Battery Failure on Gas Meter

  • 14 September 2018
  • 9 replies
  • 4003 views

Hi all, After trying to cook some lunch yesterday and finding no gas coming through, I discovered that the gas meter was unresponsive when pressing the buttons. It appears that the battery has failed, even though the meter was only fitted in September 2016! I am now without heating, hot water and cooker and have been for 24 hours. I have sent messages to find out what is happening and so far to no avail.... I understand that there is a time frame for getting a reply from Pure Planet, but you would think that this emergency would somehow be prioritised! We live 1000ft above sea level, so you can imagine that the temperatures are dropping as autumn comes in. What are your experiences with the level of customer service received, as I am currently VERY disappointed!

9 replies

Hi @Rosemary
I take it all is sorted now? 😕
Unfortunately not - we have no gas again today as the meter that was installed is a prepayment one and it has run out of credit. What on earth is going on. My elderly parents are coming on Wednesday to house sit while we are on holiday and my dad who is 88 has just had s hip replacement operation after a fall when he broke his femur. I am so angry and extremely stressed as you can imagine. I need this sorted urgently as we have no heating, hot water or cooker.
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Hi Rosemary
I’m sure it can be changed to credit mode remotely, and although I sympathise with your predicament, I have to say you got it sorted quickly initially and neither the battery failure nor the resultant fix can be blamed on PP.
More to the point you highlight a very important issue, IF smart meter failure results in no supply (and i’m guessing it has to for safety reasons), that’s a very good reason not to have one. Cats and pigeons here...
In my opinion this is potentially a very serious issue for anyone with a smart meter, particularly the more vulnerable.
edit @MrSmart, are smart gas meters configured to cut off in the event of battery failure? who gets notified in the event of low battery?
Hi @Rosemary
It was a pre-pay meter? It should not have come to us without being changed by your previous supplier to credit mode.
I have flagged this with our Member services team to look at now
It will get sorted
It was through yourselves that the meter was changed due to the battery failure (Victoria arranged it). I just don’t understand why a prepayment meter was installed..... I have always paid by monthly DD
woz;12027:
Hi Rosemary
edit @MrSmart, are smart gas meters configured to cut off in the event of battery failure? who gets notified in the event of low battery?


I didn't think they were, I thought it was just the 'smart' element of the meter. The meter should still function as a gas meter to allow the gas flow. Having said that, it appears that the OP was still in Prepayment mode which is a breach of the previous supplier's license conditions which states that they should switch the meter to credit mode before loss. This is because PP, not being a supplier that can operate smart meters at present, don't get stuck with customers that they are unable to assist.

The previous supplier, still being known to the meter, will be receiving alerts from the device to advise that the battery is dying or running out of credit. They also have an obligation to forward these on to the new supplier if they receive them (but that might only be for SMETS2 meters).
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so that begs the question as to whether it was ever in credit mode? Presumably it must have been if it had been working previously?
The original so called smart meter turned out to be not vey smart as the distance to the electricity cupboard was too far for automatic readings, so I always had to do my own meter readings. I joined PP on 2nd September and the battery died without notice on 13th September after only 2 years service from installation. The engineer came on Monday 17th September to exchange the meter and I only found out today that it was a prepayment one after calling the emergency phone number and an engineer responded, pressed a number of buttons which told him that there was no credit, hence no gas!

- - - Updated - - -

I think there was emergency credit on it according to the guy who responded from Northern Gas
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Correction to my previous comment ...It appears that the original post was dated 14th Sept, how the commun-ites (that's pronounced as in "communights" as an alternative band to the communards) all missed it is a mystery to me...there are no replies...
hmmm
"communites" is the collective noun for community participants, or at least it is now..

- - - Updated - - -

hi

the "might" as in "but that might only be for SMETS2 meters" is a bit of a worry, if it's only for SMETS2 then I can see a lot of very concerned people with SMETS1 meters worrying that they might lose their supply for a relatively trivial non-safety non-payment related reason. That said, it isn't clear in this case what mode the meter was in when the battery failed (credit or pre).

And, there are further chinks in the armour here:

1. If a battery suffers rapid catastrophic failure it wouldn't have time to report itself (I don't know how they fail, if multicelled batteries, that sort of failure would be rare, but easily solved with some software to store/transmit (non volatile?) readings with the addition of a supercap in the hardware, so it would act like a power backup for a short while and they must have thought of this??
Presumably the monitoring equipment at the distributor would also realise it wasn't getting the telemetry BUT in this case...it's worse because...

2. Rosemary said it couldn't communicate anyway, in which case the original installer should have either removed it as being not fit for purpose, or installed some sort of remedial device or cabling to allow the meter to do what it was supposed to do in the first place.
This particular case is very concerning.



MrSmart;12031:
I didn't think they were, I thought it was just the 'smart' element of the meter. The meter should still function as a gas meter to allow the gas flow. Having said that, it appears that the OP was still in Prepayment mode which is a breach of the previous supplier's license conditions which states that they should switch the meter to credit mode before loss. This is because PP, not being a supplier that can operate smart meters at present, don't get stuck with customers that they are unable to assist.

The previous supplier, still being known to the meter, will be receiving alerts from the device to advise that the battery is dying or running out of credit. They also have an obligation to forward these on to the new supplier if they receive them (but that might only be for SMETS2 meters).

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