# 5
undaunted
Old 23-10-2010, 9:44 AM
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What, Npower & Smart do not go together, why am I not surprised?

Once again our energy suppliers & useless regulator fails to bring planned progression. It sounds like your torn between the devil & the deep blue sea to me to be honest but good luck with the switch back going to plan, at least you'll have the sservices you wanted & expected.
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# 6
Terrylw1
Old 23-10-2010, 2:17 PM
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Since smart is coming from above, perhaps we should all be asking the government who are bringing this in? The Tories have brought forward the schedule as well.

Expect rises in bills in the years to come since the Suppliers have got to fit all these meters, get into properties they can't and then do all the admin side to get them to bill.

Ofgem are, well, just Ofgem as usual. Same issue as when they did not prepare import/export customers for when Suppliers all started trialling that different times!

I'm not going to defend npower, but if you are having smart metering fitted your current Supplier should be telling you what you can & can't do.
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# 7
Terrylw1
Old 23-10-2010, 4:37 PM
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Onstream are one Meter Operator. They are using other agents with smart metering since they conducting various trials.

Then there companies offereing smart metering set ups as a 3rd party to the site e.g. ORSIS.

This is the problem with the confusing number of smart products and trials. Everyone is testing new systems to work with them. If Bgas are going to fir their own meters like some of the other unsupportable ones they fit, consumers can just expect more headaches when they try to change Supplier.
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# 8
eebai
Old 29-10-2010, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiro View Post
Terrylw1 is right. All the smart meters currrently being installed are trials and in most cases a meter installed by one supplier will not communicate with another supplier. This will remain the case until an agreed standard is introduced.

Basically if you have had a smart meter installed and want to continue from its benefits dont change suppliers but that isnt very money saving if you can get a better deal elsewhere. Submitting readings online every month doesnt cost anything except a couple of minutes of your time.
the issue with this view is that smart meters give other benefits such as Accurate bills - not estimated, Smart meters stream accurate information to a small in-home display monitor, so you can see your energy usage, its cost. That way, you can gauge the impact of different appliances & better budgeting Since you'll always know how much your bill is likely to be, it's easier to budget.

I'm not a smart meter sales person just someone that wants to reduce the crazy increases in energy bills. Also N Power have no idea how to handle these questions and did nothing to try and keep me when I said i was going to leave.
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# 9
eebai
Old 29-10-2010, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrylw1 View Post
Onstream are one Meter Operator. They are using other agents with smart metering since they conducting various trials.

Then there companies offereing smart metering set ups as a 3rd party to the site e.g. ORSIS.

This is the problem with the confusing number of smart products and trials. Everyone is testing new systems to work with them. If Bgas are going to fir their own meters like some of the other unsupportable ones they fit, consumers can just expect more headaches when they try to change Supplier.
this is very confusing as i just expected all suppliers to have same services with these meters. Read the small print i hear people say.

looks like away for B Gas to keep customers???
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# 10
neilcr
Old 29-10-2010, 10:48 PM
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I was talking to the Scottish Power Call centre today and asked about Smart meters and was told the goverment have given them till 2020 to roll them out.
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# 11
davidgmmafan
Old 29-10-2010, 11:20 PM
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As others have said its the same for any supplier. One supplier was making a big deal of having smart meters, the cost was 199. I can't recall this name first something or other? Anyway even thier smart meter would become a regular meter if you changed supplier.

There is no agreed standard for smart metering so my understanding is companies would be trying verious different types as they don't know which the government will say to use. I agree 100% with the poster saying BG should've made you aware of this, and it would make sense if it said that in the letter (again someone has suggested this is the case). British Gas will be monitoring the info from the smart meters, if customers leave it somewhat defeats the point of the trial.

BTW if electricity is your main concern you can buy one of those gadgets to monitor your usage, NPower and E.On were giving them away free if you have paperless billing.
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# 12
Terrylw1
Old 30-10-2010, 12:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilcr View Post
I was talking to the Scottish Power Call centre today and asked about Smart meters and was told the goverment have given them till 2020 to roll them out.
Yes, the Tories stated they would bring forward the date as Labour were allowing were time. So, Suppliers wouldn't have been happy with the election result since they have now got to bring everything forwward.
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# 13
Terrylw1
Old 30-10-2010, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eebai View Post
this is very confusing as i just expected all suppliers to have same services with these meters. Read the small print i hear people say.

looks like away for B Gas to keep customers???
Sadly so.

The issue is not really the meters, it's the communication of data itself.

Suppliers have got to develop new systems to handle the information flow. There are various outsource companies supplying software to do it but it's all very experimental right now.

If you want to switch, your meter can be "dumbed down" which is just industry speak for converting to a standard type of meter. This is really only needed if you have things like 4 different switching register patterns. Some smart meters stick to the standard 1 or 2 rates so have no impact on your switching at all.

