Smart Tariff not (yet) available with SMETS2 smart meters! — Bulb Community

Smart Tariff not (yet) available with SMETS2 smart meters!

Hi,
I had my smart meters fitted a couple of weeks ago. All worked fine with a working in home display as well. I immediately submitted a request on the Bulb website to move to the smart tariff. Kind of logical you'd think after getting the smart meters.

I followed up today as nothing happened after submitting the form - no email, nothing on the account page, etc..

Bulb DO NOT yet support the smart tariff with SMETS2 smart meters!
Apparently the smart tariff is only supported on SMETS1 meters right now, which Bulb aren't even installing.
The supervisor I spoke to (very helpful and knowledgeable) said that Bulb are working towards getting the smart tariff available with the SMETS2 meters, but he can't give a date.

He agreed that there should be clear and prominent wording on the website that before you try and sign-up for the smart tariff that it's not available unless you have a SMETS1 meter. He's feeding this back to the smart meter team. He also agreed that when it is available Bulb should contact all their SMETS2 customers and let them know.

I understand Bulb need time to develop new services given the delays by the smart meter companies, but I really don't understand why they can't clearly explain on the page where you sign-up for the smart meter tariff that it's for SMETS1 only. Also, why this isn't mentioned on the smart meter sign-up page so it's clear the smart meters currently only enable remote meter reads and an IHD.






Comments

  • Hi @Solarspider

    Thanks for the feedback. We can certainly make this clearer on the website. This feedback has been passed along to our smart team :)

    I'm sorry that we're unable to sign you up to the smart tariff straight away. We'd love to get as many of our members on the smart tariff as possible - we'll certainly be in touch when we can get you and others with a SMETS2 sign up to it.

  • Hi,
    I had my smart meters fitted a couple of weeks ago. All worked fine with a working in home display as well. I immediately submitted a request on the Bulb website to move to the smart tariff. Kind of logical you'd think after getting the smart meters.

    I followed up today as nothing happened after submitting the form - no email, nothing on the account page, etc..

    Bulb DO NOT yet support the smart tariff with SMETS2 smart meters!
    Apparently the smart tariff is only supported on SMETS1 meters right now, which Bulb aren't even installing.
    The supervisor I spoke to (very helpful and knowledgeable) said that Bulb are working towards getting the smart tariff available with the SMETS2 meters, but he can't give a date.

    He agreed that there should be clear and prominent wording on the website that before you try and sign-up for the smart tariff that it's not available unless you have a SMETS1 meter. He's feeding this back to the smart meter team. He also agreed that when it is available Bulb should contact all their SMETS2 customers and let them know.

    I understand Bulb need time to develop new services given the delays by the smart meter companies, but I really don't understand why they can't clearly explain on the page where you sign-up for the smart meter tariff that it's for SMETS1 only. Also, why this isn't mentioned on the smart meter sign-up page so it's clear the smart meters currently only enable remote meter reads and an IHD.






    You mean you actually have a fully working IHD and SMETS2 that reports readings back to Bulb? I thought these were the stuff of urban legend! You must be one of the lucky ones. Heaps installed aren’t doing that at all. :(
  • My experience is similar. Previously I was with EON and had a SMETS2 meter fitted and I then wanted to change to a supplier with a Smart tariff so that I could charge my hybrid car overnight cheaply. I couldn't decide between Octopus or Bulb and went for Bulb as I had been a previous Bulb customer. Prior to switching I checked with Bulb customer services that it would be possible to move on to the Smart tariff and was assured that it would work however now I am with them I have struggled to get on it! After lots of chasing I have found out that I can't yet go on to the Smart Tariff and will 'have to wait a few months'. I am going to give it a few months and if I get nowhere switch to Octopus. Shame really as I would rather be with Bulb.
  • I had high hopes for Bulb, but it seems all the “woohoo, how you doing” communication is just a smokescreen. Underneath they are in just as much disarray with smart meters as other companies. Really regretting moving supplier. Their explanations and communications are very poor.
  • Kcbulb said:

    I had high hopes for Bulb, but it seems all the “woohoo, how you doing” communication is just a smokescreen. Underneath they are in just as much disarray with smart meters as other companies. Really regretting moving supplier. Their explanations and communications are very poor.

    Personally I think far more of the blame can be laid at OFGEM for setting targets with suppliers before the technology was proven. It looks as if OFGEM have buried their head in the sand and ignoring the problems being encountered by customers. At least three of the large suppliers have been fined millions of pounds by OFGEM for not meeting their smart meter installation target. A threat of a possible fine may be the reason Bulb are still installing smart meters even though there are known problems?
  • @Allanr, it makes sense to continue to install the meters if they're confident that a fix can be pushed to them remotely to make them all work properly, but in making that decision they should still be keeping their customers informed.

    I do think that Bulb are doing the right thing with going ahead, but they need to manage people's expectations better and perhaps focus on fixing some of the back-end issues such as the one stopping people from manually submitting readings since having a smart meter for example.
  • edited May 20
    Only had a SMETS2 meter installed by bulb today because I was told when we booked it that it would work with their Smart Tariff - We use IRO of 16,000 Kwh electricity a year via the wife's electric car and an air source heat pump driven wet underfloor central heating system.

    Contacted by chat today to switch to their Smart tariff as arranged. Took an hour for the chat to be picked up to be told in short order that Bulb are "months" away from being able to offer their Smart Tariff to their customers with their SMETS2 Smart meters installed.

    A follow up phone call to Bulb has revealed the same issue means they can't switch customers with the SMETS2 Smart meters to their Economy7 tariff either.

    This means we're stuck on the standard Varifair tariff

    The misinformation I was given by Bulb before I booked the install means that as of 1015hrs this morning, every unit consumed is costing us more than it should.

    We're switching supplier and formally complaining to OFGEM in an effort to recover our losses whilst we're still on Bulb's more expensive tariff. If I'd know I'd been misled when I booked the install, I'd have gone to another supplier who could offer some form or Economy 7 or Smart 3 way tariff. Bulb were quite clear they couldn't even offer an Economy 7 meter install - Not that we wanted one anyway as the cost is £120...for a meter that would eventually be replaced by a SMETS2 meter free of charge that would supposedly allow us to switch to any tariff with them, or indeed with any other supplier.

    The industry has made this switch a shambles and the consumer shouldn't bare any of the consequential costs.
  • I too am amazed and disappointed with the lack of information given by bulb prior to having their smart meters fitted.
    Their hype was that they were fitting the NEW Smet2, far superior to the older Smet1 so they said.
    This appears to only be the case for remote readings!! Nothing mentioned regards drawback on getting cheaper tariffs.
    I was hoping to do as the government are requesting and move to electric vehicle.
  • bozerboy said:

    I too am amazed and disappointed with the lack of information given by bulb prior to having their smart meters fitted.
    Their hype was that they were fitting the NEW Smet2, far superior to the older Smet1 so they said.
    This appears to only be the case for remote readings!! Nothing mentioned regards drawback on getting cheaper tariffs.
    I was hoping to do as the government are requesting and move to electric vehicle.

    Having solar panels, I had the Smet2 meter fitted by bulb. It has taken a while for these and the IHD to show information. However now the IHD shows lots of useful info. The great shame is Bulb don't appear to be able to get this information.
  • Bozerboy, you are lucky. After three months my IHD is still 'waiting for data'.
  • I had SMETS2 meters installed this week. Found out afterwards that Bulb won't let me have a smart tariff with the latest smart meters. WTF?
    Switching to Octopus in part due to this.
  • I would think twice about this. Octopus go tariff is to me is the best option at present with a 5p night rate.Great for EV owners like myself .This sounds great but you have to sign up to an interim tariff until they can either use you existing meter or install their new smart meter .Their interim tariff for me is a lot higher than Bulbs standard and you have no guarantee as to when you will be moved to the Octopus go tariff. How long are you prepared to wait?
    What I would like is for Bulb to realize that their smart tariff even if it was available is not that good a deal. DO THE MATHS. Double the standard Day rate during 4pm to 7pm and nearly 9p at night . Not really that good. I am sticking to 13.7p all the time and have the option of plugging my car in on arriving home at 4pm. Need to come up with some thing different Bulb sorry.
  • edited July 7
    bozerboy said:

    I was hoping to do as the government are requesting and move to electric vehicle.

    Even without a cheap overnight rate, running an EV is still considerably cheaper than the equivalent mileage via petrol or diesel.

    Hell, even if I were to charge my EV using solely rapid chargers at 35p/kWh it still works out at half the cost I was paying for petrol per mile.

    Don't let the lack of a multi-rate tariff put you off.
  • edited July 7
    keithbcp said:

    What I would like is for Bulb to realize that their smart tariff even if it was available is not that good a deal. DO THE MATHS. Double the standard Day rate during 4pm to 7pm and nearly 9p at night . Not really that good. I am sticking to 13.7p all the time and have the option of plugging my car in on arriving home at 4pm. Need to come up with some thing different Bulb sorry.

    I have done the maths. The smart tariff, for my usage profile, is a tiny bit cheaper than the Economy -7 rates for my area.

    So, again for my usage profile, the ranking is:

    #1 Smart tariff
    #2 Economy-7
    #3 Single-rate.

    Having said that, the smart tariff isn't sufficiently cheaper than Economy-7 and I would rather pay a tiny bit more and just go for standard Economy-7, rather than having to consider peak rate usage. Unfortunately Bulb don't yet offer E7 via smart meter, so the smart tariff will have to do.
  • Fair comments. E7 for me means quite a higher day rate which does not really work for my usage. Bulbs new smart tariff for me would work out overall the same as their normal tariff so I am reluctant to change even though I can not get it at present.
  • keithbcp said:

    Fair comments. E7 for me means quite a higher day rate which does not really work for my usage. Bulbs new smart tariff for me would work out overall the same as their normal tariff so I am reluctant to change even though I can not get it at present.

    The benefit of any multi-rate tariff depends highly on personal usage. If you don't have high overnight usage then it's highly unlikely for any multi-rate tariff to be suitable for you. That's no reason to broadly and generically declare it's "not really that good".
  • I've now had a SMETS2 meter for a month (with a working IHD!!), but received an estimated bill from Bulb today, which was way off the actual meter reading. So, I contacted them by chat today to find out why my bill was estimated.

    The response was:
    • Bulb are receiving meter readings OK from my SMETS2 meter
    • but, those readings cannot be processed by their billing system yet
    • so, I cannot move to the smart tariff until this is fixed
    I'm assuming that this is generally true for SMETS2 meters, not something that affects my account specifically.
  • Hi @coles

    We're currently only able to take members with a certain type of SMETS1 meter on to our smart tariff. We're looking to enrol our SMETS2 members on to the smart tariff later this year.

    We have found a fix for member who have smart meters but are still receiving estimates statements. We wrote a bit more about this on the latest smart meter update.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.
  • thanks @Eleanor at Bulb

    What disappoints me is the lack of consistent information from Bulb. I've been a customer for several years, and when I moved house a few months ago I asked whether I could have an Economy 7 meter installed (which I had at my previous address) as we have 2 EVs. I was told that I should get a SMETS2 meter. I pointed your colleagues to the posts on the forums saying that you couldn't support TOU tariffs with those meters yet, and was told more than once that the forum posts were incorrect and the smart tariff was available with the new meters. A month on, and I now know the forum posts were correct all along, but I still have no idea when you'll be able to put me on the smart tariff.

    This isn't idle curiosity on my part - being on a single rate tariff is going to cost me several hundred quid as we use >1MWh a month, largely on EV charging overnight. If Bulb had been honest with me from the outset, I could have made different choices.

    At this point, it looks like I'm going to have to find a different supplier who can give me a cheaper overnight rate.
  • coles said:

    thanks @Eleanor at Bulb

    At this point, it looks like I'm going to have to find a different supplier who can give me a cheaper overnight rate.

