Not given an IHD at time of meter installation

Hi.

I had my smart meters installed by Siemens on the 25th of February 2019.

The engineer told me there were no IHDs as they had been recalled, and that I would be sent one in the post in due course.

Received the following automated email 3 days later:

Hi Gerard,

The engineer who installed your smart meters didn’t have an In-Home Display to give you.

An In-Home Display (IHD) is a small screen which talks wirelessly to your smart meters. You can keep it anywhere in your home and it helps you keep track of your energy by showing your usage in kilowatt hours (kWh) and pounds and pence.

If you’d like an IHD, let us know by registering below:

LINK REMOVED

As soon as an IHD is available we’ll let you know. We’re sorry the engineer wasn’t able to provide you with one when they installed your meters.

All the best,
Team Bulb

I duly clicked the link to get added to the list for an IHD.

After hearing nothing more, I decided to complain on 18/11/19, I finally got the following reply on 27/12/19:

Hi Gerard

My apologies for the lack of a prompt response from Bulb on this issue. We are actually unable to send out IHDs in these cases yet, we will be able to do in 2020 and we can let you know when we can. Since you were given this misinformation I would like to raise an official complaint for you.

Thanks for taking the time to get in touch with us about your IHD complaint.

I have raised this complaint with Siemens as well, as the Siemens engineer should have better clarified our position on this and not told you we could post one to you straight away.

We are still receiving smart meter readings from your meters. We will bill you based on these meter readings, and you can still see your meter readings on your smart meters. The moment we are able to post one out to you we will be able to :slight_smile:

You can find the details of our complaints handling process at Complaints | Bulb.

If at any point through this process, you’d like independent advice, you can contact the Citizens Advice Bureau through Contact the consumer helpline - Citizens Advice

I hope you’re happy with this suggestion, but if not please get back to us with how we can better address your concerns. If we don’t hear anything in 14 days, we’ll consider your complaint closed.

Best,
Marijn

Well, guess what, its been 2020 for quite a while and I’ve heard nothing.

Yes, I know, coronavirus, but let’s not pretend Bulb were ever easy to get hold of or get a helpful answer from before any this.

Anyhow, after much time and pain the meter readings are getting through from the meter to Bulb, which I suppose is something. Bulb’s billing system is something altogether different, and a different complaint altogether.

My question is, for Bulb, have you any intention of ever supplying me with an IHD. It seems that not supplying me with one, is a basic failure to meet the expectations of the smart metering programme. Its quite galling to have to see/hear adverts extolling the virtues of being able to visualise my usage and make changes when I am stuck in this no mans land. Cant request a smart meter, as I already have one. Can keep asking for an IHD, but nothing seems to happen. Surely somewhere in Smart Energy GB or Bulb’s accounts an amount of money has been allocated to provide me with one, so where has that money gone? Is it your fault? Siemens? I know what I think.

Further questions are for other customers:

Has anyone else been in this same situation, and managed to get an IHD from bulb?

What happens if I change supplier? Will they send me their own IHD as a matter of course, as part of acquiring a new customer, or do they expect you to continue to use the one supplied by the supplier at the time of installation? LOL. Has anyone had any experience of this, could I convince a new supplier to acquire me, only on the understanding they supply me with an IHD?

Hope someone can help,
I know its something rather trivial, but it’s so boring dealing with such institutional incompetence dragged over such a long period.

Gerard.

All been used for referrals

Hi @grdc,

I’m extremely sorry for the experience you’ve had. You should of received an IHD long ago and for this I’m very sorry.

Unfortunatley, at this time we’re not able to send you out an IHD whilst we’re all having to work from home. All IHD’s need to be connected with a smart meter by our smart team, we are not able to simply send out an IHD and it will work. I appreciate this is very frustrating.

If you would like I can open a second complaint with you and when this situation changes, I personally can make sure that we send you an IHD.

Hi Noah,

Thanks for your helpful response.

I fully understand things are more difficult at present, but if you could do as you suggest and send me an IHD when things are back to normal, that would be great.

If I might make a suggestion, you may want to look into the Mail-Chimp form your automated “Sorry you didn’t get an IHD” email linked to, as presumably it contains a list of people in this same situation who haven’t heard anything since either.

Thanks,
Gerard.

Thanks for the feedback @grdc We’re not currently carrying out smart meter installation for the same reason we’re not able to send you an IHD right now & it would have been very unlikely that a member who has had a more recent smart installation wouldn’t have been given an IHD as long as their meter was connected to the smart network

Hello.

Another year has now passed.

I wonder if there is any chance of the promised IHD?

@Matthew_W_at_Bulb @Noah_at_Bulb

Oh well. Never mind.

Absolutely useless customer service. I’m sure someone would get in touch pretty quick if I cancelled my direct debit.

I’m not sure when exactly it was the Bulb lost their way, but this is the end of the line for me.

Farewell.

Hey @grdc

Sorry we missed this from you! If you weren’t given an IHD when we installed the meters we can get one sent - I can see you’re switching away though so if you are leaving us your new supplier may also be able to help get one to you :relaxed:

Thanks for replying.

Yes, I still want the IHD that I have been wanting since I agreed to the smart meter installation.

It is apparently Bulb’s job to supply me with one, not any subsequent supplier, as it is Bulb who claimed the funds from Smart Energy GB to fit the meter and supply the IHD in the first place. My property is now “done” as far as they’re concerned. So either I get one from you or I don’t get one at all.

I’m so disappointed in Bulb, in how this whole business has been handled. You’ve known since day one that I didn’t receive one as the engineer ticked that box on his tablet. Your automated email received the following day confirms that info made it back to you, then nothing. I’ve in theory been on a list for one for two and a bit years.

When I complain, I’m always fobbed off. My latest attempt (following no reply to this thread last week) to the complaints email address resulted in me getting a barely coherent email promising to put me on a list. I’VE BEEN ON A LIST SINCE FEBRUARY 2019! No-one seems to read what I’m saying, and respond appropriately.

So, yes, I am leaving, as I suspect anyone else would in my situation. How much more of this am I supposed to tolerate? Not only the IHD business, but the inability to contact you and get a coherent response, the constant pointless “rebilling” to identical readings, what seams like price rise after price rise…

Sorry to rant, but I didn’t want to change supplier, I just feel I really had no choice.

Please send me my IHD that I am entitled to, that you have been paid to provide me with.

Thanks,
Gerard.

Hi Gerard,

Member service is something we’re incredibly proud of, so it’s important we listen to feedback such as your own to make sure we are continuously improving. We also don’t like increasing our prices but wholesale prices - those that energy firms pay for gas and electric - have surged to their highest levels since 2018 due to post-lockdown demand.

I have raised a request with the smart team regarding the IHD and will update you. I do apologise for the disappointing service you’ve received. The smart team have been finalising the plan to distribute these IHDs across the country and are performing checks to make sure that they work seamlessly when received. We’d rather do this properly than rush IHDs out to members in a way that could create more issues. IHD posting did unfortunately stop while working remotely and there has been a significant delay in these arriving at Bulb from the manufacturer.

I do however understand you have had an incredibly long wait and I completely appreciate your frustration and disappointment.

Thanks,
Cara

I had a smart meter installed in June. The engineer installing it said he had run out of the displays and I should receive one within 2 weeks.

I never did, contacted bulb who said they didn’t have any due to COVID. I asked again in August and still haven’t received one. Feel mislead by the claim of getting a smart meter to monitor my usage. Anyone else in a similar boat?

Hey @edward.seager and welcome to the community :wave: :partying_face:

I’m sorry to hear that you still haven’t received an in-home display unit (IHD).

I hope you don’t mind but I have merged this thread with a previous one to explain the reason we aren’t able to send out IHDs at the moment.

As the majority of staff are still working from home, and sending out IHDs requires us to be in the office, this process is extremely delayed at the moment. If you requested one in August, you would have been added to the waitlist so that we can send you one as soon as we are able to.

– Robyn :bulb:

I had enough of waiting for an IHD fix or replacement.

Loaded up my data from Bright, used the unofficial Bright Home Assistant integration - could see my energy usage now. Highly recommended - will display even when moving suppliers as it’s sourced by the DCC User application hosted at Bright. It is slightly buggy but a great temporary fix.

You need to sign-up to Bright via their play store application

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.co.hildebrand.brightionic&hl=en_GB&gl=US

After verifiying your details with an IHD Mac Address and your MPAN - your login details can now be used for the Home Assistant integration.

The integration is available for Home Assistant via HACS by using the following custom repository link - this is a fork of the original project which solves some issues (it is still unofficial and if your communications hub isn’t linked to the WAN it won’t work either). Real-time data isn’t available other than the typical 30-minute intervals recorded by the meter.

https://github.com/ColinRobbins/ha-hildebrandglow-dcc

You will then add the custom integration, and it will create a sensor entity of your daily kWH and other useful stuff - enable the new energy dashboard and use the daily kWH sensor entity as your electric source.

Of course, you can just use the Bright app as well without the need of Home Assistant if you don’t use their home automation.

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I recently tried a similar 3rd party solution too. SMETS1 meter and chameleon IHD3 just refused to connect to smartthings STEC so gave up trying. Last week a new device on smartthings appeared from Chameleon themselves to add energy monitoring, looked promising until I added my MPAN only to find my home has no compatible meters.
Loop energy on the other hand seemed to have no issue providing the data for my energy usage for the last 500 days within 5mins of me providing my MPAN and recent bill confirming the address. Its still beta though, the website is loop.homes and links to an app on ios/andrid.

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Thanks for the other solution @Stephie :grinning: I’ll take a look at Loop - I personally used to use n3rgy to grab data but their API is quite messy.

It seems Home Assistant is only compatible with the old Loop v1 infrastructure - though their app seems quite modern compared to Bright, but I couldn’t get my address located on the list, Bulb recently fixed our Profile Class from 00 to 01 but seems like Loop has not updated the records yet. I’ll ask Loop about this.

The IHD issues also are with SMETS2 meters like mine where I reset my IHD, and it now has the British Gas security credentials which Bulb cannot pair. When I am now trying to move back to British Gas so they can try and fix their installation - our metering information was a mess on the database, and they rejected our switch because of it.

The whole metering situation is a mess - European countries that use a serial port for accessing this information would be much better for home automation users, that way we could get real-time information without relying on a third party integration. Though the 30-min intervals is fine I guess for typical oversight.

Robyn thanks for the reply. 4 months down the line though I think bulb could have done better to sort out IHDs for their customers. What is the ETA?

Hi @edward.seager

Sorry to hear you are disappointed with the delay on sending out IHDs

As Robyn said it has been really difficult for us to send them out, we do not yet have an ETA for them, but we will be in touch with a time frame as soon as we have one.

Ele :bulb: