SMETS1 - will it work yet?

Hi,

Just started my transfer to Bulb. I currently have a SMETS1 meter (Manufacturer - Secure), I read that SMETS1 integration starts end of September. Does Bulb currently support this?

@dave.baker the answer is unfortunately about as clear as mud. Certainly by some point (hopefully next year) many of the SMETS1 meters will have been adopted by the DCC. At present this is not the case, and it appears the adoption process has been delayed, as things were suppose to start moving in 2019.

The upgrade and transfer of SMETS1 meters into DCC’s systems is planned to occur between June 2019 and the end of 2020. For more details see Annex B on this DCC planning document.

Provided your meters are on the list of meters which can fit into this process on table “SMETS 1 Meters for adoption by DCC” they should start working again during that transfer period.

Source: https://www.smartme.co.uk/

With that said certain SMETS1 smart meters can be read by Bulb, this is currently (to the best of my knowledge) being provided through a 3rd party. However, finding out whether your’s can be read is rather challenging.

How to find out:


Option 1: The best route would be to phone Bulb and ask them directly. Personally I can’t see any justifiable reason for them to not be able to give you a solid confirmation (either Yes or No). At the end of the day their 3rd party either has access to read your existing smart meter or it does not.

Option 2: Alternatively you could apply for Bulb’s Smart Tariff on the website and this will start the process to see if they can read your existing smart meter. But I would caution going this route as the Smart Tariff is certainly not for everyone.

As I mentioned in the other thread, just knowing the meter make and model doesn’t guarantee it will work, since it also depends on what firmware is installed. Ultimately, the only way to know is for Bulb to instruct their third-party meter operator to attempt to read the meter. Only at that point will they know for sure if it’s possible. Neither Bulb nor the meter operator can know before they actually try. Bulb will do this for all their customers with SMETS1 meters eventually, but currently they are prioritising customers they request to move to the smart tariff. So your “option 2” is pretty much the only way to go.

This does bring up the question, of course, if a meter would be readable if only it had newer firmware, who’s responsibility is it to update the firmware? Bulb? The third-party meter operator? The original installer? The manufacturer? Who knows. Likely no one. Quite possibly this question is the cause of the delay around enrolling old meters into the DCC, but I’m only guessing.

@Hooloovoo thanks for clarifying this. Yes the firmware scenario makes matters even more complicated.

I did read on one of the DCC adoption documents months ago that it would become the DCC’s responsibility to update all SMETS1 and 2 meters. As they would be the central authority effectively managing the operation of these meters and would have the necessary communication with the meters and know-how to do so. Energy suppliers would only interface with the DCC API and not directly with the smart meters. But I’m struggling to find where I read this. I wonder if this also may explain the list of SMETS1 meters to be adopted, obviously ones that can be updated (available firmware) and can presently support multi-tariffs and 30min readings.

I wonder now how this affects anyone who moves off of the Smart Tariff, such as us. Simply being on it proves that they can take readings automatically. We’ve been told by Bulb phone support that they “should” still take readings automatically and daily. But our usage graph has stopped showing any usage for electricity since the 9th Oct. Gas readings are still being taken daily.

As you say, the stated plan is for them to continue reading the meters automatically. There’s no reason to stop, and your gas is still working. I think the electric problem is just that Bulb’s software is pretty crappy and can’t handle changing between the tariff types very easily. Hopefully this will be improved when they get their new Python account/billing platform up and running.

Really good info thanks - what a mess! I’ll call Bulb once transferred and see what happens. Will update this post if/when I get more info.

Thanks again