    Well, you better make sure the meter Bulb put in is compatible. Despite what all the suppliers seem to be saying, that is not always the case. i.e. you can't switch to Octopus if you have a SMETS2 meter installed by Bulb.

    This is really a complete mess and I feel I've been conned into having a smart meter which gives me absolutely no benefit WRT my tariff.
  • Trapper said:

    Well, you better make sure the meter Bulb put in is compatible. Despite what all the suppliers seem to be saying, that is not always the case. i.e. you can't switch to Octopus if you have a SMETS2 meter installed by Bulb.

    Did Octopus tell you this?
  • Hi @Trapper - that doesn't sound right to me. You will be able to switch suppliers with a SMETS2.

    Part of the reason we waited for the SMETS2 meters to be ready before installing smart meters in out member's homes was to make it easy to switch and maintain smart functionality.

    Who told you that you could not switch? Bulb or Octopus?

    @coles I've triple checked with our smart team that I'm right on this. We're not currently able to take SMETS2 members on to the smart tariff.

    I've spoken to our copy team to make this clearer on our smart page. They have now linked the 'compatible smart meter' to our help centre to make it clear which meters can and cannot be on the smart tariff at the moment.

    I am very sorry if you have been told the wrong information before having the meter installed. This should have been made clear. I'm unable to give you a date on when SMETS2 will be able to be added to the smart tariff but we're working on it currently so it should be in the next few months.

    We'd be sad to see you go but totally understand that you need the right rates for you. I hope that once we're able to enrol SMETS2 on to the smart tariff that you'll consider coming back to us!
  • edited July 16
    It may well be that Octopus can't currently utilise the Bulb installed SMETS2 meters as all of that integration is very much a work in progress for all suppliers.

    Octopus uses Liberty Meters and no doubt their systems are optimised for that - it may take some time before they can offer their fancy tariffs with other SMETS2 setups.
  • @Eleanor at Bulb - thank you for the update. I think Bulb is a fantastic company and I can only guess at the levels of frustration that the smart meter rollout must be causing you all internally. The discrepancy wasn't between this forum and the online content. It was that I was being told directly by a member of your customer team that I could have the smart tariff with a SMETS2 meter and that she had checked this with the smart meter team. I think the gap is properly educating your contact centre team on this.

    @mowcius - my understanding is that suppliers get meter reading data via the DCC for SMETS2, and that this data is a consistent format (canonical) regardless of meter supplier? I think the principle of meter portability is good, but the challenges are going to be operational - e.g. Bulb will have a contract with a 3rd party (probably) to do meter maintenance, which will work great where it's an L&G meter that Bulb has fitted, but what happens when a Bulb customer has a problem with a Liberty, or Secure, or Siemens (et al) SMETS2 meter fitted by someone else ... will that 3rd party company really be able to service all makes and models of SMETS2 meter, or will the number of meter swaps go up due to the practicalities of managing a mixed estate?

    I'm somewhat involved in SMETS2 from the payments side of things (in real life, I'm the CTO of a company called PayPoint). We've been testing prepay meter top-ups literally for years with a number of energy companies and the operational behaviour of SMETS2 meters in the lab and in the field varies quite a lot between manufacturers. Some of the gas meters take ages to 'wake up', for example, which is a bit of a pain when you're trying to top them up with a payment.
  • edited July 16
    coles said:

    @Eleanor at Bulb - thank you for the update. I think Bulb is a fantastic company and I can only guess at the levels of frustration that the smart meter rollout must be causing you all internally. The discrepancy wasn't between this forum and the online content. It was that I was being told directly by a member of your customer team that I could have the smart tariff with a SMETS2 meter and that she had checked this with the smart meter team. I think the gap is properly educating your contact centre team on this..

    Thanks for getting back to this @coles . Totally agree. You should always receive the same info, whether you speak to our team, read our website or come on Community for an answer. I've flagged this with our training and smart team so we can improve. We aim to deliver #1 service but we've clearly let you down on this ocassion. Thanks for bringing it up on the forum - it's important to know what we need to improve on.
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