British Gas Smart Meters – Part 3

I have already written a post about my difficulty in 2013 persuading British Gas to install Smart Meters, followed by installation issues fraught with delays. I am sorry to say my experience with British Gas Smart Meters continues to be… well… broken.

Last year, in July 2014, my ecoMeter (In Home Display) stopped being able to communicate with the smart meters, As a result it was no longer displaying our consumption but an error message:

“Network Connection Error: 7
A Connectivity Problem has occurred. Please move the device closer to the meter and restart.
If the problem persists please contact British Gas on: 0800 980 6121”

British Gas ecoMeter Error 7

Needless to say, after following its advice to move closer to the meter with no resolve, I gave British Gas a ring…

After the usual “Have you tried turning it off and on again” game, I was advised to keep the ecoMeter unplugged for 24 hours and try again the next day. I did as advised, returning to plug the ecoMeter back in the next day only to be presented with the same error message (to be honest I was not surprised). So back on the phone to British Gas…

I was next advised that is was due to a “patch” which British Gas needed to apply on their head end and that they would contact me back when this patch has been applied, the waiting game begins…

Not hearing back from British Gas after a month I decide to give them another ring to see if they has a progress report. Unfortunately there was no progress and this mysterious “patch” has still not been applied.

Another couple of months roll past and this time their story has slightly changed this time British Gas are blaming it on an issue with the Trilliant Hub which sits alongside my smart meters and is supposed to communicate back to British Gas via the mobile phone network. I was again advised that I should sit tight and wait for their engineering department to come up with a solution.

Now, 8 months later the issue has still been resolved and British Gas have even admitted that they have had to switch my meters back to standard meters on their billing systems and mobile app, effectively rendering them dumb meters again, I now have to manually provide British Gas with meter readings rendering all my past efforts getting them installed in the first place pointless!

From what I can tell I am not the only person who’s smart meters have lost their intelligence, this sounds like it is a wider problem, perhaps with all ‘Phase 3’ meters with a Trilliant Hub? But I can’t believe that this effects every British Gas smart meter in the country. It frustrates me that they must be able to at least provide me with new hardware, even if this means an engineer has to come to my house to fit a new hub.

With no obvious resolve date, I am now considering moving away from British Gas over to npower who are currently offering better rates and a free Nest Thermostat to new customers. But currently British Gas are the only UK energy provider to “claim” to have Smart Meters (but this in my mind is in doubt!). It would be interesting see see if British Gas make more of an effort to get my smart meters working when I phone up to leave.

15 thoughts on “British Gas Smart Meters – Part 3

  1. STEPHEN LEWIS1 says:

    I am in the same position with Ovo. I have a smart meter which is operating as a dumb meter. The Smart Gateway that talks to the smart meter and plugs into the router will not connect either. I wonder what the position is on changing suppliers. If the current “smart meters” are dumb, will new supplier change them out without charge?

  2. smartofthehome says:

    Hi Stephen,
    I’m sorry to hear you are having problems with Smart meters also. I did not realise Ovo did them, I must look into them.
    If you move to another provider, I don’t believe they would swap out the meters. They would just take them on in “dumb” mode. To date there are not many providers who ‘do smart’ (end even those who apparently do smart meters, evidently they are still having teathing problems)!
    I am still awaiting British Gas to sort my Smart Meters out!

  3. STEPHEN LEWIS1 says:

    Thank you for your guidance and for producing the blog.

    The Smart Gateway which is totally non-functional along with my Smart Meter which is also categorised by Ovo as a “Dumb Meter” appears to be produced by a company called Telegesis and the generic name is Consumer Access Device (CAD). I found it here: 

    http://www.telegesis.com/news/smart-energy-is-a-piece-of-cake-for-ovo-energy/

    I have a little hope that Ovo will return to complete the commissioning. 

    Regards, Stephen

  4. Chris says:

    Hi, thanks for your 3 posts on British Gas smart meters which I’ve read with interest. I had the same smart meter configuration installed at my request just over 1 year ago, so far with no problems. However, today I noticed the electricity meter E470 display showing “Error 00000002” which cleared when I pressed the button. I’ve no idea what that means. My beef is that having had solar pv panels installed and the meter happily recording actual export as well as import, the export datais are ignored by British Gas because the government regs on solar systems less than 4kwp state export is deemed to be 50% of total power produced by the solar system. The meter recoding the solar power produced is not a smart meter so every 3 months I have to provide British Gas with a reading from it. That reading is used for electricity produced and 50% of the reading for electricity exported. It’s not any difference between what I’ll be paid for the amount deemed to be exported and what the true total is that bugs me, it’s that all the data is there on the smart meter and it’s not used! Maybe one day….. Regards, Chris

  5. Dawn says:

    Hi James, I happened upon your blogs looking for support with my British Gas Ecometer that is displaying”Network Connection Error 1″
    I will ring BG but I am not hopeful of an answer after reading your blog!

  6. James Saunders says:

    Hi Dawn, I wrote this post a few years ago. Since then BG have sorted many of the early niggles which came with the introduction of smart meters. Hopefully, these days, they will resolve issues quicker. Hope they get your in home display working soon.

  7. Steve says:

    Hi James
    Thank you for your very informative blogs!
    Just wanted to relate my tale of woes with BG smart meters.
    My system was installed a couple of years ago and apart from the IHD never working properly (the meters are in the garage under the house) all seemed ok for about 18 months. Then about 9 months ago the electricity data just stopped! bizarrely the gas data carried on! Despite my badgering BG almost weekly it stayed like this for 7 months! Then about 6 weeks ago the electricity data started again! It was only sending daily records but it was better than nothing!
    Latest update the electricity data disappeared again about 3 weeks ago! Allied to the horrendous problems with the BG website and billing errors BG and I have now parted company in favour of EDF saving myself about £240 in the process!
    Cheers
    Steve.

    • James Saunders says:

      Hi Steve, Thanks for posting your experience. Sorry it was not a good one! After my initial issues my Smart Meters are still working (fingers crossed), but I too am tempted to switch providers now others now offer Smart Meters.
      What I really want is a provider who will permit connection of another customer owned IHD and easier access to the data.

  8. Steve says:

    I completely agree!
    That was my initial goal as soon as the meters were installed.
    However having been blocked at every turn I have admitted defeat (for now)
    and am providing regular manual readings to EDF content in the knowledge
    that I do not want to pay an extra £240 in the coming year for something that is completely useless!

  9. William John Rogers says:

    My experience of Smart meters is BG ringing up saying they ‘have a man in the area’ and would I be interested. Yea I said,so they came and changed both electric and gas meters to smart meters. Great I thought, no more crawling around in the under-stair cupboard trying to take readings because the monitor could take them instead. Every thing was fine until I changed supplier. After a short while the monitor stop collecting the readings and I had to resort to crawling in the cupboard again.The new supplier had no means of collecting the readings but hoped to do so sometime in the future. B.G. was not interested because I had left them,although they supplied my new supplier. They said they had switched the signal between monitor and meters off.
    Later I changed again but this supplier was able to collect the readings because – yes you guessed it- B.G. supplied my gas through them.
    I’m now on another new supplier and have, up till now, been able to collect the meter readings. Unfortunately our area suffered two power cuts which seemed to have upset the Smart Meters. They are showing the wrong date, three weeks in advance, and the monitor fails to link with them. So much for technology.
    Bill.

    • James Saunders says:

      Thanks for the comment Bill. It is interesting to hear your experience with Smart Meters. In your scenario this does not sound like an issue with BG. Not all suppliers support Smart Meters yet and it sounds like the industry has a way to go to be able to seamlessly transfer them between suppliers.
      BG are probably ahead of the pack when it comes to them, but, in time, the others should catch up.

  10. William Rogers says:

    Since my previous comment about Smart Meters I find the monitor shows error code 2, what ever that is. I have sat the monitor on top of the meter, which is the closest it can ever get, but still nothing.
    Now the smart gas meter sometimes fails to ‘wake up’ so cannot take meter readings. Informed supplier who arranged an engineer to call in 2 weeks time.
    In the meantime, as sod’s law would have it, it started working again so carried on taking readings. Phoned supplier who cancelled engineer’s visit.
    Several days later, the meter failed to wake up when the red button was pressed. Informed supplier who has arranged another visit in another two weeks.

    • Guy Barrett says:

      Moral of the story, never cancel an Engineers visit just because it started working again. Let them come out and find out why it keeps stopping!

  11. Robbie says:

    So now it’s late 2019. I had a smart meter installed during the summer, and all was well. We even moved supplier from EDF to BULB and yes the meter went ‘dumb’ for a while, but slowly features started to come back online on the Chameleon 3 IHD. All good I thought!

    Then suddenly the IHD was having problems talking back to the meter box outside. We never had signal strength issues, despite a couple of block walls we always had full signal strength.

    I’ve tried everything, I’ve restarted the IHD, run the battery to dead over a week – still no resolution. I’d buy another IHD but there is no consumer level method to connect to the meter due security. This new technology remains very much in its infancy, and issues highlight weakness in the system design as a whole.

    Bulb have been reluctant to get involved as they didn’t install this meter, but they may have no choice if I push hard.

    Interestingly, and more in reply to a previous post on this topic; Chameleon (makers of IHD’s) now offer a bridging product (CAD’s, or consumer access devices) to enable extraction of data by the customer. It seems though that the take up of these devices by the Energy suppliers is yet to get started… https://chameleontechnology.co.uk/solutions/consumer-access-devices/

  12. Eddie biglou says:

    I have got the same issue with my smart monitor network connection Error and I contacted British Gas several times and didn’t get any help .

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