Want a smart meter fitted

I’ve recently joined bulb and would be interested in getting a smart meter, fitted for gas and electric

Hi @jade

That is great. You can book in an installation (as long as you are eligible) on your account, via this link - https://account.bulb.co.uk/dashboard/smart/install

Unless you have difficulty in reading your existing meters, or need smart meters as you’re looking to join the Smart Export Guarantee scheme (because you have some sort of renewable energy generation capability), then I wouldn’t.

IMHO, there are just too many stories of botched installs and prolonged battles to get problems resolved to make having smart meters worthwhile without a compelling reason (have a good look around these forums, and you’ll find lots of tales of woe related to smart meters).

eg:

No Smart Readings Submitted for 3 Weeks
In-Home Display Issue
Smart Meter Troubles

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Point is @stevefoster , even if his install doesn’t work, it will just be an easier to read version of what he’s already got (like mine is at the moment). It’s also worth noting that 2 of the posts you quoted are problems with gen 1 meters that have recently come online, or in the case of “smart meter troubles” it was an issue when they were still new to installing them, and is partially to blame on that person for not checking the account occasionally.

I wouldn’t class them as easier to read. Seems I have to do various button bashing to find the right screen. The green colour contrast isn’t that great either - much prefer if they actually worked and i didnt need to manually submit.

I only find them easier to read because of the backlit screen, though i could see why you could find the older ones easier to read. I also used to have problems with my old meter where a number would be right in the middle and id never be sure what the actual reading was.

And yet, there are also numerous posts about display failures on smart meters and difficulties in getting them to show the readings. At least, the old-school meters’ mechanical displays cannot fail or die in odd ways, even if you think they might occasionally be tricky to interpret (FYI, in-between numbers are always the lower value).

There’s nothing in the threads to suggest that is the case. Indeed, some of the posts in those threads are quite clearly discussing meters that have been installed very recently.

Besides which, all I’d done was quickly look for a few recent threads to list to give @jade a flavour of what they might experience.

That’s unfair. You cannot reasonably ascribe a smart meter failure as being the customer’s fault (unless they’ve actually interfered with said meter in some way - not looking at one’s account hardly falls into that category).

Note that I’m not suggesting that smart meters are completely pointless and worthless. I know there are scenarios where they’re worth having, but at the same time I don’t believe that it is sensible to rip out and replace working meters without good reason.

“ooh, shiny” does not (IMHO) constitute a good reason.

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good luck with that, postcode lottery as to when it will be installed

My smart meter for electric install just under a month ago went well after the guy though he may have problems.
The half hourly reading that you can set the meter to do have so far stopped twice for me than just started working again but daily display still seems fine and smart meter sent a monthly reading to bulb two days ago.
Unless you old meter is from the 70s or 80s and you think I needs replaced or you think it may now be running fast. I would think do you need a smart meter.
There are more good points than bad points to having a smart meter its just think to yourself is it worth having one.
Bulb customer service although fine. It could be doing with being improved a little more.

Darren

You make a fair point, though I was just going of experience with my failed installation. Some good info you had on in between numbers, never know that.

That’s very true. I was totally wrong on this regard, and honestly don’t know what my point was.

One thing I don’t know about (that I would dearly like to know) with smart meters is the effect on them from solar panels (or other domestic generation). I want to know because my existing old-school meter goes backwards on a very sunny day (when my solar panels are generating more electricity than is being used), thereby “un-consuming” electricity and directly reducing my electricity bill. Does a smart meter do likewise, or does it record the consumption and export independently? (which would reduce the benefit of the panels)

I reckon I’m better off “unconsuming” electricity at 17.493p/kWh than exporting at 5.38p/kWh… :smile:

Hey @stevefoster

This is a good question, there’s a couple of differences here, firstly between the Feed In Tariff and our Export Tariff, which has since replaced it for those who hadn’t signed up to a FiT supplier. There’s also the way your export to the grid is measured.

With a smart meter, export is recorded separately and you can see examples of how to do this here and you’d be paid at the export tariff unit rate for the kwh exported every three months. Feed In Tariff are often based on ‘deemed’ export, which is estimated because traditional meters aren’t made to register exported kwh.

If your solar generation is used within the property then this is how your bills are lowered as the meter won’t be importing, or will be importing less energy during this time, meaning that the import reading doesn’t increase when it will be in the equivalent property without a solar installation.

My panels are in the FiT scheme (and will be for another 16½ years). As I don’t currently have an export [/smart] meter, I receive the “deemed” export supplement at 50% of panel capacity and SEG is not [currently] an option.

Right now (with an old-school meter), my import reading actively decreases any time the generation from my panels exceeds my usage. If I’ve understood correctly, you’re saying that wouldn’t happen with a smart meter.

Which sounds suspiciously like installing a smart meter would increase my bills overall (even if I signed up for SEG instead of the export portion of the FiT), as I’d lose that meter decrease (which is worth considerably more than the SEG).

Hi @stevefoster

Electricity meters should never run backwards. The most common reason for this happening is that the electricity meters were not upgraded to handle the electricity being generated by the solar panels. When generating electricity during daylight hours, the meter should just slow down or even stop when you’re generating more than they’re using. The solar team have advised a meter replacement.

You can find more about this here: https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/feed-in-tariffs/article/feed-in-tariffs/electricity-meters-running-backwards

For example if it was very sunny and you are using energy this is powered by the solar panels however if you are not using energy/ you are using less than the solar panels are generating then this would be exported to the grid but should not make the meter run backwards as that is as if you are using negative energy.

In regards to your last point, I agree FIT is definitely more financially beneficial than SEG.

When I click on that link I receive the message “We don’t install prepay smart meters just yet”. But our meter is not a pre-pay meter? Is this an error? We’d love to get a smart meter installed.

@evourd think twice before getting smart ones installed. Many of them are only working as dumb meters after install (have to be read manually and nothing in the display). My gas meter is harder to read now. I have to get on my hands and needs and press buttons instead of just seeing the reading straight away.

Why? Seems like a lot of aggro, it would appear that the only financial benifit is to the energy companies(they get unpaid for not meeting installation targets)
But our meter is not a pre-pay meter? has your property had prepay in the past?
This would suggest, 1 the nationl meter registration base has not been updated.
2, the link is broken, surprise, surprise.

Do they, though? They’ll certainly have to pay out if they fall behind their OFGEM-agreed targets, but I’ve not seen any evidence that there’s a direct financial incentive to them in fitting smart meters (after all, there’s really no need given the former condition).

edited my post, although no evidence that they don’t

Hi @evourd, I’ve sent you an email about a smart installation :+1: