Smart meters and Solar PV

The Smart Meter rollout in the UK was much maligned in its early years, with issues over compatibility and switching suppliers. We are now onto the second generation, and many issues have been resolved. However, question marks do remain over how well they work in conjunction with your household's microgeneration system such as solar panels. Reading reports from reputable review companies such as "Which?", I get the impression that a small proportion of consumers will have compatibility issues between their new smart meter and their solar panels, but that it does work for the large majority of people.

My experience is positive. I joined Bulb early in the year, and a couple of months later applied for a Smart Meter. I recall confirming during the application that I was a micro-generator. Within weeks my new meter was installed, and the really nice feature was the in-home display (IHD) that showed how much electricity I was consuming - or generating! After years of fortnightly solar meter readings in a cupboard to verify that it my solar system was still working, I now had a live display of how much excess electricity was available throughout the day. The IHD has also been useful in detecting when high-power appliances have been left on, such as the immersion heater or oven.

I you have solar panels, a wind turbine or other electrical generation system in your home, I'd recommend that you look at switching to a smart meter if you haven't already. You definitely should check with your supplier first though, making it clear that the installation needs to be compatible with your system. If they don't support it, then you should consider switching to a supplier that does, like Bulb!


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