Smart meters pilot update March 2019 - new installations booked, hundreds more coming next


  • Community Manager
  • 5812 replies
Hi all

It’s been a few weeks since I last updated the community about our smart meters rollout, so here’s the latest news about our pilot installations before we offer them to all Members.

Following the successful installation of six meters at homes of PP staff in February, last week we installed our first Member smart meter when engineers fitted them for community Member @Angelabikerbabe :up:

Since then Magnum, the firm we’ve contracted to installed smart meters for us, have been with in touch with about 30 more Members, and will be installing them from this week.

Included in this phase of the pilot are community Members @Spike; @Mike Kenny; @mburns61; @Keith83; @edhartley; @Qlmac; @Jowl; @Shani; @Tspalding48; @Condor2378; @Aboswell; @Rusty83; @scooter; @Bjamp; @SimAli; @Spike; @Hopper; @MikeH; @Deedee1; @Alec; @Lewliv; @troosers; @RHB; @davelakes; @Shaunberry; @Trixy; @Nanette; @RichieG;

Then from April we’ll look to install another 200 meters in the North, followed by 300 in Central and South. (In the world of Smart, the ‘border’ is level with Manchester. The reason for the two distinct areas is thanks to different data networks transferring the info).

I volunteered to be part of the pilot but haven’t heard anything yet

We’re really grateful to everyone who’s offered to help. The response has been overwhelming! :raisinghands:

At this stage because we don’t have engineers available everywhere, we’re focusing on places were we’ve got lots of members clustered together.

Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten you! Once we’re ready to install smart meters to thousands of our Members’ homes later this year, we’ll be in touch.

Please give us your feedback

We want our Members to have a good smart meter experience once we start installing meters in larger numbers, so we’re working closely with our installees to find out what they did and didn’t like as part of the install process.

Please give us let us know about:


  • Your installation booking experience from Magnum - Was the date and time of the installation made clear? Were you kept in the loop about what was planned?
  • Pre installation - Was there anything else you were expecting? Was there anything you didn’t understand?
  • The installation - How long did it take? Was there any disruption? Was the engineer informative and helpful?
  • Post installation - Are you aware of the benefits of your smart meter? Are you happy with the information you’ve been left with?


Feel free to post your feedback in the replies here, or send me a DM if you prefer, or send a message to our team in your app.
We’re collecting your feedback as we go. We’re using it to improve the process for the next round of installations.

What will happen to my Pure Planet account after the smart meters are installed?

We estimate that it will take about six to eight weeks from the date your smart meters are installed for your account to be fully updated.

This means that you’ll most likely receive at least one email asking for a meter reading - this can be ignored! You may also not receive your regular monthly statement.

After the 6-8 week period you’ll start to see automated meter readings appear in your app and your monthly statements will also return.

Got a question about smart meters? Take part in a community Q&A with Leyton, our head of Smart rollout.

Register your interest in being part of our smart meters pilot here.

69 replies

Badge +2
As I said in another thread, Magnum were friendly and informative for me. The booking process was a breeze and everything was made clear. They do mention a £70 fee for missed appointments but as long as you can give notice 24hours before they should be able to change things.
Although just checking and I haven't had confirmation by e-mail of the appointment like they said I would. Although my install isn't till the end of April 😞
Was glad to have been given a date for my installation for the 25th of March but not so got call this morning saying it had been cancels and was not happening now until the 2nd of May is this a common problem as I am not great at reading my meters at present as they were first generation smart meters and am sure I’m not reading it correctly
Thanks for that feedback @Jowl
Let me find out what the score is about the confirmation email. I know that nearer the time of the appointment you'll be hearing from them.
Deedee1;25630:
Was glad to have been given a date for my installation for the 25th of March but not so got call this morning saying it had been cancels and was not happening now until the 2nd of May is this a common problem as I am not great at reading my meters at present as they were first generation smart meters and am sure I’m not reading it correctly


Hi @Deedee1
It's a case of grouping some Members together geographically, so that an engineer can spend a few days in one place installing lots of meters, not criss-crossing the country too much!
This won't be uncommon while we're in the pilot phase as we're still getting all the processes in place.

