An update on our smart installations — Bulb Community

An update on our smart installations

Hello all,

We've posted a new blog about Bulb's smart meter installations.

As you may have read here on Community, there have been some issues with our smart meter roll out. The blog, posted by Dan in the smart team, has explained what's been happening and what we're doing to fix it.

Got questions about the smart roll out? Post below and we'll do our best to answer.

Comments

  • I had my smart meter installed in April and you are still unable to get a gas reading. After initial issues the IHD works fine (including displaying gas usage) and you are obviously getting electric readings but my gas readings are estimates. I am told that this is an issue with the meter details not been added to the system, though they obviously added the electric meter details
    ----
    Hi Chris,

    Apologies for the delay in receiving your smart gas readings. It seems like the details of your new meter haven't come into the system yet.

    I'll chase this up with our smart team so that they can update it on the account.
    ----


  • i want a smart meter fitted
  • i want a smart meter fitted

    https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSey31A6uvCg03zwfsk6OLGBL_JWR9rceGIG85PqHiJYG31JUA/viewform

    But spend some time reading the threads about the experience of other customers before signing up.



  • Thanks for keeping us updated. I had understood that there was three separate issues. Did I have that wrong?
    1) IHDs not communicating with the smart meters
    2) Smart meters communicating with the DCC, but the meter readings not appearing on the bulb accounts
    3) Network signal is insufficient for the smart meter to communicate with the DCC.

    You covered 1 and 3. But not 2. I believe 2 is distinct from 3 as my IHD used to only get readings from the gas meter but has been updated to also get electricity readings (much appreciated, I have rooftop solar and real time electricity readings have proven very helpful). If there were no communication channels between you and the meter (as indicated in 3) you wouldn't have been able to remotely fix 1.
  • I volunteered for the smart meter trial almost a year ago as soon as I joined bulb. Have you any idea in terms of timescales of where I might be in the queue?
  • I was surprised by the omission of #ThatGuy 's issue no. 2. That is now the only unresolved issue for me - and I suspect quite a few others. Bills are still being based on estimated readings although Bulb have stated explicitly that they are in fact receiving the actual readings but have a problem integrating them with their billing system.
  • I was surprised by the omission of #ThatGuy 's issue no. 2. That is now the only unresolved issue for me - and I suspect quite a few others. Bills are still being based on estimated readings although Bulb have stated explicitly that they are in fact receiving the actual readings but have a problem integrating them with their billing system.

    If they comment on that one then they're admitting that for some reason they've still not managed to fix this serious software flaw that has now been present and obvious for over 4 months!
    I accept that the other issues are third party, but Bulb seem to be getting in to a habit of not accepting the blame for things recently.
  • I still have a 1st generation smart meter from my previous supplier. Any idea when you will be able to read this? I was on a pay as you go tarrif and would like to get back on that. (I joined Bulb in 1st May this year.)
  • Andrew_G1 said:

    I still have a 1st generation smart meter from my previous supplier. Any idea when you will be able to read this? I was on a pay as you go tarrif and would like to get back on that. (I joined Bulb in 1st May this year.)

    You want to unnecessarily pay more for your energy?
  • Hi All,

    Had my smart meters fitted on April 11th.
    IHD has been "waiting for data" since then.
    I have been told by bulb that the electricity meter is working and transmitting data, but the gas is not.
    I have submitted gas meter readings as requested.

    Just checked my account (June 6th) and there is no record of electricity usage since April 11th, and the gas usage shown is based on the readings I've submitted, so it appears that neither meter is sending any data that is reaching my account.

    The only information I've been given was an email over a month ago telling me to try rebooting the IHD near the meters, which I did to no avail, and then a second email telling me that I'd be contacted when a fix had been sorted out.

    How long is this supposed to take to fix?
  • @Eleanor at Bulb any update on those of us who appear to have communications between our meters and bulb but are still getting estimated meter readings (my issue 2 from my post earlier)? Perhaps I have misunderstood the issue?
  • I had new smart meters fitted on the 13th May and i have same problem with the IHD in that it wont show gas readings. I too have been told that i have to wait for a fix. Not good. They shouldnt roll these out if they dont work. I have no confidence that i am being billed correctly and considering moving.
  • Total farce Bulb! And they’re still installing them
  • Hi all. I've been on holiday for a few weeks. Sorry that someone else didn't jump here.

    @ThatGuy You're right, there are few separate things we're working on at the moment. We'll be emailing those affected by point two shortly.

    To generate a statement each month, we rely on receiving a scheduled meter reading. We'll be asking members to allow us to read daily readings. Instead of your smart meter pushing out a monthly meter reading on a schedule, we will request the meter reading. This ensures there will be a reading on your account for us to bill you on. So this should be fixed soon @christos_1

    @Andrew_G1 we'll be able to read generation 1 smart meters later this year. It sounds like you had a prepayment meter with your previous supplier. Was this the case? If you'd prefer a prepayment meter, it's best to drop us an email to get this sorted for you.

    @adyf if you've registered your interest for a smart meter, we'll be in touch as soon as we have an engineer available in your area. If you're in the North, this could take a little longer as there are more connection issues in this region.

    I'm sorry that you feel let down by the smart installations, we're working really hard on fixes. We appreciate your patience.
  • Question:

    Does the daily cost figure displayed on the IHD include standing charge or is it exclusive of that. If it doesn't include the standing charge it doesn't truly reflect the daily cost, does it?
  • Umm, no answer yet!

    Question:

    Does the daily cost figure displayed on the IHD include standing charge or is it exclusive of that. If it doesn't include the standing charge it doesn't truly reflect the daily cost, does it?

  • Hi @Royston_Vasey_No1

    The in-home-display does show the daily standing charge. It's not on the first screen but if you scroll through the display, you'll be able to see the standing charge with your current supplier.

    The daily usage will vary which is what you can see on your in-home-display.
  • Hi @Royston_Vasey_No1

    The in-home-display does show the daily standing charge. It's not on the first screen but if you scroll through the display, you'll be able to see the standing charge with your current supplier.

    The daily usage will vary which is what you can see on your in-home-display.

    @Royston_Vasey_No1 I was wrong. The meter adds the standing charge into the daily costs, which are then reflected onto the IHD display. I believe this takes place at the start of each day, so the IHD "so far today" cost should always include the standing charge

    Sorry for not getting it right the first time around. I was looking at the wrong screen :s
  • @Royston_Vasey_No1 I was wrong. The meter adds the standing charge into the daily costs, which are then reflected onto the IHD display. I believe this takes place at the start of each day, so the IHD "so far today" cost should always include the standing charge

    @Eleanor at Bulb you were right both times :)

    You can scroll through to see the standing charges for both gas and electric, and the currently active unit rates.

    Then, as you say, the standing charge is also added on to the cumulative cost. One my SMETS1 display, the standing charge gets added to the "so far today" screen at midnight, or within a few minutes afterwards.

    Yes, I am the kind of person to have stood there watching it at midnight to see what happens ... :#

    My tariff info is currently wrong in any case, so it's not particularly useful. The tariff cost was first pushed to the meter at the point of registering the 3 rate tariff. But after that, there's no way to update the prices other than registering a full tariff change. Trying to rewrite the tariff with the same tariff in order to push new tariff prices gets rejected. It sounds like the only way would be to push a change back to the single rate, and then push the 3-rate again at which point the new prices would be updated, which would likely cause all sorts of confusion. Ah well.
  • @Eleanor at Bulb Any update on when Bulb are actually going to give us functioning reliable smart meters, installing a smart meter was a big mistake for me. None of it seems to work, and the IHD has never worked. I have not had a bill or statement since May.
  • Hooloovoo said:

    @Royston_Vasey_No1 I was wrong. The meter adds the standing charge into the daily costs, which are then reflected onto the IHD display. I believe this takes place at the start of each day, so the IHD "so far today" cost should always include the standing charge

    @Eleanor at Bulb you were right both times :)

    :o That doesn't often happen
    SimonS said:

    @Eleanor at Bulb Any update on when Bulb are actually going to give us functioning reliable smart meters, installing a smart meter was a big mistake for me. None of it seems to work, and the IHD has never worked. I have not had a bill or statement since May.

    The majority of smart meters that we install are functioning. There's lots of fixes in place or about to be released for those whose meters aren't functioning as they should. Dan from the smart team will be posting a smart meter update on our blog about this today. I'll link it once it's up.

    The billing issue is being fixed as we speak. The majority of members whose IHDs are not working will have already received an email asking for access to daily reads. We believe that taking automatic readings daily will fix this problem for now. For members that have not received this email yet, they will before their next statement is due.
  • I had the email about daily reads more than a week ago (and no data is appearing on my bulb account). Should I contact bulb support to raise this or do you know?
  • My meters have been sending daily reads for a couple of weeks and that hasn’t fixed my non working IHD
  • edited July 5

    Hooloovoo said:

    @Royston_Vasey_No1 I was wrong. The meter adds the standing charge into the daily costs, which are then reflected onto the IHD display. I believe this takes place at the start of each day, so the IHD "so far today" cost should always include the standing charge

    @Eleanor at Bulb you were right both times :)
    :o That doesn't often happen
    SimonS said:

    @Eleanor at Bulb Any update on when Bulb are actually going to give us functioning reliable smart meters, installing a smart meter was a big mistake for me. None of it seems to work, and the IHD has never worked. I have not had a bill or statement since May.

    The majority of smart meters that we install are functioning. There's lots of fixes in place or about to be released for those whose meters aren't functioning as they should. Dan from the smart team will be posting a smart meter update on our blog about this today. I'll link it once it's up.

    The billing issue is being fixed as we speak. The majority of members whose IHDs are not working will have already received an email asking for access to daily reads. We believe that taking automatic readings daily will fix this problem for now. For members that have not received this email yet, they will before their next statement is due.
    I have just spotted the new blog from Dan that @Eleanor at Bulb mentions - https://bulb.co.uk/blog/in-home-display-and-smart-update
  • Johno said:

    My meters have been sending daily reads for a couple of weeks and that hasn’t fixed my non working IHD

    Hi @Johno

    The daily reads will not fix your IHD. It allows us to send accurate statements to our members.

    I can see that Alex from Bulb has sent you an update on your smart meter. He has reported your issue to the smart team and it does look as if your account is having a similar issue to @SimonS , @sindbadpeter and @GillHudson. @PJ at Bulb is in our member team and is working on getting it fixed. It's a high priority for us. Unsurprisingly, it's causing a bit of a shock for a handful of members. Sorry about this. We'll keep you updated on this thread.

    Your meter has been commissioned correctly so there's something else going on with your IHD. If you've not already, it's worth taking a read through this help article: https://help.bulb.co.uk/hc/en-us/articles/360024946251-My-In-Home-Display-IHD-won-t-connect-what-should-I-do-

    If your In-Home Display has frozen and the numbers haven’t changed in a while, it could be due to a lost signal. Restarting it using the round, flat button on the back, or letting the battery drain before plugging it in again will help the display to do a fresh sweep for the signal. Once it’s done that, it should start showing your data again.

    With each new IHD case that comes along, we are learning more about the issues that can occur. We're raising these issues with the manufacturer to help us get to the bottom of it.
  • Oh, and thanks @Phillip_PAL =)

    Let me know if you have any questions about the update.

  • Eleanor, it was your smart team that asked permission for daily readings saying that it would kick start my non working IHD!
    Would you like to see the email???
  • Is there any dialogue with the manufacturer of the IHD meters.? Are you sure it is a software problem always and not hardware? My meter didn't work for a few days then did. In the last three weeks it has worked in fits and starts, sometimes requiring reset intervention from Bulb. Another couple of times it just froze and I had to drain the battery before I could restart it. Surely the latter is a hardware issue? It really is too "flakey" if you want to use the device to accurately monitor and control your energy use which I understood was the whole idea!
  • Johno said:

    Eleanor, it was your smart team that asked permission for daily readings saying that it would kick start my non working IHD!
    Would you like to see the email???

    Hi @Johno

    Members that give permission for us to take automatic daily readings will start to see actual readings on their Bulb account and statements rather than the IHD. We sent an email to our members who were receiving estimated bills despite having smart meters installed to as for their permission.

