Scottish Power Not So SmartMeter

A couple of years ago I submitted to the wave of advertising singing the praises of SmartMeters. I contacted our energy company and a smart meter was duly installed. One of the primary reasons for me agreeing to the smart meter installation was to mitigate the sheer mountain of stuff that I had to move whenever Scottish Power wanted a meter reading. Invariably their rep would turn up while we were eating. Our house is one of six , of this style, on this development. However, it is the only one that has its garage attached to the end of the house. The utility meters are situated on that end wall, which means that the meters are inside the garage. A big thank you to the builders for that decision.

So meter installed and I can now read my energy usage via an app on my phone. Around December of 2021 the smart meter ceased recording my gas usage. Scottish Power continued taking my payments but started sending me messages similar to the one below …

We’re unable to communicate with your meter at the moment. To help us provide you with an accurate bill, please read your meter and submit the reading at Need help to read your meter? Visit

Earlier this year, due to another request for a meter reading, I caved in and moved my junk to gain access to the meters. Did the electric reading no bother. However the gas meter display was blank. Obviously I was not surprised since they had not been able to take the readings since the previous December. This being August. A phone call was required.

After being on hold for a very long time I eventually got to speak to a rep. She gave me instructions on how to wake up my meter and take the reading. Of course, I took this opportunity to raise the issue of my less than smart meter and its inability to take the gas readings.

I asked why they, Scottish Power, knowing my meter wasn’t passing on my energy usage data, hadn’t sent someone out to fix it ???

Then she dropped the bomb …… I wasn’t alone !!!

Apparently, many of us who jumped on the SmartMeter bandwagon were literally in the same boat. We had the Gen 1 meters and they had a software bug. Those who had delayed getting the SmartMeter typically had the Gen 2 meter and were not experiencing issues.

Don’t worry she said, because a fix is going to be rolled out. Everyone will be back up working by the end of October. Well, you guessed it. October came and then became a fast receding memory. No Fix.

Nothings changed. Well actually that isn’t entirely true. My SmartMeter no longer records the electricity usage. So now, no gas readings, no electricity readings. Unless I move my junk and take a manual reading. Bloody marvellous.

So, Scottish Power continue to inform me that my SmartMeter isn’t working, continue to request manual readings and continue to do nothing about fixing my meter.

Biggest slap in the face is that they continue to advertise the merits of having a smart meter installed.

And worst of all, due to the current energy crisis, I am trapped as their customer.

No energy companies are taking on new customers.

Conservatory Rebuild – Catch Up

I haven’t posted anything about the rebuild until now due our recent trip “oop north” for the wedding and to visit with friends and family. We were, effectively, away for ten days, So, as you can imagine, we were expecting some dramatic changes, big progress. Perhaps our expectations were not mixed with correct amount of reality but to say we were disappointed would have been an understatement. Initially we thought perhaps the guys had taken advantage of our absence to go off and work elsewhere. These views were, perhaps, fuelled in part by tiredness following our long journey back from Cumbria.

The reality was that the guys had been busy while we were away. Much of what they had done was of the fiddly nature so the progress was subtle.

The day we left the final plaster boarding was underway and plastering was completed that day.

The temporary roof glazing has been removed, replaced by electric roof vents.

Conservatory - Electric roof vents have been installed, replacing the plain glazing panels temporarily installed.
Conservatory – Electric roof vents have been installed, replacing the plain glazing panels temporarily installed.

The electrician has been in and installed the LED down lighters, installed the power sockets both indoor and outdoor as well as connecting the electrics for the roof vents. He has also fitted and hardwired the electric fire that will supplement the radiator panel which, ultimately, will be the main source of heating

Conservatory - Wall mounted
Conservatory – Wall mounted “flame effect” fan heater. Will supplement the radiator, if necessary, during cold weather.

Externally, the cornice work has been installed although at the time of the photo it was not complete.

Conservatory - Cornice has been installed as well as two orbs to complete the finial along the roof apex.
Conservatory – Cornice has been installed as well as two orbs to complete the finial along the roof apex.

We have also gained two orbs to finish off the finial on the apex of the roof.

Less obvious is the finishing trim that has been fitted around the three windows in the end wall, also the end caps for the sills and judicious amounts of silicon sealant. All of  the glazing panels were tidied up, stickers removed and extraneous plaster removed from the plastic surrounds.

Conservatory - Window trimmed and sealed
Conservatory – Window trimmed and sealed

On Saturday morning, after our return, the decorator arrived to paint throughout. He has applied two coats all round to the walls and perimeter ceiling. He has also applied two layers of  undercoat to the “hidey / slidey” door.

Conservatory - Late night illuminations on the newly painted walls
Conservatory – Late night illuminations on the newly painted walls

More trimming was carried out on Saturday as well as the downpipes for the guttering. The downpipes where the new box gutter has to interface with the existing house guttering have proven to be a little more problematical.

Conservatory - Wall art ? Box gutter and house guttering. Temporary solution.
Conservatory – Wall art ? Box gutter and house guttering. Temporary solution.

As of yesterday, Monday, floor tile laying has started. First thoughts are that the colour, Polished Ivory, looks good. It’s the first time that we have seen the tiles en-masse so we are pleased that we don’t feel like the colour choice was a mistake.

Conservatory - Floor tiling, no grout at this time.
Conservatory – Floor tiling, no grout at this time.

So, whats left to do ?

Obviously completion of the tiling. However, completion in the utility area is going to be gated by the plumbers. There is a threat that they might put in an appearance today. We need them to, at the very least, bring the cold water supply up through the floor for the washing machine. Once that pipe is above floor level the tiles can be laid. Also on the plumbing front we are waiting for the washing machine drain and the installation of the tall panel radiator.

The partition wall is going to be capped by a glazed panel to complete the separation between utility and living spaces. Some trimming is also planned for the top of the perimeter ceiling. The bi-fold doors need some minor adjustments as they aren’t as free running as they should be. Guess who managed to snap a key, left in the central lock the first time I fully opened the doors. Important lesson learnt there then.

Conservatory - Late night illuminations.
Conservatory – Late night illuminations.

Once all the interior work is completed then, outside, construction can begin for the decking. Also creation of the steps down from the utility room. The side access paving needs to be tidied up too.

So there is still quite a bit to do but am beginning to feel that we are nearing the end of this project.

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