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Being Bill Using R1 Instead of Total

  • 14 July 2021
  • 3 replies
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Userlevel 2

Hi,

When i joined PP I had a SMETS1 Smartmeter that was no longer “smart” as I had changed suppliers since it was installed so I always gave manual readings. The reading I had to give PP is the total read one (as I’m not on any Economy 7 tariff) so PP had registered it as a standard mode meter. A couple of months ago now my Smartmeter got “adopted” so PP started to read it remotely again. Great! Except on the adoption day they took a final total read and an opening R1 read then started billing me moving forward using the R1 reading instead of total read for some reason.

I queried this as it didn’t seem right and PP told me this was the only way it could be done as that was the way the third party who adopts meters does it, and doing a final/opening read mid contract when meters are adopted is normal.

Now as the Smartmeter is not in Economy 7 mode as I’ve not used Economy 7 for years R1 runs 24 hours a day and R2 runs 0 hours a day so R2 is no longer incrementing, this is not a problem with my bills being wrong or anything as all my current usage is under R1 anyway, but I was concerned that when I switched, other suppliers would use the total read (esp. if they don’t support Smartmeters) so it could cause a problem with switching as both companies wouldn’t agree the final/opening read. I was reassured as follows:

"I've checked this issue with our Operations Team and they've confirmed that we're now billing you using the R1 reading, as you suspected. We've just successfully pulled a Smart reading from your electricity meter so we should receive these automatically each month going forward. They confirmed it's not possible for us to use the total reading any longer and stated that as the meter has now been adopted onto the DCC (Data Communications Company - they're responsible for the Smart network) any new supplier will also use the R1 reading like we are. "

However, the other day someone knocked on the door to read the meter. I explained its “Smart” again now so it’s done remotely but they said it still has to be done manually from time to time so let them do it. However, they said they could only enter the total read as that’s what their system uses and he’s never heard of anyone billing using R1. The figures were something like R1 ~11000, R2 ~6500 TOTAL ~17000, and he said his system showed the last reading from a few months back as ~16000 or so.
I said to him, that as they’re using R1 for billing now, if he suddenly entered a total read figure it would add around 6500 to my bill and make it massively higher than it should be (as I paid for that 6500 R2 usage already years ago). He said he would not enter it but someone will be back in 3 months to take a read then instead.

So now in 3 months I’m going to have the same issue presumably, or can I just never let the manual read people in forever? Has anyone else run into this problem and knows what the solution is. Why are the manual readings people using total but remote readings people using R1? It seems to me like it would be better/more sensible for everyone if they all just used the total read, but as long as they all use the same it doesn’t matter, but they’re not it seems! I’m now also no longer reassured that any new supplier will not try to use total again too…

Are PP/DCC wrong to be billing using R1 now or is the manual meter readings company wrong? Has anyone else run into this issue when their SMETS1 Smartmeter was adopted and was it resolved and how?

 

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Best answer by Mads 30 July 2021, 16:52

 

Hello @paul56-2 

Thanks for posting!

I have spoken with our smart team about this. Could you let us know which company the engineer was from so that we can get in touch and provide feedback?

The use of the R1 for elec is part of the SMETS2 specification, and therefore is the specification for SMETS1's that are adopted onto the SMETS2 network.

Readings go through a validation process, so if we did suddenly receive a total reading as the current R1 reading, it wouldn't pass validation (the industry would reject it), and in our systems it would cause a high bill which wouldn't be sent out to you until we'd checked it (and removed the incorrect reading).

If you were to switch away we'd bill up to your final reading using the R1 read, and the new supplier due to the specification for SMETS2 should also bill you to the R1 reading. But regardless of what the new supplier does we will final bill to the correct reading.

I hope that brings some reassurance! :relaxed:

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Hello @paul56-2 

Thanks for posting!

I have spoken with our smart team about this. Could you let us know which company the engineer was from so that we can get in touch and provide feedback?

The use of the R1 for elec is part of the SMETS2 specification, and therefore is the specification for SMETS1's that are adopted onto the SMETS2 network.

Readings go through a validation process, so if we did suddenly receive a total reading as the current R1 reading, it wouldn't pass validation (the industry would reject it), and in our systems it would cause a high bill which wouldn't be sent out to you until we'd checked it (and removed the incorrect reading).

If you were to switch away we'd bill up to your final reading using the R1 read, and the new supplier due to the specification for SMETS2 should also bill you to the R1 reading. But regardless of what the new supplier does we will final bill to the correct reading.

I hope that brings some reassurance! :relaxed:

Userlevel 7
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@paul56-2 

Just to add to this, how your SM is configured depends on your supply You can be on any tariff you like (as long as the supplier agrees), what determines the  change of configuration is whether your MPAN is single rate. Yours will be 2 rate.

Its precisely because of this legacy issue that the system works as it does. I’ve previously highlighted why this does and will continue to cause confusion, as logically you’d have thought the total reading would always be the one used.

In the good old days the off peak meter would continue to register, but not so any more (once configured). If you were to switch back to an E7 tariff presumably it would then be reconfigured to increment on the off peak*. The other huge downside (your issue being the first one) and that no one other than me seems to be concerned about is the fact that you lose the ability to know what your day/night ratio is which you would need to know were you to move back to an E7 tariff. *Also subsequent timing  of off-peak would be decided by the SM not by the consistent external switching which we have now. It’s an unholy bl**dy mess for 2 rate supplies.

 

 

Userlevel 2

 

I have spoken with our smart team about this. Could you let us know which company the engineer was from so that we can get in touch and provide feedback?

 

Sorry I can’t recall now but next time they knock I will note it and let you know. Thanks for the reassurance/information.

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