Gas Meter Not Recording Usage

I had my boiler serviced last week and whilst the gas supply is safe and efficient, the engineer told me the meter is not recording any usage. This explains why my IHD hasn’t been showing readings since October. I reported this previously (have had ongoing emails with Yamkela in support) and was told it was a smart meter comms issue and would be fixed in due course. Given this new information itr would appear the problem is not with the smart meter. The gas engineer told me I had to let my energy supplier know and they would arrange for the meter to be repaired or replaced. I approached Bulb for this and Yamkela replied “As you have a smart meter, at the moment we’re unable to perform meter jobs on smart meters as the policy to do so has not been finalised”. Which makes absolutely no sense to me.
Any advice, anyone?

I have the exact same problem, but so far have been unable to get anyone at Bulb to even acknowledge the problem. Online chat just seems to time out or loop, never get to chat to anyone. Emails get replies, but the content is usually not relevant (always trying to address a different problem I have not described). I started a thread on here but eventually the support workers just seem to have stopped responding.

I have tried emailing again, but am not hopeful. They have a phone number but the website states not to ring it except for emergencies.

I am wondering if I can change supplier and get the new supplier to fix the meter now!

A new supplier wouldn’t be allowed to fix the meter(only the supplier is allowed to fix it).
However nothing in the rules to prevent a new supplier from swapping it out for one of their own.
Having said that with these new lockdown restrictions coming into force any timeline would be anyones guess

Thanks for that. As with my post, the engineer said I had to get Bulb to contact the company responsible for the physical gas supply and meterage (Cadent), so given Bulb’s lack of interest I contacted Cadent direct. They are ‘getting back to me’ so I’ll post the outcome on here. I was very happy with Bulb in my early days with them, but their customer service has completely gone to hell so I will be looking to change when I’ve got this sorted. I went to them because they were one of the first 100% renewables supplier, but most of the other players have this option as well now.

Cadence would only be responsible for the gas supply to your house ie:pipes, the actual meter itself is the responsibility of bulb,

so in that case - if bulb refuse to fix the meter who can we turn to? Is there any arbitration mechanism we can use to force them to fix the meter?

The only realistic option is to fill inthe OFFICIAL complaints form(bottom of this page) and escalate it to the energy ombudsman if its not resolved after eight(8) weeks, although there is that many cases pending, who knows where you are in the queue.
Maybe worth noting that if you go down that route bulb will absolutely refuse to discuss your case while it is pending
Basically it is a matter of stick or jump ship

What @skippy64 means is that when a formal complaint to Bulb is escalated to the Ombudsman, Bulb is not allowed to respond further here nor directly to you, so the only responses you would then see here from them would be “we can’t comment”-type posts.

AIUI, once the Ombudsman is involved, Bulb must go through the Ombudsman to liaise with you about the complaint (there’s an “ombudsman portal” that is used).

Hey @PhillyV,

I just took a look into your account to investigate your gas smart meter issue. This is an issue that the manufacturers are aware of where the smart meter readings are stuck, they are looking into rolling out a nation-wide firmware update to resolve this issue, they haven’t given us an ETA yet. But we’re sincerely sorry that you were affected by this.

My colleague is correct though, Ofgem has a policy that states that no smart meters can be removed from a property. This also includes faulty meters, but discludes meters that pose a safety risk.

We’re just waiting for them to finalise updating this policy before we can proceed with replacing faulty smart meters.

In your case, the meter isn’t faulty as it will receive a firmware update to resolve the issue. But we can compensate you for this inconvenience. If you don’t have an open complaint with Yamkela, she can raise a complaint and we will compensate you for this accordingly.

Ofgem confirmed that suppliers would usually only replace a smart meter where there is a fault or where it has reached the end of its life and they are required by their licence to take all reasonable steps to ensure that any replacement meter is a smart meter
My colleague is correct though, Ofgem has a policy that states that no smart meters can be removed from a property. This also includes faulty meters,

Hi thanks for the reply. I am a bit confused as the engineer implied that the problem was not with the smart meter but with the actual gas meter on the wall where the supply enters the house. I don’t know how the smart meter interacts with this ‘old style’ meter but he gave me the impression that only by fixing the old meter would the smart meter be able to pick up the usage. Can you clarify this for me please?

