I had a smart meter installed in November, then in December I changed my boiler from gas to electricity. I want to switch to the Smart Tariff to take advantage of cheaper electricity overnight. However, the smart meter is not working and Bulb has not given a date for the smart meter issue to be rectified and this is adding a lot to my monthly costs.
Even once Bulb get your SMETS2 smart meter working, it’s not currently compatible with the smart tariff which works only with certain SMETS1 meters. No current date from Bulb as to when their new meters will work with the smart tariff. If you want a multi-rate tariff, there are better alternatives than Bulb anyway.
As @Hooloovoo said, oddly, the Bulb Smart Tariff does not currently support SMETS2 meters, only the older SMETS1 meters (preciscely the SMETS1 meters Bulb can take readings from, which is not all SMETS1 meters). They made statements a while back over the phone to me that this would change ‘soon’. But as one can see Bulb’s definition of soon is different than ours and as is evident on the Forum, Bulb are have some significant problems with SMETS2 smart meters. Some of this is down to industry teething problems (such as meters being installed in rural areas where there is absolutely no coverage) but honestly the majority of problems seem to be between Bulb’s internal systems and the DCC.
With all that said, and in my personal opinion, there are some major caveats to Bulb’s Smart Tariff, even if you could sign up to it on a SMETS2 meter.
Firstly, Bulb have some non-insignificant billing issues with users on the Smart Tariff, including; ongoing missing statements and mixing up peak/day/overnight usage and billing incorrectly.
Secondly, moving on or off of the Smart Tariff is non-trivial for Bulb to accomplish, and in my case was alarming over complicated and almost no one on their phone support could make the required changes.
Thirdly, in quite a few regions Bulb’s peak pricing is unreasonably high. For South East England the peak billing is 41.94p/kWh which would be fine if this tracked the wholesale price and was a capped price of 41p, but it does not and presently, that cost is well over double the peak pricing for the South East. On top of this, the overnight 7.91p/kW is also higher than it should be, and over the winter with high winds in the South East overnight, our wholesale price often drops below 3p/kWh, which is excellent for EV charging.
The Smart Tariff should, IMO, track the wholesale cost at least somewhat regularly. As a result of it not, Bulb’s Smart Tariff is as out of date as Bulb’s standard tariff.
If a TOU tariff is particularly important to you, the only option to my knowledge that is worthwhile would be Octopus Agile. Alternatively, stick to a single rate tariff that is well priced, there are cheaper single rates than Bulb’s single rate but do your research as not all these suppliers are all that good.
I find it disappointing and troubling that Bulb’s Smart Tariff is uncompetitive and unreliable as we need more options available to us consumers and competition is good. Furthermore, if Octopus were ever to go out of business, stop their Agile tariff or their prices become inflated, would mean that we have no proper TOU tariffs available, as presently I would avoid Bulb’s Smart Tariff, even though the concept is great.
Thanks for the advice. Until today the switching websites repeatedly tell me I have the best deal, but one company is coming out better. However I haven’t looked at smart tariffs elsewhere, Bulb have repeatedly failed to respond to my queries and it’s costing me almost double to what an Economy 7 style tariff. Time to move on I think. Thanks again