UPDATE: We’ve started installing smart meters in our members’ homes. — Bulb Community

UPDATE: We’ve started installing smart meters in our members’ homes.

We’ve started installing smart meters in our members’ homes.

In August 2018, we announced that we’d be rolling out smart meters by the end of the year. Unfortunately, industry-wide software complications meant we had to delay our smart meter roll out until January 2019.

You’ve waited patiently while we ironed out the creases to make sure our new second generation smart meters are working as they should. So thanks for sitting tight.

Lots of you are keen to know how and when you can have a smart meter installed. We’ve done our very best to answer your questions here.

If anything has been left unanswered, please do join the discussion below.

“I’ve signed up to the smart meter waiting list. When will I get my smart meter installed?”

If you’re on the smart meter waiting list and eligible for an installation, you should hear from us before Easter 2019.

Eligibility and the exact time we get in touch will depend on a few factors including:
  • Engineer availability in your area
  • Smart meter signal coverage
Right now we’re prioritising people on the waiting list, as they’ve shown an active interest. But we’ll be quickly increasing the number of installations in the coming months.

“I’m not on the smart meter waiting list, can I still join?”

Yes! There's a quick form to complete if you'd like to join the smart meter waiting list. When we're ready to start installing in your area you'll be the first to know.

“How do I book a smart meter installation?”

If you’ve joined the waiting list, we’ll double check that there are engineers available in your area and that there’s smart meter signal coverage.

If everything looks good, we’ll send you an email with a link to book your installation.

You’ll be able to select a date and time for the engineer to arrive. Once the engineer does arrive, the installation takes around 2 hours, and someone over the age of 18 will need to be home in that time.

“Someone I know has been invited to book an installation, and they’re not on the waiting list. How come?”

We want as many people as possible to get the benefits a smart meter can bring. Some areas of the country have a good signal, and engineers available, but not many people on the waiting list. To make the most of the opportunity, we’re inviting people who perhaps didn’t know there was a list to get a smart meter installed.

“If I’ve joined the smart tariff, can I switch back to the vari-fair?”

Yes. If you’ve signed up for our beta smart tariff, you can switch back to our vari-fair tariff at any point, even if you’ve had a smart meter installed.

You’ll need to drop an email to hello@bulb.co.uk or call us on 0300 30 30 635 between 9am and 6pm on weekdays.

It will take up to two weeks to switch you back to the vari-fair tariff. But we’ll make sure you’re not overcharged during this period.

The smart tariff is a 3-rate tariff that reflects the demands of the grid. It works especially well for electric vehicle owners and is helping people to save by changing the way they use energy throughout the day. You can sign up to the smart tariff or find out more.

“What type of smart meter will you be installing?”

We’re installing EDMI and Landis+Gyr second-generation smart meters.

The engineer will replace your current meters and will offer you an In-Home Display (IHD). The IHD is a small screen that sits in your house. It gives you near real-time data which can help you track how much energy you’re using and how much it costs. Many people have found that by getting a better understanding of how much appliances cost to run, they can reduce their bills.

Comments

  • I guess I can post things now then!
  • Gah! Now I don't know what to do. I literally just (today) booked my appointment to have my existing faulty prepayment meter replaced with a like for like one at the end of March as that's when the earliest available appointments were anyway. Despite wanting to get off prepayment and back onto credit ASAP, I was getting antsy about the threat of my meter's key reader completely giving up the ghost while I waited for news of the smart meter rollout... Now I'm thinking I should cancel that appointment. It would be a massive waste to have a whole new meter installed if I'm going to be contacted about a Smart Meter potentially less than a month later. But I also kind of don't want to cancel it just in case there's further delays and people aren't contacted within that timescale after all... Argh! This is frustrating.

    But thank you for the update, @Eleanor at Bulb.
  • Perhaps @Bill at Bulb could help here?

    @awkward_nikki, that does sound like a bit of a waste. From the email I received, appointments were available from Friday (in central Leeds), so it seems likely that it would be much faster if you could get a Smart Meter installed, wherever you are.
  • edited February 7
    Hi @awkward_nikki - if you received an email about engineers in your area there's a decent chance that you will be able to get a meter by Easter, but if you haven't you may be waiting quite a while. The last thing we'd want to do is risk you going off supply if your meter is faulty, though if that did happen we'd do an emergency job to get you sorted ASAP.

    The Smart meter installations nationwide is a massive undertaking, and we have almost a million members to install them for, with that number growing all the time. I'd sign up to the waiting list and see what the anticipated timeframe is, we don't charge for meter job cancellations.

    *Post edited by Bill - he mistakenly implied that cancelled meter jobs can result in charges to the member. Feel free to poke fun at his error*
  • edited February 6
    Just had my smart electricity meter fitted :) Shame they couldn't do the gas, something to do with them not having the right kit for the type of gas box I have.
  • @mowcius @Bill at Bulb Thank you to both of you. I'm in South London and obviously have no idea where London features in the timescales for the rollout plan. I haven't had an email yet. Although I am definitely on the list.

    I'll keep my appointment for now unless I get an email about smart meters in the meantime.

    It's just frustrating is all. If Bulb is sending out an engineer to replace my meter anyway, I feel like it would just be a better use of everyone's time and resources to just do the smart meter installation there and then rather than make whole separate appointment and waste the equipment.

    That said, I do fully understand that there's an order the these things. The timing for my meter to develop a fault is just plain bad luck.
  • For those of us already on the smart tariff via an existing readable SMETS1 meter, is there any benefit to changing to these new meters?

    I joined the waiting list when I first switched to Bulb but you've started reading my SMETS1 meter since then.
  • Also, can we now put a ban on anyone starting a new thread with the subject "Smart meter"? There must be hundreds of them.
  • @Hooloovoo, you get a new IHD.

    Also the potential to connect a greater range of SE1.2 compatible SMETS2 consumer access devices to the meter to play with your data locally in the future.
  • Hooloovoo said:

    Also, can we now put a ban on anyone starting a new thread with the subject "Smart meter"? There must be hundreds of them.

    :+1:
  • we don't charge for meter job cancellations this far in advance so you'd be fine on that front.

    Upon re-reading your response Bill, I'm concerned about this statement. Does this imply that should I need to cancel this appointment at shorter notice (say for example if Bulb instead offered me a separate smart meter installation appointment in the meantime) I might incur a charge? Because if so, I definitely was not told that at the time of making the appointment. I've emailed the bulb customer help email address asking for clarification about this, but if that's the case, I feel like that's definitely something customers should be told about.
  • This is great news Bulb. I'm 99% sure I signed up to the early interest list last year. Hopefully I hear something soon.
  • InfraJoe said:

    Just had my smart electricity meter fitted :) Shame they couldn't do the gas, something to do with them not having the right kit for the type of gas box I have.

    What area are you in? North or South? (long range radio, or GSM communications hub)
  • Haven't heard anything up here in Derbyshire. Have installations started for members with solar panels? Has it been decided if we would lose the deemed 50% export rate as well?
  • Have installations started for members with solar panels? Has it been decided if we would lose the deemed 50% export rate as well?

    There should be no reason why solar panels cause any issues.

    The deemed export problem was resolved back in December: https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/ofgem_update_clarifies_deemed_export_tariff_and_storage_confusion
  • Hi @awkward_nikki - Sorry, that was worded really poorly. We don't charge for cancellations, and with this much notice it gives us loads of time to book a meter job for someone else who may need one. I'll edit my original post.

    In the meantime I'd keep that job booked in if you are worried that your meter will stop working before you get a smart meter. You won't be penalised if you need to cancel.

    Apologies again for the confusion!
  • mowcius said:

    @Hooloovoo, you get a new IHD.

    Hmm. The Chameleon IHD3-PPMID looks a bit fancier than my IHD3-MS, but it's still a fixed-segment display with a clunky user interface.

    @Eleanor at Bulb is there possibility for customers to pay to upgrade to the IHD4-TFT? Or better still the Presciense Polaris or Mira gateway?
    mowcius said:

    Also the potential to connect a greater range of SE1.2 compatible SMETS2 consumer access devices to the meter to play with your data locally in the future.

    Good point. I wonder how energy suppliers will respond to customers wanting to change their meter for no reason other than upgraded protocols, that don't benefit the supplier?
  • Hooloovoo said:

    Good point. I wonder how energy suppliers will respond to customers wanting to change their meter for no reason other than upgraded protocols, that don't benefit the supplier?

    I suspect that for the tiny number of people who might care, it's really not going to make any difference to them. It'll presumably just be charged as a standard meter replacement is though - around the £150 mark.

    As we've both found out, despite in theory being able to connect whatever you like to your communications hub, the reality is nowhere near as simple.
  • Hi @awkward_nikki - Sorry, that was worded really poorly. We don't charge for cancellations, and with this much notice it gives us loads of time to book a meter job for someone else who may need one. I'll edit my original post.

    In the meantime I'd keep that job booked in if you are worried that your meter will stop working before you get a smart meter. You won't be penalised if you need to cancel.

    Apologies again for the confusion!

    Oops. Ok in that case I've been bombarding poor Claudia in the help team with annoying questions this morning for no reason.

    I shall get off my virtual soapbox now.
  • uh oh. Tell her it's my fault and blame me - I'll probably owe her a coffee!
  • Hooloovoo said:

    Have installations started for members with solar panels? Has it been decided if we would lose the deemed 50% export rate as well?

    There should be no reason why solar panels cause any issues.

    The deemed export problem was resolved back in December: https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/ofgem_update_clarifies_deemed_export_tariff_and_storage_confusion
    Yeah they shouldn't interfere but Bulb have previously mentioned a separate trial for houses with solar. I also remember reading about the Ofgem guidance but not sure if it's something Bulb have to abide by, or if it's enforced upon them.

    Thanks @hoovooloo, you've really helped out @SeanT here.

    Sorry that it's taken a few days to get back to you. I've got some, but not all, the answers. Partly because we're still working on it ourselves.

    Yes, we can record exported power on our SMETS2 meters. We're currently double checking with the metering company whether we'll be able to install a smart meter at a house with panels.

    We plan to test one of our new SMETS2 with solar PV in January. Once we know it's working, we'll be able to roll them out for some of our members to try. We want to make sure that having a smart meter installed doesn't interfere with the export data from solar panels.

    One of the things we are figuring out is how to measure the exported power. Because some homes will be importing and exporting power, it can cause a bit of confusion.

    Say you are generating 2kwh in a half hourly meter, then using 1kwh, your export reading would show as 1kwh. But your generation meter from the panels will record as 2kwh.

    Hoovooloo is right, one option is to assume 50%. But this is something our FiT team will be working on. I'll get back to you with more details on this and our plan for March 2019 when I can.

    Feel free to give me a prod if I keep you waiting too long!

  • mowcius said:

    I suspect that for the tiny number of people who might care, it's really not going to make any difference to them. It'll presumably just be charged as a standard meter replacement is though - around the £150 mark.

    That's what I was thinking. In which case if Bulb were to offer me a SMETS2 replacement for free, it might well be worth me taking it.
  • If a member on the single rate Vari-Fair tariff gets a smart meter installed, can the meter be remotely reconfigured should they wish to change to Economy 7 or the Smart Tariff at a later date? Or would it require an engineer visit with an associated fee?
  • edited February 7

    If a member on the single rate Vari-Fair tariff gets a smart meter installed, can the meter be remotely reconfigured should they wish to change to Economy 7 or the Smart Tariff at a later date?

    Yes.

    My meter was remotely configured from single-rate to three-rate smart tariff. It can also be changed back again at no charge. Not sure about specifically two-rate Economy 7 but technically there is no reason why not. The meters are capable of anything up to 48 different half-hourly tariffs if the suppliers so wished.
  • Presumably can also be switched from Economy 7 to single tariff - but Bulb need to confirm whether they are prepared to offer this
  • Thanks for the replies @Hooloovoo and @ccc
  • If a member on the single rate Vari-Fair tariff gets a smart meter installed, can the meter be remotely reconfigured should they wish to change to Economy 7 or the Smart Tariff at a later date? Or would it require an engineer visit with an associated fee?

    @Eleanor at Bulb Are you able to clarify the above regarding Economy 7 please?
  • edited February 8
    @norman7115, the meters are remotely configured.

    When first installed they have no fancy configuration and operate as a standard single rate credit meter. If you want to be on the smart or E7 tariff, Bulb presses a button and an update is sent to the meter to make that change. If you've already selected to be on one of those, one of the first messages to the meter should update the configuration.

    It's one of the big advantages of smart metering for the customer and the energy companies.
  • Thanks @mowcius. Much appreciated.
  • mowcius said:

    @norman7115, the meters are remotely configured.

    When first installed they have no fancy configuration and operate as a standard single rate credit meter. If you want to be on the smart or E7 tariff, Bulb presses a button and an update is sent to the meter to make that change. If you've already selected to be on one of those, one of the first messages to the meter should update the configuration.

    It's one of the big advantages of smart metering for the customer and the energy companies.

    I think the question here, as I tried to indicate earlier, is not whether it's technically possible. Clearly it is possible. The question is whether Bulb intend to continue to offer smart-meter based Economy 7 or whether the only options will be single rate or smart tariff.

    I have to say, having been on the smart tariff for about 2 months now, having to avoid the peak 4pm-7pm rate is inconvenient and I think I might prefer a more traditional Economy 7 arrangement. It all depends on how the unit rates vary of course.
  • Hooloovoo said:

    I have to say, having been on the smart tariff for about 2 months now, having to avoid the peak 4pm-7pm rate is inconvenient and I think I might prefer a more traditional Economy 7 arrangement. It all depends on how the unit rates vary of course.

    Personally neither an E7 or smart tariff would work for me and I suspect a lot of others are in the same boat so I can't see those options going away any time soon.

  • mowcius said:

    Personally neither an E7 or smart tariff would work for me and I suspect a lot of others are in the same boat so I can't see those options going away any time soon.

    Having a little trouble parsing that sentence. Neither E7 or smart tariff works for you and possibly a lot of other people, so you can't see those options going away any time soon? Seems contradictory. Maybe I'm just reading it wrong.

    Once you get an electric car, it dramatically changes your electricity usage profile. Lots of people are going to become more interested in time-of-use tariffs. However, the question from @norman7115 was specifically related to Economy 7, and it's not clear yet whether Bulb (or any supplier) will continue offering dual rate tariffs once triple+ rates tariffs are common place. It's quite possible that traditional Economy 7 will indeed go away.
  • Hooloovoo said:

    Seems contradictory. Maybe I'm just reading it wrong.

    Nope, I just had temporary brain failure!
    Once you get an electric car, it dramatically changes your electricity usage profile.
    I'd love one, but there aren't any affordable (or suitable) options for electric vans right now and I also can't install a home charger where I live. There's also no chance of on-road chargers here within at least the next 10 years.

    When I get my next house, if I still have a personal vehicle, I'll definitely be looking for something electric. I'd almost certainly go with a smart tariff then.
  • mowcius said:

    When I get my next house, if I still have a personal vehicle, I'll definitely be looking for something electric. I'd almost certainly go with a smart tariff then.

    I've just run the numbers for January and posted the results on your smart tariff experiences thread.

    As I expected, a traditional Economy 7 tariff would be only very slightly more expensive for me than the smart tariff, and it would be nice to not have to worry about avoiding peak rates. My current mileage isn't high enough for my night rate use to significantly compensate for the higher peak rate.

    So along with @norman7115 that makes at least two of us - @Eleanor at Bulb are there any plans to offer traditional E7 tariffs via smart meters? Are you able to do it now?
  • I'm on E7 and would like to stay on it and still be able to have a smart meter installed.
  • This question has cropped up a few times. As Hooloovoo has mentioned, it's not so much a question whether it is technically possible because smart meters can be remotely reconfigured.

    Right now, our top priority is installing smart meters for our members.

    We're getting well underway with installations. We'll be able to give you an update on our plans to offer E7 tariffs a little later on.

    For now, you can sign up to our smart tariff to get a cheaper overnight rate with a smart meter.
  • Thanks @Eleanor at Bulb. I'm also an EV owner and although I don't do much vehicle home charging at the moment, that will change in the near future. As mentioned by @Hooloovoo and others, for me too it would only be marginally more expensive to use the E7 tariff over the Smart Tariff and as Hooloovoo said, without the inconvenience of the peak rate period.
  • Thanks for the feedback @norman7115

    I'll certainly feed that back to the smart team. We'll be sure to keep you updated on this via Community and our website.

  • Good news that you are starting to roll out the smart meter. I registered last year, any idea when you’ll be rolling them out in Norfolk?
  • edited February 12
    @RollesbyRob

    What are the first two letters of your postcode? I'll see if your postcode is on the list for the upcoming week.

