WAKE UP CALL! - Smart Meters

Unfortunately we all have to submit to an energy company and as they supply a service that we all need, we have very little power to complain or get things done in a timely fashion as they have All the power (literally).

For instance, I feel i have been badgered constantly about putting in a Smart meter, through emails, letters and even when I log on to the BULB website. The language used and the display of information does not show that I have a choice to whether I want a Smart meter or not, but indicates that this is the only option and to make it even better, the adaption is FREE!!

Well If anyone knows history, or knows fables or even is religious…you know you must always be aware of any one offering you something for free!

Anyway my point is that Smart Meters are a choice and I am very upset with the way they are being advertised and I am also unhappy about the price hike, so I will also be looking for an alterntive power supplier…

Been a great ride BULB, but as they say, a change is as good as a rest!

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Don’t get a smart meter! Endless trouble!

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From Bulb’s FAQs:

Do I have to get a smart meter?

No. Getting a smart meter installed isn’t compulsory. If your supplier tells you otherwise, contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline

If you don’t want to get a smart meter installed by Bulb, just let us know when you receive the invite for an installation.

Hi @Elize, welcome to the Bulb community :wave:

I’m sorry to hear that you don’t like the pressure to get a smart meter. As @198kHz said, you don’t have to get one at all. I have stopped all smart meter communication on your account so that we’ll stop asking you if you want one.

If you do decide that you’d like one, you can always book anyway in the Bulb account.

What are the particular reservations that you have out of interest? Any other questions, please let us know :relaxed:

Niamh :bulb:

Hi
My Main reason to not having the Meter:

The Smart meter relies on good internet signal connections and for many people up and down the country, their internet signals are fair /poor due to location and service providers overall signal service.

I want to be responsible for my bills and usage and I do not want technology to take this from me by automatically declaring my usage and for me to become lazy and become reactive to bills rather than pro-active.

There is enough evidence to show that the Smart Meter does work for some, but there is equal evidence that shows that their are many disatisfied customers who have switched and regretted it.

Once the Smart meter is installed and if you are unhappy with the service you are receiving, you are unable to change back, therefore this is a problem and can be a on-going headache and heartache if you really do not like the new service.

The wording on many of the adverts promoting this service is mis-leading…eg “Smart meters are part of a national upgrade” Yes this statement maybe true, but there are many older people who may read this statement and may feel that this is a compulsory upgrade without actually knowing that they have a choice…Question- “Do any of your adverts promote the fact that you have a Smart Meter choice”- I have not seen it!

I understand that it may be difficult to be fair and open in the industry such as energy supply and you have set profits to make and a complicated system that splits itself into many faculties. I applaud you for your effort in at least allowing consumers to voice their opinions.

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Some very good points Elize, though one thing worth noting - The smart meters now used their own (still unreliable) network, managed by the DCC (Essentially government controlled). If there is no or a poor signal where you are located, bulb will not install the meter, or install it but put it in a “dumb” state (that’s what i have right now). This is where is acts like a completely normal meter, just with a digital display.

Hi Izzy
Thanks for the update on the DCC system and hope you are having success with the change…

Elize

Hi @Elize :wave:

Thanks for your feedback- we really appreciate it!

As @izzyhunt has touched on, you don’t necessarily need Wif-Fi or an internet connection to get a smart meter. Smart meters send readings to suppliers via a dedicated smart network. However, the In-Home Displays we supply are able to connect to Wi-Fi.

The In-Home Display can show you exactly how much energy you’re using as well as the associated cost. Being able to see this information can help you to make changes to your habits that will reduce your energy usage and cut your bills at the same time, possibly making you more proactive?

I completely understand your reservations, and we do try to make it clear that there is no obligation to get a smart meter. If a supplier tells you otherwise, we would recommend contacting Citizens Advice.

We’ve got an article with some common questions about smart meters which might be helpful, but if there’s anything specific you’d like to chat about, just let us know!

Thanks,
Cara :bulb:

Bulb should stop installing Smart Meters immediately, until they’ve resolved the issues with the one’s they’ve already installed. My issues are outstanding since November. Still waiting for them to adhere to the requirements of the ombudsman’s resolution/decision, which they are dragging their heals on.

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They did install mine, despite it being in an area renowned for poor reception (of which I did inform them). I only agreed to the installation if they could guarantee that I could retain my E7 tariff. It was left in a dumb state, (without being set up for E7), and now I’m on a single tariff. It’s a shambolic mess.

You need to tell the government that. Bulb has to fill a certain quota of smart meters or risk being fined by Ofgem, which probably causes a lot of the mess.

Bulb should not have left you with a single tariff after being promised eco 7 though, that can cause some large costs on your side with storage heaters eta, can someone at bulb explain to Dave why this has happened exactly?

The meters would have been left in a dumb state because there would have been no 5th terminal to hook up E7(perhaps smartfitter could elaborate further).
Perhaps the fitter was to intent on his “bonus” to bother his arse that everything worked correctly before installation

Smart meters are your worse nightmare alot of the time the app is down. For either electric or gas and can’t top up either one at times. In life there is never something for free especially when its bulb involved

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Smart meter installed in Sept 2020. Economy 7 is important to me as I have electric underfloor heating which is powered overnight. My bills over this winter have jumped almost 40%. Asked Bulb to investigate a month ago - no action. I have since found the smart meter is only allocating 4 hours per night at low rate rather than 7 hours. Cost difference is £1.50/day or £45/month. This has cost me approx £350 so far. Flagged to Bulb two weeks ago - still no action.

Hello @IanD1

Welcome to the Bulb community :bulb:

I am really sorry to hear of your negative experience with Bulb and for the delay in getting back to you regarding your E7 meter issues.

I can see you have been in touch with some of my colleagues already, who have raised your case with our metering team.

I will chase them up now and send you an update via email as soon as i’ve heard back.

Thank you for your patience so far.

Nathan

Thanks, would really appreciate getting this issue resolved as quickly as possible

A lot of economy 7 meters have 4 terminals and a switch to change them to night rate and switch on the e7 consumer unit if fitted. The switch would take the place of a 5th terminal. A 4 terminal meter can be fitted and run e7 without a switch but the e7 cu would be live 24 hours.
I believe if a 4 terminal meter is fitted and commissioned it will start on single rate then switch over to e7 when commissioning is fully complete but if it is left uncommissioned it will only function as a single rate meter

Hi @IanD1

I just wanted to let you know I haven’t forgotten about your case, I will send you an update this afternoon :+1:

Thanks
Nathan

I wouldn’t touch a smart meter with a barge pole ! It’s big brother on steroids - plus they ain’t that smart . And wait til they start charging you £1 or 50p per KWh during peak usage hours ! You will only be able to afford to boil a kettle at 3am in the morning! You will be ok though if you can afford £10k on a home battery storage system … or will you ?

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Hi @Outraged, thanks for posting.

I can absolutely understand your concerns. The purpose of smart meters is just to generate accurate statements every month so that there’s no need for members to submit meter readings. Having accurate statements also helps members to keep track of their usage and lower their electricity/gas consumption.

With regard to the tariff, we only have one. The tariff for smart meters and ‘traditional’ meters is the same. With some smart meters, we can add you to a waiting list to change the tariff to a one rate tariff if that’s what you’d like. However, two rate tariffs are usually beneficial for those with storage heaters.

If you’re not interested in a smart meter, we can stop smart meter communications. Would you like us to do that for you?

Any questions, let us know of course.

Take care,

Niamh :bulb: