During the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown restrictions we and our smart meter partners, Magnum Utilities, have been working to ensure that Members’ safety, and engineers’ safety, is the priority.
Due to ongoing Covid-19 related restrictions there’s going to be some small changes to the way we carry out smart meter (SMETS2) installations, and I wanted to give you all a bit more information here in the community.
Remember that the following applies to all our Members, including those with outdoor meters, as the smart meter installation requires safety checks and the switching off of main appliances indoors.
Booking the appointment by phone
As well as the usual checks about having access to the meter and nearby parking for the engineer, we’ll be asking whether there’s anyone in the property who is vulnerable and at high risk of serious illness.
If there’s someone in your home who needs to remain isolated, please tell us so we can put your appointment on hold until it’s safe for someone to come out. We’re following the latest Government advice not to carry out non-essential works in any household where someone is ‘shielding’ from Covid-19.
Before installation day
Contact Magnum Utilities urgently if anyone in your home develops Covid-19 symptoms between your telephone booking call and the appointment.
You’ll find Magnum’s contact details on the email and text messages they’ll send you to confirm your appointment.
Installation day - getting your home ready
The same rules apply as before Covid-19 in that there must be someone at home over 18, and your meter must be accessible.
We’d also like Members to open doors and windows to allow for extra fresh air.
Remember to observe social distancing.
Installation day - what the engineer will do before your new meter is fitted
All Magnum engineers will be wearing face masks and using hand sanitiser.
Please let your engineer know where’s the best place to park. If they need a permit it would be great to get one ready for them if you can.
Before stepping inside, the engineer will double-check with you that no one has been displaying any symptoms of Covid-19 in the last 14 days, and there’s nobody at high-risk in your home.]
The engineer will stay socially distanced - that means he or she won’t shake your hand, or accept a cup of tea!
Before the installation the engineer will switch off electricity and gas.
During the installation
During the smart meter installation please keep your distance! Ideally stay in a different room.
The smart meter will also be wiped clean.
After the installation
The new rules mean that the engineer won’t be able to take you through the step by step guide to using your In-Home Display (the little screen which connects to your smart meter and displays energy usage).
We’ll email you a guide which can also be accessed in our FAQs here. As well as IHD instructions, the guide includes usual energy saving tips.
They won’t ask for a signature on their handheld device.
Other useful info
We’re happy to see that the Magnum smart meter engineers are able to go back to work, and we’re grateful for our Members’ patience during the Covid-19 lockdowns.
Of course, we’re going to be careful not to place anybody’s safety at risk. That means if an engineer suspects he or she may have contracted Covid-19 they’ll have to self-isolate at home, and that could mean some appointments will be cancelled at shorter notice than usual.
That's it for now. We’ll of course update this post if and when the Covid-19 impact changes, or if the Government changes its guidance for energy suppliers. We’re regularly reviewing all our Member services impacted by the pandemic.
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Updated 5 January 2021
The guidelines of the governments of England, Scotland and Wales continue to encourage employees to work from home where they can, but, if they can’t, to still go to work where it is safe to do so.
Magnum Utlities will continue to install smart meters. They've been working under the same conditions since March 2020.
Please contact Magnum Utilities urgently if anyone in your home develops Covid-19 symptoms between your telephone booking call and the appointment.
Updated 14 January 2021
Due to tighter restrictions announced in Scotland last night, all non-emergy meter work, including SMETS2 appointments, will be cancelled from Saturday 16 January. This will last for six weeks to start with, pending more announcements on restrictions.
Magnum will be contacting all Members in Scotland affected by this. And, of course, they’ll re-arrange appointments when restrictions are lifted.