Banished to purge point purgatory - another smart meter story

After many years being pursued by British Gas to have smart meters installed, I finally gave in last October. 
The fitter turns up and, screwdriver poised, tells me that it will mean that I can no longer have an Economy 7 tariff. It would have been nice to have been told this in advance (and I should have checked out these boards sooner) but I do some quick back of the envelope calculations and, as we have no storage heaters or similar night time use, I reckon the impact will be minimal. So he changes over the electricity meter and then starts thinking about the gas meter. He then tells me he can't fit a smart meter to the gas supply because 'the boiler has no purge point'. I am apparently being referred to the 'purge point team' and.....I have heard nothing since.
The boiler was fitted in April 2019 by British Gas - it's a Worcester Bosch Greenstar Ri. Earlier last year there was a gas leak between our house and the road which required the gas to be turned off, and on again when it was fixed, and no-one seemed to have any problems with purge points then. A gas engineer I know reckoned that the installer just didn't know where to look and couldn't be bothered to find out. 
I'm pretty pleased with the new electricity meter which seems accurate enough. My husband is now obsessed with the In Home Display, which we're pleased to see tells us when our solar panels are exporting, and really does encourage mindful use of electric power. My useless British Gas phone app insists that no readings are being received from the smart meter but my account on the British Gas website knows otherwise and displays them perfectly. 
Our gas usage is pretty predictable and our meter is easy to read so I'm not going to spend any of my energy pursuing the 'purge point team' - they know where to find me. 


  • EssexHebridean
    EssexHebridean Posts: 21,482 Forumite
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    For anyone else reading here and wondering what the issue is with E7, Smart metering and British Gas - BG are the one and only supplier that has an issue with supporting E7 on Smart Metering. If you are on E7 and require a meter change, either because you wish to get a smart meter, or because your current meter needs replacement for some reason (out of certification/no longer working etc) then you would be well advised to switch supplier if you wish to stay on E7. In the case of the Op it seems as though this may however have actually done them a favour! 

    I hope you do eventually manage to get your gas meter issue sorted, and it's great to hear how pleased you are with the electricity meter. Just one small word of caution though - while right now the IHD may be perfectly accurate, bear in mind that can change if the supplier doesn't update it when tariff costs change. It's as well to check the actual meter itself occasionally simply to check that the readings it's sending are correct too - just for peace of mind.  
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  • macman
    macman Posts: 53,098 Forumite
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    How did any smart meter that could not support E7 mode ever pass certification, and if so, why did BG ever purchase this brand of meter?
    Or is it an issue whereby BG's IT systems cannot yet process the data they receive from smart meters running in E7 mode?
    Either way, isn't this a monumental c*ck up by the legacy supplier who probably have the biggest proportion of E7 customers?
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  • pochase
    pochase Posts: 3,449 Forumite
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    The problem is with BG, other suppliers are perfectly able to supply E7 with the same meter.

  • C_Mababejive
    C_Mababejive Posts: 11,658 Forumite
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    The purge point thing is just nonsense. I presume you only have a central heating boiler and no other appliances? Sometimes if the fitting of a gas smart meter involves to much work ie altering pipework etc, they will look for any excuse to not fit it.
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  • ariarnia
    ariarnia Posts: 4,225 Forumite
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    we only have a smart electric meter (they couldnt install the gas one for us because it we needed some pipe work changing as part of the kitchen refurb) but to be honest i;m with you 100%. 

    most of the year we dont use much gas and because of how boilers/gch work theres not really much point in 30 min readings anyway so as we can get on smart meter only tarrifs (when there available!) and things like the money back for cutting use with just our electric meter then i reckon theres no need or rush for us to get the engineer back to do anything with the gas. we just give the readings twice a month (once for the bill mid month but we also always take a reading on the last day of the month for our own records so we can do comparisons year on years easily)
    Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you. Anne Lamott

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  • markin
    markin Posts: 3,854 Forumite
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    You already gave BG x3 more than it should have cost for the new boiler, BG deserve be out of business already, Switch to Octopus.
  • CarolWHerts
    The purge point thing is just nonsense. I presume you only have a central heating boiler and no other appliances? Sometimes if the fitting of a gas smart meter involves to much work ie altering pipework etc, they will look for any excuse to not fit it.
    We do have an old gas Aga as well (I know, and it's probably on borrowed time, but it's like a much loved old dog sitting there warm in the kitchen, and only lit during the Winter - whole different subject) but no other gas appliances. It was definitely the newish boiler that the fitter had the problem with and not the Aga (which has pretty simple technology). 

    Thanks to all the others replying. I'm going to be looking seriously at Octopus for when our fixed tariff runs out in April, particularly as we have the solar panels, a Zappi charger and two semi-electric cars now. They are plug in hybrids rather than the full EV so it might be a marginal gain rather than critical, but still worth doing. 
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