It's the new informatioin feedback types that are the ones you can't switch with. The standard (and largely pointless!) types are easy to move around.
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# 14
Terrylw1
Old 30-10-2010, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eebai View Post
the issue with this view is that smart meters give other benefits such as Accurate bills - not estimated, Smart meters stream accurate information to a small in-home display monitor, so you can see your energy usage, its cost. That way, you can gauge the impact of different appliances & better budgeting Since you'll always know how much your bill is likely to be, it's easier to budget.

I'm not a smart meter sales person just someone that wants to reduce the crazy increases in energy bills. Also N Power have no idea how to handle these questions and did nothing to try and keep me when I said i was going to leave.
The most they could do it "dumb down" the meter (which Bgas should have done for you) hence losing all benefit of smart metering.

Or, if the meter is compatible with Npower's own trials, they might be able to add you to it. This is something that Suppliers had to do with import/export years ago as Bgas caused all this then by running trials earlier than others and not telling customers the risks with switching.

If you want to try the latter, I would suggest trying the Npower rep on this board direct or someone higher up in Npower. The call centres are unlikely to have a clue what to do, they won't get told anything.

Alternatively, do some googled or contact Ofgem and ask for a name of a smart trial management rep at Npower. They will know exactly what you are talking about.
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# 15
Joyful
Old 30-10-2010, 9:46 AM
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As has been said already British Gas and other suppliers are all trialling the smart meters. British gas now have many Smart Credit meters installed. I got mine yesterday. In the next few weeks I will be trialling it as a Prepayment meter before reverting it back to a Credit one. This will be one of the bonuses of the meters.

British gas currently have a specific number for a smart metering team which anyone who has had one installed will have been given so the general call centre would not be able to advise on them. I would expect that anyone who has one installed as part of the trial would have been asked to agree not to move suppliers for 12 months while the trials are in progress.
I am an employee of British Gas.The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of Centrica, its subsidiaries or affiliated companies.
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# 16
Terrylw1
Old 30-10-2010, 3:29 PM
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They would prefer you don't switch but they can't prevent you. It's a voluntary trial. The process is to "dumb down" the meters and let you go. Sadly though, if you have one of these information flow ones, yhou lose out on the extras that smart will introduce.

Remote switching of PP to Crd and vice versa is already possible however due to black holes in industry policies, Suppliers have (or should have!) stopped doing it. Smart will bring a good process in for this.
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# 17
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Old 31-10-2010, 3:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utility_csa View Post
also have you tried asking to be put through to a smart metering team or spoken to a manager at npowers call centre?.
It's a trial so the OP needs to get through to the trial manager who will be the only one that help. This customer is not on an agreed trial the trial manager will have to decide whether they can map to it, installl one of their own (very unlikely), get them "dumbed down" and advise them to go back to Bgas.

The most likely way will be the "dumb down" route which Suppliers are supposed to take.

This might have already been done though by Bgas. It might have been nice if they made a retention call to iron this out for the OP.

In terms is project managers, call centres won't be allowed to give their names out to customers. I would suggest the OP contacts via a directors office or executive complaints dept, who will be able to find out who the right people are.
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# 18
Deepfatfriar
Old 24-11-2011, 10:03 AM
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I am slightly confused as to what supposed problem Smart Meters are trying to solve. We consumers are going to pick up a bill for these ridiculous devices which is going to be billions.

What can they achieve that looking at your meter on a regular basis can't, and then by writing down the readings with a pencil and paper or putting them in a spreadsheet.

As far as I can see this is yet another stupid EU ruling that UK sheep MP's are following.

If people have gigantic bills based on estimated readings surely it is their fault if they don't check meter readings we don't need wholescale installation of useless little boxes to solve the problem .

Do they measure water as well ?
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# 19
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Old 24-11-2011, 10:37 AM
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Yup just use a spreadsheet to monitor units used as the nPower online website is so basic I don't know why they bother... I could knock something up better at lunchtime...
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# 20
utility_csa
Old 25-11-2011, 7:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deepfatfriar View Post
I am slightly confused as to what supposed problem Smart Meters are trying to solve. We consumers are going to pick up a bill for these ridiculous devices which is going to be billions.

What can they achieve that looking at your meter on a regular basis can't, and then by writing down the readings with a pencil and paper or putting them in a spreadsheet.

As far as I can see this is yet another stupid EU ruling that UK sheep MP's are following.

If people have gigantic bills based on estimated readings surely it is their fault if they don't check meter readings we don't need wholescale installation of useless little boxes to solve the problem .

Do they measure water as well ?
Acurate billing day to day. ( really major benefit in commercial sites )

Ability to reprogram your meter to a different tariff in minutes if the customer wishes.

ability to change from a credit meter to pre-pay meter within minutes rather than a whole meter exchange.

remote disconnection for people refusing to pay debt.
Working within the gas and electric industry since 2008'
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