Comfort plus — Bulb Community

Comfort plus

Hello I have Scottish power comfort plus tariff - a Meter for electrical central heating and a meter for everything else. Can I change to bulb -

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  • Hi @Ruaridh1, I believe that to switch, the secondary meter would have to be removed.

    I think that Scottish Power charge for this however I suspect that Bulb might cover that as part of the switch like they do for contract exit fees.

    Even with the removal of the Comfort plus meter and having your heaters wired straight into the main meter you might find the Bulb are still cheaper (as Scottish Power are stupidly expensive) but it might be worth getting an economy 7 meter (especially if your heaters support timed heating).
  • Hi @Ruaridh1 can you drop us an email to help@bulb.co.uk with your meter details and we can have a look into this :)
  • Hi @Ruaridh1 can you drop us an email to help@bulb.co.uk with your meter details and we can have a look into this :)

    How did this go? I'm in the same situation on Comfort Plus which is a dts system that no-one else will touch. Would be more than happy to get rid of it if Bulb would replace with something like an Economy7
  • I'm the same, desperate to leave the cowboys but got this comfort plus rip-off. Got the letting agent asking the landlord to get me down to 1 meter. Would be nice if bulb covered the cost as part of switching
  • edited February 13
    Heya all.

    I've taken a look at the email @Ruaridh1 sent to Bulb, and our reply.

    We can take on both meters. However, we will have to charge you an extra standing charge for the second meter. That's around another £75 per year. Unfortunately, this does make our tariff less competitive than other suppliers.

    We can replace your meter or have the second meter removed but there are extra charges for doing so.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.
  • edited February 19
    My parents are also stuck with Scottish Power on Comfort Plus. They've had (and are still having) a catalogue of billing problems, despite having a new meter installed a year ago, so I'd like to get them away from the expensive, nightmarish Scottish Power ASAP.

    They have no gas heating, so it's a single electricity meter with 3 rates for day, night and control. Same meter as mentioned in this thread https://community.bulb.co.uk/discussion/4117/horstmann-radio-telemeter-series-k-meter-reading As I understand it, the control rate is for their storage heaters. They also have a hot water tank/immersion heater set-up which is used on the night rate.

    What would be the options for a switch to Bulb? @Eleanor at Bulb?
  • Heya @norman7115

    I've had a dig around to find out what's best in this situation.

    We're required to take on all types of meters including dynamically teleswitched meters on an “accommodation” tariff (our single-rate tariff).

    This would mean the loss of periods of cheap heating rates so it is not recommended for members who still have storage heaters.

    If your parents have two MPANs (meter point administration number) they'll need to pay two standing charges also. That's an extra £75.

    Generally, with these setups, the Big Six energy companies are the better option. We're sorry about that.

    We'd recommend getting a smart meter. This means you can switch between rates and your parents can find the most affordable tariff for them.
  • Generally, with these setups, the Big Six energy companies are the better option. We're sorry about that.

    Really nice to see honesty from a company :3
  • Hi @Eleanor at Bulb. Thanks very much for following up. My parents do indeed have two MPANs on their bills, despite having only 1 meter for which they currently pay only one standing charge.

    So we're saying Bulb could take them on straight away onto the Vari-fair tariff but with the additional standing charge. If they switched on that basis but wanted to go onto the Economy 7 tariff, would there just be the charge (£120?) for replacing the meter?

    Presumably they could get a free smart meter but having mentioned the Monday to Friday peak rate from 4pm to 7pm on the Smart tariff, they weren't keen on that. Which brings me back to the point I mentioned in another thread (on the subject of EVs) about using Economy 7 on a smart meter. Anyhow, can you please clarify the E7 meter replacement cost (and how long it would take to organise) and I'll take it from there.

    Thanks again for your help.
  • You're testing my knowledge of meter setups here @norman7115!

    I've had a chat with @TimC at Bulb who is our resident expert.

    The answer is technically yes: your parents can switch to Bulb and then pay £120 to have a new meter. One of the MPANs would be 'de-energised' so the extra standing charge would not apply.

    We'd need to make sure that the meter has a fifth terminal. That's so it can link up to the radio teleswitch clock. It would be worth mentioning that to Bulb when you request the switch as it's a slightly different meter request. You can always mention that you spoke to me on Community about it so I can make sure it's booked in correctly.

    You could then wait for Bulb to come and install a smart meter - that's free of charge. Having a smart meter does not mean you have to be on the smart tariff.

    But I'm sure your parents don't really want the hassle of having two lots of engineers turning up. Plus I cannot guarantee when the smart meter can be fitted by Bulb. Currently, we're letting members know when we can install in their areas.