    I'm sorry if you have been told otherwise by one of the team on an email thread. I could not find the email that you mention but it would be useful for me to see so I can address this with the team member. We should always be giving consistent information about smart meter issues. If you could drop me a private message on Community with details of the thread, I can investigate a little further.

    I can see that you have also been affected by the inflated usage figures on your Bulb account. @Mikey at Bulb from the Member team found a fix for this yesterday so you should see the figures go back to normal.

    @dcweather I have to admit - I'm not sure of the answer. But our smart team certainly will. I'll speak to them this morning and get back to you with a more detailed answer. I do know that we're in contact with the smart meter manufactures to solve outstanding issues.
  • edited July 9
    @dcweather here's an update as promised:

    Is there any dialogue with the manufacturer of the IHD meters.?

    Yes, we've been working with the manufacturers closely over the last few months and between us we have seen the first time install completion rise to 90% of installs

    Are you sure it is a software problem always and not hardware?

    We are considering all possibilities - investigations so far have pointed to the devices being fine but software and firmware as the potential issue. For edge cases where the current fixes aren't working, we are continuing to look at these cases to ensure that the hardware isn't at fault. If we find that there is a hardware issue, we will issue new displays to those members as necesssary but what we have seen so far has all pointed to the hardware being ok.

    My meter didn't work for a few days then did. In the last three weeks it has worked in fits and starts, sometimes requiring reset intervention from Bulb. Another couple of times it just froze and I had to drain the battery before I could restart it. Surely the latter is a hardware issue? It really is too "flakey" if you want to use the device to accurately monitor and control your energy use which I understood was the whole idea!

    Members with an intermittent supply is an example of the ongoing investigations with the manufacturers. Some customers experience this sort of behaviour but it is not due to the device but making sure the signal is constant and that the devices keep the signal active between them. The manufacturers are currently looking at ways to make sure this connection is strong to reduce the interrupted display some of our members are facing.

    Let me know if you have any further questions!
  • Hi there. I've tried to book an appointment, but at the end of the booking process I've been told there is a problem and it can't be booked. I got another email about it today, but the only dates on offer are when I am on holiday. I'll check in again in a couple of weeks.
  • Any ideas what’s going on with installations in the north, in the YO12 - YO14 area? Not heard anything for months.
  • I had smart meters installed at the end of March, and it has been nothing but a disaster since. I lost all my usage history as every prior bill was credited, and a new bill was raised for the total credited as part of the resetting of readings to cope with the new meters.. The installer was poor, didnt finish the work, I dont have a home display despite promises for one to be sent out, my gas meter hasnt been connected to the electricity meter, so I have to send manual gas readings, my electricy meter may or may not send usage info to Bulb, but I wouldnt know since I havent had a bill since the installation (for gas too, despite sending monthing readings). Despite repeated emails to Bulb, I dont even get an acknowledgement now.. Looks as if the company has got too big, and if I could turn back time I would not take the offer of smart meters. Since I have a botched job, I doulbt whether I can even change supplier at this time.
    For those considering getting meters installed, am I just unlucky, or is there a greater problem??
  • Greater problem!
  • Had my installation today. Good engineer, electricity was showing up on the monitor thing before he left and the gas about an hour or so afterwards. and as soon as that happened I found the "submit meter readings part of my app had gone, so that's pretty efficient!

    No issues so far, fingers crossed!
  • It would be great if you could post again when you have received a statement based on readings obtained remotely by Bulb via the smart meter network. We hear a lot about problems on Community, not so much about successful installations.
  • Is there any contact number for the smart meter installation team? Was expecting them this morning but looking like a no show.
  • Murray said:

    Is there any contact number for the smart meter installation team? Was expecting them this morning but looking like a no show.

    In the first instance I would contact the Bulb team direct, their contact details are on the Help page.
  • Hi, I got an email to say you were rolling out smart meters in my area and to book my appointment. But when I press the link it says no appointments are available - have I missed the boat, or is there some other reason why it's all booked up within minutes of receiving the email?

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