To Get or Not to Get a Smart Meter?

Hi everyone,

@beckettcatherine and I have been offered a smart meter by Bulb. I quite want to get one as they seem like a good thing to have oversight of our energy. But we do have a Solar Edge system that allows us to track our electricity use, so the added benefit of a smart meter would be to track how much gas we’re using to heat the house.

@beckettcatherine has been reading into it and apparently, some smart meters can’t cope with economy 7 (night-time rate) electricity. We have a lodger who lives above the garage and the only heating he has is a storage heater which charges at night, so it’s a real benefit to us to have economy 7, and we wouldn’t want to lose it.

The smart meter is obviously free so it seems sensible but I’ve heard people have had some negative experiences.

What do you think we should do?

I haven’t had any experience of Smart Meters, but there is some opposition locally to them in the same way there is opposition to 5G i.e. that the radiation involved can have a detrimental effect on health. I don’t really understand the issues here - is this something you have come across?

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We have a smart meter as Octopus charge 5ppKw from0030 to 0430m and that’s when we charge our electric car instead of paying 15ppkw during the day


Is this on economy 7?

Nope just their cheap overnight rate

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So I asked our supplier Bulb about the smart meter and economy 7, and here’s their reply:

If you wanted to switch to a smart meter you could and would remain on the same economy 7 tariff that you have at the moment. However, we are currently not installing meters which support storage heater so if we install it now your storage heaters would no longer work.

We will begin installing meters that support storage heaters in 2020.

I had no idea the meters could discriminate between what’s drawing power from them, so very glad I asked! Will be waiting for sure…

I didn’t want a smart meter but I wanted to charge the car overnight on cheap rate so needed this meter, no issues so far…apart from scaring myself with our daily energy usage as shown on the remote readout unit !. Saving about £30 per month by using the cheaper rate power and realised our gas boiler (furnace) needed replacing which is saving another £20 a month as the new one doesn’t keep cycling and heating a cylinder of water all night long. Overall really pleased. Our supplier is Octopus I’ve recommended a few people and we both receive a £50 bonus which is a bit of a win.