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    • bobbly
    • By bobbly 14th Jul 17, 8:27 PM
    • 42Posts
    • 18Thanks
    bobbly
    British Gas won't replace faulty smartmeter monitor
    • #1
    • 14th Jul 17, 8:27 PM
    British Gas won't replace faulty smartmeter monitor 14th Jul 17 at 8:27 PM
    Has anyone else had problems with British Gas refusing to replace faulty smartmeter monitors?

    Here's the rather lengthy background:

    I've had British Gas smartmeters for over two years now, but several months ago the monitor (a Landis+Gyr P450 EcoMeter) stopped working reliably.

    Every day or so, the amount of money I had supposedly spent on gas+electricity was unrealistically low, or the touchscreen would become unresponsive or laggy. When I unplug the device, wait a bit, and then plug it back in, it eventually shows the correct information, so to me it seems quite clear that there is something wrong with the monitor than with the signal strength from the meter, which is less than 4 metres away. Leaving it turned off is arguably better than having it display completely incorrect figures, but being able to see my realtime energy usage was the key benefit that made me ask for smartmeters to be installed in the first place.

    So today I finally decided to do something about it by contacting British Gas via live chat. They then told me to call 0800 980 6121 to get a replacement.

    When I called, they checked my meters were working fine (they were), and then tried to convince me that the problem is due to poor signal. I'm not convinced they actually knew what they were going on about, as they kept mentioning Vodafone and 3G, which obviously have nothing to do with the signal to the monitor, which uses ZigBee wireless communications. They also said the laggy screen was probably also due to poor signal, which also seems like utter nonsense.

    I was adamant that the monitor is faulty, and so he put me on hold for a bit to talk to their technical advisors. He came back to inform me that they can't replace my monitor because they would also have to change the units on the meters as well. I said that's fine, but he said that's something that they will not do. He said I would have to wait 2 years(!), when they will be installing newer meters in my area.

    I pointed out that having the monitor was the main reason I chose to have smart meters, and so having one that doesn't work is not very good, especially if they refuse to replace it.

    If they have no intention to fix it, then I shall not stay with them.

    Unfortunately, I'm in an 18 month energy contract with BG, so I asked him whether I would be able to leave it early penalty-free, in light of not being able to enjoy one of the headline benefits of their smart meters, but he said the penalty would always apply.

    I said this was not acceptable, so he begrudgingly opened a complaint for me. Someone is going to call me back in a week's time(!) about it, so I have no idea what to expect yet - except he did tell me that it's highly unlikely that they would replace my smart meter monitor. How optimistic!

    So, what are my rights, and what should I do about this? I'm quite frankly pretty annoyed at the moment!
Page 1
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 14th Jul 17, 8:32 PM
    • 5,724 Posts
    • 3,511 Thanks
    Hengus
    • #2
    • 14th Jul 17, 8:32 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Jul 17, 8:32 PM
    The Govt has always said that suppliers do not having an ongoing obligation to replace IHDs. My understanding is that after 12 months you are on your own. Have a look on EBay.
    Last edited by Hengus; 14-07-2017 at 8:41 PM.
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 14th Jul 17, 8:35 PM
    • 2,527 Posts
    • 1,635 Thanks
    Robin9
    • #3
    • 14th Jul 17, 8:35 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Jul 17, 8:35 PM
    There are more important things in life than rubbishy IHD's. You are probably in a small minority who find them useful. Mine lasted a week before they got put in a drawer.

    Dont waste your time.
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 14th Jul 17, 9:18 PM
    • 1,348 Posts
    • 1,137 Thanks
    House Martin
    • #4
    • 14th Jul 17, 9:18 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Jul 17, 9:18 PM
    Its a freebie Gizmo, you have had it long enough to understand how to save money and learn which appliances which are burning money..Time to be on your own now. Do what everyone else does and dump it at the recycling centre/cupboard/dustbin..
    I don`t think an ebay one will work because it has to be electronically paired with the smart meter.
    I have seen BG smart meters installed where the fitters never even gave the customers the IHD from day one.
    • Terry98
    • By Terry98 15th Jul 17, 6:02 AM
    • 919 Posts
    • 2,502 Thanks
    Terry98
    • #5
    • 15th Jul 17, 6:02 AM
    • #5
    • 15th Jul 17, 6:02 AM
    I haven't looked at my IHD for a few months now because my current supplier OVO gives me more detailed information online. Don't BG do the same?

    In fact OVO have just come up with this https://www.ovoenergy.com/ovo-answers/topics/my-ovo/your-energy-breakdown.html and this thread has reminded me to disconnect the IHD because it's one of the things that is wasting money in standby!
    • Michaelw
    • By Michaelw 17th Jan 18, 1:33 PM
    • 148 Posts
    • 46 Thanks
    Michaelw
    • #6
    • 17th Jan 18, 1:33 PM
    • #6
    • 17th Jan 18, 1:33 PM
    The Govt has always said that suppliers do not having an ongoing obligation to replace IHDs. My understanding is that after 12 months you are on your own. Have a look on EBay.
    Originally posted by Hengus
    These appear to be channel set by installer pin are unlikly to work.An engineer is likely to still need to attend and hence bring a replacement.They also appear to remain the property of the supplier but it might be the case that they are simply abandoned say on switching.
    Last edited by Michaelw; 17-01-2018 at 10:57 PM.
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 17th Jan 18, 3:09 PM
    • 1,348 Posts
    • 1,137 Thanks
    House Martin
    • #7
    • 17th Jan 18, 3:09 PM
    • #7
    • 17th Jan 18, 3:09 PM
    BG for instance will do what the customer wants IF they pay the call out charge and the cost of the new IHD and the "engineer " to pair it. That will probably be a meter reader whos had a bit of training. We have to do the same on new sim cards for the Mk 1 electric meters when they went faulty
    I reckon that will be around 70. Its cheaper to buy a new Owl monitor.
    I like a gadget as much as the next man but most "normal " people give up on the free gift after a few weeks use..
    I visit thousands of people meter reading and 99% of them give up on it either from day 1 or like me, day 21 and then I freed up the socket space after learning a bit about which appliances are expensive to run .
    I have vacated the property I had with smart meters and moved house, but left the IHD for the new occupier to play with if they want Ebay ones wont work except on the paired meter.
    Last edited by House Martin; 17-01-2018 at 11:31 PM.
    • bobbly
    • By bobbly 17th Jan 18, 3:16 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    bobbly
    • #8
    • 17th Jan 18, 3:16 PM
    • #8
    • 17th Jan 18, 3:16 PM
    Took a bit of effort, but I eventually managed to get BG to come and replace it for free. Even though it was a newer looking monitor, it "just worked" with the existing meter, not just to my surprise, but also his!
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 17th Jan 18, 10:25 PM
    • 4,135 Posts
    • 5,355 Thanks
    zeupater
    • #9
    • 17th Jan 18, 10:25 PM
    • #9
    • 17th Jan 18, 10:25 PM
    .... Its cheaper to buy a new Owl monitor.
    I like a gadget as much as the last man but most "normal " people give up on the free gift after a few weeks use..
    I visit thousands of people meter reading and 99% of them give up on it either from day 1 or like me, day 21 and then I freed up the socket space after learning a bit about which appliances are expensive to run ...
    Originally posted by House Martin
    Hi

    The issue here is that the main driver for the smart-meter project is to allow the consumer to better understand their energy consumption & thereby be able to recognise waste, reduce usage, improve energy efficiency & help reduce carbon emissions .... to be able to achieve any of this the IHD is essential & both the government & the industry know it, because that's the primary driver for how the project has been sold & justified ... emissions reduction!

    Now, considering you're effectively saying that the industry doesn't care too much about the equipment (IHD) which is essential to meet the targets their project has promised to deliver, and that 99% of the IHDs aren't even used, then that just re-enforces the views of those who believe that the whole project is a vastly expensive (12-15billion) waste of time which will deliver no advantage other than to enhance industry margins ...

    Typical consumer rip-off !

