Moved from British Gas - Smart Meter constant high usage


I’ve just officially switched over to Bulb yesterday. I’ve also spoken to someone at Bulb support via e-mail but wanted to know if others had the same problem me.

Since i’ve moves from British Gas, my smart meter has started to act up. It’s always reporting high usage. I was told by Bulb to re-adjust the budget which I did but that made no difference.

I turn off my plugs when they’re not in use but glancing at the smart meter, it will say that i’m using 30 - 40p electric an hour. Sometimes this will drop to normal behaviour that I expect being 2 - 3p for a few seconds but the usage will still report as high usage.

My property is a new build and was built recently - Oct 2019. I have the meter that requires you to provide the “Total Act Import” for readings.

Should I be concerned about this?
Have others had this problem?
Is it normal?
Do i need the smart meter now?


Are you talking about the actual smart meter itself (near your consumer unit/fusebox), or the portable display unit (the “in-home display” ie IHD)? I think you’re referring to the IHD.

The IHD relies on remotely configured tariff information (originally set by BG, should now be updated by Bulb), as well as needing to communicate with the smart meter to obtain reading data to make the calculations that let it show your consumption in monetary terms. There seem to be multiple opportunities and ways for all this to get borked.

Crucially, if you get it to show you the meter readings (in kWh) rather than monetary values, is it matching the values you get by directly reading the smart meter? (to within a unit or two)

Yes, sorry! I’m talking about the IHD.

Looking at the use of kW - i’m looking around 210 - 215w it seems. Right now, it says that it’s 0.03p per hour but the lights are still orange. The IHD considers that as high usage.

Looking at the smart meter, its reflecting the same meter readings of energy use that the IHD has reported on.

Prior to the switch, that kind of use was seen as low energy usage and low.

Being a new customer, i guess I just need clarification and some confidence that this is OK and if its a problem. With all the other posts about the price hike and not having control of managing direct debits on top has made me feel even more questionable about if I made the right decision to move to Bulb.

Ok, so then it has to be the tariff/budget settings that are novel.

It sounds like Bulb are more aggressive about what they consider low/medium/high usage then. In some respects, this might be considered a good thing (as it encourages seeking to lower consumption). OTOH, if it’s not what you’re used to, it might just be seen as overly pushy :man_facepalming:.

I’ve voted with my feet (and very much secondarily wallet), and initiated a switch away from Bulb after being with them for about 18 months. I had hoped that my prior switch to Bulb would have been the last as Bulb seemed like “the good guys”, but IMHO, lately that halo has very much slipped.

Regarding the DD amount, Bulb used to allow more latitude in the adjustments you could make, whereas now they won’t let you reduce the amount to less than 95% of their estimated requirement (even if that’s clearly daft).

They have previously suggested to me that I should revise my payment up, but not forced the issue (I just ignored their suggestions). As I have yet to receive the expected email about the imminent price rise, I don’t know if they’re proposing to amend my DD amount automatically (as I’m switching away, that may all have been scrubbed).

Hi @zee-marsh, welcome to our Bulb community :wave:

I’m unsure whether we’ve connected to your In-Home Display yet but please could you try this remote reset If we’ve connected to it, this should sort the issue for you :grinning: