Smart Meter and night tariff query

Not sure if anyone can help here but I am banging my head against an Octopus shaped wall.

We have a ‘dumb’ smart meter on one part of our property. Due to our rural location, it doesn’t connect with the national radio network. After various attempts to solve this we accept that fact and have been supplying manual meter readings. We have night storage heaters plus an EV charger so we use the low night rate for these, on the standard variable tariff.

Last week we had a 5 hour power cut in the storms. This left the clock on the meter running 5 hours behind, so the storage heaters can on at 5am! Obviously not benefitting from the low rate at this time.

Octopus sent an engineer who just fitted a new meter. Now the storage heaters don’t come on at all. We got another engineer and new meter, same again overnight. I note the low rate reading in the meter is at zero, and I also charged my car last night. I assume the new meter simply isn’t recognising the low tariff slot, or activating the storage heater circuits.

Octopus are fobbing me off, say it must be our domestic wiring etc, despite me explaining the only issues before the meter change(s) were the time setting. They suggest I get an electrician, at my cost if course.

Any suggestions? If not I feel better for writing it out anyway!


The old Economy 7 meters could enable a separate consumer unit dedicated to storage heaters. The alternative was to use Horstman type clocks set to the local Economy 7 period. With an ordinary smart meter the separate CU method is unnecessary but it does require some sort of clock for dumb devices.

It is unclear to me whether there is a replacement smart meter for the Economy 7 tariff. 5 years ago Bulb wanted to fit a smart meter on a tenant property but the meter installers said there wasn’t a suitable meter.

I would ask Octopus to provide a meter suitable for Economy 7 if you have not consented to a tariff change.


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Thanks. The old meter wasn’t very old and appeared to be exactly the same make and model no as the new one(s). It worked with E7 fine.


I have an E7 mster ( 2 registers) and a smart meter. Octopus are reliant on others for metering. And here lies the issue. The call center people have limited training. Nice peopke, but let down by octopus.
Ive had no end of issues with them charging me correctly for my night rate. All i can say is run through their escalation process and use twitter to openly discuss your issue. They are an innovative firm, but do not get the basics right.

I have managed to escalate the issue by speaking to a real person, who actually accepted the problem and has put together a plan. we shall se…


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Don’t know if you are on Twitter but Greg (Jackson) the MD is very responsive to direct message by tweet

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Be carefull. They appear to care; to appease you. Ask for deliverable actions and timescales. I doubt youll get these. Nice people, but have no idea what they are agreeing to.

My issue went on for 4 months. Not really resolved. I just changed to a smart tarrif that uses 48 half slots a day to bill me. Intelligent Go. So, does not use my old school dual register meter.
Not that this was offered by them, despite asking.
As i say, nice people, just not trained properly. Its almost as if that is part of their business plan.

Greg is a clever chap, but too far away from the sharp end these days. More intrested in tech and ASHPs et al.
His core business is simple. Bill people as per their contract. He is let down by a half arsed smart metering system. But, he has not plugged this with trained staff. Just ones that appear to care. He will have worked out long ago, it is easier to offer a few quid rather than fix the problem. With me, it cost them £200. Still cheaper than sorting my meter. But if his staff were better trained, it would have cost nothing. But, £200 is still cheaper than training them. Never forget, Greg runs a business !

Octopus are ultimately the least worst option. Just not the best.

I don’t use twitter.

The fundamental issue is that the North of England uses a radio network for smart meter connection that doesn’t fully cover rural areas. If that was sorted we’d have a great system and tariff for our needs.

In fairness to Octopus we have had two long complaints about smart meter problems and billing issues in the last two years and they refunded large amounts of money as a result.

Anyway they are going to try to fit an aerial to the meter. In the interim we are on a discretionary flat rate that doesn’t penalise us for not having the low rate night tariff. For now the storage heaters are offline, but they only serve a part of our property.

We shall see what happens next


Doesn’t your car charger have an app to set the off peak charging period
My. Car charger had connectivity problems using a mobile signal dongle, but they changed it to a WiFi one and no problems since,surely something similar can be done to,the smart meter

It does but the supply is only providing a single rate with the meter they installed. It isn’t recognising a low rate at night, unlike the one they took out.
So whatever time we charge the car we get day rate, or did until they decided to temporarily alter our tariff today as outlined above.


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