Welcome back smart meter

British Gas smart meter showing electricity tariff at 33.910p and daily standing charge at 50.660p inc. VAT
British Gas smart meter

Last weekend, my utility smart meters started working again for the first time since July 2020.

Now I can panic about my utility bills in real time!

In 2018, when I moved into my wee house in Crail, British Gas was the utility (gas and electricity) supplier. I asked them for smart meters and a few months later a knowledgeable chap turned up and fitted them.

I stuck with British Gas until 2020 when I did a bit of price comparison and decided to move to Scottish Power as they were a little cheaper at the time and also the regional electricity supplier for Fife.

I knew that this would affect the smart meter, but reckoned that Scottish Power would be able to replace them.

Then the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and I didn’t get my new compatible-with-Scottish-Power smart meters.

So, when my contract was up with them, I made the decision to switch back to British Gas. As I recall, their prices were a little higher, but I don’t really use much power and, anyway, I thought that my British Gas smart meters would allow me to monitor my power use more closely.

I made the switch.

The smart meters didn’t work.

A quick call to British Gas confirmed that these were the older version 1 smart meters, they now use version 2. No smart meter for me.

“Can I get these upgraded, please?”

“Sure … but it won’t be soon.”

For the last 18 months, I have been manually submitting meter readings via their online application. Until last weekend, that is.

I hadn’t received my usual monthly email from British Gas asking me to send in my readings, but as I have it as a recurring task in Todoist, my to do app, I did it anyway. Only to discover they already had the readings, submitted the day before by … “Smart meter”.

Wait! What?!

And sure enough, when I plugged in my smart meter display, everything was working again.

British Gas have clearly added functionality to their systems to finally read the older meters now too. It was presumably cheaper to update their software than replace thousands of version 1 meters.

This is great news, now I have something else to create a graph for in my spreadsheet.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

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