Here's a checklist of what you need to do for your smart meter installation:
Make sure someone’s home
Please make sure someone over the age of 18 is available to let the engineer in, and stay with them on the property until the installation is complete.
If this won’t be possible you can cancel your appointment in your Bulb account, up to 1 working day before the engineer is due, at no cost. A working day is Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.
If you cancel less than 1 working day before the appointment, there’s a £30 cancellation fee.
Allow enough time for the appointment
The appointment slot marks out the times between which the engineer will arrive. For example, if your slot is 10am to 12pm, the engineer could arrive at 11.45am. They’ll call in advance to give you a rough arrival time, and once they’ve arrived, the appointment can take up to 3 hours, so it could go past the time slot you’ve booked.
Let the engineer know where to park
The installation may require some heavy equipment, so parking near to your property is essential. They’ll call in advance of their visit, so be prepared to explain where they should park if it’s not immediately obvious. The engineer will pay parking fees if the nearest parking is a car park, or Pay and Display. If the engineer will need a permit to park nearby, you’ll need to arrange this in advance with your local Council.
Keep pets in a separate room
The engineer needs to concentrate on the installation and keep everyone safe while they’re doing it. If you have pets (or curious children!), please keep them in a separate room even if they’re super friendly.
Make it easy for the engineer to get to your meters
The engineers need to have easy access to your existing meters. Please clear the area around them and make sure the area is clean and tidy. If the engineer can’t get to your meters safely to replace them, the installation won’t be able to go ahead, and we might have to charge you for this.
The engineer will also need access to the main fuse switch for your electricity. This is where you can turn off the electricity supply for your home, and is usually next to your electricity meter. If you live in a flat, it could be behind a locked door, so you might need to contact the building manager in advance to ensure you have access on the day.
Be prepared for the engineer to turn off your power
Smart meters directly replace your existing meters for gas and electricity. As part of the installation, the engineer will need to turn off your gas and electricity for around 20 minutes each.
Switch off sensitive electrical equipment
Just to be on the safe side, switch off things like your computer, TV and your household alarms before the installation begins. Once the installation is complete, remember to switch the essentials back on again. For older appliances usually left on all the time, check you know how to get them up and running again, for example, make sure you know how to relight the pilot light in your boiler.
Look up your Wi-Fi password
You don't need Wi-Fi to get a smart meter. But, as part of the installation, you'll be offered an In-Home Display. This is a small screen you can plug in anywhere in your home, which displays information from your smart meters. It shows you how much energy you're using in kilowatt hours (kWh) and pounds and pence.
Connecting the In-Home Display to your Wi-Fi means it'll stay updated automatically. You won't need to run software updates like you do with a computer or smartphone. And it'll give you access to more detailed features in your Bulb account in the future.
To save time, the engineer will ask if you'd like them to connect your In-Home Display to Wi-Fi for you. We recommend this because honestly, it's quite fiddly, and they've had a lot of practice.
You'll need to know your Wi-Fi password for them to set this up.
Understand your In-Home Display might not show information immediately
When your smart meters are set up and connected to the network, your engineer will give you an In-Home Display. This is a small screen which shows how much energy you're using in Kilowatts, pounds and pence. Your In-Home Display could take 24-48 hours before it shows your information, so be prepared to wait a short while for it to get up and running.
As this technology is very new, some members have found that their In-Home Displays are still not showing data after 48 hours. If that's the case, please complete this form and let us know. We'll look into the problem and get back to you as soon as possible.
Getting smart meters installed is free. The engineer will replace your traditional meters with new smart meters and you won’t have to pay a penny.
But that’s not to say smart meters are free. Installing them in everyone’s homes and then maintaining them costs money, but the cost is spread across everyone's bills, just like the cost of running and maintaining traditional meters.
The engineer will do everything they can to make your installation a success. If they can’t complete the installation they’ll explain why, and we’ll be in touch as soon as we’ve found a solution. If we need to make a return visit because your meter is faulty, or your smart meters can’t connect to the network, there’s still no charge. Your installation will always be free.
We've put together a list of reasons why a smart meter installation might fail. Some of these are easy to check yourself, so do take a look and make sure the engineer will have everything they need.