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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Morning all, still new here but had super support on batteries and solar so thought would ask about this one.

WPD quoted, have done site visit, and fixed a date to install. Very impressive service. Electrician has been, quoted & will install & check old system on the same day. Also good so far.

But the meter situation is still confusing me a little despite discussions with both so thought I'd ask. Apologies I have touched on this in other threads.

So currently with Ovo and no huge good reason to stay. Have new car coming May and will have the solar/batteries, charge point & new supply all place by then we hope. Have looked at Octopus and they have advised it could take a while get the 3-phase meter. No huge problem with that but I'm still struggling understand how the existing meter goes out, the new one in etc. .... what with new install and works.

Sorry bit waffly ..... in short, I can change supplier now and I can ask for a new meter. I'm wandering what supplier and what process steps to expect in the meter swap?

Advice or clarity greatly appreciated.
 

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Octopus seem to be shying away from installing 3 phase meters. I have asked 3 times and been told "not at the moment" each time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Octopus seem to be shying away from installing 3 phase meters. I have asked 3 times and been told "not at the moment" each time.
Thanks for sharing your experience EdH.

I called OVO, our current supplier. They were not greatly interested. Eventually called back after three weeks and missed the call!

Octopus were in fairness better. I called them and 100% as you mention .... started off with "it will take months we have loads of people who want it". I said I have months. They then showed a little more interest and checked our post code and address and cautiously said ... "that may not take so long".

I asked why and of course the answer which I guess obvious .... more people in cities and wealthier areas were ordering. Our area they cautiously said could be better but that we needed to speak with customer services. I'm going to do that Monday.

WPD are here Monday to put the 3P in and an isolator. It seems a good time to make the call. Audi have a decent referral with Octopus and most of you guys on the site seem to speak well of them. Not a great time to be making a provider shift in a way but I do need the 3P meter.
 

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Surely your current supplier (OVO) should install a 3 phase SMETS2 meter to suit the new supplier and then you are free to switch provider at your leisure - there's no need to link the two? It seems madness that WPD are even reinstalling your current single phase meter and just giving you access to one phase. Surely they should be giving you a 3 phase meter, and in this day it should be SMETS2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Surely your current supplier (OVO) should install a 3 phase SMETS2 meter to suit the new supplier and then you are free to switch provider at your leisure - there's no need to link the two? It seems madness that WPD are even reinstalling your current single phase meter and just giving you access to one phase. Surely they should be giving you a 3 phase meter, and in this day it should be SMETS2.
That I don't know. And is worth to ask that more specific question for sure.

As mentioned, they were lacklustre at best in showing any support for the 3P meter although did call back.

I will ask them that question. If the meter could be handed over between energy providers then that would indeed be a good way forward. One I had not considered to be honest. Yes far better that would be.

No best I understand WPD don't install any meter, that's the energy provider. I believe the WPD work ends at the 3P isolator.

But for sure I will make that call and check. Explained as you have done, it sounds in the category of "the bleeding obvious" ... but the obvious that I'd not managed to come to conclusion on :) .... will let you know how I get on. Thanks for the steer.
 

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Octopus sorted out a three phase meter to replace our old dumb one in September. We had a 14 day wait. Sadly the meter doesn’t want to talk to Arqiva’s network so we’re no further ahead really. We’re looking at what others have done to resolve that…
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Fordy, ok that's an encouraging lead time and I got a similar impression. Have to say Octopus's CS is excellent so far even though we have not been able to place an order yet.

Audi do a referral link to Octopus. But the order number Audi have provided does not work in the link! Audi have come up with nothing in support of this. Have logged with Octopus but not had a formal response yet.

Soon as we can get the bloody order placed (a lot more painful than I imagined) then I'm hoping we might experience a similar lead time with them.
 

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MG ZS EV
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I had a discussion with a member of Octopus‘s people involved in heat pump research some weeks ago. There weren’t any 3 phase smart meters available at the time and no timescale for getting them. My discussion was about the total load with a heat pump and immersion heater running at the same time as 2 cars charging. It will be fine as long as I don’t boil the kettle!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I had a discussion with a member of Octopus‘s people involved in heat pump research some weeks ago. There weren’t any 3 phase smart meters available at the time and no timescale for getting them. My discussion was about the total load with a heat pump and immersion heater running at the same time as 2 cars charging. It will be fine as long as I don’t boil the kettle!
Best I understood Brian, it very much depends on where you are in the UK. I asked that question of them and whilst they insisted on a conservative lead time estimate (2-3 months) they did in fairness informally check by post code and they very cautiously said that our area (Shropshire/Welsh border) that the lead time 'could' be a good deal less. But no guarantees ..... which was fair enough.

Spoke with them again Friday (in relation to this Audi order number / Octopus referral issue) and they said similar again.

In short, it very much depends where you live to some extent was the message I got.

