Is my home suitable for a smart meter?

I recently had an email from Bulb with a link to book a smart meter installation appointment. However, the booking questionnaire asked if I have an immersion water heater (which I do) and apparently this disqualifies me from getting a smart meter.

From what I read online, this is because most homes with an immersion heater or storage heaters will require a “5 terminal” meter, and that 5-terminal smart meters aren’t currently available. I’m trying to figure out if our current meter is suitable to be swapped to a Smart Meter, even though the Bulb booking questionnaire says no.

We have a single “dual rate” meter (one meter with two readings). We also only have one fuse box and I can’t see any sign that it is connected to two different supplies (one day and one night).

Our water cylinder is brand new, it only has a single mains cable running to it and it is powered all day and all night. Any timing for the heater is set with the built-in timer.

We actually want to switch to a single-rate tariff, rather than economy-7 (various reasons, which I don’t want to get into), so separate readings for day and night usage aren’t really important to us.

Does anyone know how I can tell if I have a “4-terminal” or “5-terminal” meter? I’ve attached a photo of the meter box.

simply count the n# of wires(tails) coming out the bottom of your meter, looks like five(5) to me

Hi @peter_00 and welcome to our Community :zap:

This is a 5-terminal meter so we won’t be able to install a smart meter. We’re waiting on the manufacturers for 5-terminal smart meters.

I’ve been told it should be some point this year that these type of smart meters are released but we have no clear date/timeline for when this is going to happen.

Thanks Noah and Skippy,

If we don’t want to run Economy-7 and if nothing in the house is wired to be switched by the nigh-rate terminals on the existing meter, could the 5-terminal meter be swapped for a 4-terminal smart meter?

I guess we’d need to get an electrician to ensure everything in the consumer unit, and between the consumer unit and meter are correctly connected.

Hi @peter_00

We could technically do this in certain situations but we would require an electricians report to 100% confirm that the 5th terminal is not in use.

Have you recently had storage heaters removed? If so, what have they been replaced with ?

Thanks @Gabby_at_Bulb. Yes, we recently had storage heaters removed. They have been replaced with electric skirting board heating, which is connected to a standard circuit (not night-rate only). We also had the water heater replaced, which is also not connected to a standard circuit.

I’ll get hold of the electrician and get confirmation that the 5th terminal is no longer in use.

Sounds like this will be possible then :grinning: If you can let us know when you’ve got the report, we’ll look into getting the meter replaced

Hi @Gabby_at_Bulb. I’ve now got an email from the electrician confirming that they’ve “disconnected the off peak meter” and that “the existing consumer unit is connected to the on peak meter”. Is it sufficient to forward that to you, or will we need a more official written report?

Hi @peter_00, it would be best for us to have a written report, if you have one. That way, we can put that into the booking form to assure there’s no issues with that :+1: