Smart Meter and Solar Panel Export Readings

Hi, I have just had the latest smart meter installed. I have a 4kw PV solar system too (for nearly 10 years now). I see that the IHD has a pylon symbol which shows some of the time. My questions are:

  1. does the pylon mean I am net exporting (house usage is less than I am generating and I am exporting the excess)?
  2. can I tell how much I am exporting (ie the reading is showing the amount being exported)?
  3. is there a way to see the total exports for a given period
  4. can I submit (automatically) to bulb my export readings to be paid actual exports rather than the deemed 50%. I am not with Bulb for FIT but would move if this was a feature?
  5. is it possible to get generation on smart meter too? - I doubt it at this point.

Thanks

I don’t have solar, but know a bit about it simply due to my own research and considerations. For what it’s worth:

1) does the pylon mean I am net exporting (house usage is less than I am generating and I am exporting the excess)?

Yes.

2) can I tell how much I am exporting (ie the reading is showing the amount being exported)?

I have an IHD that is the same make as the one Bulb are installing, and essentially the same model although an earlier version. Assuming it works in a similar way, which is most likely, there is a way to get it to show you the current usage in Watts. This will be correct for either import or export, with the pylon symbol telling you which direction the power is flowing. The number in Watts might also go negative for export.

I hope they’ve made the interface somewhat more intuitive on your new model. But on mine with a terrible interface, you need to put it into electric-only mode (i.e., not showing you the sum of electric+gas) and then press the calendar button until you get to “usage now”. After that, you’ll need to press the “£” button to cycle through units until you get to Watts.

3) is there a way to see the total exports for a given period

The IHD shows you only the cumulative total cost.

4) can I submit (automatically) to bulb my export readings to be paid actual exports rather than the deemed 50%. I am not with Bulb for FIT but would move if this was a feature?

I don’t believe this is currently possible to automatically submit export readings. It almost certainly is something they are planning for the future. But “the future” in this context is likely a long way off - years rather than months. They’ve got a lot on their plate getting the basics working right now.

Bulb do have a trial coming up for paying based on export, which you can join without affecting your FIT payments (free extra money). More info here.

5) is it possible to get generation on smart meter too? - I doubt it at this point.

It’s not possible, not because it’s not implemented but because that information is physically not measurable at the point in the circuit where your smart meter is installed. The import/export meter can only see what passes through it. Since your own usage of your solar happens on your “local” side of the meter, then the meter doesn’t see it and knows nothing about it.