We recently launched our smart tariff test. This is a trial tariff for people with smart meters that can send readings to us every half hour.
Lots of you have asked questions about how and when you’ll be able to get a smart meter. It’s complicated, but we’ve answered the most common questions below. If you’ve not seen it yet, it’s also worth catching up with the backstory.
If you still have a burning question, join the discussion below and we’ll do our very best to answer.
When can I have a smart meter installed?
In short, most Bulb members will have the option to request and book in for a smart installation appointment at the start of 2019. We’ll be contacting everyone about smart meters throughout 2019 and 2020.
What’s happening in the meantime?
We want our members to have the best experience possible with their new smart meters. So we’re starting by testing SMETS2 meters with a portion of the Bulb team. We’re looking for a smooth installation experience regardless of the meter location: a low cupboard, a high wall, a flat or house with thick or thin walls. We’re looking for any recurring problems that we can fix before they reach you. And we want to make sure that we can communicate with the meters themselves in a reliable, secure way.
In December, we’ll be installing smart meters in a small selection of member homes. We’ll select members from our waiting list first, but we’ll filter for members in the locations with well-trained engineers.
So while it’s not an immediate rollout, and we know the wait is frustrating, rest assured that we’re working hard behind the scenes.
Can I be added to the smart trial list?
Yes. Just add your details to this quick form and we’ll be in touch when we start installing smart meters in your area.
Why has there been a delay?
Well documented, industry-wide problems have caused delays in both installation and testing.
In addition, there have been meter signal issues in some areas of the country. Suppliers are able to speak to smart meters through mobile networks. We found that mobile signal was too poor in some areas for smart meters to work. We’re working on this.
Will I get an In-Home-Display with my smart meter?
Yes, all new smart meters will come with an In-home Display (IHD). An IHD shows energy usage in terms of pounds and pence, in real time.
We think making energy use more visible will help people to change their energy habits for the better. It was interesting to see how this visibility coupled with our smart tariff worked for our small group of testers. Find out how they managed to save.
What brand of SMETS 2 meter will I get?
We’ll let you know as soon as we can. We’re not ready to announce the brand just yet, as we are still dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s.
We’ve carefully selected our partners to make sure that the meters are high quality and the In Home Displays (IHDs) are user-friendly.
I already have a smart meter, can you read it?
We’ve partnered with a company able to communicate with about one-third of SMETS1 (first generation) smart meters.
We’ll be contacting anyone who’s meter we can read, starting with members who have applied to join the smart tariff. If we can’t read your SMETS1 meter now, we should be able to read it in the future. There’s a lot of government-mandated work to make SMETS1 data more accessible to energy suppliers. Once second-generation smart meters are up and running, there will also be the option to upgrade.
If you’ve signed up to the smart tariff and have a SMETS1 meter, we’ll be able to check whether we can read it within a couple of days. But in the beta phase of the smart tariff roll out you may need to bear with us while we find out, as we have had a lot of applications to the tariff.
Can I join the smart tariff trial?
Yes! It’s quick and easy to sign up. These are some things you should know:
The smart tariff only applies to electricity because gas costs don’t vary throughout the day in the same way.
The smart tariff is not currently available for prepayment meters. We’re working hard to make smart meters available for our prepayment members but have been facing technical difficulties. No supplier has been able to set up a functioning SMETS2 pay-as-you-go system yet. We want to address these issues as soon as we can.
All other members can apply for the tariff. If you have a smart meter and we can read it every half hour, we will sign you up right away. If we can’t read your smart meter then we will have to work on a fix for this issue.
If you don’t have a smart meter, when you apply for the tariff we will add you to our smart meter waiting list. Once it has been installed, we can automatically move you over to the smart tariff.
Can I access my smart meter data?
We’re making a number of changes to your Bulb Account so that you can view all of your smart meter data. Initially, this will be via charts and insights. Shortly after, we want to make your data available to you (and only you) via a CSV download and an API.
If you’re interested in accessing your data via an API we’d love to hear how and discuss our API design with you. Please get join the discussion below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.