So this time I got a relevant reply to my email:

"We are unablke to replace your meter at this moment as it is smart meter, if the reading dose not go up then you will not be charged for their usage ,If your supply goes off then you can contact us "

So it sounds like they have some kind of policy (because of covid?) to not send people out to deal with meters? I am surprised they are not going to charge for gas usage though, if many people have this issue they will lose a lot of money!

I see someone else in the thread mentioned a firmware fix. I wonder I will get this too, it certainly was not mentioned in the email I have had.

Cheers,

Mark

I was a bit confused as well, wondering why you would have two meters. Then it dawned on me that your “smart meter” might actually be your in home display unit(IHD). Sounds like you may have a SMETS1 , in which you will have to wait for the DCC to connect your meter to the network and hopefully your IHD may function again
DCC the company in charge of connecting everything up :rofl:

Crikey this is difficult to explain. The piece of kit that is not functioning is not the smart meter, it’s whatever determines the actual gas consumption that is flowing from the pipe in the ground through the box on the wall. I have scoured the internet to try and find a full explanation of how smart meters detect gas usage, without much success. All I seem to find are descriptions of how smart meters communicate with the DCC externally ( for onward transmission to the supplier) and the IHD internally (in the home). However, I did find this :
“Communications Hub - SMETS2
The communications hub fits on top of the electricity meter and is owned by the DCC, unlike the meter which is owned either by your supplier or a MAP (Meter Asset Provider) to whom your supplier pays a rental charge. The interface connection to the meter is called the Intimate Communications Hub Interface (ICHI).The comms hub provides both the WAN and the HAN. The Wide Area Network talks to the DCC and the Home Area Network talks to the gas meter and the IHD”.
SO this last sentence says that the HAN talks to the gas meter. My engineer told me the gas meter (NOT the smart meter) is not recording usage and as a result the smart meter was not picking up any readings and therefore I need the piece of kit in the gas meter fixed, or the whole thing replaced.
Nothing further back from Cadent btw.
Thanks for everyone’s input though.

Read more at: Technical information on Smart Meters: Smart Metering - The full story © SmartMe.co.uk

Where’s “smartfitter” when you need him?
Think I’m going into hibernation, you lost me after the “crikey” bit. Your not perchance related to Steve Irwin?

No problem at all!

Hmm, I’m not quite sure I follow what you meant in your reply :fearful:

Do you mean your in-home display that you plug into a plug socket? I am guessing this is what the engineer is referring to as if the actual gas meter isn’t sending readings, then the IHD won’t be displaying your usage currently until the firmware update is performed.

Hey Mark,

This policy isn’t ours personally, we did have an issue from March to the end of August where we weren’t able to conduct non-emergency meter jobs due to the lockdown restrictions.

But my colleague is referring to Ofgem’s policy on not being able to replace faulty smart meters currently unless they posed a risk to your health / safety.

I looked into your account and I see that you are also experiencing the same issue as @PhillyV, I would like to extend my sincerest apologies to you as well.

We do hope the manufacturer can do something about this ASAP.

If you are both able to check, if the physical display on your gas meter is working as intended, we can disable the smart readings and just take meter readings normally?

I completely understand this is not ideal in the slightest.

The physical display on my gas meter does display a number, but I don’t see how that is helpful because the reading never increases (it has been stuck at 685 since Nov 13th or so). The smart part works in that it sent the reading 685 to you on Dec 18th or so, its the gas meter itself that is broken because the reading never increases. That is why I suspect the meter itself would need replacing or repairing - as mentioned you apparently have a policy of not making repairs or replacing them though.

Hi,

Are you able to provide further clarification in light of my last comment please?

Thanks,

Mark

Since Bulb are closed for Christmas (their post said 25-28 Dec), I would not expect any significant participation from *_at_Bulb team members until 29th at the earliest (and some of them may have taken leave to get an extended break).