Can I be forced to have a smart meter?

ktheisinger
ktheisinger Posts: 1 Newbie
edited 15 August 2023 at 9:05AM in Energy
Hi, I'm new here so please forgive any faux pas... but here goes. We have solar panels on the roof, which don't make us a huge amount of money; but they make us more than they would otherwise because we have an old analog meter which actually rolls backwards while the panels are generating juice. Obviously we'd like to stick with this meter for as long as possible but I don't know who it belongs to (is it ours or not?) or whether a supplier could force us to have the meter updated? And if I switch suppliers - which I'd like to do, since the Cheap Energy club keeps telling me I'm overpaying - does that increase the risk of a supplier wanting to update the meter?


Anyone have any better understanding of this than I do, or any experience with it? Thanks in advance!
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Comments

  • Gerry1
    Gerry1 Posts: 9,936 Forumite
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    Read the Ts & Cs very carefully. Some tariffs require smart meters, but the smaller companies usually don't. E.On usually require you only to be contacted about smart meters but are notorious in then browbeating you, saying you've agreed when you haven't and don't have to accept them.

    In any case, if the installers turn up they'll probably see your solar panels, say it's Too Difficult and run a mile !

    It's not your meter.
  • Hi, I'm new here so please forgive any faux pas... but here goes. We have solar panels on the roof, which don't make us a huge amount of money; but they make us more than they would otherwise because we have an old analog meter which actually rolls backwards while the panels are generating juice. Obviously we'd like to stick with this meter for as long as possible but I don't know who it belongs to (is it ours or not?) or whether a supplier could force us to have the meter updated? And if I switch suppliers - which I'd like to do, since the Cheap Energy club keeps telling me I'm overpaying - does that increase the risk of a supplier wanting to update the meter?


    Anyone have any better understanding of this than I do, or any experience with it? Thanks in advance!
    The meter became faulty as soon as you installed solar panels because it is not recording the correct usage .
    .Meters are not supposed to reverse at any time .The company installing the solar panels are supposed to inform the occupier that they have a meter not fit for purpose.
    I expect the meter to be a Sangamo Weston..As a meter reader I m still finding many of these faulty meters every year and report them to the supplier who will exchange the meter for a digital meter, smart or dumb which certainly will not run backwards .
    According to the T and C s of every supplier , if your meter develops a fault you are obliged to report this fault immediately .
    This meter , (probably a Sangamo Weston)is the property of the District Network Operator for your area..Occupiers never own the meters fitted into a property be it gas or electric.
  • Carrot007
    Carrot007 Posts: 4,534 Forumite
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    Houbara wrote: »
    This meter , (probably a Sangamo Weston)is the property of the District Network Operator for your area..Occupiers never own the meters fitted into a property be it gas or electric.


    Well to be pedantic... It is the owner of whoever owns it. Most liekly some asset management company leasing it to the supplier (DNO's got out or at least split off that part of the company years back).


    And you can own your own meter. Might need a commercial multi year (5-10 years) contract to get a supplier to fit it though! Which effectively means it does not occur in the domestic market. And even then you must ensure it is certified and working and tell the supplier if it is not.


    (but in simple terms, what he said! I'll leave it there now!)
  • WhoIsThat
    WhoIsThat Posts: 234 Forumite
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    edited 26 January 2020 at 4:49PM
    Hi, I'm new here so please forgive any faux pas... but here goes. We have solar panels on the roof, which don't make us a huge amount of money; but they make us more than they would otherwise because we have an old analog meter which actually rolls backwards while the panels are generating juice. Obviously we'd like to stick with this meter for as long as possible but I don't know who it belongs to (is it ours or not?) or whether a supplier could force us to have the meter updated? And if I switch suppliers - which I'd like to do, since the Cheap Energy club keeps telling me I'm overpaying - does that increase the risk of a supplier wanting to update the meter?


    Anyone have any better understanding of this than I do, or any experience with it? Thanks in advance!

    Welcome to MSE :hello:

    You will find MSE has numerous articles on many consumer moneysaving matters, (and perhaps a bit more too) that address many questions MSEers may have.

    e.g. here's one related to smart meters
    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/utilities/smart-meters/

    • Do I have to get smart meters?


      No. Whether you get one now, in the future or not at all is up to you. All suppliers will eventually be required to offer you them, but smart meters are NOT mandatory – you're free to say no. You can always change your mind if you decide you want one at a later date, simply contact your supplier to ask.
      However, some suppliers – particularly the big six – are now making smart meters a condition of getting their cheapest deals (if you're eligible to get them), so it's worth looking out for. However, as it is mostly the newer meters now being rolled out, there is no real reason for not having them.
    There's something seriously wrong with your current installation if it's making the meter go backwards, as this explanation indicates.


    https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/feed-in-tariffs/article/feed-in-tariffs/electricity-meters-running-backwards

    Regulator Ofgem told us: 'Where a customer suspects that the installation of electricity-generating equipment has affected the operation of their import-supply meter and it's no longer accurately measuring the electricity supplied to them, they should contact their import supplier at the earliest opportunity.
    and
    It should really be the responsibility of the solar PV installer to check that the meter is fit for purpose and for the installer (if it's the same company as the supplier) or the household (if the FIT installer is different to the supplier) to then inform the supplier if it needs upgrading.
    and
    What's more, solar PV customers, many of whom have been unaware that their meters are running backwards, are sometimes being landed with unexpected electricity bills retrospectively once their supplier finds out that their meter is going backwards.


    Edit: For future reference, this forum has a very good search function. Both the points I have addresed above been discussed numerous times on this site.
    The search function can be accessed here:
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/search.php
  • Gerry1
    Gerry1 Posts: 9,936 Forumite
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    Houbara wrote: »
    District Network Operator for your area..
    Distribution Network Operator... biglaugh.gif
  • renegadefm
    renegadefm Posts: 1,303 Forumite
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    I'm assuming the meter only runs backwards when the energy created from the solar panels is greater than the consumption.
    The problem with a smart meter is it wont recognise energy generated from the solar panels in the same way an old dial meter would so wouldnt go backwards, but probably wouldn't go forwards either.

    So I'm assuming you would still have periods of free electric from the solar panels so to speak.

    But due to recently having a smart meter fitted myself I would never have one again. And I'm going to be asking EDF tomorrow if I can have my old style prepament meter back where I was topping up with a key. Some people call them key meters. If I was you I'd request one of those as the old dial meters are classed as obsolete, and I surprised your energy company hasent changed it long ago. When I was with Scottish Powers many years ago, they insisted I had my old dial meter to a digital one, but in those days I used to pay quarterly via direct debt. I since find pay as you go meters suite me better as there are no hidden bills. But I do want my prepayment meter back. I hate the fact the smart meters put you on a high rate tarrif.
  • Swipe
    Swipe Posts: 5,084 Forumite
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    My advice, find a supplier with a tariff that doesn't require a smart meter, edit or delete your original post, refrain from posting about your faulty meter on a public forum and profit.
  • MWT
    MWT Posts: 9,241 Forumite
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    renegadefm wrote: »
    I since find pay as you go meters suite me better as there are no hidden bills. But I do want my prepayment meter back. I hate the fact the smart meters put you on a high rate tarrif.


    Smart meters do not 'put you on a high rate tariff', in general they allow you access to the lower tariffs.


    Don't confuse what has happened to you in being moved from you original tariff to a new one as being a general consequence of moving to a Smart meter.


    Similarly, Pay As You Go (or pre-payment) tariffs tend to be more expensive than credit tariffs, so they are not the way to go if looking for lower energy costs, but they do give you the certainty that you will not have a large bill in your future, but at the cost of paying more for the energy that you use than you need to...
  • renegadefm
    renegadefm Posts: 1,303 Forumite
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    MWT, well the thing is EDF changed my tarrif against my will, in fact they didnt even tell me until I noticed it on my online account. Then they told me they had to because the Blue fixed price tarrif I was on doesnt work with smart meters.

    I was on a prepayment meter before and paying a lot less for electric both me and my partner agrees with that. Its so obvious it hurts, because our monthly budget has been used prematurely. This has never happened before until they installed the smart meter and changed the tarrif. I feel conned and will be ringing them tomorrow.
  • MSE_Clare
    MSE_Clare Posts: 30 MSE Staff
    First Post Photogenic First Anniversary
    We've published a new guide that answers the question so many of you are asking right now:

    Can I refuse a smart meter?

    Read our full guide to find our more.

    We'd love to know your experiences with smart meter installations, or if you've any feedback or questions we've not answered, let us know in this thread.

    If you haven't already, join the forum to reply.
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