Bulb policy on fixing smart meters

What is Bulb policy on fixing IHDs and Smart meters that don’t work? As far as I can make out it is to completely ignore the problem, just to walk away and do nothing. There also seems to be an industry understanding that only the installing company might be responsible. Hence if you change to another supplier they won’t touch it with a barge pole. This all totally defeats the whole idea of smart metering. I guess eventually all meters will become dumb!

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Hey @johnston.philip

Thanks for your post.

Bulb can work on doing fixes for meters that have a commissioning problem like your one is currently experiencing.

We’re unable to talk to your meters right now due to a connection issue with the Communications Hub (comms hub) which sits on top of your electricity meter. This hub is the part of your meter setup that sends readings to Bulb and to your in-home display.

We can actually attempt a further fix without an engineer visit, I will request this for you.

Most smart meters do work, it is best that the installing supplier fix the issue but as they are SMETS2 meters, other suppliers can attempt to fix if they would like.

I will also provide an email update so we can keep in touch.

Best,
Carl

Thanks for the reply, I have just been looking at a Dept, for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy document "Smart Meter Statistics in Great Britain: Quarterly Report to end Dec. 2020. Figure 1 in the report shows that 42% of all meters are smart, & that 8% of all meters are smart BUT operating in “Traditional mode” Doing some sums 8/42 x 100 =19.04% of smart meters Are NOT giving readings. So you are correct when you say most smart meters work ie more than 50%. BUT a 19% or 1 in 5 failure rate seems to be “normal” and accepted by the industry

Hi @johnston.philip :wave:

We want there to be a 100% success rate on smart installations - with the smart reads being sent across and this is why we are working with the installers and the DCC to remotely commission as many meters as we can.

However, it is a new technology that will take time to identify solutions and improvements.

It is an exciting time for smart technology - it is constantly evolving, so watch this space :smile:

Thanks,
Mel

Our smart gas meter has never worked from the day it was installed. The only reason we agreed to go smart was so that we wouldn’t need to read them every month!! I was told that the installation company was too busy doing new instals to come back and resolve any problems. I assume this is still the case, as it’s on record that the meter has an issue but nearly 2 years down the line, I have heard nothing more.

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Our IHD stop working (stopped communicating with the meter & continuously reboots) a few weeks after installation. And that was months ago!

Bulb have stated they’ve requested a ‘reset’ from an unnamed third party, but this is not happening due to long delays (?), or perhaps didn’t work. Bulb did not clarify who is responsible for the ‘resetting’. It makes the whole scheme totally pointless from the end users’ perspective at least, and laughable considering the recent govt ad compaign recently.

What is Bulb doing for it’s customers to resolve this? Seems like nothing much to me: Bulb have sent several ‘requests for resets’ and that’s about it. If Bulb is not at fault here - who is? Why not let the users target their complaints? Although this is hardly an urgent or vital problem, we shouldn’t forget that these installations are under contract, and they (I assume) are at the tax payer’s expense!!? :frowning:

Hi @dinnasay :wave:

Welcome to the community :sun_with_face:

We are sorry that the gas meter was not commissioned. We’re working on remotely solving the root cause of this error. I’ve raised this case to our Smart team to see if we can resolve the issue from our end, without the need for another engineer revisit.

Are you getting the electricity data on your In Home Display?

Thank you for your patience,

Mel

Hi @KingBenbow :wave:

Welcome to the community! :partying_face:

I can see that we are getting your electricity smart reads so you should be able to see smart data in your Bulb Account.

The IHD says that it doesn’t have a good signal - is it less that 5m from the electricity meter?

Is it still constantly rebooting? and is it connected to your WIFI?

With this information I will be able to assist better.

Thanks,
Mel

Hi @Mel_at_Bulb,

Thank you getting back to me. The IHD was connected initially, for several weeks, showing usage etc. It then stopped working for no apparent reason. This was from about 5m away. It was not moved at all. Sarah at Bulb (via email) said something needed to be ‘reset’ remotely and had put in a request, but that this is yet to happen, or didn’t work?

During those months, the IHD was continuously rebooting. It never connected to the meter. It still remains this way.

Shortly after the problem started, I did manage to access the WiFi settings and enter settings, so that appears to connect to WiFi and so should have access to the internet. I guess that is how you know it’s status!? It then reboots automatically, endlessly, as before.

I have since move the IHD to within 1m meter of the SmartMeter. It has been there for 3-4 weeks now. It has made no difference - it still will not connect to the meter (as far as I can tell!).

I would hope that all that information is available to you?

So, yes to all your questions! Hope that helps?

Perhaps you could explain the ‘remote reset’ aspect that has a ‘long waiting list’? I was told there was a change of staff or something, and that was slowing down these ‘remote resets’ ?

I was told there were no settings that could be adjusted on the IHD to get it to connect to the meter. If I recall, a local ‘factory reset’ (&/or battery drain) of the IHD was tried early on, but which made no difference. After that, I re-entered the WiFi settings as mentioned above, but nothing else. It just continued to not connect to the meter and to continuously reboot. It’s after that I was told to wait for the ‘remote reset’ to happen.

I am happy to investigate and try things out on the IHD. I am familiar with IT, networking and embedded controllers etc, so treat me as an ‘engineer’ (that’s not getting paid) :slight_smile:

The pairing with the meter was not shown during the installation (if indeed that’s the process?), and I see no settings/options relating to that aspect. But perhaps there are some ‘hidden’ options for connecting to meters?

I am happy have a voice chat, or via email, if that’s easier. With you or a third party, technical or otherwise. :slight_smile:

Regards
L (KingBenbow)

ADDITIONAL:
I just re-checked: the IDH is connecting OK to the internet, via WiFi.
Meter Info/etc all show: “waiting for…” (e.g. waiting for meter reading/MPAN/etc)
Settings\Account: Pair CAD to Account… just shows “waiting…” or similar.
Always reboots before anything ‘connects’ etc.

I’m sure the original fault must be logged in your records somewhere, including your response. The electricity was linking to the smart meter display but without the gas on there as well, the smart meter served no real purpose, just another gadget taking up space and a socket, so we put it away somewhere safe. Unfortunately I’ve no idea where it is now. However, there are plenty selling online so I can replace if the gas connection is fixed in the near future.

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Just to re iterate my previous post 19.04% of smart meters don’t work ( Government Stat) Bulb & Smart DCC are not capable or interested in fixing faulty meters

I have a smart meter fitted it has only ever worked about 50% of the time. I have reported this to bulb many many times. I have had many many data resets. I have restarted my meter many times. I reboot my router about once a month. I think I have done everything a customer can do to help remedy the situation. Please can I ask why bulb do not replace faulty IHD’s. Just post it to me I will plug it in.
Regards

Hi @KingBenbow, thanks for explaining this for us - I’ve just popped you email about this.


Hi @rogrog, I can see that we were previously having an issue getting your smart meter readings through, but these do look to be coming through again. I’ve requested another comms hub reboot for you and have also refreshed the connection between your IHD and meters using the following link.

This comms hub reboot can take a few weeks, but if you’re still having difficulty with this then, do let us know and we’ll take another look.

Lou :stars:

Comms hubs reboots have never fixed the problem in the past. What I really need to know is when bulb will come to my home & fix the problem by exchanging or repairing equipment. I have never had a straight honest answer to this question. I understand Covid is a factor but at this stage it could be worked around by the engineer wearing gloves & a mask & me being in another room.

Hi @Lou_at_Bulb, I have replied to you in detail via email.

But for the community here, a status update:
a) The remote request for “comms hub reboot” failed
b) SmartMeter readings are no longer working (since 7Mar21)
c) So manual readings are required now! :frowning:

Not Bulb’s fault, but like other’s, my meter is now ‘dumb’.

At least I can turn off the worlds slowest strobe (i.e. the continually rebooting IHD)! :wink:

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This is all too common. I had a “failed comms reboot” too. My electricity meter is still not sending readings to Bulb many months later (the gas readings are working). Basically all I have been told is to wait and hope for some unspecified fix to be pushed to the meter in the future. Until then I am stuck giving manual readings.

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@Lou_at_Bulb

UPDATE - WOO HOO!! The IHD is working again!

I noticed the meter’s “WAN” flashing (2/sec), which indicates an ‘error’. But a shortwhile later it returned to show ‘normal’ (1 flash every 5sec).

Not sure when or if it’s just a coincidence, but at somepoint the IHD decided to show actual data again!

I have a feeling the meters signal is weak, but that should have been checked during installation I assume? And it was all working fine for several weeks initially of course!?!

Regards
L

Hi @KingBenbow,

I’m glad to hear thats working!

We don’t allow Smart Meter installations in areas where signal isn’t strong enough to support them so that shouldn’t be an issue, but of course signal strength does vary!

Let me know if you need a hand with anything else. :smile:

Georgie

Still too many variable’s on these smart meters
wifi
provider
network
IHD
Meters Just too many things can go wrong or not work at all.
This whole system needs to be rethought out.

Hi @cherryp47

For members that do experience smart meter issues, there are fixes available and fixes currently being worked on by network operators and the meter manufacturers themselves which will be rolled out when possible.

Although we cannot foresee these problems, it is a new technology that will take time to identify solutions and improvements going forward. As my colleague @Mel_at_Bulb said, the future is exciting for smart technologies :bulb:

Thanks
Nathan