(BTW I moved your post to this thread as it's about the next round of our pilot :up:)

Re your question about reading SMETS1 meters correctly. Make sure you're reading the actual meters, not the in-home displays. Check out this guide from our FAQs section.
Hi Marc,
Would you be able to share more information on the longer term plan e.g. planned pilots and further rollout?
Also can you share customer numbers vs how many applied to be in the pilot? (to give us an idea of scale)
Cheers!
Butler579;25666:
Hi Marc,
Would you be able to share more information on the longer term plan e.g. planned pilots and further rollout?
Also can you share customer numbers vs how many applied to be in the pilot? (to give us an idea of scale)
Cheers!


Hi @Butler579
Good questions!
Depending on how the pilot installs go, I'd estimate that we'll be installing smart meters at the rate of a few hundred a week by the summer. There's some work being done in preparation for that - for example the ability to book your appointment in the app.

A few hundred people have very kindly put their hands up to take part in pilot testing ❤:raisinghands:.
Check out the number of replies to this post (but also remember that some Members cheekily put their names down more than once, ahem ;))
Seems we have a problem in some areas. I had an appointment confirmed for the 3rd April which has just been cancelled due to meter communications issues. When I asked what that meant I was told ‘I’m not sure we’ve just been told to cancel some areas’ can’t pretend I’m not dissappointed!!
Worst thing we ever did was have smart meters fitted by our old supplier. They never worked right from day one.

Apparently our double glazing was interfering with the signal. 🤣
Userlevel 7
Badge +9
Hey James,

You must have amazing super duper glazing so that's gotta be the good news.

I'm not in the smart metre camp unless I'm dragged to the party.
However, PP appear to be very thorough in their phased testing..to rollout..which seems the wisest approach.
No doubt any problems will be picked apart here and that is what this forum is for.
Userlevel 7
Badge +10
Is it metallised glass? It can attenuate rf have a look at section 4.3 of THIS (caution for nerds only)
James Rawnsley;25724:
Worst thing we ever did was have smart meters fitted by our old supplier. They never worked right from day one.

Apparently our double glazing was interfering with the signal. ������
Userlevel 6
Badge +1
Thanks Marc. Nice to know that at long last somebody realises the North/South “boundary” is not at Watford Gap anymore!
PJS;25708:
Seems we have a problem in some areas. I had an appointment confirmed for the 3rd April which has just been cancelled due to meter communications issues. When I asked what that meant I was told ‘I’m not sure we’ve just been told to cancel some areas’ can’t pretend I’m not dissappointed!!


Hi @PJS
Regarding meter communications. It's def true that some areas have stronger connectivity than others.
The risk will be that we'd install a smart meter at yours now and it'll be effectively 'dumb'.
We may need to wait for the DCC (data communications company - they're responsible for building the network infrastructure) to improvement the connectivity.

The person who you spoke to at Magnum should have known about that.
That's not a good experience. We'll look into that.
I would very much like to be included in the pilot scheme. I live in Ayrshire, Scotland. Many thanks.
Hi Marc.

Had my meters installed yesterday by Magnum. Took a call last week from their service team. Confirmed booking and all details. I was informed I would receive a confirmation email of said booking. As of today it had still not arrived. But I was informed that the engineer would call me on route in the day of install.
Yesterday was the install date and around 8:00 team called to say they were on route.
The installation time for the team took around 2hrs. However the ended up being here from around 08:40 until nearly 17:00. They had a lot of issues with the communication side due to the multiple stages the meters have to go through. As I was at work they kept my partner fully updated through the day and had to do multiple resets but in the end they managed to get the communication side all sorted.
They were unable to give me the PPMID though as it was either lost or not with the original order of the meters. But this was explained fully early morning once it was realised. No real drama to be fair.
I received a call from their customer service team again once the team had left to go over all the details and issues encountered. Shan was really nice and apologetic about the PPMID but had placed order and emailed me within seconds of the call with contact details and what is needed once PPMID arrives.

Overall the service from Magnum was great. Communication issues the guys can’t do much about to be fair. New technology will always have teething issues. It’s about how the customer is informed and handled which makes the difference.
So a thumbs up from me. Just patiently waiting for the PPMID now.
Location is Bellshill Lanarkshire.
Please count me out for smart meters. Had very bad experience through my previous supplier. The reasons are many and varied. The main reason was that owing to the age of the property and having the main fuse box for my neighbours in an outside cupboard and asking my neighbours to un plug everything it's just not worth it.
G4RHL;25742:
Nice to know that at long last somebody realises the North/South “boundary” is not at Watford Gap anymore!


:rolleyes::o
P40LGG;25800:
Hi Marc.

Had my meters installed yesterday by Magnum. Took a call last week from their service team. Confirmed booking and all details. I was informed I would receive a confirmation email of said booking. As of today it had still not arrived. But I was informed that the engineer would call me on route in the day of install.
Yesterday was the install date and around 8:00 team called to say they were on route.
The installation time for the team took around 2hrs. However the ended up being here from around 08:40 until nearly 17:00. They had a lot of issues with the communication side due to the multiple stages the meters have to go through. As I was at work they kept my partner fully updated through the day and had to do multiple resets but in the end they managed to get the communication side all sorted.
They were unable to give me the PPMID though as it was either lost or not with the original order of the meters. But this was explained fully early morning once it was realised. No real drama to be fair.
I received a call from their customer service team again once the team had left to go over all the details and issues encountered. Shan was really nice and apologetic about the PPMID but had placed order and emailed me within seconds of the call with contact details and what is needed once PPMID arrives.

Overall the service from Magnum was great. Communication issues the guys can’t do much about to be fair. New technology will always have teething issues. It’s about how the customer is informed and handled which makes the difference.
So a thumbs up from me. Just patiently waiting for the PPMID now.
Location is Bellshill Lanarkshire.


Thanks for this very thorough feedback @P40LGG :foldedhands:
I actually think you're being overly kind! Appreciate your patience and your understanding that new tech has teething issues, but I'm feeding back to our Smart team the lack of confirmation email and the fact that the install took all day!
Had a call from Magnun today to install new smart meters. They then informed me that as I already have a 1st gen smart meter fitted, they couldn't fit another one and I would need a site visit by yourselves before they could proceed. Everyone (except Magnum it appears) knows that these early meters don't work with any other than the original supplier. Where do I go from here?
Hi @Ray
That's an interesting one.
Some SMETS1 smart meters will be compatible. We're reliant on the Data and Communications Company (appointed by the Government to build the smart meter network around the UK) to make this happen.
The DCC has given out some estimates - which you can check out here in our FAQs section.
Generally-speaking, if there's a chance that a Member's SMETS1 will work, we won't install a SMETS2 as we don't want to be wasting and chucking away technology and hardware which works.
But for the pilot of SMETS2 installs, we are of course testing new kit! So leave this one with me, we'll chat to Magnum about it 🆙
Marc;25836:
Thanks for this very thorough feedback @P40LGG :foldedhands:
I actually think you're being overly kind! Appreciate your patience and your understanding that new tech has teething issues, but I'm feeding back to our Smart team the lack of confirmation email and the fact that the install took all day!


The key is keeping customers informed and from my point of view that’s exactly how they handled it.
This is the whole point of the trials to weed out the issues and fine tune large scale deployment. That’s when the troubles start.

And yes. I work in mobile network technology so I understand the point of feedback both positive and negative. (And sitting around all day waiting on someone to do the checks from hundreds of miles away)

Never had this sort of communication from any of my other service suppliers. So keep up the good work.
I’ll submit a full feedback once I’m up and running and had sometime to use it all. 🆙
Hmm. Not on the list in Post 1, but I got a call from Magnum yesterday and am booked in for an install on 25th march, 8am - 1pm time slot.

They did not mention any confirmation via email, just said that I will get a call on the day when the engineers are on their way.
Not sure if I need to post this to the PP team or just within this thread ??

This afternoon I received a call from Claire at Magnum regarding the installation of the 2nd gen Smart meters.
The date and time for installation was agreed for 27th March (a.m.). Everything was going well until...........I told Claire that the installers would be removing my 1st gen Smart meters. At this point I was told that the installation would not be going ahead as my "current" meters would only require a "software update" to bring them up to the relevant standard for classification as 2nd gen Smart meters.
I have not read anything to this effect, and was under the impression that these 1st gen Smart meters required to be swapped out and replaced with 2nd gen Smart meters. When I registered my interest to PP I included the information regarding my current meters.
I can only surmise that the PP team were unaware of Magnum's policy regarding "not" swapping out 1st gen Smart meters.
Does anyone know if Magnum are correct about the possibility of upgrading the software on old 1st gen Smart meters, or are they just "cherry picking" their workload ? If this is possible, will this be undertaken by PP ??
I'm happy to continue with my "dumb" meter, as it's not really an issue.....however I was looking forward to "upgrading" my equipment. I must point out that Claire was very professional and polite and seemed genuinely disappointed that the work could not go ahead. Has anyone else been told this ??
I believe pure planet should clarify this as all of the original correspondence relating to the roll out of smart meters from pure planet was that smet1 meters would be replaced. In fact this was a very specific point made by pure planet. Marc, I believe that you owe us an explanation as its clear pure planet are NOT sticking to what they said they would do. Poor show!!!
Is it possible to have a Smart Meter installed by pure planet? I had one installed by a previous installer and I'd wondered why the electricity part of the meter didn't seem to work. I now understand that they only work for the company who installed it originally. Thank you !!
Gray4276;25898:
Not sure if I need to post this to the PP team or just within this thread ??

This afternoon I received a call from Claire at Magnum regarding the installation of the 2nd gen Smart meters.
The date and time for installation was agreed for 27th March (a.m.). Everything was going well until...........I told Claire that the installers would be removing my 1st gen Smart meters. At this point I was told that the installation would not be going ahead as my "current" meters would only require a "software update" to bring them up to the relevant standard for classification as 2nd gen Smart meters.
I have not read anything to this effect, and was under the impression that these 1st gen Smart meters required to be swapped out and replaced with 2nd gen Smart meters. When I registered my interest to PP I included the information regarding my current meters.
I can only surmise that the PP team were unaware of Magnum's policy regarding "not" swapping out 1st gen Smart meters.
Does anyone know if Magnum are correct about the possibility of upgrading the software on old 1st gen Smart meters, or are they just "cherry picking" their workload ? If this is possible, will this be undertaken by PP ??
I'm happy to continue with my "dumb" meter, as it's not really an issue.....however I was looking forward to "upgrading" my equipment. I must point out that Claire was very professional and polite and seemed genuinely disappointed that the work could not go ahead. Has anyone else been told this ??


Hi @Gray4276
This is the same that has happened to another Member @Ray who is part of our SMETS2 install pilot.
I'll post my earlier reply here too, as others such as @Abzmrk are also asking - and it's a good question to be fair :up:

Some SMETS1 smart meters will be compatible. We're reliant on the Data and Communications Company (appointed by the Government to build the smart meter network around the UK) to make this happen.
The DCC has given out some estimates - which you can check out here in our FAQs section.
Generally-speaking, if there's a chance that a Member's SMETS1 will work, we won't install a SMETS2 as we don't want to be wasting and chucking away technology and hardware which works.
So Magnum have done the right thing - we're not going to automatically replace 'dumb' meters which are expected to become smart again soon.
But, for those Members like you and @Ray who've offered to take part in our SMETS2 installation pilot, we'll let Magnum know it's OK to go ahead with the install.


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