So Energy - not so smart meters

RuthieW
RuthieW Posts: 8
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We joined So Energy having been promised a smart meter. It took months to be able to even get an appointment in my area (despite being emailed constantly by So Energy asking me to arrange one). The meter was finally installed in August 2021 but has not submitted a single reading to So Energy despite apparently working fine. My manual meter readings have been ignored so we're now building up a big credit by continuing our monthly payments. It is almost impossible to get a response from customer services. Our fixed deal ends this month and the So Flex tariff I have been offered seems to be more expensive than the price cap (is that even possible?) but it's hard to do a proper comparison without any bills to accurately work out our usage! Given our poor experience of So Energy, is it worth just switching based on the variable rate if we can find a better one?

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  • MattMattMattUK
    MattMattMattUK Posts: 8,249
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    RuthieW said:
    We joined So Energy having been promised a smart meter. It took months to be able to even get an appointment in my area (despite being emailed constantly by So Energy asking me to arrange one). The meter was finally installed in August 2021 but has not submitted a single reading to So Energy despite apparently working fine. 
    Once installed the meter also needs to be commissioned, sometimes this takes a day, other times it takes months, unfortunately it is a waiting game.
    RuthieW said:
    My manual meter readings have been ignored so we're now building up a big credit by continuing our monthly payments. It is almost impossible to get a response from customer services.
    What happens when you submit a meter read via there online system? You may or may not actually have a credit, depending on how they are processing the bills, but with the current energy situation having a credit balance would not be a bad thing. 
    RuthieW said:
    Our fixed deal ends this month 
    Submit a meter read the day before and the day of the tariff ends, take pictures of the read on the meter, just in case there is a dispute.
    RuthieW said:
    the So Flex tariff I have been offered seems to be more expensive than the price cap (is that even possible?)
    Yes it is possible and yes it is legal, they can offer you any tariff you want, but by default you will end up on their standard variable tariff which is the price capped rate.
    RuthieW said:
    but it's hard to do a proper comparison without any bills to accurately work out our usage!
    If you have your usage figures from your meter reads this should be easy enough to work out your expected bills and future cost increases. 
    RuthieW said:
    Given our poor experience of So Energy, is it worth just switching based on the variable rate if we can find a better one?
    Hardly any suppliers will take on new customers on the variable rates at the moment, they will generally only take them on fixes which are above the price cap, so it is unlikely you will be able to move easily or in a financially sensible way. I would also add that you probably stand to gain nothing by changing, whoever you move to will also be stuck with the issue of your meter not having been commissioned. Personally I would stay where I was, keep submitting meter readings, keep photos of the meter readings, keep paying at least what I thought I was using, if not more, and sit it out.
  • EssexHebridean
    EssexHebridean Posts: 20,868
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    So Flex is the variable by the look of it - this link should let you find the capped rates for your region - does it tie up with what they're telling you?  https://www.so.energy/so-out-of-contract-tariff/
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  • Robin9
    Robin9 Posts: 11,970
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    ................so we're now building up a big credit by continuing our monthly payments. It is almost impossible to get a response from customer services. ........
    Are you sure ?  Are you keeping your own little spreadsheet to work out your annual consumption?

    Don't waste your time with ||Customer Services -   send.a letter headed COMPLAINT by snail mail
    Never pay on an estimated bill
  • RuthieW said:
    We joined So Energy having been promised a smart meter. It took months to be able to even get an appointment in my area (despite being emailed constantly by So Energy asking me to arrange one). The meter was finally installed in August 2021 but has not submitted a single reading to So Energy despite apparently working fine. My manual meter readings have been ignored so we're now building up a big credit by continuing our monthly payments. It is almost impossible to get a response from customer services. Our fixed deal ends this month and the So Flex tariff I have been offered seems to be more expensive than the price cap (is that even possible?) but it's hard to do a proper comparison without any bills to accurately work out our usage! Given our poor experience of So Energy, is it worth just switching based on the variable rate if we can find a better one?
    Suppliers are set smart meter deployment targets by OfGem. However, to access smart meter data, a supplier needs to produce, or lease through a third-party, its own secure software known as an Adapter. If you want your data for the past 7 or so months then download the App BRIGHT (free). Smart meters retain import data for 13 months. 
  • RuthieW
    RuthieW Posts: 8
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    @MattMattMattUK thanks for taking so much time to look at this. I had no idea the commissioning could take so long and thought that once our internal monitor was working it must all be set up! When I submit a reading, I can see that it is there but there have been no statements produced since July, so it looks as though we are continuing our monthly payments but not using any energy. I'm concerned we'll be hit by a massive bill once they finally sort it out. I will try and work out the usage myself and will take the pictures as you suggest, and in the meantime will sit tight and hope the energy situation generally improves...
  • RuthieW
    RuthieW Posts: 8
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    edited 25 October 2023 at 8:41PM
    @[Deleted User] thank you this is really helpful, I haven't heard of Bright before but have just downloaded the app so will see how I get on!
  • RuthieW
    RuthieW Posts: 8
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    @Robin9 I know we probably aren't really in credit but the So website currently shows our monthly payments stacking up, with no energy usage since July! I think a spreadsheet might be a better idea and more reliable!!
  • RuthieW
    RuthieW Posts: 8
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    So Flex is the variable by the look of it - this link should let you find the capped rates for your region - does it tie up with what they're telling you?  
    Thanks for this, yes it matches. That's really helpful
  • SO Energy and their Smart meters! You are correct they are so not smart!  They asked us for photographic proof (with date stamps) to confirm usage when we sold a property and then when the figures for gas supply did not make sense they tried to tell us it was for the gas still in the pipes!  I have raised a complaint and got nowhere!  I would look for another supplier.  Like you, we had costs added for fuel when the house was empty, and everything was turned off! Shocking service and customer 'support', and they have not answered me yet as to why we need to supply photos with smart meters installed! 
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