I'm hoping Monday that Octopus come back with a way forward that Audi (so far) have failed to do. In fact I'm inclined ask that question on the forum .... to Audi owners. Maybe others had more success.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok a long morning on the phone and everything has changed.

Octopus it now appears costs a small fortune to move to. Not their fault, the current market. Over £200 a month more. So advice was to (currently) stay with OVO. I will move later when markets have smoothed out.

And in fairness, a new call to OVO (where previously they were a little poor on the CS side of things) yielded some interesting answers re the 3-Phase SMET2.

They can provide, they can provide quickly and at zero cost! Very surprised and needless to say very pleased.

Worth to note, that in our part of the world, they can install with a lead time of three weeks and a time of our choosing.

Going 3-phase in my experience to date (admin issues aside) has proved be a lot cheaper and easier than I imagined.

Hopefully that does not put a curse on the next steps. ;)
 

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MG ZS EV
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Glad to hear it has gone well. My quote for 3 phase was £750 plus VAT, but I had to provide the trench and draw rope! At 73 I became disinclined! However given that my heat pump can ramp up to 6 kW and we have a 7 kW hob thar does rake us up to the limit if the car charges at the same time. I suspect that a lot of folks in larger properties will need 3 phase before to long.
 

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Going 3-phase in my experience to date (admin issues aside) has proved be a lot cheaper and easier than I imagined.
I am pleased you are getting this sorted.
In a different league probably, but our new electrical supply to the farm involved us laying 992metres of 3 core 300mm2 cable and even with us doing that, the cost was over £45,000….
That focuses the mind a bit…
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Glad to hear it has gone well. My quote for 3 phase was £750 plus VAT, but I had to provide the trench and draw rope! At 73 I became disinclined! However given that my heat pump can ramp up to 6 kW and we have a 7 kW hob thar does rake us up to the limit if the car charges at the same time. I suspect that a lot of folks in larger properties will need 3 phase before to long.
Almost exactly the same Brian. And for me whilst not at your age, I smashed my ankle badly and like metal mickey below the knee at present. Otherwise would have done the ground work as well.

Price I thought was pretty good overall.

Heat pump will be my next project after the solar and batteries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I am pleased you are getting this sorted.
In a different league probably, but our new electrical supply to the farm involved us laying 992metres of 3 core 300mm2 cable and even with us doing that, the cost was over £45,000….
That focuses the mind a bit…
Ouch, doesn't it just! You in a different league altogether there Fordy.

Think I'm Renault Clio cup where you definitely F1! :)
 

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MG ZS EV
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Almost exactly the same Brian. And for me whilst not at your age, I smashed my ankle badly and like metal mickey below the knee at present. Otherwise would have done the ground work as well.

Price I thought was pretty good overall.

Heat pump will be my next project after the solar and batteries.
Heat pump needs to be done ASAP to get the RHI money which looks to be more generous than the new proposal of £5k if you have a larger property. My 14kw pump and controls were over £7k I believe.
 

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I am pleased you are getting this sorted.
In a different league probably, but our new electrical supply to the farm involved us laying 992metres of 3 core 300mm2 cable and even with us doing that, the cost was over £45,000….
That focuses the mind a bit…
o_O

Presumably this is to allow you to export at something like 50kW?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Heat pump needs to be done ASAP to get the RHI money which looks to be more generous than the new proposal of £5k if you have a larger property. My 14kw pump and controls were over £7k I believe.
Thanks Brian. New area for me so not so knowledgable yet and keen to learn.

Could you explain what RHI is please? Our property is mid size .... 4 bed semi but extended twice. Insulation is 100% in some areas .... have done underfloor and over ceiling, room by room, cavity walls but roof area at top of house still needs improvement.

So you feel it's better to move before the new announcements by government today which I believe come into effect April 2022?

Do you have any links and resources that can educate a beginner in this area Brian? Very interested to start learning about the best options. And is your heat pump a horizontal solution or bore hole based? Which is the best way to go efficiency wise, budget aside?
 

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MG ZS EV
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Thanks Brian. New area for me so not so knowledgable yet and keen to learn.

Could you explain what RHI is please? Our property is mid size .... 4 bed semi but extended twice. Insulation is 100% in some areas .... have done underfloor and over ceiling, room by room, cavity walls but roof area at top of house still needs improvement.

So you feel it's better to move before the new announcements by government today which I believe come into effect April 2022?