    HTH
    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 17th Jan 18, 11:01 PM
    • 1,348 Posts
    • 1,137 Thanks
    House Martin
    Hi

    The issue here is that the main driver for the smart-meter project is to allow the consumer to better understand their energy consumption & thereby be able to recognise waste, reduce usage, improve energy efficiency & help reduce carbon emissions .... to be able to achieve any of this the IHD is essential & both the government & the industry know it, because that's the primary driver for how the project has been sold & justified ... emissions reduction!

    Now, considering you're effectively saying that the industry doesn't care too much about the equipment (IHD) which is essential to meet the targets their project has promised to deliver, and that 99% of the IHDs aren't even used, then that just re-enforces the views of those who believe that the whole project is a vastly expensive (12-15billion) waste of time which will deliver no advantage other than to enhance industry margins ...

    Typical consumer rip-off !

    HTH
    Z
    Originally posted by zeupater
    The. "main driver " for the public to better understand their energy consumption is hiding in the cupboard or is under the stairs or outside in a box on the wall...its called a meter .
    They ve had that for donkeys years. it measures energy usage in easy to read numbers.
    Its not worked
    The public can t grasp the idea of sending in regular meter reads, every month ideally.
    Read about their mess ups every day on here on the energy board
    Smart meters are here to allow the energy suppliers to run their businesses more efficiently, the same as every other successful business.
    I m seeing daily smart meter ads on TV nowadays where a public information advert would work better.
    An advert showing say, a bank of 10 x 50 watt Halogen GU10 s dotted about in a modern kitchen using 500 watts an hour when 10 x LED GU10 s at 5 watts would use 50 watts an hour is better IMO. Likewise the costs of running electric showers at 8 to 12 kw compared to a gas heated shower as an example.
    The free IHD is nothing more than a flashy gimmick designed to help "sell " the smart meter roll out to a fussy UK public where nearly every other country has just implemented them without needing the sayso of an ignorant Joe Public
    Last edited by House Martin; 18-01-2018 at 11:03 AM.
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 17th Jan 18, 11:11 PM
    • 3,808 Posts
    • 5,234 Thanks
    Nick_C
    I think smart meters are also being rolled out to allow pricing that varies by time of day, to encourage people to use electricity off peak when possible.

    Because of our failure to plan to replace the nuclear and coal power stations that are reaching end of life, we will be looking at blackouts of we don't manage our electricity consumption more sensibly.

    The irritating "get gaz and leccy under control" ads are totally off track.
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 17th Jan 18, 11:28 PM
    • 1,348 Posts
    • 1,137 Thanks
    House Martin
    I think smart meters are also being rolled out to allow pricing that varies by time of day, to encourage people to use electricity off peak when possible.

    Because of our failure to plan to replace the nuclear and coal power stations that are reaching end of life, we will be looking at blackouts of we don't manage our electricity consumption more sensibly.

    The irritating "get gaz and leccy under control" ads are totally off track.
    Originally posted by Nick_C
    We already have time of use meters in the UK and we have had them for years. Nothing to be afraid of.They re called Economy 7 meters
    Iresa Energy offer an Economy 7 tariff which has 7 cheap hours, 14 normal which is probably the cheapest electricity in the country at the moment.
    Day rate 11.5
    Night rate 8 p
    21 p a day standing charge ( South Yorks area rates )
    British Gas have been offering a smart meter only Time of Use tariff which is quite popular with those who prefer to be on a standard tariff offering a free 8 hours electric on Saturday or Sunday. Its been in use for at least 18 months
    TOU tariffs will most likely work well to dedicated money savers
    Last edited by House Martin; 17-01-2018 at 11:34 PM.
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 17th Jan 18, 11:46 PM
    • 3,808 Posts
    • 5,234 Thanks
    Nick_C
    I'm well aware of E7 meters and tariffs.

    But smart meters will allow the concept to be extended to consumers who wouldn't normally choose an E7 tariff, and allow better balancing of supply and demand; all the more important as unreliable solar and wind power are making up a bigger part of the supply.
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