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Wiring Change: Dennis Lewis's Journey as a Calisen Smart Meter Installer



In 2019 Calisen acquired Lowri Beck. It was also the year that Dennis Lewis qualified as a smart meter installer with the company. We caught up with him after a busy day installing dual fuel smart meters to find out what his role involves, his goals and aspirations, and what’s it’s like working for Calisen. 

Wiring Change: Dennis Lewis's Journey as a Calisen Smart Meter Installer

What made you want to become a smart meter installer?
I joined Lowri Beck in 2016 to qualify as a meter reader. I had been a taxi driver, but wanted to combine my people skills with my interest in electrics. In 2014 I’d attempted to complete an electrical qualification part time, but my driving job got in the way. I bit the bullet and joined Lowri Beck who trained me to read meters, which I loved doing. Then the opportunity to become a smart meter installer with the company came up and I jumped at the chance. 


What do you enjoy about your job?
I love getting out and about and meeting people, and I love working with my hands. The money is also very good and there’s plenty of opportunity to make a bit more through mentoring and training, and with overtime. I think the biggest thing for me is that I’m making a positive change in people’s lives. For instance, I could be installing a smart meter for an elderly person who was struggling to access and read their meters. With a smart meter they no longer have to put themselves at risk as the readings are automated. It’s also helping people see where they might be able to save energy and reduce their bills. 


Describe your daily routine
Every day is different as we are going to different properties in different places. I work in the Reading area with 6 other installers and we’re called the RG team. We cover a fairly large area from Newbury down to Basingstoke and up to Henley-on-Thames. We generally complete between three and five installs a day and they might be dual fuel, or just electric or gas. I usually get my list of jobs a week in advance and I call the customers the day before to remind them of the appointment and introduce myself. We also call them 30 minutes before we arrive, just to give them a bit of warning. We work as a team so if one of us is struggling for time, then we’ll go and assist. It’s a great team. We’ve also got a technical help desk who are on hand if we need technical assistance.


How has joining Calisen changed things for you?
It’s been really positive. There are so many benefits to being part of Calisen. They’re a really established company with a lot of resources, which means more investment in our tools, equipment and vans. We now use the very latest tools and technology. I wouldn’t want to go back to the old equipment. They’re also very big on putting safety first. They make sure that we as installers are safe – giving us the best equipment and checking our vans and PPE regularly, and that our installations are installed to the highest standards and are completely safe. I also feel that as employees we are listened to. We have Tool Box Talks where we can put forward ideas to our manager – for example we’re creating new apps for our handheld terminals which will make things even easier for us. 


Is being part of a much bigger company a good thing?
Absolutely, not just in terms of their investment in us, but the fact Calisen is leading the industry and in a really strong position. They’re winning new contracts and buying new businesses, which means job security and more opportunities for the likes of me. 


Do you have a career progression plan?
Eventually I’d love to upskill and qualify as either an EV charge point installer or a heat pump installer. But before then I can train as medium pressure engineer, which will enable me to work on really large gas meters with high pressure. Or I could become a three phase engineer, which means working with more complex wiring – both of which come with a pay rise.


What skills or qualities are important for your job?
You’ve definitely got to be very good with people. Afterall, you’re going into their homes and as an installer you might be there for a couple of hours. You’ve also got to be good with your hands and have a good working attitude. I think paying attention to detail and focused on safety is also key.


Would you recommend working for Calisen?
100%. The company is really going places so you’re going to have a job for a very long time. There are also lots of opportunities to upskill and the training academy in Ashton is top class. You also feel part of a team, or a team within a larger team. If like me you’re coming in as unskilled, you could always start out as a meter reader. It’s a great way to get your foot in the door. Once you’re in the opportunities to gain new skills and qualifications are fantastic. I’d recommend it to anyone!


Ready to become a valued member of the Calisen family and contribute to creating a smarter, more energy-efficient Britain? Discover more about our exciting opportunities on our Calisen Group careers page today!