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  • FIRST POST
    • Ed_Winchester
    • By Ed_Winchester 9th Apr 18, 1:55 PM
    • 6Posts
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    Ed_Winchester
    Electricity meter not recording usage - help!
    • #1
    • 9th Apr 18, 1:55 PM
    Electricity meter not recording usage - help! 9th Apr 18 at 1:55 PM
    I moved into this property at the beginning of February, and after a week or so thought I'd get some meter readings from the electricity meter to see how much power I'd used.

    I noticed then that the meter readings given to me by the letting agent when I got the keys were identical.

    Being a conscientious chap, I called the incumbent supplier, Spark, who told me that they are unable to repair or replace this meter because they aren't able to get hold of new ones as it's a SuperTariff meter which is discontinued. They said they could possibly replace the meter with a single rate meter, but I would have to get an electrician to confirm the property could handle this.

    They also told me that I would be billed at an estimated usage for this type of property, and that I am welcome to keep paying an estimated bill every month. I know, so kind.

    My questions are:

    1) are they not obliged by law to send someone to check this meter? A Meter Determination, I believe it's called?
    2) are they allowed to bill me at an estimated rate when they know there's no way they can measure my usage any more than I can? It's not like I'm being difficult and not allowing them to read the meter - the thing is broken.

    I'm really unsure as to what I'm supposed to do. All I want is to pay for the electricity I'm using, and not being ripped off. I don't think that's a lot to ask.
Page 1
    • wavelets
    • By wavelets 9th Apr 18, 2:30 PM
    • 171 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    wavelets
    • #2
    • 9th Apr 18, 2:30 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Apr 18, 2:30 PM
    I moved into this property at the beginning of February, and after a week or so thought I'd get some meter readings from the electricity meter to see how much power I'd used.

    I noticed then that the meter readings given to me by the letting agent when I got the keys were identical.

    Being a conscientious chap, I called the incumbent supplier, Spark, who told me that they are unable to repair or replace this meter because they aren't able to get hold of new ones as it's a SuperTariff meter which is discontinued. They said they could possibly replace the meter with a single rate meter, but I would have to get an electrician to confirm the property could handle this.

    They also told me that I would be billed at an estimated usage for this type of property, and that I am welcome to keep paying an estimated bill every month. I know, so kind.

    My questions are:

    1) are they not obliged by law to send someone to check this meter? A Meter Determination, I believe it's called?
    2) are they allowed to bill me at an estimated rate when they know there's no way they can measure my usage any more than I can? It's not like I'm being difficult and not allowing them to read the meter - the thing is broken.

    I'm really unsure as to what I'm supposed to do. All I want is to pay for the electricity I'm using, and not being ripped off. I don't think that's a lot to ask.
    Originally posted by Ed_Winchester
    Only nPower are obligated to continue to serve their customers with this legacy tariff.

    Unfortunately, you are no longer supplied by nPower, and I've no idea if they will accept new customers onto this lagacy tariff (most won't)

    Contact your landlord, and tell him he has an expensive problem to get sorted out. You'll probably have to have a universal meter fitted now.
    The advantage of that to you will you will then be able to switch to any generally available supplier and tariff compatible with that type of meter.

    Consider whether you want a dual rate(E7) meter or a single rate one.
    • Ed_Winchester
    • By Ed_Winchester 9th Apr 18, 2:32 PM
    • 6 Posts
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    Ed_Winchester
    • #3
    • 9th Apr 18, 2:32 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Apr 18, 2:32 PM
    When you say "an expensive problem", in what way is it expensive, and for whom?
    • wavelets
    • By wavelets 9th Apr 18, 2:59 PM
    • 171 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    wavelets
    • #4
    • 9th Apr 18, 2:59 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Apr 18, 2:59 PM
    When you say "an expensive problem", in what way is it expensive, and for whom?
    Originally posted by Ed_Winchester
    expensive
    !!!618;k!!!712;sp!!!603;ns!!!618;v,!!!603;k!!!712; sp!!!603;ns!!!618;v/
    adjective
    adjective: expensive
    costing a lot of money.

    As for whom, the clue is in the previous reponse I have you

    i.e.
    "Contact your landlord, and tell him he has an expensive problem to get sorted out."
    • Ed_Winchester
    • By Ed_Winchester 9th Apr 18, 3:31 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Ed_Winchester
    • #5
    • 9th Apr 18, 3:31 PM
    • #5
    • 9th Apr 18, 3:31 PM
    I didn't ask what expensive meant, did I?

    I asked in what WAY is it expensive? A new meter isn't my landlord's problem, that's for the energy company to fix. Equally, I can't and won't ask the landlord to pick up the excessive energy bills being generated while I get this resolved.

    So rather than being sarcastic, perhaps you could elaborate on your previous comment? You took the time to write an otherwise informative post, so hopefully you'll be good enough to explain what you meant.
    • D_M_E
    • By D_M_E 9th Apr 18, 8:50 PM
    • 1,438 Posts
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    D_M_E
    • #6
    • 9th Apr 18, 8:50 PM
    • #6
    • 9th Apr 18, 8:50 PM
    Is the property a flat?

    Are you renting?

    If a flat, are any of the other flats in the same building unoccupied?

    As for being supplied by Spark, did the agents switch the property to Spark from for example Npower?

    I would question whether the agents have the authority to switch the supplier(s) since they are not the occupiers and never had been, as far as I know only the owner or the occupier can change supplier - if the agent can change supplier what is to prevent anyone from swapping the supplier at any property?

    Maybe a call to the previous supplier - if you can find out who it was - invoking the Erroneous Transfer policy might solve your problem.
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 9th Apr 18, 11:01 PM
    • 1,305 Posts
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    House Martin
    • #7
    • 9th Apr 18, 11:01 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Apr 18, 11:01 PM
    are you up in Scotland with some complex 3 rate eco 10 type meter. I find it odd that they can t come up with an acceptable meter to replace the old one
    I m a meter reader and I have many people on my rounds who love an estimated electricity bill with stopped meters and would like to keep them that way..
    They usually have a blank screen electric meter and gas central heating.
    Suppliers can t be bothered to change them. Some of the cuatomers have admitted to me that they can heat their homes using electricity saving the expensive gas bill and they have had blank screens for years.I keep seeing the same people every quarter.
    They are free to use as much electricity as they want because its unmetered. No more hanging washing out, the drier does it., dishwasher and washer on constantly A few three kilowatt heaters heat the house just as well as GCH
    They like the unmetered electricity so much they make sure not to answer the door if a meter fitter knocks.
    There is nt a "law " to force the supplier to read a meter but suppliers are obliged to make a reading as and when they deem it necessary .
    I find many stopped electric meters but they are all old type analogue meters . Digital meters usually just lose the readings by going blank screen.
    However the digital meters can be internally bypassed and then the meter would keep the same reading.This could have happened with the OP s meter. The little red light would just show "on " all the time and not pulse on and off when using appliances
    If the metal seal is missing from the lower cover that also could point to someone tampering with the meter
    The analogue meters can be restarted by a hefty thump to the side of the meter.
    Sangamo Weston meters are the ones which stick
    Last edited by House Martin; 10-04-2018 at 3:44 PM.
    • Ed_Winchester
    • By Ed_Winchester 10th Apr 18, 4:16 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Ed_Winchester
    • #8
    • 10th Apr 18, 4:16 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Apr 18, 4:16 PM
    Is the property a flat?

    Are you renting?

    If a flat, are any of the other flats in the same building unoccupied?

    As for being supplied by Spark, did the agents switch the property to Spark from for example Npower?

    I would question whether the agents have the authority to switch the supplier(s) since they are not the occupiers and never had been, as far as I know only the owner or the occupier can change supplier - if the agent can change supplier what is to prevent anyone from swapping the supplier at any property?

    Maybe a call to the previous supplier - if you can find out who it was - invoking the Erroneous Transfer policy might solve your problem.
    Originally posted by D_M_E
    It is a flat yes, there are five other properties and all appear to be occupied.

    I believe the previous tenant also had Spark as I had a couple of letters arrive for them shortly after I moved, which I sent back as "not known at this address". I will double check with the agent and the landlord though to see what they can tell me.

    are you up in Scotland with some complex 3 rate eco 10 type meter. I find it odd that they can t come up with an acceptable meter to replace the old one
    I m a meter reader and I have many people on my rounds who love an estimated electricity bill with stopped meters and would like to keep them that way..
    They usually have a blank screen electric meter and gas central heating.
    Suppliers can t be bothered to change them. Some of the cuatomers have admitted to me that they can heat their homes using electricity saving the expensive gas bill and they have had blank screens for years.I keep seeing the same people every quarter.
    They are free to use as much electricity as they want because its unmetered. No more hanging washing out, the drier does it., dishwasher and washer on constantly A few three kilowatt heaters heat the house just as well as GCH
    They like the unmetered electricity so much they make sure not to answer the door if a meter fitter knocks.
    There is nt a "law " to force the supplier to read a meter but suppliers are obliged to make a reading as and when they deem it necessary .
    I find many stopped electric meters but they are all old type analogue meters . Digital meters usually just lose the readings by going blank screen.
    However the digital meters can be internally bypassed and then the meter would keep the same reading.This could have happened with the OP s meter. The little red light would just show "on " all the time and not pulse on and off when using appliances
    If the metal seal is missing from the lower cover that also could point to someone tampering with the meter
    The analogue meters can be restarted by a hefty thump to the side of the meter.
    Sangamo Weston meters are the ones which stick
    Originally posted by House Martin
    I'm in the NE postcode area, Spark tell me it's a Economy 10 meter which is discontinued and therefore they cannot/will not send someone to look at it.

