British Gas Smart Meter

Can anyone tell me if I can still use my British Gas Smart Meter to keep an eye on my household energy consumption? I’ve just recently joined Bulb.

Hi @Lizzymc, if you mean the little portable screen which comes with the smart meter, it will have stopped working once we took supply, so you’ll have to go to the meter itself (probably in a cupboard or under the stairs or something) and follow these instructions to get readings out of it. The meter will also have stopped sending readings off to British Gas, and since we can’t receive signals from a meter that we didn’t install (at least for the first generation smart meters-watch this space for the second gen meters) there’s no way for anyone to get reads from it remotely either.

@Lizzymc, British Gas are a terrible company and like to disable things for no reason so unfortunately the In Home Display will no longer work to enable you keep an eye on your consumption.
There’s no technical reason why it couldn’t work (the Landis Gyr meters and IHDs from other suppliers tend to still work after switching to Bulb), it’s just British Gas being a pain.

The BG portable screen works for determining the meter reading and the usage but won’t auto submit as Bulb are not yet signed up to accept the meter readings! BG have made the 2nd Generation (GEO) devices and they do work - Bulb need to instal the software.

@Phil_P, interesting that your IHD still works. I know multiple people who have had theirs stop working entirely following the switch.

Regarding the SMETS2 meters, it’s not quite as simple as that and there’s a lot that’s not down to Bulb, but I’m sure it’ll all get there in the end.

Hi guys, the little in house displays sometimes do keep working but I really wouldn’t rely on them, I’ve seen a couple of cases where the numbers they display aren’t accurate after you’ve switched away from the supplier who installed the smart meter. In terms of the remote submissions, the reason they don’t work once you’ve switched over is that the smart meters BG installs (and everyone else installs at the moment) are smets1 smart meters. These meters were actually originally designed as a test, but the delays in the smets2 (second generation) meters meant that a lot of suppliers started offering the smets1 meters to people, so that they could get at least some smart functionality.

To my knowledge, there are only around 10 or so smets2 smart meters which have actually been installed in the UK, since we’re still early on in their testing and development (the first installation of a smets2 meter took over 12 hours!) but they’re nearly here, and a lot of suppliers will be offering them later this year. We’re one of them, we’re just working out all the little problems on our side of things then we’ll be rolling out a beta phase installation to everyone who’s on our waiting list, then to everyone else who wants them.

There is talk of a software upgrade that’ll turn smets1 meters into smets2, but I don’t know any fixed dates on that one and I imagine it’ll be after we offer the physical smets2 meters. In a few (rare) circumstances a smart meter can be made to keep working when you change supplier, but I believe that this is only if both the old and the new suppliers have contracts with the same companies to instal and maintain the meters, it’s not a piece of software that suppliers can instal unfortunately.