    Even if your postcode is on the list, there are few other factors we have to take into consideration. For example:
    • There is a Siemens engineer available in your area
    • Your gas meter is not outside
    • You live in an area with WAN coverage (network availability)
  • edited February 12


    • Your gas meter is not outside
    Surely most meters are outside, I assume that some further disqualifying detail is missing here? Also never got an official answer from Bulb on what's going on for PV owners.
  • Hi I have signed up to install smart meter since last month. I wonder what it can be installed. My first two letter of the post code is B13
  • Surely most meters are outside, I assume that some further disqualifying detail is missing here? Also never got an official answer from Bulb on what's going on for PV owners.

    I imagine this is to make their initial installs simpler. Installs should be considered on a case-by-case basis for the general rollout.

    The electricity meter communications hub needs to be IP53 rated (protection agains dust ingress and spraying water) and I imagine the meter itself and gas meter will be similarly rated so the waterproofness of your meter box should not be a factor.

    On new builds, meters do tend to be outside, but for older properties, they tend to be inside. Almost everyone I know has their meters in a garage/basement.

    You live in an area with WAN coverage (network availability)

    Which as has been shown in the North so far is not as easy as just asking the DCC/Arqiva!

  • @MorgenBlue

    We wrote about smart and solar PV at the end of November 2018. I'll chase the Feed-in-Tariff team for an update.

    As @mowcius has said, older properties do tend to have gas meters inside. This doesn't mean that if you have a gas meter on the outside of your property, you can't have a smart meter.

    We've started rolling out smart meters and we'll continue to pick up the pace to get all members fitted with one, whether your gas meter is inside or outside.
  • Hooloovoo said:

    mowcius said:

    @Hooloovoo, you get a new IHD.

    Hmm. The Chameleon IHD3-PPMID looks a bit fancier than my IHD3-MS, but it's still a fixed-segment display with a clunky user interface.

    @Eleanor at Bulb is there possibility for customers to pay to upgrade to the IHD4-TFT? Or better still the Presciense Polaris or Mira gateway?
    mowcius said:

    Also the potential to connect a greater range of SE1.2 compatible SMETS2 consumer access devices to the meter to play with your data locally in the future.

    Good point. I wonder how energy suppliers will respond to customers wanting to change their meter for no reason other than upgraded protocols, that don't benefit the supplier?
    Hey @hooloovvoo

    Thanks for all the questions so far. Eleanor has been passing them on to me and the smart team. I’m just dipping into Community to say hi and answer your question.

    In theory, yes it’s possible to update your IHD. But not right away.

    You have a SMETS1 meter which works through a different network to SMETS2. So a new IHD would not be able to speak to your meter at the moment.

    It’s a bit like having a mobile phone that’s with O2 but you want to connect to EE. With smart meters, of course.

    We’ll be migrating SMETS1 to the DCC (Data Communications Company). Once that's done, your meter will be connected to the same network as our SMETS2 meters.

    Our current priority is to install as many smart meters for our members as we can. So we’ll be thinking about IHD exchanges a little later down the line.

    But you do raise a good question. I’ll have a think about how we can organise for members to update their IHD if they want one.

    @MorgenBlue we're not quite ready to be installing FIT members with SMETS2. We'll update you when we can :)

    Thanks again!

    Selina.
  • edited February 13

    In theory, yes it’s possible to update your IHD. But not right away.

    You have a SMETS1 meter which works through a different network to SMETS2. So a new IHD would not be able to speak to your meter at the moment.

    It’s a bit like having a mobile phone that’s with O2 but you want to connect to EE. With smart meters, of course.

    We’ll be migrating SMETS1 to the DCC (Data Communications Company). Once that's done, your meter will be connected to the same network as our SMETS2 meters.

    This seems either a little incorrect, or just a little confusing.

    The SMETS1 and SMETS2 WAN network(s) are different, but the IHD runs on the HAN.

    SMETS1 meters use a 2.4GHz Zigbee HAN, running some version of Smart Energy 1.1(? - I think).
    SMETS2 meters also use a 2.4GHz Zigbee HAN, but on SE1.4 .
    SMETS2 can also operate an 868MHz HAN, but basically no devices use this yet. It should enable greater distances between the gas and electric meters, as well as the IHD.


    The Chameleon IHDs that we're being supplied with cannot (currently at least) operate with SMETS1 meters, whether linked up to the new DCC network(s) or not. An OTA update/new version might change that, but I suspect we'll just see a new model from Chameleon that will work with SMETS1 and SMETS2 (and maybe also the 868MHz bands).
  • Thanks for the update Selina. Looking forward to hearing more about the rollout for the FiT members, whenever that may be.
  • Hooloovoo said:

    Have installations started for members with solar panels? Has it been decided if we would lose the deemed 50% export rate as well?

    There should be no reason why solar panels cause any issues.

    The deemed export problem was resolved back in December: https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/ofgem_update_clarifies_deemed_export_tariff_and_storage_confusion
    Just had confirmation from Bulb that they will be paying for exports based on the meter readings once, rather than the 50% assumed rate. Disappointing to say the least.
  • @MorgenBluem, the only reason why the assumed figure was there in the first place is because there often wasn't the technology to properly meter energy export.

    As that technological problem is being solved with people getting smart meters, it makes sense that the estimated figure (that everyone took advantage of) is going away.

    If you had to pay someone for apples and they charged you for 50% of the apples they produced, but only gave you 5%, wouldn't you be a little annoyed?
  • edited February 15
    mowcius said:

    If you had to pay someone for apples and they charged you for 50% of the apples they produced, but only gave you 5%, wouldn't you be a little annoyed?

    I would have thought the majority of people exported more than 50%, unless they've actively investing in battery storage or some other energy capture like a hot water tank.

    I have a combi-boiler so don't have a hot water tank. I also don't have battery storage and I'm out all day. If I installed solar panels then my estimate would be close to 100% being exported. Or at least well above 50% anyway, with my only major self-consumption being an electric oven in the evenings during the summer months. And practically no self-consumption in the winter because I leave in the dark and get home in the dark.
  • edited February 15
    A lot of people with solar will have other technologies besides batteries to help make use of the excess energy. What Bulb are doing is going against not only the Ofgem guidance but the stated goal of getting everyone onto renewable power. They are electing to remove an incentive for clean renewable power generation out of their own free will.
    mowcius said:

    @MorgenBluem, the only reason why the assumed figure was there in the first place is because there often wasn't the technology to properly meter energy export.

    As that technological problem is being solved with people getting smart meters, it makes sense that the estimated figure (that everyone took advantage of) is going away.

    If you had to pay someone for apples and they charged you for 50% of the apples they produced, but only gave you 5%, wouldn't you be a little annoyed?

    It's certainly possible to add a dumb export meter. No one bothered installing them, because there would be a financial penalty to do so.
  • Infact the Ofgem guidance explicitly states that those with storage installed after the generation meter, even with an export meter should be on the deemed rate. https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/system/files/docs/2018/12/storage_guidance_final_v2.pdf Scenario 4.4.
  • Infact the Ofgem guidance explicitly states that those with storage installed after the generation meter, even with an export meter should be on the deemed rate. https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/system/files/docs/2018/12/storage_guidance_final_v2.pdf Scenario 4.4.

    Yes, and this is done to stop people gaming the system - buying energy from the grid, storing it, then exporting it again at a higher FiT rate.
    With an export tariff, one would expect that the rates would follow grid demand so if you exported at peak times you're helping to balance the grid and get paid well for it, and if you export during the night when nobody wants the energy you get paid peanuts.

    As we've now reached a point where grid scale renewable generation is more economic to build and to run than non-renewable, there is little requirement for that same FiT incentive. There's a reason why they FiT rates have been going down every year.
    Hooloovoo said:

    I would have thought the majority of people exported more than 50%, unless they've actively investing in battery storage or some other energy capture like a hot water tank.

    It would be interesting to know if there are any figures for this. I know that everything I've read from peope seems to suggest that with some planning they can use most of the available energy in the day with white goods, but I suppose that there are a lot of installs on people's houses who are far less inclined to spend the time or effort to "make the most of it".
  • edited February 16
    mowcius said:

    Infact the Ofgem guidance explicitly states that those with storage installed after the generation meter, even with an export meter should be on the deemed rate. https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/system/files/docs/2018/12/storage_guidance_final_v2.pdf Scenario 4.4.

    Yes, and this is done to stop people gaming the system - buying energy from the grid, storing it, then exporting it again at a higher FiT rate.
    With an export tariff, one would expect that the rates would follow grid demand so if you exported at peak times you're helping to balance the grid and get paid well for it, and if you export during the night when nobody wants the energy you get paid peanuts.

    As we've now reached a point where grid scale renewable generation is more economic to build and to run than non-renewable, there is little requirement for that same FiT incentive. There's a reason why they FiT rates have been going down every year.
    Hooloovoo said:

    I would have thought the majority of people exported more than 50%, unless they've actively investing in battery storage or some other energy capture like a hot water tank.

    It would be interesting to know if there are any figures for this. I know that everything I've read from peope seems to suggest that with some planning they can use most of the available energy in the day with white goods, but I suppose that there are a lot of installs on people's houses who are far less inclined to spend the time or effort to "make the most of it".
    The FIT rate is seperate from the export tariff rate at 5.24p / kWh. You get paid for the FIT based on your generation meter, installed immediately after the inverter. But my point being that Bulb can't actually measure how much I'm exporting from my FIT installation. Even with a smart meter that can monitor the exports to the grid, they don't know if that is coming from my FIT installation, or my storage system.

    The Ofgem guidance says in such a case they need to assume the deemed 50 / 50 export rate, which is just based on the generation meter reading being halved.
  • I've got 2 electric cars that I mainly charge overnight, battery storage of 14kWh, 4kW PV array, and an electric air source heat pump! So, perhaps not surprisingly, I've signed up for the smart meter install and tariff.

    Living in Yorkshire, though, the price differential between E7 tariff and the smart meter one doesn't look that great (overnight costs slightly more on smart than E7; peak isn't that expensive; and rest of the day is only slightly cheaper than my existing day tariff).

    Having done the sums on this it looks to me that even with my setup and heavy overnight use, the costs are marginal. But as I'm an early adopter of this sort of thing I'm going to give it a go. I'm confident that I can at completely avoid the peak period every day, so good for the energy sector even if not my wallet.
  • Hi everyone.

    I've had a chat with the team working on Bulb's feed-in tariff. Although most points have been covered, I'll clarify what the regulations on export payments are.

    If you are eligible for FIT, you will receive two types of payments:
    • FIT generation payments
    • FIT export payments.
    FIT payments

    FIT households give their FIT provider a reading from their generation meter every quarter. The provider uses these readings to determine how much energy was generated over the quarter. This volume (kwh) is multiplied by the FIT generation tariff rate (£/kwh).

    This tariff rate varies per installation. It's dependent on a few variables, including the installation capacity (kw) and the date the installation was commissioned.

    FIT export payments

    The FIT export rate (£/kwh) is determined by the government each year. To see the latest rates you can visit the "export" section of Ofgem's fit tariff rate page.

    The FIT provider will multiply this rate by the volume of energy exported each quarter (kwh). There are two scenarios here:
    1. If a FIT household does not have an export meter it is assumed that the household exports a specific % of the renewable energy generated. This is called the "deemed" rate. For solar generation, the deemed rate is 50%.
    2. If a FIT household does have an export meter the FIT provider is not allow to "deem" their export, and must use the export meter data to calculate how much energy is being exported. See the supplier guidance document, in paragraph 6.47 of the "Export Status"

      Therefore if a household is eligable for feed and has had a smart meter installed, there is a meter capable of measuring export at the property. The export payments for this household can no longer be deemed using 50% and the export data should be used instead to calculate FIT export payments. The household will still have to provide meter readings from the generation meter every quarter so that this data can be used to calculate FIT generation payments.

      In practice:
      • If your FIT provider and your energy supplier are the same then your energy supplier should have access to how much energy you are exporting and can use this to calculate your FIT export payments.
      • If your FIT provider and your energy supplier are different it's a bit more tricky. The FIT provider won't be able to access the smart meter data. This means the household technically has a "duty" to report its export meter readings at the beginning and end of every quarter to their FIT provider. If they don't the FIT provider will be assuming that 50% is exported.
    1. If a FIT household does have an export meter the FIT provider is not allow to "deem" their export, and must use the export meter data to calculate how much energy is being exported. See the supplier guidance document, in paragraph 6.47 of the "Export Status"

      Therefore if a household is eligable for feed and has had a smart meter installed, there is a meter capable of measuring export at the property. The export payments for this household can no longer be deemed using 50% and the export data should be used instead to calculate FIT export payments. The household will still have to provide meter readings from the generation meter every quarter so that this data can be used to calculate FIT generation payments.
    Is this not out of date as of December last year? Ofgem updated technical guidance specifically to avoid the FIT issues around installing smart meters at properties with solar generation.

    https://www.solar-trade.org.uk/press-release-ofgem-clarification-removes-barrier-to-battery-storage-for-900000-solar-homes/
    https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/system/files/docs/2018/12/storage_guidance_final_v2.pdf

    Updated technical guidance by Ofgem has been released, that clarifies the treatment of existing payments for homes that currently export solar power to the grid and that want to install battery storage and smart meters. The clarification is good news for existing solar homes looking to invest in battery storage alongside a smart meter because it means they will continue to be eligible to keep their ‘deemed’ [estimated] [2] payments for their solar exports. The market had previously been hindered by conflicting guidance.

    ....

    While the explanation published is complex and would benefit from greater clarity, from conversations with Ofgem the STA is confident the updated configurations published means that, in practice, where a domestic customer already has FIT-accredited solar and wishes to install battery storage behind a smart meter, they can now retain their deemed export payments provided that the usual requirements to quality for deemed export are met. [i.e. under 30kW, with a bidirectional generation meter for DC-coupled units etc.].

    The STA wants to see the smart meter roll-out temporarily decoupled from the requirement to move to metered export while complex regulatory & admin barriers are removed and half hourly settlement is rolled out. Complications can arise for solar homes that install a smart meter with the push to metered export payments, a requirement which in the view of the STA should therefore not yet be enforced.

  • edited February 18
    On the topic of colocation with battery storage, yes Ofgem confirmed households with colocation that meet certain criteria can still receive FIT generation and export payments.

    However, this is un-related to the calculation of FIT export payments.

    I have attached a picture of paragraph 4.5 on page 22 of the Ofgem colocation guidance:



    [UPDATED]

    We don't recognize the position that the Solar Trade Association has taken in their article, because it is at odds with the supplier guidance.

    We will contact Ofgem and provide further clarity on this when we have it.
  • Regarding the calculation of FIT export payments...


    I have attached a picture of paragraph 4.5 on page 22 of the Ofgem colocation guidance:



    [UPDATED]

    We will contact Ofgem and provide further clarity on this when we have it.

    I thought this related to new first time FIT installation although this scheme is coming to and end now.

    I look forward to further clarification about this and any such future metered export scheme.

    I thought that perhaps it would be down as an option to swap the export element from deemed 50% to fully metered export as per whatever the future scheme is, but thought this would be optional much like the water meter scenario.

    There are likely some users who export far more than 50% and if fitted later would likely benefit over that offered by the later end of the FIT scheme.
  • We have emailed Ofgem to clarify some of these points. We'll keep you updated and please nudge me if I don't get back to you quick enough!
  • So to clarify, Bulb's not currently looking at an Export tariff (independent of whatever the means of generation/supply is) and is only currently looking at a FiT?

    I imagine flexible export tariffs to assist with grid balancing are the future but I guess we're not there yet.
  • On the topic of colocation with battery storage, yes Ofgem confirmed households with colocation that meet certain criteria can still receive FIT generation and export payments.

    However, this is un-related to the calculation of FIT export payments.

    I have attached a picture of paragraph 4.5 on page 22 of the Ofgem colocation guidance:



    [UPDATED]

    We don't recognize the position that the Solar Trade Association has taken in their article, because it is at odds with the supplier guidance.

    We will contact Ofgem and provide further clarity on this when we have it.

    The article supplied seems at odds with what you are saying, at least for small installations. 4.5 says we can't get the deemed export rate only if we have an installation greater than 30 kW, which I doubt many if any residential installations will be.
  • mowcius said:

    So to clarify, Bulb's not currently looking at an Export tariff (independent of whatever the means of generation/supply is) and is only currently looking at a FiT?

    I imagine flexible export tariffs to assist with grid balancing are the future but I guess we're not there yet.

    This topic is more around the setup for existing installations, whatever new installations get in the future is different.
  • This topic is more around the setup for existing installations, whatever new installations get in the future is different.

    Well, the thread as a whole is about the installation of Smart Meters, but I get that you were discussing existing FiT installations.

    My query was independent of your discussion.
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