    My recommendation is that you ask if the current supplier to fit a smart meter now. If they are able to get this done quickly then there's no need to have two-meter jobs and won't need to pay the £120.

    It would mean holding on for a little longer but in terms of cost and hassle, it's the easier option.

    Either way, let me know what you decide :)

  • Thank you again @Eleanor at Bulb and thanks also to @TimC at Bulb.

    Your suggestion of my parents getting a smart meter now through Scottish Power would ordinarily make sense, but from their experiences so far that could be a recipe for disaster. They still haven't properly sorted billing issues from a year ago when the current meter was installed, so switching to a smart meter (and possibly a new tariff) could be asking for trouble.

    That plus the fact that my parents are sceptical on the subject of smart meters (given all the horror stories when suppliers starting installing SMETS1 meters) and although I could likely talk them round on this, I'm also bearing in mind that they are on electric only, so would likely be heavy users around the Bulb Smart tariff peak hours. You did point out that they could stay on the Vari-Fair tariff with a smart meter but cost-wise they'd only be marginally better off than they are now on the Scottish Power tariff.

    Which brings me back to Economy 7 which I know would give them a significant saving, despite the initial meter cost. Just so I'm 100% clear in what I'm telling them can you please just confirm my understanding:

    1) A switch to Bulb could happen without any work being done to the meter set-up and they could go immediately onto the Vari-Fair tariff. At this point they would incur 2 lots of standing charges because of the 2 MPANs. They'd submit readings manually by adding up the 3 different readings on the existing meter.

    2) They could then request a new Economy 7 meter, presumably a normal credit meter with E7 configuration and the fifth terminal you mentioned. This new meter would replace the existing radio telemeter and one of the MPANs would then be de-energised. The total cost for this would be £120 but thereafter only 1 standing charge would apply.

    Have I got that right? The thread I linked to earlier ended with this below from August last year, so I just want to double-check. Thanks in advance for your help.
    Omendata said:

    I tried to switch to Bulb using this meter and although it was accepted they later phoned me to say they couldnt take me on because this meter is tied into Scottish Power and designated as a "complex meter setup" so couldnt provide me with a White Meter Comfortplus 7 alternative even though they quoted me for it and began the switch.

    Rate 1 is always DAY
    Rate 2 is always NIGHT
    Rate 3 is control - storage heating

    Storage/night is 11:30pm to 7:00 am so check the readings when the time is right

  • Hi @Eleanor at Bulb. Just bumping this thread in case you missed my reply from last week. When you get a minute can you please confirm my understanding as stated above. Thanks.
  • @norman7115 Thanks for the bump and sorry I didn't catch this earlier!

    1) Yes, they can switch with the current set up. They will need to manually send us meter readings for the time being.

    2) And yes, once switched they can pay £120 for one meter to be removed and replaced with an E7 and we will de-energize the other. We only charge for the call out - not how many different jobs actually need doing.

    Another useful thing to do before making the request is to have an electrician check everything first. If you explain what job you want to have done, they can make sure it would be possible.
  • Thanks @Eleanor at Bulb. I'm almost there apart from that curve ball you threw me at the end. Can you just clarify that last bit please:

    Another useful thing to do before making the request is to have an electrician check everything first. If you explain what job you want to have done, they can make sure it would be possible.

    You've said it can be done but then said it should be checked by an electrician as it might not be possible?

    If I supply all relevant information about the meter and current set up (photos if required), is it impossible for Bulb to confirm if an E7 meter can be put in? I don't particularly want to put my elderly parents through the hassle and expense of an electrician visit if it can be avoided. Plus I'd hate for an independent electrician to say yes, we then switch my parents to Bulb, then for a Bulb engineer to say E7 can't be done.
  • Hey @norman7115

    @TimC at Bulb has just given me a lesson in related meters - I'm always learning something!

    The reason why we suggest getting an electrician to assess things first is that your parents have two supplies coming into the house.

    In most cases, an engineer can simply de-energize one meter and replace the other with an E7 meter. But this is not always the case. We can't tell from the MPAN how the wiring is set up in the house and whether a simple de-energization and exchange will work.

    This is a risk that you could take without checking with an electrician first. But we do recommend that you have it checked to be on the safe side.

    Once your E7 is fitted, however, the storage heaters will work in the same way.

    I hope this helps but please do ask any other questions if you still have them.
  • In most cases, an engineer can simply de-energize one meter and replace the other with an E7 meter.

    Thanks again for the reply @Eleanor at Bulb. Just to be clear (and this is probably just terminology), in my parents' situation there is only one physical meter (2 MPANs), so this de-energizing still applies?

  • Hi @norman7115

    Eeek - you did say so. Sorry.

    Yes - it still applies. You don't want to be switching off half the house's electricity supply.
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