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Phase 1/Dumb meters, solar panels and how the new smart meters don't work with them

posted by Sam92 | 8 months ago

Myself and my mum have been onto Scottish power regarding the electric prices, smart meters, solar panels ECT. 

We have been ripped off and robbed of £££, we have solar panels installed by our housing association that are to generate our power and what is left over goes to our landlords, this has been rolled out across Suffolk county council homes. 

Before we had electric powered meters we had dumb/single phase meters which you could easily read and could see run backwards when the solar panels were working.

Every company we go to say they will replace our meters back to dumb meters then to not do the job and in Scottish powers case have acted dumb and flat out refused to replace the meters as they are "not faulty" Cleary they are faulty as we do not benefit from our solar panels as we once did.

I've been with Scottish power a few months now and I'm having so many issues with prices, readings and customer service. Having depression and anxiety really makes my situation more complicated as I struggle to call them up, struggle to take correct readings and struggle with finances changing unexpectedly.

Even now they are telling me I can't even have a smart meter installed after refusing to chance the already problematic meter. They are not taking the difficulty away for me of taking correct readings which is causing me unwanted stress.

As for solar panels being compatible, even the person who invented the smart meter asked for it to be removed as it didn't work properly with solar panels so there is a clear problem. 

From paying only £20 a month maximum on a top up meter just for electric which is meant to be more expensive, I am now paying equal to £40 a month just in electric!! It is outrageous especially when we have had so much sunny weather this summer, my solar panels should have been saving me a few hundred between April and September and would have been non existent in cost of electric.

 

There is a real serious problem here folks.

5 comments

posted by Hooloovoo | 8 months ago
Re: Phase 1/Dumb meters, solar panels and how the new smart meters don't work with them
Your meter is working correctly. It's the old one that was faulty.

Your new meter measures import and export separately. You pay for what you use, and your feed in tariff "deemed export" compensates you for an assumed export. Since your house and your panels are owned by the housing association, they are the ones to benefit from the panels via the exported electricity.

Your old meter measured the net total. i.e., import minus export via "running backwards". This means you were benefiting twice, by not paying for some of your import and also your housing association obtaining payment from the feed-in tariff. It was this meter that was wrong by not correctly measuring your import and so giving you artificially low bills.

Sorry for the bad news.

posted by Hooloovoo | 8 months ago
Re: Phase 1/Dumb meters, solar panels and how the new smart meters don't work with them
Just to add - this does not mean that you aren't benefiting from the solar panels. You still benefit from the free electricity during the day by reducing the amount you need to import from the grid. Try to ensure your main usage (running the washing machine etc.) is during the take to take advantage of this.

posted by kelace | A month ago
Re: Phase 1/Dumb meters, solar panels and how the new smart meters don't work with them
I have exactly the same problem and have been told umpteen times that it was the old meter not being accurate. My electricity usage trebled after having a smart meter fitted with solar panels my DD payment over doubled and I will still in debit for my bills. I have had an ongoing complaint for months with SP who will not accept any concerns despite clear and obvious evidence - after last months reading with solar panels 1000kw usage I switched my solar panels off for exactly same time period and usage dropped to 500kw. I’m aware that this cannot be an exact like for like but money ha were March and April so no sudden temperature increase and no change to any living patterns.
Also to say in one of the hottest summers we had last year my electricity was higher usage than over winter!! It’s not rocket science to see there is a major problem but no one will even consider investigating, the customer service team are completely inexperienced in this area.
I have been at my wits end trying to prove there is a problem not just for the financial aspect but just to stop me feeling like I’m lying and going crazy!! You have my sympathy....

posted by Davc | A month ago
Re: Phase 1/Dumb meters, solar panels and how the new smart meters don't work with them

Hello kelace. Read through the community and search for solar panels. It is often reported that the installer wires up the system so that it records the panels output as power input from SP. The solution is to get the wiring changed and ask for compensation from SP. Your Feed in Tariff data will tell you how many kWh you have been overcharged. The solar panel association knows about this problem and could also give you advice. 

posted by kelace | A month ago
Re: Phase 1/Dumb meters, solar panels and how the new smart meters don't work with them
Thanks so much for replying, never thought of asking solar panel association for support. I will definitely try once again to see if I can prove the problem. It’s such a hard slog getting anyone to listen Smiley Sad
Thanks again for giving me hope!