SMETS2 & E7 compatibility

Does anyone know yet whether the 2nd generation Smart meters correctly handle tarrifs like E7/Economy7? I received an email yesterday inviting me to book an installation now the 2nd gen meters are available from Bulb. But today I tried to make a booking, I was told the meters are not compatible. Either this is wrong and the on line booking system is out of date or the new meters are STILL not compatible.

The official line is that Bulb do not support multi-rate tariffs on their SMETS2 meters.

However, anecdotally, from posts on here it does looks like some customers have E7 on their SMETS2 meter. You might like to contact Bulb directly and ask this question. If you do get an affirmative reply, please do come back and tell everyone else on here!

I am (or was!) on a dual rate tariff, until I had a “smart” meter installed a couple of weeks ago. Although I was assured that it would work with dual rate, it has yet to give any indication that it does. I see only one rate on the IHD, and I can’t find any alternate rate readings on the meter box itself. NB I don’t have a separate “Economy 7” circuit - I don’t believe they are supported on the Bulb smart meters. I just want a lower rate for electricity consumed over a 7 hour period overnight. That was all working up until foolishly I had the confounded “smart” meter installed.

For the time being, I’ll give the, so called, smart meters a miss 'til the E7 problem has been addressed properly. The problem does appear to be the wiring not being compatable with the 2nd circuit needed for the E7 heating (storage rads). The block of flats where I live can’t have gas supplies fitted, either, and E7 works well for me (insulated building:).

Yeah, I’ve just tried to have a smart meter installation as well and they couldn’t do it.

Bulb now - as of very recently - do support E7, but I was told the industry still hasn’t started manufacturing SMETS2 that support the two additional thin wires for switching on your storage heaters and immersion heaters.

And it’s really difficult to find news about the SMETS2 when you try to Google it, so it’s hard to find out when these will be supported.

I suspect this kind of system has been unofficially deprecated and will never be supported any more. Switching services on or off at the meter just isn’t used these days, and instead timers are used at the appliances themselves.

It would be interested to see what would happen if your meter actually fails, forcing a replacement, when no one manufactures the traditional meters any more and there is no old stock left. You’d have to have your electrical installation updated, but at who’s cost if it is not your choice to replace the meter? Most likely yours I suspect.

You say that, but my flats were only built 12 years ago, so it’s strange that they were set up with this deprecated system. But the engineers from Seimens were giving me a strong impression that the SMETS2 meter variant with support for the two off-peak switch wires will be available soon.

But yeah, if I owned the flat I live in, I would definitely replace the storage heaters with more modern ones with timers. But this is the problem… managed flats are never going to get upgraded. Landlords wouldn’t think about these things.

“only” 12 years ago. That’s quite a long time.

You’re right, it is only me saying this. I did say “I suspect”. I could well be wrong.

I’m in the same boat but do own my flat. I have no problem with storage rads as I am home a lot, they have enough capacity to keep the flat warm all day and the flat is reasonably well insulated, so I want to keep my heating energy use in the cheaper E7 hours.

From the sound of it, it seems we await an even newer, smarter, SMETS2 meter. Hmm!

I’m in exactly the same boat - I live in an apartment with night storage heaters on a separate electrical circuit. I’ve had no less than 3 letters from Bulb in 6 weeks “inviting” me to book a smart meter install even though the booking website still says a firm NO we can’t do that.

EON are now installing E7 SMETS2 smart meters with a 5th terminal to control storage heaters - when are Bulb going to follow suit?

(as a side note for anyone in the same boat - if you are in receipt of any government benefits, there is a government funded scheme that will replace old storage heaters with new modern ones - e.g. Dimplex Quantum that are much more efficient and have an internal timer so you can do away with the annoying separate electrical supply for your storage heaters, and move to a standard meter arrangement. This isn’t much use to me as I’m not claiming any benefits! :frowning_face:

Hi @RussT :wave:

Thanks for posting. It must be frustrating to keep receiving those communications despite the fact that your metering setup isn’t compatible with smart meters at the moment. Would you like us to pause these smart meter emails/letters for you? If so, please just reply and we can get that sorted.

With regard to a timeline, we are hoping to start installing smart meters for 5T setups like yours towards the end of August. However, there is no firm timeline on this at the moment.

Thank you very much for drawing everyone’s attention to the Energy Company Obligation (ECO). This is a means-tested scheme where members can be given funding to improve the energy efficiency of your home.

If anyone is interested in this, they’ll just need to contact My Eco Home, where funding can be arranged. Any questions, feel free to send us an email at eco@bulb.co.uk or reply below.

Is anyone able to tell us, from experience, how they’ve found the ECO scheme?

Niamh :bulb:

I am on Economy 7 tariff and had a smart meter installed by Bulb. The only problem was that initially I could not request it if I selected an option that said I have immersion water heater. But after checking that my old meter had only 4 cables coming out of it, Bulb said that I should just select an option for normal eco 7, and installation was done

Works fine

That’s absolutely correct, as @darkpl1 says. The reason why the booking form is set up this way is that, in the majority of cases, properties that have storage or immersion heaters have that fifth terminal coming out of the meter.

We are looking to be able to install 5T meters very soon but for anyone who has storage/immersion heaters but only four terminals, you can absolutely book this in yourself now through the Bulb account form or by getting in touch with us.

Lou :sparkles: