Meters

Hi,
If we change to Bulb as our supplier, would they be able to change the meters for us? We currently have prepayment meters for both gas and electric, which were already in the property when we moved in over a year ago. As well as changing supplier, we want to change to paying by direct debit.
Thanks for any help you can give.

Maybe I’m not being clear in my question. Do Bulb only use the existing meters in a property when they become your supplier? We want to get rid of the prepayment meters as they are more expensive, but am worried that if bulb do not install their own meters, that I will have to get my existing supplier to change the meters, but then I’ll probably be tied to them again for at least another year. Plus, they (our current supplier) are pushing us to let them install a smart meter, which we don’t want.

Hi @TerriR ,

Bulb, like any other provider, will ‘take over’ your existing meters when you switch to them. The only occasions when Bulb (or another provider) would change meters would be if it is faulty/dangerous or if asked by the customer (for example, switching to/from a smart meter or prepay to/from credit meter or to/from Economy 7). This is because of the engineers time involved (and therefore cost).

Bulb can switch your prepayment meter for you (see Can I exchange my prepayment meter? – Bulb ), but you’ll need to be with them a month and it’ll cost £120 per meter.

To save money, there’s a two options:

  1. If you are currently with a ‘big six’ supplier, they usually allow you to switch to/from prepayment ‘free of charge’ ( they can afford to ‘absorb’ the cost of change the meters) and then change supplier. If they insist you sign up to a length contract (they shouldn’t - they should be able to put you on ‘rolling month’/‘deemed’ contract on their ‘standard variable rate’: but they will probably try and ‘push’ the more profitable lengthy contracts) with an exit fee, then Bulb will be willing to pay those within reason (see Claiming exit fees charged by your previous supplier – Bulb )
    If they do install a ‘smart meter’, it’ll probably become ‘dumb’ when you switch to another supplier (as it’ll probably be a SMETS1 device), but they probably won’t know until the engineer has done the install (as it’ll depend on what the engineer has ‘on hand’).
  2. Switch now to Bulb and wait for the smart meters to come out (sometime this year). The switch to smart meters will be free and Bulb will be able to remotely control whether you are on credit or pre-pay and switching between the types should be free.

Hope it helps.

@TerriR, you’re being clear enough but this is a community forum which Bulb only respond in occasionally so it will take a bit of time for people to respond.

Bulb will be able to change your meters but it will cost around £120-150 per meter for the switch (unless you wait for them to give you a smart meter at some point).

If your current supplier installed a smart meter, it would be for free and then you could switch and be on either pre-pay or credit without a chargeable meter change. Presuming this was an SMETS1 meter (which a lot of suppliers are still installing), there’s a good chance it would become dumb after the switch anyway.

If you were tied to your current supplier with a standard meter switch then bear in mind that Bulb do pay exit fees so you could still switch early and have Bulb refund the costs.

@RichyB @mowcius Thank you both for your help. I did look for meter advice on here, but obviously didn’t look hard enough lol. You’ve both been very helpful and we will probably now change to bulb with our existing meters and wait for them to change them to smart meters later on. I’m just going to do a little more research and price comparison before making the final decision. Thank you again. It’s much appreciated.