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Discussion Starter #1
ChargedEV Have emailed me to say they will need a double pole isolation switch installed after my meter before they can install a charge point. They said this needs to be done by my electricity supplier. I contacted Good Energy about this and was told that it could only be done as part of a meter replacement at a cost of £204.30 for a new smart meter (the switch would be at no extra cost). I don't really want to pay this much for a smart meter!

Is there any alternative to this? Do I really need the isolation switch - I think there's space in the consumer unit for another circuit, but I could be wrong about that. The email from ChargedEV says that I can't get an electrician to do it as they may fit something unsuitable.

Thanks
 

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Seems like an odd request - Pod Point connected my home charge unit to the "meter tails", the thick wires going from the meter to the consumer unit, they basically tapped into those meter tails, fitted a mini flip switch then the charge point is wired from this. Your supplier is only responsible for the supply and meter, after that its down to you. If its required as part of the charge point then the charge point installer should take care of it.

I have to say Pod Point were excellent, the install was a bit tricky but they did a tidy job.

Cheers.
 

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I think that someone is telling porkies. Smart meters are a bit like the NHS: free to the homeowner at the time of the installation. The charge has to be for the switch and the extra work involved but as G.a.r.y states 'it is all a bit odd'.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
G.a.r.y - I think ChargedEV will install it in the same way, but they won't do it without the isolation in place.

Lexden - I didn't realise that smart meters were meant to be free, but the Good Energy web site does say that they won't charge for one, so they must have been quoting for the switch - which makes the price seem even worse as I can't see how it could be much more work to fit a switch.
 

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Basically, get your own sparky to purchase and fit the switch, or screw it to the wall. The smart meter installer will wire up from the cutout to the new meter and from there to the premounted switch. Downstream of that switch, you, your sparky, your charge EVSE installer can do what you like.
 

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G.a.r.y - I think ChargedEV will install it in the same way, but they won't do it without the isolation in place.

Lexden - I didn't realise that smart meters were meant to be free, but the Good Energy web site does say that they won't charge for one, so they must have been quoting for the switch - which makes the price seem even worse as I can't see how it could be much more work to fit a switch.
My comment was somewhat ‘tongue-in-cheek’. Smart meters are costing us all in excess of £12Bn in the form of higher electricity bills over the years to come. That said, the Government smart meter business case argues that with smart meters our future bills will be lower than they would have been without them. For example, smart meters are projected to save £6 per year per property as meters will no longer need to be read by a meter reader.
 

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The isolator switch should be fitted inline between the consumer unit and the meter. Once fitted it allows an electrician to switch the power off without breaking the cutout seals.
Some installers seem to be rather more cavalier than others, with regard to breaking the seals... This could open up a whole can of worms for you, but probably won't.
The correct thing to do is get the isolator fitted, which will need to be done by the meter operator, who you book to do the work via your supplier.
Good energy appear to be telling porkies here though, it's quite possible to fit an isolator without fitting SMART, one is a switch, the other is a meter, they are different independent things. Also £200 sounds way over the top, my supplier asked for £100, but so far hasn't actually levied the charge more than six months after the switch was fitted.
 

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If your consumer unit is adequate and has spare slots, there would be no need for an isolator, however as any new work means the installer takes some responsibility for the CU, it's understandable why some won't want to touch it and prefer to tap into the tails.
 

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I'm currently having an isolation switch installed between smart meter and consumer unit (the only place they should go). This is being done for free, by my energy supplier Octopus. So you could switch to them and get smart meter and isolation switch fitted for free?

If you do don't forget the referral code.
 

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I'm currently having an isolation switch installed between smart meter and consumer unit (the only place they should go). This is being done for free, by my energy supplier Octopus. So you could switch to them and get smart meter and isolation switch fitted for free?

If you do don't forget the referral code.
Oh, I'm also getting SSE to upgrade the main house fuse from 80A to 100A. Gonna cost around £60. This is because we have two 32A chargepoints.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm currently having an isolation switch installed between smart meter and consumer unit (the only place they should go). This is being done for free, by my energy supplier Octopus. So you could switch to them and get smart meter and isolation switch fitted for free?

If you do don't forget the referral code.
Thanks for that. I've actually emailed Octopus to ask what they would charge. I'll have to pay an exit fee to switch, but I'm sure that will be much less than the £203 they've quoted for fitting the switch with a smart meter! That's not counting the savings from the 5p rate from Octopus. I'll use your code as well!
 

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Thanks for that. I've actually emailed Octopus to ask what they would charge. I'll have to pay an exit fee to switch, but I'm sure that will be much less than the £203 they've quoted for fitting the switch with a smart meter! That's not counting the savings from the 5p rate from Octopus. I'll use your code as well!
Plus the £50 credit each for using the referral code too ;). Thanks! Hopefully they will be able to fit both a meter and isolation switch at the same time while the main fuse is pulled. The company who did our meter install on behalf of Octopus (AES) were approved to pull the main fuse and the installer re-sealed it after.

Our second chargepoint was also fitted by ChargedEV. However our install was easier as there was a spare slot in the consumer unit, so the installer just had to flip the consumer unit main switch and install a new 32A MCB.

It's amazing how much I've learnt about how all this stuff hangs together since going EV. Never really understood it before.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I've just signed up with Octopus energy using your link.

Good Energy confirmed that their price of £204.30 was for installing the isolation switch at the same time as a smart meter, and that the meter itself would normally be free. They said that was the price they would have to pay to the company they use for the meters and they had to pass it on.
 

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I've just signed up with Octopus energy using your link.

Good Energy confirmed that their price of £204.30 was for installing the isolation switch at the same time as a smart meter, and that the meter itself would normally be free. They said that was the price they would have to pay to the company they use for the meters and they had to pass it on.
Great, thanks.

Interesting statement from Good. An isolation switch only costs about a tenner from Screwfix. The cost comes from getting an engineer to site and pulling the DNO fuse. As there is already an engineer on site that has the fuse pulled ready to fit a new meter the extra cost should be a tenner (probably less at trade rates).

Ah well, if they can't bend to keep a customer then that's their loss.

Hope the switch and install go ok(y).
 

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If your consumer unit is adequate and has spare slots, there would be no need for an isolator, however as any new work means the installer takes some responsibility for the CU, it's understandable why some won't want to touch it and prefer to tap into the tails.
These days this is quite unlikely - The EVSE needs a dedicated RCD (or RCBO) and fitting these in existing consumer units can be difficult.

Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk
 

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As has been said Octopus will do this for free. When I looked into this a few months ago there generally seemed to be a variation between energy suppliers on this, many do it gratis but a few will charge between £50 - £100 for it. £200 seems extortionate!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
My move to Octopus was done earlier this month and they made an appointment for today for fitting the isolation switch. They told me that I'd need a separate appointment for the smart meter upgrade and had to do this via their web site, so I followed their procedure but heard nothing back.

This morning an engineer turned up as expected but said that his job was to do a "dual fuel exchange" of both gas and electricity meters. He knew nothing about the isolation switch and said that would need a separate appointment. When I told him that I did not get gas from Octopus he said that meant he couldn't do the job because he couldn't change the gas meter, and wouldn't change just the electricity meter because that wasn't what his job said. He rang his boss and then went away.

I have contacted Octopus who were very helpful and have credited £30 to my account. The email that I got from them afterwards said that the job should have gone ahead as specified this morning and that a dual fuel exchange was what they had to do if an isolation switch is required. I'll have to wait another 2.5 weeks for another appointment and have had to cancel my charge point installation which was due on Monday.

Are they right that they need to change both meters? And why can't they manage to fit the switch at the same time as the meter(s)?
 

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Are they right that they need to change both meters? And why can't they manage to fit the switch at the same time as the meter(s)?
Think it's really a question of the engineering company's own policies rather than any legislative reason behind this. I will say that the company Octopus have doing their work up here (NE Scotland) are shocking though, so if it's the same bunch then expect a few more failed visits before it gets sorted.

I got our isolation switch installed first time and an electric smart meter, but they didn't have a display unit or the right parts for the gas meter. They've since had another two failed attempts at doing the gas meter after turning up with the same wrong parts each time. It's a bit of a joke really. Even the isolation switch the initial appointment almost didn't happen because Octopus decided to cancel it stating it required a smart meter first. After a lot of arguing about that (there's absolutely no technical reason why an isolation switch requires a smart meter) they eventually agreed just to do the switch. But when the engineer turned up he did the electric smart meter as well.

Basically the communications between Octopus and their engineers is awful. No-one talks to each other and when they do they pass on the wrong info.
 

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I had my isolation switch installed (for free) by Octopus' southern installer AES a couple of weeks ago. The guy thought he was doing a comms check but was fine when I explained what was actually needed. I think he was pleased it wasn't another (nightmare) smart meter install!
 
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