Smart Meters

Anyone else having problems getting Bulb to accept the “Rate 1” reading from their smart electric meter instead of the “Total” reading?
I had free electricity from my previous supplier for 8 hours every Saturday from June 2016 to June 2017. A total of 416 hours of free electricity. During this period we used 790 kWh of electricity which were recorded as “Rate 2” on our smart meter, and charged at 0.0p/unit. On joining Bulb I made the mistake of reading the “Total” figure instead of the "Rate 1 " reading. Despite speaking to Bulb 3 times by 'phone (and kept waiting a long time for someone to answer me!), Bulb are still using the “Total” reading instead of the “Rate 1” reading I am supplying. They even sent someone to read my smart meter on October 10th. and even he took the “Total” reading. The “Total” reading is the sum of both “Rate 1” and “Rate 2” readings, the result is Bulb are charging me for the 790 kWh which were free from my previous supplier. Anyone know who I can contact in Bulb as the 3 previous phone calls do not appear to have had any effect.

@Newandunhappy

Purely as another customer.

I don’t think Bulb does this free every Saturday offer. It looks as if they are correctly charging you for all the energy you have used.

I don't think Bulb does this free every Saturday offer. It looks as if they are correctly charging you for all the energy you have used.

You’re misunderstood. The “free” usage was with his previous supplier and is unrelated to Bulb.

I don't think Bulb does this free every Saturday offer. It looks as if they are correctly charging you for all the energy you have used.

You’re misunderstood. The “free” usage was with his previous supplier and is unrelated to Bulb.

On joining Bulb I made the mistake of reading the "Total" figure instead of the "Rate 1 " reading. Despite speaking to Bulb 3 times by 'phone (and kept waiting a long time for someone to answer me!), Bulb are still using the "Total" reading instead of the "Rate 1" reading I am supplying. They even sent someone to read my smart meter on October 10th. and even he took the "Total" reading. The "Total" reading is the sum of both "Rate 1" and "Rate 2" readings, the result is Bulb are charging me for the 790 kWh which were free from my previous supplier.

I think you have a misunderstanding here.

When you submitted the “total” as your opening reading, that wasn’t a mistake it was the correct thing to do. Your new supplier, Bulb, will only ever charge you for the difference between your opening total reading and your current total reading. You haven’t and aren’t being charged for usage that was logged with your previous supplier. The problem you’re describing would only occur if you had mistakenly submitted R1 as your opening reading instead of the total, but you haven’t done that.

.

You’re misunderstood. The “free” usage was with his previous supplier and is unrelated to Bulb.

Nope, I didn’t misunderstand the free usage aspect.

The person in question was querying the fact Bulb were accepting the total figure rather than the Rate 1 figure. I’m not familiar with the Saturday free offer given by some suppliers (I understand British Gas does this), In my earlier response I assumed the total reading is the sum of the Rate 1 & Rate 2 readings, if my assumption is correct then Bulb are correct to charge for the Total reading. Perhaps you or the original poser can confirm if my assumption about total reading is sum of Rate 1 & Rate 2 readings is correct?

Nope, I didn't misunderstand the free usage aspect.

Perhaps you didn’t understand, but I think pointing out that Bulb don’t do the free electric on Saturday offer is not helpful. I’m sure the OP knows he is no longer getting that offer having switched supplier! That’s not what he was asking.

In my earlier response I assumed the total reading is the sum of the Rate 1 & Rate 2 readings, if my assumption is correct then Bulb are correct to charge for the Total reading. Perhaps you or the original poser can confirm if my assumption about total reading is sum of Rate 1 & Rate 2 readings is correct?

Yes. The total cumulative figure is the sum of all the separate rate counters.

I agree with your statement that Bulb are billing correctly, assuming that the OP definitely did submit the total cumulative figure as his opening reading, which was subsequently sent to his old supplier as the final total reading.

@Hooloovoo

Its getting a little clearer

What I don’t understand is the relevance of June 2016 to June 2017 free hours quoted in the original post. Did the OP switch to Bulb in June 2017 and it has taken this long to recognise an error was made? So what happened between June 2017 and October 2018,?

@Newandunhappy Upon switching to us British Gas changed your meter into a 1-rate meter, which means we need to take the total of the previously 2 readings.

If you think that the total reading that we are using is not the correct total reading, let me know and I can do what I can to correct it.

EDIT: If a weekend meter from BG has been changed to 1 rate we need to take the Rate01 from the meter.

What I don't understand is the relevance of June 2016 to June 2017 free hours quoted in the original post. Did the OP switch to Bulb in June 2017 and it has taken this long to recognise an error was made? So what happened between June 2017 and October 2018,?

I don’t think there’s any relevance. I think the OP is just confused regarding billing. It sounds to me like the OP has done everything correctly and there isn’t a problem. They are now on a single-rate tariff and so it is right that the cumulative total is used for all readings. The breakdown of previous multi-rate usage is now irrelevant.

