Smart meter with immersion heater and Economy 7

I’m pretty keen to get a smart meter, however according to Bulb’s questionnaire I can’t currently have one as I’ve got an immersion heater (with Economy 7 tariff).
My immersion heater isn’t controlled by a separate power supply that only turns on during Economy 7 discounted hours, but by a separate timer. So I suspect a smart meter should work fine for me.

Does anyone have any experience with smart meters and timer controlled immersion heaters on Economy 7?

if your timed meter comes on during the day too, then its not part of econ 7, if you take a photo of your meter and tails coming out, should tell more, I had econ 7 meter, and had a smart meter installed no problems, as I had been fully rewired and econ 7 side was all obsolete, hope that makes sense.

If your existing E7 meter only has 4 tails†, you’re good to go. You’ll just need to convince Bulb (a picture of the meter should suffice).

† the very chunky wires that come out of the bottom, and connect to your consumer unit.

1 Like

My experience has not been been good. The whole process has been a complete shambolic mess. I only agreed to a smart meter being installed if they could guarantee I could keep my E 7 tariff. (Only 4 tails from my existing meter, so wasn’t anything wired separately). Smart meter Installed in November, now bulb have moved me to a single rate tariff, as they are unable to get the meter to communicate with the national network. Currently being investigated by the ombudsman.

Thanks Richard, it does come on during the day (if I programme it accordingly) but I’m still on the Econ7 tariff. So I’ve programmed it to only heat during those discounted 7 night hours.
So I’m a bit worried that Bulb screw this up and put me on a flat tariff, as seems to have happened with others here that had smart meters installed…

1 Like

Thanks Steve, but are you sure I’ll be able to stay on the E7 tariff though? That seems to be what Bulb are struggling with

Many thanks Dave, that’s exactly what I’m worried about. And as I’ve also got a storage heater that would hit me even harder :money_with_wings:
Would love to hear how this pans out for you though. Fingers crossed from me :crossed_fingers:

That’s what’s supposed to happen (just changing meter is not meant to change your tariff), but it does require Bulb not to banjax things.

I was on econ 7 and had a smart meter installed, i was on econ 7 varifair, now im on 3 tarriff (same meter) rate 1 rate 2 rate 3, so mines a tad more complicated, i use 50 units a month night rate, hardly worth worrying about, as I went gas from storage heaters, if you have storage heaters or tank heated water id of thought econ 7 works out best for you, but its a mine field of calculations, if you know your average kwh a month that will really help you

Hi @Andre,

Welcome to Bulb community! :wave:

Sad to hear we’re unable to fit a smart meter in your property currently.

Could you send us an email with a photo of your electricity meter setup? You can also attach it here if you’d like :slightly_smiling_face:

We mainly want to see how many wires are coming out of the meter, whether it is 4 or 5 wires.

From there, I can tell you whether or not we can do a meter exchange

I am also a Bulb customer and would like a smart meter. I also have Economy 7 plus storage heaters.
Would you like me to send a photo as well?

Hi Trevor,

Thanks for replying on here!

Now this is where matters get even more complicated with me. My flat is wired up with 5 cables and the storage heater used to be connected to the off-peak rate lead. I found the old fuse boxes with the corresponding labelling when trying to figure out how the heater is wired up.
In between the original installation and when I bought the flat however, the cabling was changed and a timer was installed that connects the heater to the 24-hour live wire.

So in short: I have a 5-wire meter, but I’m only using the 4 standard wires coming out of it, not the off-peak one.

Happy to also send a picture if you think it might help.


Hi @alanrowse - how many wires are coming out of the bottom of your electric meter please?

@Andre - thanks for letting us know!

If you are definitely not using the fifth terminal (wire) then what you’d need to do is have an electrician come and remove this after confirming its not being used anymore. Only at that point would we be able to install a smart meter here.


Thanks @GeorgieS_at_Bulb - Would you have any idea when the 5-wire smart meters might become available?