UPDATE: We’ve started installing smart meters in our members’ homes.

We’ve started installing smart meters in our members’ homes.

In August 2018, we announced that we’d be rolling out smart meters by the end of the year. Unfortunately, industry-wide software complications meant we had to delay our smart meter roll out until January 2019.

You’ve waited patiently while we ironed out the creases to make sure our new second generation smart meters are working as they should. So thanks for sitting tight.

Lots of you are keen to know how and when you can have a smart meter installed. We’ve done our very best to answer your questions here.

If anything has been left unanswered, please do join the discussion below.

“I’ve signed up to the smart meter waiting list. When will I get my smart meter installed?”

If you’re on the smart meter waiting list and eligible for an installation, you should hear from us before Easter 2019.

Eligibility and the exact time we get in touch will depend on a few factors including:

  • Engineer availability in your area
  • Smart meter signal coverage

Right now we’re prioritising people on the waiting list, as they’ve shown an active interest. But we’ll be quickly increasing the number of installations in the coming months.

“I’m not on the smart meter waiting list, can I still join?”

Yes! There’s a quick form to complete if you’d like to join the smart meter waiting list. When we’re ready to start installing in your area you’ll be the first to know.

“How do I book a smart meter installation?”

If you’ve joined the waiting list, we’ll double check that there are engineers available in your area and that there’s smart meter signal coverage.

If everything looks good, we’ll send you an email with a link to book your installation.

You’ll be able to select a date and time for the engineer to arrive. Once the engineer does arrive, the installation takes around 2 hours, and someone over the age of 18 will need to be home in that time.

“Someone I know has been invited to book an installation, and they’re not on the waiting list. How come?”

We want as many people as possible to get the benefits a smart meter can bring. Some areas of the country have a good signal, and engineers available, but not many people on the waiting list. To make the most of the opportunity, we’re inviting people who perhaps didn’t know there was a list to get a smart meter installed.

“If I’ve joined the smart tariff, can I switch back to the vari-fair?”

Yes. If you’ve signed up for our beta smart tariff, you can switch back to our vari-fair tariff at any point, even if you’ve had a smart meter installed.

You’ll need to drop an email to hello@bulb.co.uk or call us on 0300 30 30 635 between 9am and 6pm on weekdays.

It will take up to two weeks to switch you back to the vari-fair tariff. But we’ll make sure you’re not overcharged during this period.

The smart tariff is a 3-rate tariff that reflects the demands of the grid. It works especially well for electric vehicle owners and is helping people to save by changing the way they use energy throughout the day. You can sign up to the smart tariff or find out more.

“What type of smart meter will you be installing?”

We’re installing EDMI and Landis+Gyr second-generation smart meters.

The engineer will replace your current meters and will offer you an In-Home Display (IHD). The IHD is a small screen that sits in your house. It gives you near real-time data which can help you track how much energy you’re using and how much it costs. Many people have found that by getting a better understanding of how much appliances cost to run, they can reduce their bills.

I guess I can post things now then!

Gah! Now I don’t know what to do. I literally just (today) booked my appointment to have my existing faulty prepayment meter replaced with a like for like one at the end of March as that’s when the earliest available appointments were anyway. Despite wanting to get off prepayment and back onto credit ASAP, I was getting antsy about the threat of my meter’s key reader completely giving up the ghost while I waited for news of the smart meter rollout… Now I’m thinking I should cancel that appointment. It would be a massive waste to have a whole new meter installed if I’m going to be contacted about a Smart Meter potentially less than a month later. But I also kind of don’t want to cancel it just in case there’s further delays and people aren’t contacted within that timescale after all… Argh! This is frustrating.

But thank you for the update, @“Eleanor at Bulb”.

Perhaps @“Bill at Bulb” could help here?

@awkward_nikki, that does sound like a bit of a waste. From the email I received, appointments were available from Friday (in central Leeds), so it seems likely that it would be much faster if you could get a Smart Meter installed, wherever you are.

Hi @awkward_nikki - if you received an email about engineers in your area there’s a decent chance that you will be able to get a meter by Easter, but if you haven’t you may be waiting quite a while. The last thing we’d want to do is risk you going off supply if your meter is faulty, though if that did happen we’d do an emergency job to get you sorted ASAP.

The Smart meter installations nationwide is a massive undertaking, and we have almost a million members to install them for, with that number growing all the time. I’d sign up to the waiting list and see what the anticipated timeframe is, we don’t charge for meter job cancellations.

Post edited by Bill - he mistakenly implied that cancelled meter jobs can result in charges to the member. Feel free to poke fun at his error

Just had my smart electricity meter fitted :slight_smile: Shame they couldn’t do the gas, something to do with them not having the right kit for the type of gas box I have.

@mowcius @“Bill at Bulb” Thank you to both of you. I’m in South London and obviously have no idea where London features in the timescales for the rollout plan. I haven’t had an email yet. Although I am definitely on the list.

I’ll keep my appointment for now unless I get an email about smart meters in the meantime.

It’s just frustrating is all. If Bulb is sending out an engineer to replace my meter anyway, I feel like it would just be a better use of everyone’s time and resources to just do the smart meter installation there and then rather than make whole separate appointment and waste the equipment.

That said, I do fully understand that there’s an order the these things. The timing for my meter to develop a fault is just plain bad luck.

For those of us already on the smart tariff via an existing readable SMETS1 meter, is there any benefit to changing to these new meters?

I joined the waiting list when I first switched to Bulb but you’ve started reading my SMETS1 meter since then.

Also, can we now put a ban on anyone starting a new thread with the subject “Smart meter”? There must be hundreds of them.

@Hooloovoo, you get a new IHD.

Also the potential to connect a greater range of SE1.2 compatible SMETS2 consumer access devices to the meter to play with your data locally in the future.

Also, can we now put a ban on anyone starting a new thread with the subject "Smart meter"? There must be hundreds of them.
:+1:
we don't charge for meter job cancellations this far in advance so you'd be fine on that front.

Upon re-reading your response Bill, I’m concerned about this statement. Does this imply that should I need to cancel this appointment at shorter notice (say for example if Bulb instead offered me a separate smart meter installation appointment in the meantime) I might incur a charge? Because if so, I definitely was not told that at the time of making the appointment. I’ve emailed the bulb customer help email address asking for clarification about this, but if that’s the case, I feel like that’s definitely something customers should be told about.

This is great news Bulb. I’m 99% sure I signed up to the early interest list last year. Hopefully I hear something soon.

Just had my smart electricity meter fitted :) Shame they couldn't do the gas, something to do with them not having the right kit for the type of gas box I have.
What area are you in? North or South? (long range radio, or GSM communications hub)

Haven’t heard anything up here in Derbyshire. Have installations started for members with solar panels? Has it been decided if we would lose the deemed 50% export rate as well?

Have installations started for members with solar panels? Has it been decided if we would lose the deemed 50% export rate as well?

There should be no reason why solar panels cause any issues.

The deemed export problem was resolved back in December: https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/ofgem_update_clarifies_deemed_export_tariff_and_storage_confusion

Hi @awkward_nikki - Sorry, that was worded really poorly. We don’t charge for cancellations, and with this much notice it gives us loads of time to book a meter job for someone else who may need one. I’ll edit my original post.

In the meantime I’d keep that job booked in if you are worried that your meter will stop working before you get a smart meter. You won’t be penalised if you need to cancel.

Apologies again for the confusion!

@Hooloovoo, you get a new IHD.

Hmm. The Chameleon IHD3-PPMID looks a bit fancier than my IHD3-MS, but it’s still a fixed-segment display with a clunky user interface.

@“Eleanor at Bulb” is there possibility for customers to pay to upgrade to the IHD4-TFT? Or better still the Presciense Polaris or Mira gateway?

Also the potential to connect a greater range of SE1.2 compatible SMETS2 consumer access devices to the meter to play with your data locally in the future.

Good point. I wonder how energy suppliers will respond to customers wanting to change their meter for no reason other than upgraded protocols, that don’t benefit the supplier?

Good point. I wonder how energy suppliers will respond to customers wanting to change their meter for no reason other than upgraded protocols, that don't benefit the supplier?
I suspect that for the tiny number of people who might care, it's really not going to make any difference to them. It'll presumably just be charged as a standard meter replacement is though - around the £150 mark.

As we’ve both found out, despite in theory being able to connect whatever you like to your communications hub, the reality is nowhere near as simple.

Hi @awkward_nikki - Sorry, that was worded really poorly. We don't charge for cancellations, and with this much notice it gives us loads of time to book a meter job for someone else who may need one. I'll edit my original post.

In the meantime I’d keep that job booked in if you are worried that your meter will stop working before you get a smart meter. You won’t be penalised if you need to cancel.

Apologies again for the confusion!

Oops. Ok in that case I’ve been bombarding poor Claudia in the help team with annoying questions this morning for no reason.

I shall get off my virtual soapbox now.