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Preparing for your smart meter installation

Before your smart meter appointment, please check our:

Coronavirus guidance

Latest update: 20 March 2020.

We’re following government health advice on the coronavirus to make sure our members, staff and engineers stay safe, while we continue to deliver our services to you. 

If you're in one of these groups, please cancel your smart meter appointment

  • you're aged 70 or over
  • you have a long-term health condition
  • you're pregnant
  • you have a weakened immune system

For everyone else, your installation will go ahead as scheduled.

Here are some extra steps you'll need to take before and during your installation.

Keep your phone on and answer the call before your appointment  

The smart meter engineer will call you to let you know they're on their way. They’ll ask you to confirm you don’t have anyone in your home who falls into the groups listed above. If there is someone who falls into one of those categories, let the engineer know as we’ll need to cancel the appointment for now. 

The engineer will also ask if someone in your household is currently in self-isolation due to suspected symptoms or is confirmed as having coronavirus. If someone is unwell, let the engineer know.

Of course, this works both ways, so our engineers are taking precautions and staying home if they are feeling unwell. Because of this we may need to cancel your appointment with short notice. We’ll call you to let you know.

Allow the engineer to wash their hands 

If possible, please let the engineer wash their hands at the start and end of the appointment with soap and water. 

Our engineers are taking extra precautions and have been issued with hand sanitiser and single use gloves. 


How to prepare for your installation

Here's a list of things everyone should do to make sure they're ready for their smart meter appointment.

Make sure someone’s home

Someone over the age of 18 must be at home to let the engineer in, and stay until the installation is complete.

If this won’t be possible you can cancel your appointment in your Bulb account, up to one working day before the engineer is due and at no cost. A working day is Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.

If you cancel less than one working day before the appointment, there’s a £30 cancellation fee.

Allow enough time for the appointment

Your engineer will arrive during your appointment slot - not necessarily at the start of it. 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. The appointment will take up to 2 hours, meaning 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 it's essential that the engineer be able to park near your property. If it's not obvious where they should park, you can explain when they call ahead of their visit.

The engineer will pay parking fees if the nearest parking is a car park or Pay and Display. If they'll need a permit to park nearby, you’ll have to provide one. You can usually get permits from 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 friendly.

Make it easy for the engineer to get to your meters

The engineers need to have easy access to your current meters. Clear the area around them and make sure it's clean and tidy. If the engineer can’t get to your meters safely, the installation can't go ahead, and we might have to charge you for it.

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 supply 

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

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 (IHD). 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.

Please connect your In-Home Display to your Wi-Fi. For health and safety reasons, engineers will not be demonstrating equipment at this time. Connecting the IHD 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.

Your IHD might not show information right away

Your IHD could take up to 48 hours before it shows your information, so be prepared to wait a short while for it to get up and running. 

If your IHD isn't showing your data after 48 hours, sign into your Bulb account and let us know.

The engineer will tell you if they can't complete your installation

The engineer will do everything they can to successfully install your meters.

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. 

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