Energy usage view online / in app

The ‘energy usage’ bar chart in ‘my account’ only shows 1 year of energy usage, and most of the year is taken up with estimates for future months, so you can only ever see a few months of past energy usage in a helpful way (you can of course check your statements, but with the number of estimates and revisions applied to those you would really need to sit down and make a spreadsheet to get much use out of them).

Being able to view the last 3 or 4 months’ energy usage in a helpful way is pretty much useless: I want to see how my energy usage varies across the whole year or, better still, across previous years - e.g. this August vs last August, this January vs last January. Even month by month figures / bars for the last year would be really helpful - I could compare this August with last September, for example.

Bulb has all the relevant data. It also has the tools / software to really easily show more months: I can see a couple more months in browser on my PC than in browser or in app on my mobile, which shows that Bulb can change the number of months it shows you.

Can Bulb please change one line of code, or do whatever needs to be done, to show up to a year of past months of energy usage? I’m no programmer but applying logic and common sense it seems like a really simple job and it would make our lives easier / save a lot of time. I’m genuinely considering leaving and going to a company that can show me by past usage in a better way, even if slightly more expensive.

Thanks!

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Replying to myself. It looks like this issue was last raised in this thread [link], in April 2020, and has been raised in multiple other threads going back years. I don’t want to sound rude, and I don’t know how long different software changes take to make, but it seems like a relatively simple change to me (could be made to the existing graph model, rather than having to roll out a whole new one) but I don’t understand why someone hasn’t just done it. Happy to be enlightened…

For reference, I (and many other customers) don’t have smart meters, so it’s not much help being told that those with smart meters already have, or will soon get, this facility. I’ve been told that no one in the UK manufactures the type of smart meter needed to an all electricity house, so realistically it’s going to be years before I get a smart meter.

Thanks

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Hi @RHHJ

Great query, it’s nice to see you’re taking such an interest in your energy usage and history. Unfortunately it might seem as simple as changing a bit of code, but these things take a lot of testing and developing to change. We aren’t actively developing the usage charts in the Bulb account.

We do, however, have much more detailed usage charts for our SMETS1 and SMETS2 smart meter members. It allows access to a whole host of data, which has proven to be very useful for our members which have them. Have you considered having smart meters installed? You seem interested in tracking your historic and current usages, and that is definitely the best way for you to do that.

It seems to me that @RHHJ’s point is obviously sound. For the energy usage page/graphs to be in any way useful they need to allow a user to compare usage historically. At least over two years, but preferably longer.
Granted it would take some amount of dev resource; and any changes would need to be tested. But other providers are able to provide this service and to pretend that the changes required would be in any way resource intensive insults both our intelligence and the basic competence of your own dev/IT teams.
Anyway - limitless upvotes for @RHHJ 's request. The service as currently offered is not fit for purpose and so the fact that you are not seeking to improve it reflects badly on you as a company.

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Hi CJ.

Thanks for your reply.

In my query I did say that I can’t get a smart meter - I’d love one, but they aren’t offered for people like me with a 5 cable electricity meter, and apparently there are no plans to manufacture / roll them out any time soon.

I’m very disappointed to hear that you aren’t actively developing the usage charts in the Bulb account, as this is something you’d said you were doing.

There are multiple posts to that effect. For example, in the post I linked in my original query one of your devs (Romain_Bulb_Dev) said

“We’re currently actively working on allowing our members to move back in time and display usage data since they joined Bulb, and for our members with smart meters, we’re working on allowing switching between scales (e.g. weekly, monthly, daily).” In other words, you were working on the usage tool for non-smart meter customers and were working on extra things for smart meter customers.

Is there a reason for the change of plan?

If it’s not something that’s even being developed then then customers without a smart meter can’t track their energy usage without having to input their own data and make their own spreadsheets. That’s a pretty essential function. Without a smart meter the only way I can try to work out how to make energy savings is to compare month on month, year on year - which I can’t do with your website / app.

Thanks

H

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Hi @RHHJ

My apologies for missing that earlier. The only reason 5 terminal meters can’t be replaced currently with smart meters is they aren’t manufactured in a 5 terminal form. This is something we’re hoping will be possible soon, and we’ll then be able to replace yours with a smart meter.

I’ve spoken to our developers, and they say whilst there are no current plans to change the current Bulb account usage graphs that doesn’t mean we’ll never go back to them. We’re focusing on improving our smart data at the moment, as that is widely viewed as the future of the industry. I am sorry these aren’t the answers you’d hoped for.

Thanks for replying anyway. I have to admit, it feels like a bit of a kick in the teeth to customers who can’t get smart meters, and for whom smart meters are years and years away, even if they want them. Particularly so given the past assurances (only a couple of months ago) that this was something being worked on. Smart customers already have more data, and now they’re getting even more, whilst those of us left behind are left with virtually no access to data.

I’m going to have to go elsewhere, and that’s a real shame because I like being with bulb.

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Hi @RHHJ,

I’m really sorry for this frustrating situation. We’re expecting 5-terminal smart meters this winter. Waiting for this type of smart meter will be your best option for unlocking more ways to view your energy data and manage your energy.

I understand this is very annoying, delivering this type of smart meter to our members has been delayed for reasons beyond on control. We’re still waiting on the manufacturers for 5-terminal smart and currently, no supplier has this type of smart meter.

Hi Noah,

I’ve updated my app today and now can’t see any usage charts at all. They’ve gone completely. Was this an intentional feature of the update or is it a glitch? I seriously hope the latter - I can’t think why a company would remove a feature that customers are clamoring for more of.

Thanks

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Hi @RHHJ, thanks for reporting this, this does indeed sound like a glitch. I’ve popped you a quick email, so if you would be able to respond to that with the details I’ve asked for, I can raise this for you.

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Hi @Lou_at_Bulb

I’m experiencing the same thing with my Bulb app. No energy usage charts showing anymore :frowning:

@RHHJ Sorry for hijacking your post.

Hi @yasinkp9091, I can see these usage graphs on your Bulb account on the website, so I would recommend making sure that your app is updated to the latest version and try logging out and logging back in too. If this doesn’t bring you any joy, let me know :relaxed:

Hi @Lou_at_Bulb

Yup, the usage charts work perfectly on the website version of the Bulb Account.

I’ve tried logging in and out, and the Bulb app is the latest release (1.26.0.12711), but the usage charts are still not showing. Maybe it’s an app thing?

Hi Lou.

Same here. Latest app, signed in and out. No luck - they’ve disappeared. Must be an app issue.

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Thanks everyone for your feedback here - I’ve contacted my amazing colleagues on the Tech team to see what the situation is :eyes:

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I’ve heard back from Bulb via email. Usage graphs are only available to smart meter customers. So things are going backwards for those of us who can’t get them…

I would like to have different views of usage. I am surprised that you do not allow customers to see their historic usage, either by month or by year. I used to be able to see one year of energy usage, now I can only get a month or so because of the smart meter.
Unless I am missing something, I don’t see how I can get a view on usage.
There should be various ways of reporting that would help the customer - view by day, week, month, year. Also view by usage or cost. As it stands, the usage chart is useless for me.