Do you have any links and resources that can educate a beginner in this area Brian? Very interested to start learning about the best options. And is your heat pump a horizontal solution or bore hole based? Which is the best way to go efficiency wise, budget aside?
The RHI grants are run by Ofgem. See this link for info.
Mine is an air source heat pump for a 5 bed house with a large kitchen extension. ASHP s need little maintenance and provided you keep it clean your installer can check for faults remotely. Ground source heat pumps are expensive to install and expensive to maintain with brine to replace every few years.
The RHI grant is payable over 7 years and is dependant on the heat requirement of your home per an EPC and the efficiency of the heat pump, the SCOP. There are cowboys in the trade upping the price because grants are available, if, as I did, you can find a local heating engineer then try for him. Installers have to be MCS certified and you can get a list of local people from their web site.
If you have 28mm piping to from your present boiler, installation will be a bit simpler, the ideal is for a lot of warm water at 35dec C or a bit less rushing around the system feeding big radiators. My house was built in 1984 and the insulation improvements meant that all but one radiator was big enough. The microprocessor controller needed a lot more wiring than I imagined and together with this we have 4 pumps on the system operating in 2 zones, one for radiators and the other for underfloor heating in the kitchen. It took 3 of them 3 days to remove the old oil system and get the new hot water tank with a large heat exchanger in place and the pipwork and pumps rejigged. Since then the boss has been back to continue the control wiring. That is awaiting completion with some bits on back order. We hope to finish this week, some 5/6 weeks after start. We also needed a new consumer unit for the extra power requirements, the additional immersion heater and the pump itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The RHI grants are run by Ofgem. See this link for info.
Mine is an air source heat pump for a 5 bed house with a large kitchen extension. ASHP s need little maintenance and provided you keep it clean your installer can check for faults remotely. Ground source heat pumps are expensive to install and expensive to maintain with brine to replace every few years.
The RHI grant is payable over 7 years and is dependant on the heat requirement of your home per an EPC and the efficiency of the heat pump, the SCOP. There are cowboys in the trade upping the price because grants are available, if, as I did, you can find a local heating engineer then try for him. Installers have to be MCS certified and you can get a list of local people from their web site.
If you have 28mm piping to from your present boiler, installation will be a bit simpler, the ideal is for a lot of warm water at 35dec C or a bit less rushing around the system feeding big radiators. My house was built in 1984 and the insulation improvements meant that all but one radiator was big enough. The microprocessor controller needed a lot more wiring than I imagined and together with this we have 4 pumps on the system operating in 2 zones, one for radiators and the other for underfloor heating in the kitchen. It took 3 of them 3 days to remove the old oil system and get the new hot water tank with a large heat exchanger in place and the pipwork and pumps rejigged. Since then the boss has been back to continue the control wiring. That is awaiting completion with some bits on back order. We hope to finish this week, some 5/6 weeks after start. We also needed a new consumer unit for the extra power requirements, the additional immersion heater and the pump itself.
Very interesting Brian .... thanks for taking the time with the explanation. Certainly ASHP would be miles easier and we have roof space right be the current boiler installation. And I am fairly sure we do indeed have 28mm pipes.

Our rads are very typical mid height old pressed steel ones. Do you mean larger would be better? And would an aluminium or higher efficiency rad help?

Didn't realise the GSHP's needed that level of maintenance. Good to understand that.

This is bad news .... you got me drafting out my next project Brian :) .... very interesting stuff. That me reading and investigating the right of this Wednesday evening
 

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Very interesting Brian .... thanks for taking the time with the explanation. Certainly ASHP would be miles easier and we have roof space right be the current boiler installation. And I am fairly sure we do indeed have 28mm pipes.

Our rads are very typical mid height old pressed steel ones. Do you mean larger would be better? And would an aluminium or higher efficiency rad help?

Didn't realise the GSHP's needed that level of maintenance. Good to understand that.

This is bad news .... you got me drafting out my next project Brian :) .... very interesting stuff. That me reading and investigating the right of this Wednesday evening
Ok, next instalment. Radiators are generally quoted as sized in btu or kW) 3400 btu equals 1 kW. That is the heat output from a radiator at average temperature of 70 deg C into a room of 20 deg C. Old systems pushed out water at approx 80 degrees and returned it to the boiler at 60. You size a radiator for a heat pump at 33 degrees into a room of 20 degrees, I.e. in at 35 degrees out at 31. Fifty degrees difference in the first instance 13 degrees in the second, so radiators need to be 4 times the size. Well you can have smaller radiators but your COP declines. The COP is higher the lower the difference between the air temperature outside and the heat of the water coming out the heat pump. Think of your fridge running hard on hot days, but in reverse.
If you can heat your home on the frost setting on your present boiler in cold weather, you may not need to change your radiators. You might get a chance to try that out in the next few days. Remember your heat pump runs long and low rather than high for short periods. High thermal mass, brick, block and concrete are good for holding heat. My 1984 house had single glazing and 2 inches of fibreglass in the loft when built. All my radiators bar one in a north facing room were good enough. They will all be turned on to gain from the whole radiator surface. If by chance you need to swap radiators look to swap single panel for double or double plus, type 21 or 22 to save moving pipes. The Screwfix/Toolstation catologues have radiator sizes and outputs.
You might want to work out some heat losses using u-values, that is another instalment.
 
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