Smart meters that aren't

I had Smart meters installed on 6th January and was told the by tech the IHD would start showing readings within a day before rushing on to his next appointment.

The install took 3 1/2 hours and I was required to double check the gas pressure readings by the tech on 2 occasions. Ok for some but the meter is 5 meters across a garden and I’m in a wheel chair. I was also required to confirm items on the electric meter install.

9 days later and after sending many auto reports to Bulb I eventually received a reply informing me I was in a poor signal area and the Smart meters (and IHD) would not work. I now have to submit meter readings until the problem can be rectified.

I’ve now submitted the first gas reading but my account does not allow for me to submit electric readings.

Surely there is a way to check the signal before installation.

Just one big mess as far as I’m concerned and a complete waste of my time.

The installer should carry a tool to check the signal strength before starting the installation. It’s possible that this was done and appeared fine, but Bulb are now saying you’re in a poor signal area based on an inaccurate prediction map. There are various areas where bureaucracy takes over. The whole thing is a bit of a fiasco.

Personally I would have refused to confirm the results of any tests. They are supposed to be the expert, not me. I’m not qualified to read off any results, no matter how simple that might be. I never had to do that when Scottish Power installed my meters. I also don’t have to confirm any results when my electrician does an EICR on an installation - that’s what they’re paid to do!

It was a Siemens tech who was obviously newly trained - supervisor came round afterwards asking me all sorts of questions about the instillation. Of course at that time I didn’t know it wasn’t working correctly.

I’m now looking at changing supplier. I still cannot submit electric meter readings because the icon does not appear on my on-line account despite numerous emails. The Smart meters still don’t work. Having just changed from a key to smart electric meter I have no idea of how much I’m using cost wise and they don’t seem to be bothered about helping me. Incidentally I just received a reply last week to an email I sent to Bulb in November.

I had 12 months without problems at my last house but they’ve more than made up for it in the last 4 months.

The main “submit reading” button will have gone, but I think the “secondary” one should still be there. Click “Energy usage” and scroll to the bottom of the page. There might be a “Submit a meter reading” button next to the “Load more” button.

It can get even worse than your experience. My previous supplier EDF a couple of years ago insisted on installing a smart meter despite my telling them and their engineer that I have no signal in this area. Months later they wrote to me explaining that after many tries to connect they were unable to. That’s when I joined Bulb and informed them I have no signal. Accordingly Bulb haven’t attempted one.

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I had my smart meter installed yesterday and after leaving it numerous hours from the install, I am also still not receiving a connection icon in the top left of the IHD. Having read the install / setup guide it says it can take 24/48 hours to connect properly which seems incredibly unusual to me.

Having read your post, I feel like I’ll be waiting for no reason.

What would everyone recommend to do about this?

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Another new SMETS2 Bulb home owner (installed by Siemens), another SMETS2 meter that isn’t working.

Installed 03/01/20 and I have had no intelligible information from the electric meter to date. The engineer said it would take up to a day to register on network and then to call Bulb…

After a week of the IHD showing nothing meaningful (numbers that didn’t seem to vary or stack up with actual usage), I had a generic blank e-mail advising of an issue in the area.

I’ve contacted Bulb without any response to date.

I tend to be fairly keen with my meter reading submissions, so I tried whilst the issue was resolved to go to the meter box to take a reading to share. Unfortunately the figures are not meaningful.

I’m also aware that Bulb is plummeting in the meanwhile in terms of the competitiveness of its rates with competitors. Up until now the relatively good standard of customer service (albeit as I didn’t have to interact with any humans other than a Siemens engineer!) had kept me content enough to stay put, but this recent experience has me starting to question not only the wisdom of accepting a Smart Meter (which I am conscious Bulb profit from as the installing EP) but also of remaining an ongoing customer.


I’ve just spoken to one of their customer reps over the live chat system and he’s suggesting to basically turn it off / on again by disconnecting it from the plug, waiting 30 mins to an hour and then turning it on again. He says within 48 hours it should connect but I can’t help but feel I’m being palmed off here.

Afraid that I’ve tried variations of periods, leaving off overnight, plugging into a plug in my garage on a wall next to the external meter boxes etc and nothing. It’s definitely in my case an issue with the SMETS2 box connecting to the network (though from the automated e-mail the Gas is unaffected?).

I think I know why the Engineer was in a rush to get off site after finishing the install now - he literally was climbing into his van whilst telling me about the waiting 24 hour thing…