If I leave will new supplier

If I leave for a new supplier will they do what bulb can’t and get my meters working correctly?
28 Sept my meters were fitted ihd doesn’t work, no readings being sent to bulb. It took a few months for bulb to accept that they had fitted new meters and that I wasn’t lying with the readings.

May be Maybe not, you would have to suck it and see, depends largely on where you live and who you switch to. In the meantime prepare for hard manual labour as you may still have to submit manual readings

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That entirely depends on where the fault lies in the data pipeline. There are multiple possible points of failure. It’s impossible to say without knowing if the fault is at the Bulb end of the system.

On the balance of probabilities, I’d say yes there’s a good chance another supplier will get them working quicker than Bulb.

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Hi @Darren101,

Unfortunately, we’re unable to commission your smart meters as we can’t even establish an initial connection to them. This suggests that there isn’t any WAN signal in your area, which is characteristic of certain places in the North of England.

We always check with the DCC before installing smart meters to ensure that there is signal - but sometimes we get it wrong. We’ve learnt from this and are no longer installing smart meters in your specific area.

You’re free to switch suppliers at any time, and we’d never charge exit fees. However we think it’s unlikely that another supplier will be able to commission your smart meter, as they’ll encounter the same signal problems that we have.

Isn’t the installer supposed to check this before going ahead with the installation? By which I mean a real check with actual test equipment at the site location, not an estimate. I know they certainly do this for mobile coverage in The South, I’d be surprised if there wasn’t a similar gadget for The North.


The old first gen smart meters from British gas worked fine so the national connection is there. These new meters don’t even connect to the ihd.


There are three checks that we carry out to ensure that we’re only installing smart meters where we know there is WAN signal:

  1. Our Bulb Account booking form checks against our own database of WAN coverage

  2. Siemens raise a process a couple of days prior to the job which checks against the DCC database. (this should be the same as our own database, but we check twice just in case its recently been updated)

  3. The engineer checks on the day using the flashing WAN lights on the comms hub

There is a very small chance that this process can go wrong e.g . the engineer forgot to check, or our database was incorrect.

Isn’t this too late? How do they do that BEFORE they start the installation?

They need a dedicated gadget to check the signal strength before doing anything at all. That’s what they do for checking mobile data signal. That way they can tell the property owner and let them make an informed decision on whether to proceed or not.

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Good question. I just spoke to our smart team for some further clarity:

Our engineers do not currently have a device to check WAN signal, partly because the DCC database is so accurate that it almost seems unnecessary. Our smart team hadn’t actually heard about this being a thing in the South.

However you’re completely right, step 3 can only happen once the meter has already been installed.

With the DCC network improving over time, it makes sense to leave a smart meter installed even if it can’t detect an immediate WAN signal. However, it wouldn’t take the engineer long to switch the meter back, if a member requested this on the day.

Since you could switch your smart meter back, this kinda makes it a WAN checking process? But not really, and definitely not to the degree that I originally thought, so sorry for any confusion there.

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The first generation of British Gas smart meters run on a different network to the DCC, so sadly, that wouldn’t be an indication of whether we can commission a smart meter.

Hi William, an explanation is appreciated but at present that your company is knowingly encouraging customers to have smart meters installed with recognition that not every meter will work upon roll out.

I had my meters installed 03/01/20 as documented in other threads, electricity meeting remains unworking (and unintelligible for purpose of providing an estimate). Many others appear to be in the same situation.

Given that there will be many others like myself unable to now provide accurate meter readings and that your colleagues at customer services are not responding to e-mails in relations to the issue (presumably as you do not have a means to resolve the situation within the organisation), I was wondering how you would advise us to proceed at this point with providing accurate estimations to avoid being charged inaccurate amounts and when network issues are likely to be resolved?

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It makes sense to me know why the meters are connected to to bulb but why not to my ihd unit

The IHD has to be remotely configured by the supplier. Since Bulb can’t talk to your meters, there’s no way to get the IHD to work.

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My electricity meter has 5 lights across the top. The outside 4 flash repeatedly but not the centre one which is labelled ‘Mesh’. So the ‘Wan’ light flashes but I still get estimated bills and my IHD can’t connect either. You couldn’t get much further south than me. (Edit: there’s a red led near the bottom of the meter, that blinks too)

Will the dcc network improve?
I could understand if I lived out in the sticks but there is a lot of houses where I live.
The housing development companies call it a village even though they have built 1000 houses in the past 5 years.

I’ve learn more today than in the last 4 months from emails to bulb

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Checked my postcode with dcc yesterday full coverage?

How did you get the dcc check on your postcode? I’ve been waiting for over 9 months now for my installation to be commissioned, and I’m keen to know if it’s because of the WAN connection or something else. Thanks

I went to their website and sent them an email with my postcode

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Cool, thanks. That’s the DCC website, not Bulb?

Yep the dcc website https://www.smartdcc.co.uk