What is the smart tariff?

Our smart tariff is a test we’re running for Bulb members with compatible smart meters.

To join the smart tariff you need a smart meter for electricity that can provide us with an automatic reading every half hour. We’ll check to see if your meter is compatible when you sign up.

The true cost of electricity changes throughout the day depending on demand. There are 3 rates, Overnight is the cheapest, Peak is the most expensive, Off-peak is in the middle:


  • Overnight: 11pm-7am
  • Off-peak: 7am-4pm and 7pm-11pm
  • Peak: 4pm-7pm


  • Overnight: 11pm-7am
  • Off-peak: 7am-11pm

By taking half hourly meter readings, we aim to help you understand the real cost of energy so that you can make better choices about when you use it.

A better understanding of energy costs, combined with a 3-rate tariff means you can reduce your monthly bill by changing your habits. For example, use your dishwasher or washing machine outside the busy peak hours, or charge your electric vehicle overnight.

Not all smart meters are compatible

Up until 2018, most of the meters installed were first generation, or SMETS1. This type of meter could only be read by the supplier that installed them. When you switched supplier they lost their smarts and had to be read manually.

That's changing gradually. Some technical work behind the scenes means that we can read some first generation smart meters now – and we're still working on the rest.

Some first generation (SMETS1) smart meters are compatible for the smart tariff

You can apply to join the smart tariff test if you have a first generation smart meter. We'll check to see if we can read it every half hour. If we can, we'll sign you up. If we can't we'll let you know, and we'll get back in touch in the future when the situation changes.

The second generation (SMETS2) meters we're installing aren't compatible yet

We're currently installing the second generation of smart meters (SMETS2) in members' homes. If you'd like to know when we're installing in your area, please do sign up to the waiting list.

Right now, we can read the meters to prepare your monthly statement, but we can't apply those readings to the smart tariff yet.

So you won't be able to join the smart tariff test at the moment.

This should change in a few months. We know that's a bit weird, and a bit frustrating. But we're working on fixing it.


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