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Discussion Starter #1
I have just completed a switch for my electricity from SSE on a dumb meter to Octopus Agile on a SMETS2 smart meter.
The whole process took about 6 weeks from the point at which I realized that I would like to be on the Octopus Agile tariff to being live on Agile.

If you are currently on a dumb meter but are considering switching to Octopus, my advice is to consider carefully how you do the switch and the order you do things in.

This is the process I followed:
  • Booked an upgrade to a SMETS2 smart meter with my existing supplier. I was able to do this online and had a meter installed with a couple of weeks.
  • Waited to see that the smart meter worked with my online account with my existing supplier and that I could see a history of half-hourly usage. This took a couple of days after the installation to be able to see the data.
  • Initiated the switch to Octopus on an interim tariff with a request to be moved onto Agile.
  • The switch to Octopus took 17 days and then an additional 4 days for the switch to Agile once Octopus could read the data from my smart meter.
Why did I do things this way?

In order to get one of the Octopus EV friendly time of use tariffs (Go, Go Faster, Agile), you require half hour billing via a smart meter.

Right now, Octopus appear to have significant issues installing the large numbers of smart meters that customers switching to them need. Without a compatible smart meter, you will be stuck on an interim tariff with Octopus, possibly for a long time and could have a lot of frustration trying to get a smart meter installed.

Conversely the large established electricity providers are falling over themselves to get their customers signed up for smart meters because they have to meet targets for installations or they get fined. If you go onto your current supplier's website, the chances are the first thing you will see is a big banner asking you to get a smart meter.

In order to avoid the fines, the large established electricity providers need to install SMETS2 meters and right now it appears that they have much more installation capacity than there is customer demand. The older style SMETS1 meters don’t count towards installation targets anymore, but obviously it is worth checking that you are getting the newer type of meter.

SMETS2 smart meters are interoperable and can be read by any provider that has a relationship with a company called the DCC which collects the smart meter data. This contrasts with the older SMETS1 meters which would often only work with your original supplier and would go dumb if you switched.

So you don’t need an Octopus installed meter, you just need any SMETS2 meter that has been successfully enrolled with the DCC.

So I stayed with SSE for a couple of weeks longer than if I had switched instantly but then was able to access the Octopus tariff I wanted very quickly.

If this is useful advice and you are switching to Octopus, please consider using my referral code so that we can both save £50.

 

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This is the process I followed:
  • Booked an upgrade to a SMETS2 smart meter with my existing supplier. I was able to do this online and had a meter installed with a couple of weeks.
Good plan, but does of course mean you need to be with one of the big six in the first place. A lot of consumers are with many of the cheaper suppliers, so not going to be any quicker.
Does raise the thought that it may well be worth doing 2 switches, 1 to a big 6 outfit and then onto Octopus. And delays in getting smets2 are area dependant, so needs researching to see if worthwhile.

I just got smets2 upgrade installed yesterday and timeline below for North Oxfordshire.
Timeline...
started switch from OFTM to Octopus 28Dec2019
switched on 14Jan2010
smart meter install booked on 06Feb2020
smart meter installation/upgrade completed 03Mar2020
 
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jim5452
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There appears to be a large shift towards OCTOPUS ENERGY and the result is a long wait for full intergation to the tariff of choice, certain areas are more affected.
On review sites there are a growing number of disatisfied customers, perhaps OCTOPUS ENERGY could be a little more realistic about change over time,( weeks rather than days), also there is the referal £50 which goes a fair way to help with the standard TARIFF while waiting.
Interestingly there is a number of the complainants who think that the DIRECT DEBIT is the charge and not the TARIFF so they can use all the energy they want for a fixed price then complain when the DD goes up.

Although I did have a long wait( joined in AUGUST got AGILE in DECEMBER) I still think that it was all worth while.
 

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On review sites there are a growing number of disatisfied customers, perhaps OCTOPUS ENERGY could be a little more realistic about change over time,( weeks rather than days), also there is the referal £50 which goes a fair way to help with the standard TARIFF while waiting.
Agree they need to update expectations. Always better to delivery early, rather than late.
OE engineer who did my install stated some 40 engineers onboard with OE and expanding to 200 ASAP. So lots of recruiting going on. Provider Ltd. and others are 3rd parties doing the installs too, so out of OE’s direct control.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My main point is that you join Octopus for the tariff, not the smart meter installation.

It’s very quick and easy to see if your existing supplier can fit a SMETS2 meter and when they can do it. If they can do it within a few weeks it’s unlikely that Octopus will be quicker.

And you have the transparency of when the installation will happen. A bird in the hand, as they say...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My strong recommendation is:

IF

you think you might want to be on a time of use tariff in the future which has cheap hours that you will use for charging an EV

AND

you currently have a dumb meter

AND

your current supplier will install a SMETS2 meter

THEN

get a SMETS2 with your current supplier NOW.

You are then in the position of being future proofed if and when you switch to an EV friendly tariff.

My complete switch onto Agile Octopus took 21 days from initiating the switch because I had the smart meter already.
 

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Magic just got confirmation email to do the final switch to Agile, as of midnight tonight.

Timeline...
started switch from OFTM to Octopus 28Dec2019
switched on 14Jan2010
smart meter install booked on 06Feb2020
smart meter installation/upgrade completed 03Mar2020
Email confirm smart meter and half hourly data OK switch 08Mar2020

So question for others. I assumed they would back date to smart meter install date and use import data from new smart meter. But they presumably just take the import number (midnight tonight) and use days/standing charge on the previous green rate to calculate up to the ’actual’ agile switch datetime. As I record all meter data daily when retiring will have that data to check the billing, when that finally kicks in.

