Scottish Power Nightmare - Eco7 smart meter charging Standard rate

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helgawb
helgawb Posts: 13 Forumite
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edited 2 March 2023 at 5:50PM in Energy
Hi, we are having a complete nightmare with Scottish Power, who put  in a smart meter in November 2022. This is at my mothers flat, she has newish storage heaters, she is 82 and has dementia and only moved into it in Ocober. She had a traditional key prepayment meter, I thought it would be a good idea to get a smart meter fitted as then I wouldn't have to keep going down to the shops for her to top it up, so I could do it from an app. The guy came from Lowri Beck to fit the meter and said something was wrong with the old meter, that it wasn't showing two rates , Eco7 and Standard, only the standard rate, there must have been a fault with it. But he fitted the smart meter (which was a two-rate meter) and said it would work now, the smart meter would send a signal to Scottish Power for the two rates. I thoght something was wrong before as the storage heater (she only has two on, living room and kitchen set at 20 degrees) were costing a lot in October when I was topping up, maybe £50 a week.Little did I know that this was just the beginning. Basically the new smart meter never has sent two 'rates' , it only shows a Standard rate, the storage heaters are still charging on full rate electricity through the night, which has been going on for 4 months now. I phoned Scottish as soon as I realised the meter was still only on one rate, and at first they said the contractor had fitted the wrong meter, i said no he fitted a two-rate meter as i specifically asked him. Then for a couple of months they said the contracctor was trying to get the meter to 'talk' to them, there is nothing they can do, that they will sort it out....but they never have. They have been a complete nightmare. I phoned them every week for months and they kept saying the engineers are trying to sort it, repeating the same thing again and again, about trying to get the meter to 'talk' . I have raised a complaint with the ombudsman and now I have heard nothing from them for over a month. Meanwhile for my mum in cold weeks I'm topping up around £100 a week to heat two rooms. She is constantly cold but we can't turn on anymore storage heaters in the bedroom etc. She is on pension credit and running out of money to pay this.....from 1st October to 31st January the meter shows 1867kwh of electricity used to run 2 storage heaters at 20 degrees, a small tv for a couple of hours a day, a fridge and a shower once a week. When it was cold between beginning of December and end of January it was 1528 kwh. Is this normal? How much should we have been paying on Eco7? I literally dont know where to turn anymore. I have been at tears sometimes on the phone to Scottish Power and they just say there is nothing they can do. I get the feeling they are having a dispute with the smart meter contractors? Does anyone know anything about this? At my wits end.

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  • Mstty
    Mstty Posts: 4,209 Forumite
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    It took 5 weeks for my ombudsman complaint to be accepted by ombudsman services so hopefully you have a week to wait til the cogs start turning.
  • EssexHebridean
    EssexHebridean Posts: 21,476 Forumite
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    Oh goodness OP - that's a horrible situation to be in. 

    Can you answer one question before we go anywhere else - how many cables come out of the bottom of the meter that has been fitted? And are they all the same thickness? 


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  • helgawb
    helgawb Posts: 13 Forumite
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    This is the meter 
  • Raxiel
    Raxiel Posts: 1,401 Forumite
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    5 terminals, so its definitely the right hardware.
    Do you know how to take a manual reading?
    Having had a quick look, it seems a bit convoluted, but here are E.On's instructions for reading that particular meter type 

    That could confirm whether or not the meter is recording 'day' and 'night' consumption to separate registers (Rate 1 & Rate 2).
    If it is, then it would seem the problem is with the software at the suppliers end and they're just pulling the combined import (IMPRT) and charging it all at one rate.
    If that is the case you may be able to get them (via the ombudsman possibly) to re-bill the two (of four) relevant registers at the correct EPG rates for E7 all the way back to when it was installed.
    If its only been recording usage to Rate 1, then it would be a firmware issue with the meter, which may be fixable with a remote update, but I doubt it can be retrospective.
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  • helgawb
    helgawb Posts: 13 Forumite
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    OK thanks, yes I have already looked at the rates on the meter a few times, and again the other day, there is definately only one rate, so no record of seperate rates. What I don't understand is why, if it is possibly fixable by a firmware update, or even at worst case scenario a new meter, why they don't just do it? I already have in principle an agreement to compensate my mum in some way for the electricity charged at a higher rate, so it will cost them the longer it goes on....... I still think something is going on between Scottish Power and the smart meter sub-contractor, possibly where one or the other of them is not accepting responsibility for the fault, and my mum is stuck in the middle....... I just don't understand........ 
  • Raxiel
    Raxiel Posts: 1,401 Forumite
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    Unfortunately, I'm not sure there's much I could add that you're not already doing.

    Hopefully when the Ombudsman finally get to your case they'll light a fire under SP, because you're quite right - this shouldn't be your problem.

    If it weren't for the overcharge to date I'd suggest switching to a more competent supplier.
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  • MikeyPGT
    MikeyPGT Posts: 312 Forumite
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    edited 3 March 2023 at 1:52PM
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    Scottish Power yet again proving why they are unfit to be allowed to continue to trade - makes you wonder how bad they have to get before their licence to print money is cancelled.
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    Deep seated hatred of Scottish Power and all who sail in her - would love to see Ofgem grow a pair and actually do something about it.
  • Ectophile
    Ectophile Posts: 7,377 Forumite
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    The problem is fixable by an over-the-air update to the meter.  As others have said, a 5 terminal meter is good for Economy 7, but somebody needs to send it a message to tell it to start measuring the day and night rates separately.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
  • helgawb
    helgawb Posts: 13 Forumite
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    Thanks everyone, at least I know I have done what I can... I can only hope the Ombudsman motivates them to do something about it.... 
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