Questions about Bulb's choice of meter reading provider

Edit: We’re pleased to say that since 28th December 2016 G4S’s Utility Services were acquired by another party. They are now Morrison Data Services. This means that no profits are going to G4S from us.


Since our post about meter reading we’ve had a couple of members asking about our reasoning for choosing G4S Utility Services. This is something that we thought about at length whilst setting up Bulb and (as with all other decisions) will continue to debate.

Why did you choose them?

Our aim with Bulb has always been to make renewable energy affordable for all. To do so, one of the things we had to do was choose a meter reading provider that had nationwide coverage (including areas such as the Scottish Highlands), was affordable and were willing to engage with a new entrant startup such as us. G4S Utility Services (formerly Accuread) was the only one ticked all these boxes.

We’re nonetheless aware of the activities that parts of G4S have been involved in and do not support these actions.

About G4S

G4S is a huge organisation, with 22 active companies and over 650,000 employees. G4S Utility and Outsourcing Services Ltd was formerly known as Accuread before it was bought out in entirety by G4S. It has nothing to do with security or any other activity we have highlighted as a concern to them. Utility Services' business is in meter reading, meter data management and meter installation/ repairs. We have met with many staff at G4S Utility Services (both at head office and metering agents), most of whom are ex-Accuread and we were very impressed with their work.

This week G4S Group announced that it would be selling off Utility Services, so that it can concentrate on its core businesses of security and cash transportation. This underlines how separate the metering business was to the rest of the organisation, and is something that we welcome. This sale is set to happen over the next year (here’s the announcement )

What if I don't want to be visited by G4S?

Of course, our members' preferences matter most. If you do not wish to be visited by a G4S metering agent, we will look into making separate arrangements for you at no additional cost. Please let us know if this is the case.

We’d love to hear your thoughts.

I’m completely saddened to see a new competitor in energy to so easily take on board G4S. The reason why G4S are able to carry on with their unethical work and past proven abuses is because they hide behind the fact that they have their finger in many pies. The fact that they have a lot of employees means people turn a blind eye. Hear you are, the first thing you say is that they are a big employer.

I have recently joined bulb but have now discovered you employ G4S I will be leaving. Once G4S has sold off its utility work I will consider returning, but this could take 2 years.

We’re sad to hear that @lfrhanson. If this is a deal breaker for you, make sure you find out who the metering provider for your next provider is. Other suppliers might not be so transparent about it, but they could still have chosen G4S for the same reason we did. They’re the only people who are able to deliver what we need; complete metering services across the country.

@lfrhanson G4S have just announced the sale of G4S metering to First Reserve.

This company also owns Morrison Utility Services, a leading provider of utility infrastructure services in the United Kingdom. Following completion of the acquisition, G4S Utility & Outsourcing Services will be rebranded as Morrison Data Services.

We will let you know more information as soon as we can.