It's 2022, still waiting for SMETS 1 meter upgrade, can't switch to EV Tariff

Half a year ago, I got a promising email from Bulb with title “Good news about your smart meter”, telling me “We’ll be able to read your meter soon” and even asking me to submit a meter reading for the transition – which I did, and have been doing every month. Manually.

Since then, nothing.

What is the difficulty with getting the SMETS 1 meter upgraded? My meter model is EDMI ATLAS Mk7B.

I would like to take advantage of the EV Tariff to charge the car battery overnight at lower rates, but can’t do so until this smart meter issue is resolved. The last time I contacted Bulb, I was told that Bulb could not fit a SMETS 2 meter because “you already have a smart meter.” Kafkaesque!

Hi @sometesque and welcome to the community :tada:

I have had a look into the account and we are currently working on reading your meters automatically. We have enrolled your meters onto the network and are just waiting for the return signal to send us a reading. Once this has been received we can change you to the EV tariff.

I’m sorry that I don’t have a set timeline on this. We are simply waiting for the signal to be strong enough to give us a reading, which we are working on now.

Please let me know if you have any questions about this.

– Robyn :bulb:

Thanks @Robyn_at_Bulb. Do you have more details about what this means exactly? I mean, either a radio signal is strong enough to send readings or it isn’t, right? If the radio signal is not strong enough, how does it help to just wait? If you meant that Bulb is working to strengthen the power of the radio signal, what is the nature of such work that does not require replacing the meter?

I would welcome the meter being replaced with a SMETS 2 model.

Hey @sometesque

Bulb are working to strengthen the signal and requires us to upgrade the WAN in your area, rather than your meter.

We are currently unable to exchange SMETS1 meters with SMETS2 models without a huge fine from the government, which we would need to then pass onto you. I’d be happy to discuss this further with you via email if you wish and I can give you a quote for removing the meter?

– Robyn :bulb:

@Robyn_at_Bulb, thank you for the additional details. I would prefer not to be passed on the cost of any huge fine that the government imposed on Bulb. :slightly_smiling_face: However, at the end of the day, switching to an EV Tariff is a matter of money :moneybag: (saving money on electricity bills), so a calculation could be made as to whether paying to have a SMETS1 meter replaced with a SMETS2 meter is worth it. To this end, are you able to share a ballpark figure of how much Bulb would charge a customer (on average) to have a SMETS1 meter replaced with a SMETS2 meter? Please share it here if possible (without any personal details), because I think it would be of interest to other Bulb customers as well.

Also, could you confirm whether replacing the SMETS1 meter with a SMETS2 model would solve the radio signal strength issue that is preventing the SMETS1 meter from successfully sending meter readings to Bulb? My earlier point about welcoming a meter replacement was on the assumption that the issue was with the meter, but if the issue is with some WAN tower, then the whole SMETS1 / SMETS2 discussion may be moot.

For what it is worth, I had asked EDF Energy, Octopus Energy and Shell Energy about their policy regarding replacing a SMETS1 meter with a SMETS2 meter in order for a customer to take advantage of an EV tariff with cheaper overnight rates. EDF has a similar stance to Bulb, not willing to replace SMETS1 with SMETS2 free of charge. Octopus Energy and Shell Energy both confirmed, in writing, that they would be happy to replace a SMETS1 meter with a SMETS2 meter free of charge to the customer, but they are not currently taking on new customers (price cap crisis) so switching is not an option for now.

Hey @sometesque

Each fine is different as it’s based on the age of your SMETS1 meter and who installed the meter originally. This can be upwards of £250.

Changing to a SMETS2 meter could potentially fix the problem of the signal strength as the communications hub would also be upgraded. This cannot be guaranteed however.

I hope this answers your queries, however I can go into more specific detail via email if you wish.

– Robyn :bulb: