Smart Tariff not (yet) available with SMETS2 smart meters!

Hi,
I had my smart meters fitted a couple of weeks ago. All worked fine with a working in home display as well. I immediately submitted a request on the Bulb website to move to the smart tariff. Kind of logical you’d think after getting the smart meters.

I followed up today as nothing happened after submitting the form - no email, nothing on the account page, etc…

Bulb DO NOT yet support the smart tariff with SMETS2 smart meters!
Apparently the smart tariff is only supported on SMETS1 meters right now, which Bulb aren’t even installing.
The supervisor I spoke to (very helpful and knowledgeable) said that Bulb are working towards getting the smart tariff available with the SMETS2 meters, but he can’t give a date.

He agreed that there should be clear and prominent wording on the website that before you try and sign-up for the smart tariff that it’s not available unless you have a SMETS1 meter. He’s feeding this back to the smart meter team. He also agreed that when it is available Bulb should contact all their SMETS2 customers and let them know.

I understand Bulb need time to develop new services given the delays by the smart meter companies, but I really don’t understand why they can’t clearly explain on the page where you sign-up for the smart meter tariff that it’s for SMETS1 only. Also, why this isn’t mentioned on the smart meter sign-up page so it’s clear the smart meters currently only enable remote meter reads and an IHD.

Hi @Solarspider

Thanks for the feedback. We can certainly make this clearer on the website. This feedback has been passed along to our smart team :slight_smile:

I’m sorry that we’re unable to sign you up to the smart tariff straight away. We’d love to get as many of our members on the smart tariff as possible - we’ll certainly be in touch when we can get you and others with a SMETS2 sign up to it.

Hi, I had my smart meters fitted a couple of weeks ago. All worked fine with a working in home display as well. I immediately submitted a request on the Bulb website to move to the smart tariff. Kind of logical you'd think after getting the smart meters.

I followed up today as nothing happened after submitting the form - no email, nothing on the account page, etc…

Bulb DO NOT yet support the smart tariff with SMETS2 smart meters!
Apparently the smart tariff is only supported on SMETS1 meters right now, which Bulb aren’t even installing.
The supervisor I spoke to (very helpful and knowledgeable) said that Bulb are working towards getting the smart tariff available with the SMETS2 meters, but he can’t give a date.

He agreed that there should be clear and prominent wording on the website that before you try and sign-up for the smart tariff that it’s not available unless you have a SMETS1 meter. He’s feeding this back to the smart meter team. He also agreed that when it is available Bulb should contact all their SMETS2 customers and let them know.

I understand Bulb need time to develop new services given the delays by the smart meter companies, but I really don’t understand why they can’t clearly explain on the page where you sign-up for the smart meter tariff that it’s for SMETS1 only. Also, why this isn’t mentioned on the smart meter sign-up page so it’s clear the smart meters currently only enable remote meter reads and an IHD.

You mean you actually have a fully working IHD and SMETS2 that reports readings back to Bulb? I thought these were the stuff of urban legend! You must be one of the lucky ones. Heaps installed aren’t doing that at all. :frowning:

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My experience is similar. Previously I was with EON and had a SMETS2 meter fitted and I then wanted to change to a supplier with a Smart tariff so that I could charge my hybrid car overnight cheaply. I couldn’t decide between Octopus or Bulb and went for Bulb as I had been a previous Bulb customer. Prior to switching I checked with Bulb customer services that it would be possible to move on to the Smart tariff and was assured that it would work however now I am with them I have struggled to get on it! After lots of chasing I have found out that I can’t yet go on to the Smart Tariff and will ‘have to wait a few months’. I am going to give it a few months and if I get nowhere switch to Octopus. Shame really as I would rather be with Bulb.

I had high hopes for Bulb, but it seems all the “woohoo, how you doing” communication is just a smokescreen. Underneath they are in just as much disarray with smart meters as other companies. Really regretting moving supplier. Their explanations and communications are very poor.

I had high hopes for Bulb, but it seems all the “woohoo, how you doing” communication is just a smokescreen. Underneath they are in just as much disarray with smart meters as other companies. Really regretting moving supplier. Their explanations and communications are very poor.

Personally I think far more of the blame can be laid at OFGEM for setting targets with suppliers before the technology was proven. It looks as if OFGEM have buried their head in the sand and ignoring the problems being encountered by customers. At least three of the large suppliers have been fined millions of pounds by OFGEM for not meeting their smart meter installation target. A threat of a possible fine may be the reason Bulb are still installing smart meters even though there are known problems?

@Allanr, it makes sense to continue to install the meters if they’re confident that a fix can be pushed to them remotely to make them all work properly, but in making that decision they should still be keeping their customers informed.

I do think that Bulb are doing the right thing with going ahead, but they need to manage people’s expectations better and perhaps focus on fixing some of the back-end issues such as the one stopping people from manually submitting readings since having a smart meter for example.

Only had a SMETS2 meter installed by bulb today because I was told when we booked it that it would work with their Smart Tariff - We use IRO of 16,000 Kwh electricity a year via the wife’s electric car and an air source heat pump driven wet underfloor central heating system.

Contacted by chat today to switch to their Smart tariff as arranged. Took an hour for the chat to be picked up to be told in short order that Bulb are “months” away from being able to offer their Smart Tariff to their customers with their SMETS2 Smart meters installed.

A follow up phone call to Bulb has revealed the same issue means they can’t switch customers with the SMETS2 Smart meters to their Economy7 tariff either.

This means we’re stuck on the standard Varifair tariff

The misinformation I was given by Bulb before I booked the install means that as of 1015hrs this morning, every unit consumed is costing us more than it should.

We’re switching supplier and formally complaining to OFGEM in an effort to recover our losses whilst we’re still on Bulb’s more expensive tariff. If I’d know I’d been misled when I booked the install, I’d have gone to another supplier who could offer some form or Economy 7 or Smart 3 way tariff. Bulb were quite clear they couldn’t even offer an Economy 7 meter install - Not that we wanted one anyway as the cost is £120…for a meter that would eventually be replaced by a SMETS2 meter free of charge that would supposedly allow us to switch to any tariff with them, or indeed with any other supplier.

The industry has made this switch a shambles and the consumer shouldn’t bare any of the consequential costs.

I too am amazed and disappointed with the lack of information given by bulb prior to having their smart meters fitted.
Their hype was that they were fitting the NEW Smet2, far superior to the older Smet1 so they said.
This appears to only be the case for remote readings!! Nothing mentioned regards drawback on getting cheaper tariffs.
I was hoping to do as the government are requesting and move to electric vehicle.

I too am amazed and disappointed with the lack of information given by bulb prior to having their smart meters fitted. Their hype was that they were fitting the NEW Smet2, far superior to the older Smet1 so they said. This appears to only be the case for remote readings!! Nothing mentioned regards drawback on getting cheaper tariffs. I was hoping to do as the government are requesting and move to electric vehicle.

Having solar panels, I had the Smet2 meter fitted by bulb. It has taken a while for these and the IHD to show information. However now the IHD shows lots of useful info. The great shame is Bulb don’t appear to be able to get this information.

Bozerboy, you are lucky. After three months my IHD is still ‘waiting for data’.

I had SMETS2 meters installed this week. Found out afterwards that Bulb won’t let me have a smart tariff with the latest smart meters. WTF?
Switching to Octopus in part due to this.

I would think twice about this. Octopus go tariff is to me is the best option at present with a 5p night rate.Great for EV owners like myself .This sounds great but you have to sign up to an interim tariff until they can either use you existing meter or install their new smart meter .Their interim tariff for me is a lot higher than Bulbs standard and you have no guarantee as to when you will be moved to the Octopus go tariff. How long are you prepared to wait?
What I would like is for Bulb to realize that their smart tariff even if it was available is not that good a deal. DO THE MATHS. Double the standard Day rate during 4pm to 7pm and nearly 9p at night . Not really that good. I am sticking to 13.7p all the time and have the option of plugging my car in on arriving home at 4pm. Need to come up with some thing different Bulb sorry.

I was hoping to do as the government are requesting and move to electric vehicle.

Even without a cheap overnight rate, running an EV is still considerably cheaper than the equivalent mileage via petrol or diesel.

Hell, even if I were to charge my EV using solely rapid chargers at 35p/kWh it still works out at half the cost I was paying for petrol per mile.

Don’t let the lack of a multi-rate tariff put you off.

What I would like is for Bulb to realize that their smart tariff even if it was available is not that good a deal. DO THE MATHS. Double the standard Day rate during 4pm to 7pm and nearly 9p at night . Not really that good. I am sticking to 13.7p all the time and have the option of plugging my car in on arriving home at 4pm. Need to come up with some thing different Bulb sorry.

I have done the maths. The smart tariff, for my usage profile, is a tiny bit cheaper than the Economy -7 rates for my area.

So, again for my usage profile, the ranking is:

#1 Smart tariff
#2 Economy-7
#3 Single-rate.

Having said that, the smart tariff isn’t sufficiently cheaper than Economy-7 and I would rather pay a tiny bit more and just go for standard Economy-7, rather than having to consider peak rate usage. Unfortunately Bulb don’t yet offer E7 via smart meter, so the smart tariff will have to do.

Fair comments. E7 for me means quite a higher day rate which does not really work for my usage. Bulbs new smart tariff for me would work out overall the same as their normal tariff so I am reluctant to change even though I can not get it at present.

Fair comments. E7 for me means quite a higher day rate which does not really work for my usage. Bulbs new smart tariff for me would work out overall the same as their normal tariff so I am reluctant to change even though I can not get it at present.

The benefit of any multi-rate tariff depends highly on personal usage. If you don’t have high overnight usage then it’s highly unlikely for any multi-rate tariff to be suitable for you. That’s no reason to broadly and generically declare it’s “not really that good”.

I’ve now had a SMETS2 meter for a month (with a working IHD!!), but received an estimated bill from Bulb today, which was way off the actual meter reading. So, I contacted them by chat today to find out why my bill was estimated.

The response was:

  • Bulb are receiving meter readings OK from my SMETS2 meter
  • but, those readings cannot be processed by their billing system yet
  • so, I cannot move to the smart tariff until this is fixed

I’m assuming that this is generally true for SMETS2 meters, not something that affects my account specifically.

Hi @coles

We’re currently only able to take members with a certain type of SMETS1 meter on to our smart tariff. We’re looking to enrol our SMETS2 members on to the smart tariff later this year.

We have found a fix for member who have smart meters but are still receiving estimates statements. We wrote a bit more about this on the latest smart meter update.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

thanks @“Eleanor at Bulb”

What disappoints me is the lack of consistent information from Bulb. I’ve been a customer for several years, and when I moved house a few months ago I asked whether I could have an Economy 7 meter installed (which I had at my previous address) as we have 2 EVs. I was told that I should get a SMETS2 meter. I pointed your colleagues to the posts on the forums saying that you couldn’t support TOU tariffs with those meters yet, and was told more than once that the forum posts were incorrect and the smart tariff was available with the new meters. A month on, and I now know the forum posts were correct all along, but I still have no idea when you’ll be able to put me on the smart tariff.

This isn’t idle curiosity on my part - being on a single rate tariff is going to cost me several hundred quid as we use >1MWh a month, largely on EV charging overnight. If Bulb had been honest with me from the outset, I could have made different choices.

At this point, it looks like I’m going to have to find a different supplier who can give me a cheaper overnight rate.