Bulb isn’t planning on rolling out their smart meters until later this year - any smart meters currently being installed are called ‘SMETS1’ meters and tend to be ‘locked’ to the supplier that installed them (i.e. if you have a ‘British Gas’ smart meter installed and then leave British Gas, it will practically lose all smart functionality such as the in-house display etc). My gut feeling is the suppliers want you to get their smart meters to try and lock you into their higher prices.
Bulb is waiting until the SMETS2 meters are ready - these are an industry standard meter which will work with any gas/electric supplier: however, there are a few technical issues with the ‘DCC’ system which all the meters report to - meaning only 80 meters have been installed nationwide at the moment. Once the SMETS2 meters are ready for roll out, Bulb will be putting them on trial and slowly introducing them to all customers. Existing ‘SMETS1’ meters installed will either need to be replaced or the existing supplier will need to find a way of getting them to report to the ‘DCC’ system.
So - long story short, Bulb smart meters aren’t available yet (and won’t be until later this year), but when they do come out, they’ll be meters you can ‘take’ to any other supplier without losing functionality.
But what about your meter readings? Well, as somebody who lives with mobility impaired person, I understand the problems that can come with being unable to easily bend to reach meters etc (I’m in reasonably health myself, but reaching to read the gas meter embedded in the ground is difficult for me!) - you may have interested in Bulb’s “Priority Service Register”. From https://community.bulb.co.uk/discussion/comment/12477/ :
What is the Priority Services Register?
Our Priority Services Register is confidential help for all of our members that have special requirements, so that members with special requirements can enjoy our energy and our service in the same way as everyone else.
Members who are eligible to register for the priority service may identify with one or many of the following:
- Members of a pensionable age
- Disabled or chronically ill
- Vision or hearing impaired
- Other customers who could be severely impacted by the loss of electricity or gas supply
To register, give us a call on 0300 30 30 635 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Services on the Register
Once we’ve confirmed your eligibility for the register you will access to a range of the following services. No charges of course, we’re just happy to help.
Quarterly visits by a meter reader
We can schedule a meter reader to come and visit you once every 3 months if you have trouble getting to your meter due to a tricky location or your own mobility. This way you don’t need to worry about keeping your bills accurate if you can’t read your meter regularly.
Have a look at https://community.bulb.co.uk/discussion/comment/12477/ for the full list of addiitonal services available to people on the Priority Register and contact Bulb directly on 0300 30 30 635 or email email@example.com to register (remember this is a community forum and you shouldn’t post personal details such as addresses, phone numbers etc here as they may be picked up other people for not-so-good reasons).
Hope it helps!