Hot Topic

Smart meters update - how multi-rate meters work in a 'smart' world

  • 11 September 2020
  • 9 replies
  • 160 views

Hi everyone, 

Recently a few of you have been asking about how smart meters will impact your two-rate readings (thanks to @woz @paul56 @Jon1 for raising this!), so we wanted to update the community on how this works.

This is relevant for all SMETS2 (second-generation) smart meters, and for SMETS1 (first-generation) meters that have been upgraded to the SMETS2 network - more info on that here.

A benefit of SMETS2, and upgraded SMETS1, meters is they can continue to function ‘smartly’ whenever you switch suppliers - this includes the ability to programme the meter according to the tariff you switch to.

This means if you switch from a multi-rate tariff (like Economy 7) to a single-rate tariff, your meter will be programmed to reflect this. It’ll show you one reading for your electricity usage, not two. In Pure Planet’s case, our 100% Green Variable tariff and our 100% Green Fixed tariff are both single-rate.

If I switch to Pure Planet, when will my meter change to be single-rate?

It takes 17 days to complete your switch to Pure Planet. During that time, we’ll receive your smart meter details and the details of the tariff you’ve chosen. 

During the countdown to your switch, you’ll see space for two readings in your Pure Planet app and web account. On the day your electricity switches to us, your meter will display one reading instead of two.

Up to six weeks later you’ll receive a final bill from your previous supplier with your closing two-rate readings. Your opening reading with Pure Planet will be single-rate (so, one reading not two).
Effectively, once you switch to be single-rate, your meter will continue to record usage against one rate, and will stop recording usage against the other. 

Here’s an example of how this looks in practice: 

  1. You have a SMETS2 meter which gives you Rate 1 and Rate 2 readings 
  2. You start your switch to Pure Planet’s 100% Green Fixed Tariff - on day 17, your rate 1 becomes your only reading. Your rate 2 will cease to record any usage.
  3. Your final bill from your previous supplier shows, for example, R1 100 kWh and R2 80 kWh. Your opening statement with us shows your first reading as 100 kWh. Your R2 reading is ignored.

What if I decide to switch back to a two-rate tariff in future?

In this case your meter will be configured to match the two-rate tariff. Both your Rate 1 and your Rate 2 would record usage again. 

Continuing from the example above, let’s say when you decide to change tariff your final reading is 600 kWh. 

Your opening reading with your new two-rate tariff would be R1 600 kWh, and R2 80 kWh - because that’s where the meter stopped recording your two-rate usage previously.

What readings should I enter?

As a general rule, if your meter is showing two readings, or if we’re asking for two readings in your account, you can continue to enter both sets of readings. 

Once your smart meter is configured it’ll switch to be single-rate, and we’ll only ask for one reading from you. 

Occasionally it can take up to three weeks after your switch date for your meter to become single-rate, due to delays in receiving your smart meter technical information. Don’t worry, just continue to enter multiple readings until the system updates. Your billing will be adjusted accordingly. 

You may also be interested in: how to read your smart meter

Any questions? Let’s chat about them in the replies below:thumbsup:


9 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

Thanks for the clarification which sadly makes life even more complicated and confusing.

As I see it the fact that the two rates are equal is irrelevant, I still want to know what my day/night ratio is and it completely confuses the issue (or it does for me)

Prior to a switch you have 3 figures, day, night and total. 

after the switch surely the total should become R1, NOT the previous R1?

Please can you (or someone) explain what happens to the readings if you then switch to a supplier which charges a different rate for day and night?

@Nataly  please can you check?  This is doing me ‘ed in….and it’s important to me that I fully understand what’s going on here.

I really really really really think that changing the meter to a single rate just because the prices are the same  is a HUGE mistake, and I can’t understand why this decision to confuse things unnecessarily has been taken.

I also think that it’s going to cause a lot of grief for your dual rate meter customers and subsequently a/o consequently for Pure Planet.

Hi @woz 

If you switch to a supplier with different rates for day and night, you’d receive a final bill from Pure Planet with your single-rate reading (let’s call it R1). 

You’d then receive a multi-rate first bill from the new supplier showing the R1 reading from the final bill, and the second rate (let’s call it R2) reading starting from where it previously stopped clocking usage. 

 

As I see it the fact that the two rates are equal is irrelevant, I still want to know what my day/night ratio is and it completely confuses the issue (or it does for me)

Prior to a switch you have 3 figures, day, night and total. 

I think it’s also worth highlighting here that a great feature of SMETS2 meters is half-hourly readings - eventually, the potential of half-hourly readings is much more data available for Members about their readings and usage.

That’d actually be more data than multi-rates provide.:slight_smile:

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

As I see it the fact that the two rates are equal is irrelevant, I still want to know what my day/night ratio is and it completely confuses the issue (or it does for me)

Prior to a switch you have 3 figures, day, night and total. 

I think it’s also worth highlighting here that a great feature of SMETS2 meters is half-hourly readings - eventually, the potential of half-hourly readings is much more data available for Members about their readings and usage.

That’d actually be more data than multi-rates provide.:slight_smile:

@Nataly 

Although you make a good point about the data, it isn’t readily available on the statements or by a downloadable table of some sort, whereas the day night ratio is readily available. Maybe things will change.

My big issue here is I can see absolutely no necessity (or advantage) for PP in changing 2 rate meters to single rate, but I can see disadvantages for the customer. (disentanglement being the main one).

Also a two rate meter is tied to the mpan on a 2 rate supply. Changing the meter to single rate makes a nonsense of the supply structure at the DNO end.

I think this is going to cause a lot of grief for 2 rate customers (or for customer service) we shall see.

(I promise  not to bring this up again…...for a while...)

 

Hi @woz 

In terms of the MPAN, from the DNO perspective one supply is coming into the property whether it’s multi-rate or not, so there’s no impact there :ok_hand:

Hope that’s made sense! 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

It makes no difference to the DNO I agree but…

There is an impact on the consumer though who expects 2 rate metering..- I broke my promise above...

It makes no difference to the DNO I agree but…

There is an impact on the consumer though who expects 2 rate metering..- I broke my promise above...


I think it's a good idea. E.g. why not a consumer tariff that tracks the wholesale day ahead market every 30mins?

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

I’m sure it will come eventually where consumers are “persuaded” to use the cheaper times where there is less demand; win for some consumers win for grid balancing, hard luck for the more vulnerable/poor/ill/disabled who can’t for whatever reason have the choice.

I’m sure it will come eventually where consumers are “persuaded” to use the cheaper times where there is less demand; win for some consumers win for grid balancing, hard luck for the more vulnerable/poor/ill/disabled who can’t for whatever reason have the choice.


I know of one other provider in the UK who already offers this kind of tariff.

Sounds like Pure Planet will do this soon as well based on their news today:

https://community.purepla.net/electric-vehicles-and-hybrids-20/pure-planet-evs-update-september-2020-new-ev-web-tools-home-charger-partnership-tariff-latest-11083

 

 

Reply