And presumably the OctoWatchdog will start showing data after the first 24hr period?
 

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My strong recommendation is:

IF

you think you might want to be on a time of use tariff in the future which has cheap hours that you will use for charging an EV

AND

you currently have a dumb meter

AND

your current supplier will install a SMETS2 meter

THEN

get a SMETS2 with your current supplier NOW.

You are then in the position of being future proofed if and when you switch to an EV friendly tariff.

My complete switch onto Agile Octopus took 21 days from initiating the switch because I had the smart meter already.
Hi @ASM,
Did you have both Electric and Gas SMETS2 installed by SSE?
I had both Gas and Electric SMETS2 installed by SSE a couple of months ago and noticed i'm not getting the gas usage data. Moving to Octopus in a couple of weeks and not sure if that's going to cause any issues.
SSE have said they'll try to fix it if they can otherwise Octopus will have to deal with it
Did you have any issues with getting the gas usage data?
 

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Right now, Octopus appear to have significant issues installing the large numbers of smart meters that customers switching to them need. Without a compatible smart meter, you will be stuck on an interim tariff with Octopus, possibly for a long time and could have a lot of frustration trying to get a smart meter installed.

Conversely the large established electricity providers are falling over themselves to get their customers signed up for smart meters because they have to meet targets for installations or they get fined. If you go onto your current supplier's website, the chances are the first thing you will see is a big banner asking you to get a smart meter.

In order to avoid the fines, the large established electricity providers need to install SMETS2 meters and right now it appears that they have much more installation capacity than there is customer demand. The older style SMETS1 meters don’t count towards installation targets anymore, but obviously it is worth checking that you are getting the newer type of meter.
It would seem that E.On don't realise they need to upgrade customers' meters urgently. They quoted my son £140 to remove his SMETS1 meter and replace it with something they could use for a TOD tariff. Octopus might take a bit longer to do the job but at least they don't expect the punters to pay.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi @zed0077

SSE said they couldn’t fit a gas smart meter given what was already in place so it stayed dumb.

To be honest, I wasn’t that bothered as there doesn’t seem to be a lot of benefit to having a gas smart meter given gas costs the same no mater when you use it.

I switched gas to So energy rather than Octopus as they were cheaper and there was no requirement to have gas and electricity with the same supplier.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi @EricM

I think it is hard to get anyone to replace a SMETS1 meter for free given that they are all supposed to get enrolled with the DCC (the company that collects SMETS2 meter readings) this year and then they will have the equivalent functionality of a SMETS2 meter.

Whether the DCC enrolment process happens on schedule is another matter...
 

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I'm with one of the small suppliers (Ecotricity) on a dumb meter (which I like to watch going backwards on a sunny day!), about to buy my first EV and looking to switch to Octopus Agile.
Sounds like from the above that I should do in interim switch to one of the big 6 in order to upgrade my meter to SMETS2 and then switch again to Octopus.
Is my logic sound?
Anyone know which Big6 supplier has the shortest smart meter install lead times?
 

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Do any off the big six have switching bonuses?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi @GrahamC

Doing an interim switch would probably add 3 or 4 weeks to the process compared to already being with one of the big six as you would need to be up and running on your new supplier before requesting a smart meter.
What you gain I think is some degree of certainty over length of process and outcome.

My experience with SSE was really good regarding the smart meter upgrade and I can’t comment on any of the others unfortunately.
I could book online either a morning or afternoon appointment within a 4 hour window for a day that was convenient within 2 weeks (and there was earlier availability but not convenient).
The engineer phoned 30 minutes before arrival, turned up replaced the meter and was gone within an hour.
A few days later I could see the meter readings online and new that the meter had been accepted by the DCC.

If you do go this route though make sure you don’t switch onto a big six tariff with a high lock in penalty...

Good luck and enjoy your new car when it arrives!
 

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I'm with one of the small suppliers (Ecotricity) on a dumb meter (which I like to watch going backwards on a sunny day!), about to buy my first EV and looking to switch to Octopus Agile.
Sounds like from the above that I should do in interim switch to one of the big 6 in order to upgrade my meter to SMETS2 and then switch again to Octopus.
Is my logic sound?
Anyone know which Big6 supplier has the shortest smart meter install lead times?
I would try a switch direct to Octopus. My switch completed today. Immediately clicked the change to Octopus Go button. Got an immediate email saying check appointment dates to have smart meter fitted. Appointment booked for 7th April.
I am happy with that!
 

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I read in paper yesterday that all analogue meters have to be changed by end of yr. Is that true ? Still no requirement to have to have a smart meter.

SSE have sold out to OVO ?
 

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I presume Octopus can take on any smets 2 meter and put them on go or agile?
You’d think so.. We switched on 28th Feb, since when our SMETS2 meter lost its connection to the DCC. Have contacted Octopus several times since and have been told ‘someone’s looking into it’, but not had anyone get back to me. You’d think the whole SMETS2 idea is that it should be a simple switch, but it hasn’t been for us so far.
 

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I am doing the switch in exactly the order of the OP.

I am currently with Bulb so got a SMETS2 meter installed with them... about 2 weeks. Then switched to Octopus on an interim tariff with the request to go to Agile asap. We are currently in that interim period now. I have given Octopus my last meter readings and the switch is on the 25th. Then I wait for them to confirm my meter can be read and then switch to Agile.

I am convinced that I will save money as I use around 20kWh a day most of it outside 4-7. I am also getting a Nissan Leaf this week so that will add to the use as well.
 
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