BY accident (and not knowing how the meter worked), I provided Bulb with the “Total” reading when I joined in September. They contacted my previous supplier (British Gas) who gave them the “Rate 1” reading, that is the reading for the “chargeable” units I had paid for. My problem now is to get Bulb to start my account with the “Total” reading I provided them with, when I joined on September 5, but they will not believe me as BG gave them a reading 790 units less. They sent a meter reader on October 10th. who also took the “total” reading confusing the issue, on querying this reading with Bulb, I was advised to contact British Gas. I contacted BG who explained how the meter had three readings, “Rate 1 - chargeable usage”, “Rate 2 - free usage” and Total" the sum of “Rate 1” and “Rate 2”.

BY accident (and not knowing how the meter worked), I provided Bulb with the "Total" reading when I joined in September. They contacted my previous supplier (British Gas) who gave them the "Rate 1" reading, that is the reading for the "chargeable" units I had paid for.

Ah, now it all makes sense.

You did the right thing. It’s British Gas that have messed up. The total is the correct opening reading. Bulb don’t need to know how anything was broken down in terms of multi-rate tariffs or how anything was charged. The only important figure is the total cumulative import, and that’s what you should continue submitting to Bulb.

I’m afraid there’s no more help anyone on this user community can give you. Hopefully someone from Bulb will update your account and sort it out. Perhaps if you send Bulb a copy of your final bill from British Gas it might help?

So, @Allanr and @Hooloovoo , perhaps you can stop speculating about how confused the ‘OP’ is?

Are you able to sort this out @“DanP at Bulb” ? From this explanation fault would appear to lie with BG.

So, @Allanr and @Hooloovoo , perhaps you can stop speculating about how confused the 'OP' is?

Yes. Now that sufficient information has been supplied to prevent the need for speculation or clarification.

@yyt

There was no speculation on my part, I was trying to get to the root cause of the problem. From the original posting this wasn’t clear, quoting the dates June 2016 to June 2017 also clouded the issue.

Final Update:
Bulb have just increased my monthly DD by £40.00/month to well over £100/month, - obviously THEY have no idea about how smart meters work. They are making me pay for the 790 kWh that I had for free from my previous supplier. I now give up - I have spent £28+ (waiting up to 30 minutes one time for an answer), on three phone calls to their “customer service”, (I thought BT were bad but these guys could teach BT a lesson!), to try to resolve this issue all to no avail. I now regret taking the advice to switch supplier.
I will not post anymore as I can’t see the point. Instead I will use “social media” to spread my feelings about Bulb.

So, @Allanr and @Hooloovoo , perhaps you can stop speculating about how confused the 'OP' is?

Are you able to sort this out @“DanP at Bulb” ? From this explanation fault would appear to lie with BG.

As you speculated that BG are at fault, can you please let me know how you arrived at that conclusion? I have read the posts from Newandunhappy a number of times and I’m still confused at to who is at fault and the significance of the dates June 2016 to June 2017

As you speculated that BG are at fault, can you please let me know how you arrived at that conclusion? I have read the posts from Newandunhappy a number of times and I'm still confused at to who is at fault and the significance of the dates June 2016 to June 2017

Between June 2016 to June 2017 the OP had a two rate meter.

When the OP switched away from British Gas, they correctly gave Bulb the value of the total cumulative import as their opening reading. It would appear that British Gas rejected this reading, and instead British Gas incorrectly gave Bulb the value of the Rate 1 register.

Now, Bulb are charging the difference between the opening Rate 1 only reading, and the current readings for Total Cumulative Import. This means they are charging for the whole of the now-unused Rate 2 register, resulting in an additional 790 kWh of charges.

The OP wants Bulb to start billing based on the Rate 1 total which would solve the problem, but of course they wont do that because that is the wrong solution. They are correctly billing on the value of the Total Cumulative Import register.

What needs to happen is that Bulb acknowledge that the closing reading given by British Gas is wrong, and change the OPs account opening reading to that of the Total Cumulative Import that the OP correctly gave when joining Bulb. @“DanP at Bulb” how come this is causing so much trouble? It seems obvious British Gas are at fault here once you decipher the OPs posts and work out what is going on. Why wasn’t the error by British Gas picked up at the third-party reading verification stage?

Between June 2016 to June 2017 the OP had a two rate meter.

When the OP switched away from British Gas, they correctly gave Bulb the value of the total cumulative import. It would appear that British Gas rejected this reading, and instead British Gas incorrectly gave Bulb the value of the Rate 1 register.

What I don’t understand is that it has taken from June 2017 until fairly recently to have this problem flagged up.

What I don't understand is that it has taken from June 2017 until fairly recently to have this problem flagged up.

Yes, that is somewhat confusing. I think possibly the “free electric” offer ended in June 2017, at which point the OP went back to a single rate meter, and they have joined Bulb much more recently than that.