    Funny thing is it's not an analogue meter; it's digital. And it's displaying readings, they just haven't changed since 3rd February. The metal seals (over screws holding the cover on) are intact as far as I can see.
    • D_M_E
    • By D_M_E 10th Apr 18, 6:52 PM
    • 1,438 Posts
    • 63,307 Thanks
    D_M_E
    • #9
    • 10th Apr 18, 6:52 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Apr 18, 6:52 PM
    OK, it's a flat5 and no problems with a switch to Spark, they appear to be the suppliers used by the previous occupiers.

    Is the meter in close proximity to the meters for the other flats and if so, have you checked that what you think is your meter actually is the one supplying your flat?

    Have you checked the meter serial number matches the one one the bill?

    Note that the following test may not work if the meter is faulty but is worth doing anyway just to be sure:

    To check if it's the correct meter, turn everything off then go and look at the meters.
    If they are digital they will probably be a red flashing light on them which will hardly be flashing with no power being used - are any of them showing this?

    Next, go and fill a kettle and turn it on then go back and look at the meters while the kettle is boiling - the one with the now rapidly flashing light should be yours, particularly if it stops when the kettle turns itself off.
    • Carrot007
    • By Carrot007 10th Apr 18, 7:08 PM
    • 1,050 Posts
    • 912 Thanks
    Carrot007
    Spark tell me it's a Economy 10 meter which is discontinued and therefore they cannot/will not send someone to look at it.
    Originally posted by Ed_Winchester
    You said it was Supertarrif at first.

    If so it is not E10. but a 4 rate thing using 2 mpans and 1 or 2 meters (2 is a really old sertup). (one reg is an error reg and should not move).

    It is only in the NEEB area (though most of the UK has slightly differently named similar tarrifs). And only supported by npower though their being who owns the old NEEB supplier these days.

    If it is supertarrif then the supplier should never have been changed, and you need to beg npower to take you back (they are not obliged).

    If it is e10 it is similarly legacy but you will be being billed as e7 by the other supplier (though will get more OP hours). They should replace this for an e7 meter thoughyou will get less hours OP.

    Simple way to tell is is it 4 reads (maybe over 2 meters), if so super tarrif. Is it 2 reads, then probably e10.

    You are unlikely to get someone who understands supertarrif at spark and will find it hard at power. Such is the problem with legacy tarrifs.

    Either way changing the meter to something else will require work on the consumer's side by their own electrician. Which falls down to your landlord. Who should persue whoever changed suppliers really! (could argue the supplier should have checked more and not taken it over too).

    Anyway. 2 or 4 reads?
    • Ed_Winchester
    • By Ed_Winchester 10th Apr 18, 8:18 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Ed_Winchester
    OK, it's a flat5 and no problems with a switch to Spark, they appear to be the suppliers used by the previous occupiers.

    Is the meter in close proximity to the meters for the other flats and if so, have you checked that what you think is your meter actually is the one supplying your flat?

    Have you checked the meter serial number matches the one one the bill?

    Note that the following test may not work if the meter is faulty but is worth doing anyway just to be sure:

    To check if it's the correct meter, turn everything off then go and look at the meters.
    If they are digital they will probably be a red flashing light on them which will hardly be flashing with no power being used - are any of them showing this?

    Next, go and fill a kettle and turn it on then go back and look at the meters while the kettle is boiling - the one with the now rapidly flashing light should be yours, particularly if it stops when the kettle turns itself off.
    Originally posted by D_M_E
    I must admit I haven't checked the serial numbers - the meters are all in a cupboard on the ground floor, and there are numbers next to each. Worth checking though definitely. The one I THINK is mine has no lights on at all, I've never seen a light since day one.


    You said it was Supertarrif at first.

    If so it is not E10. but a 4 rate thing using 2 mpans and 1 or 2 meters (2 is a really old sertup). (one reg is an error reg and should not move).

    It is only in the NEEB area (though most of the UK has slightly differently named similar tarrifs). And only supported by npower though their being who owns the old NEEB supplier these days.

    If it is supertarrif then the supplier should never have been changed, and you need to beg npower to take you back (they are not obliged).

    If it is e10 it is similarly legacy but you will be being billed as e7 by the other supplier (though will get more OP hours). They should replace this for an e7 meter thoughyou will get less hours OP.

    Simple way to tell is is it 4 reads (maybe over 2 meters), if so super tarrif. Is it 2 reads, then probably e10.

    You are unlikely to get someone who understands supertarrif at spark and will find it hard at power. Such is the problem with legacy tarrifs.

    Either way changing the meter to something else will require work on the consumer's side by their own electrician. Which falls down to your landlord. Who should persue whoever changed suppliers really! (could argue the supplier should have checked more and not taken it over too).

    Anyway. 2 or 4 reads?
    Originally posted by Carrot007
    You see my confusion... Spark said it was Economy 10, but EDF (who I contacted after hearing they dealt with Economy 10) told me it was actually this SuperTariff thing, which I'd never heard of before.

    To answer your last question, it has 4 reads which are cycled through by pressing a blue button. One is zero (is that the error one you mention?) and the others have readings which have never changed since I've been there. The interesting thing is that there are a mixture of meter types in the cupboard; not all of the six properties in the building have this type of meter.

    Would your advice first of all be to contact Npower to see if they'll take over the supply? Assume a faulty meter is something they would cover if they'd do so?

    Failing that it will need a new meter but at my landlord's cost? Spark did offer to change the meter but said they'd need confirmation from an electrician/the landlord that the property would support an Economy 7 or standard meter.

    Is that a fair summary?

    By the way, thanks to both of you for your advice - I'm getting more sense here than I've had from any of the suppliers I've spoken with.
    Last edited by Ed_Winchester; 10-04-2018 at 8:19 PM. Reason: manners
    • Carrot007
    • By Carrot007 11th Apr 18, 8:26 AM
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    Carrot007
    You see my confusion... Spark said it was Economy 10, but EDF (who I contacted after hearing they dealt with Economy 10) told me it was actually this SuperTariff thing, which I'd never heard of before.

    To answer your last question, it has 4 reads which are cycled through by pressing a blue button. One is zero (is that the error one you mention?) and the others have readings which have never changed since I've been there. The interesting thing is that there are a mixture of meter types in the cupboard; not all of the six properties in the building have this type of meter.
    Originally posted by Ed_Winchester
    Definatly supertarrif then. Spark [rpbably only took over as they did not know. They might not even supply both mpans. This will be hard to check via a supplier of the help line. If you are OK PM'ing me your meter serial I can check (this will give me your address so if you are worried do not).


    Would your advice first of all be to contact Npower to see if they'll take over the supply? Assume a faulty meter is something they would cover if they'd do so?
    Originally posted by Ed_Winchester
    Yes, play up theI have moved into a dflat and it should be on supertarrif and will you please take back the supply. I suspect you will need a manager to investigate what ST even is, so it may not be easy. But you never know you could get someone with extended knowledge! They do exist.


    Failing that it will need a new meter but at my landlord's cost? Spark did offer to change the meter but said they'd need confirmation from an electrician/the landlord that the property would support an Economy 7 or standard meter.

    Is that a fair summary?
    Originally posted by Ed_Winchester
    Yes, the meter change will probably be free. However as ST storage heaters I asssume are set up in a very special way and will need extensive changing by an electrician before the meter change as you will otherwise lose heating.

    Please confirm how the property is heated for more info here.


    By the way, thanks to both of you for your advice - I'm getting more sense here than I've had from any of the suppliers I've spoken with.
    Originally posted by Ed_Winchester
    Glad to help out. I know how frustrating metering can be when you move into a property. Full disclosure I do work for a supplier, however I will not mention who as this is purely unofficial advice. I started in domestic so know a fair bit here, which is why I can offer information, though I have not worked in it for over 10 years.
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 11th Apr 18, 12:15 PM
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    • 1,084 Thanks
    House Martin
    Excellent advice from Carrot007.
    Also have a read of what Wolf3 commented on here.He lives up in Scotland and has a good knowledge of these odd legacy tariffs.http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5543108.
    Looks like Spark Energy can t solve this and only Npower will be able to sort it and will need a specialist manager from Npower only to deal with it.
    Everyone else will fail.
    I m still suspicious that a previous tenant has got so fed up of high bills that they have resorted to "fixing " the damn meter by an internal wiring link.
    Although the lower cover seal is in position give it a close look and a tug. The clever ones cut the seal neatly then super glue it back.Others simply buy a few seals from Ebay and replace the proper DNO ones by one with no number printed on it.
    The red light on solid , with no rapid pulsing when electricity is being used, is always the indicator to me of an internal adjustment inside the meter. I usually spot this on the electric key meter which is the most tampered meter.
    Your digital meter not advancing is still a mystery
    • Ed_Winchester
    • By Ed_Winchester 11th Apr 18, 8:03 PM
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    • 4 Thanks
    Ed_Winchester
    Thanks again both - I'll be contacting Npower on Friday when I'm next home and see if they can help me out. I'll double check those seals on the meter again too as I'm definitely suspicious re: the previous tenants.

    The property does have storage heaters, yes. Wouldn't have been my first choice but everything else about the place (location, layout, room size etc) was perfect for me so it was a compromise.
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