5 contact Economy 7 smart meter

Are 5 contact (with a separate offpeak circuit) Economy 7 smart meters available yet?

Are 5 contact (with a separate offpeak circuit) Economy 7 smart meters available yet?

Hi @matthewleedickinson

We do have stock of 5 terminal smart meters :smile: Unfortunately we’ll have to hold fire with booking this in though due to government restrictions. If you’d like I can place you on a waitlist and we’ll be in touch once we are booking installations?

Yes. Put me on the list please.

Hey @matthewleedickinson Just to confirm we’ve added you to the waitlist, so should be in touch once we’re able to start booking smart installations and it’s safe for engineers to visit properties

Are there any updates on this?

Hi @matthewleedickinson Apologies for the confusion on this, we don’t yet have stock of 5 terminal smart meters. We have should have stock of these from the manufacturer in the next few months

Hi @Matthew_W_at_Bulb, I’ve also been waiting for 5-terminal smart meters to be made available for quite some time.

Frustratingly, I was actually able to book a smart meter installation some time ago because I do not have storage heaters. When the technician arrived, he informed me that it’s a 5-terminal meter which cannot be replaced.

I frequently get notified that smart meters can be installed and I go through the same survey and the question is asked: “Do you have storage heaters?”. The answer to that question is no, but at least I was able to send a picture of my meter to support and they confirmed that at some point, there have been storage heaters on this property. I might have made more sense to ask the actual question of “Do you have a 5-terminal meter?” with more guidance towards identifying that in the first place.

Nonetheless, I’m eager to get a smart meter installed so please inform me when, and only when, a 5-terminal meter replacement is available. You should keep record of previous survey responses and especially the technician’s visit.

Many thanks,

James

Hi @JamesGanderton Thanks for flagging this with us and welcome to Bulb Community.

If you’ve had the storage heating element remove then we should be able to replace your 5 terminal traditional meter with a 4 terminal smart one. If you have an immersion heater now that may be why the engineer didn’t carry out the job. Please let us know if this isn’t the case and one of the team will check appointment availability and email.

Hi @Matthew_W_at_Bulb, I do have an immersion heater, yes.

Although I’m not entirely sure why the two circuits can’t be combined with a smart meter.

If your immersion heater is not connected to the 5th tail, but just runs off your consumer unit (so that the 5th tail is actually unused), then a smart meter could be fitted and there would no longer be that 5th tail.

But if your heater is wired directly into that 5th tail, then that needs to be changed (ie you need to pay for an electrician to do rewiring work) in order to allow for a smart meter.

@JamesGanderton Currently if you have an immersion heater that’s in use the installation can lead to the immersion heater being stuck on or off, so we’re not carrying out smart meter exchanges in these cases until we can ensure it won’t impact on your heating appliance

@Matthew_W_at_Bulb My immersion heater is on its own timer and can be turned on during the day, so I don’t think there is any chance of that.

Hi @JamesGanderton,

Did the property used to have storage heaters?

Yes @Noah_at_Bulb , as in my first message.

@stevefoster is correct, if nothing else is on the 5th terminal circuit then we can book in a smart installation.

However, before we could book it in you would need to get a private electrician to completely disconnect the 5th terminal and confirm there’s nothing going through it. Once we have a copy of the electrician’s report we can book in an installation.

Ok, thanks for the info @Noah_at_Bulb

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Is a 5 terminal Economy 7 smart meter a potential solution for those with ‘related meters’?

My parents have a radio teleswitch meter installed by Scottish Power (for their Comfort Plus White Meter tariff) and with not a little difficulty I eventually got them switched over to Bulb.

They have 2 MPANs. The storage heater MPAN can only be billed at the standard variable rate (because of multiple off-peak periods I think) but the other MPAN is on Economy 7 and so all their other electricity is billed at E7 rates. Including an immersion heater with its own timer set to heat water overnight at the cheaper rate.

As winter approaches and with Bulb electricity prices increasing, I’d like to get them off the variable rate tariff for their heating.

I have no idea about 5 terminal Economy 7 smart meters, so wondering might they be a solution to this conundrum?

Hey @norman7115 thanks for your question. Having related MPANS can often leave less flexibility. The tariff your parents are on will be based on the meter details on the national database, as we don’t have a tariff set up specifically for related MPANS. Because this setup is more common in Scotland, Scottish Power will have tariffs for this.

If there’s one meter but two MPANS then the second MPAN would need to be registered as ‘de-energised’ with the national metering database. For this to happen there’d need to be no supply to that MPAN, meaning the storage heaters would need to be removed and a different heating system put in place. We may then be able to install a 4Terminal smart meter free of charge, but I’d advise researching the other costs to see if this is worthwhile

Is there any news on 5 contact smart meters, or should I just switch to Ovo who are offering them…?