By Lucy Zarbal•
This guide explains how to use your In-Home Display if you’ve got a smart meter that you top up online, or at the shops.
An In-Home Display (IHD) is a small electronic screen that shows your energy usage in kilowatt hours (kWh), pounds and pence. It talks wirelessly to your energy meters, updating every 30 minutes for gas and roughly every 10 seconds for electricity. Your engineer will offer you an (IHD) when your smart top up meters are installed.
Because you’ve got smart top up meters (sometimes called smart prepayment meters), you can use your IHD to keep an eye on your meter balance. It’ll warn you if your balance is getting low, or if you’ve run out of credit. You can use your IHD to activate Emergency Credit, too.
To make the most of your In-Home Display (IHD), it’s useful to keep it plugged in somewhere you can keep an eye on it. But it’s small enough that you can keep it more or less anywhere.
The closer your IHD is to your meters, the better it’ll work. So wherever you choose to put it, check the signal strength by looking at the 4 bars on the top left of the screen. The more bars, the stronger the signal. If the signal is weak, move the IHD closer to your smart electricity meter.
Your IHD also has an internal, rechargeable battery that lasts about 4 hours. But if you’re planning to use your IHD to keep an eye on your meter balance, it’s best to keep it plugged in. That way, it’ll always be ready when you need it.
There’s a built-in tutorial to help you get started. The tutorial doesn’t use any real energy data, so you can have a poke around and press all the buttons without breaking anything.
To find the tutorial, press the Menu icon at the bottom right of the screen – that's the icon with the 6 small rectangles. Move through the screens using the round arrow button on the right. When you see the Tutorial button, press it to get started.
The strength of the signal between your IHD and your smart meter - the 4 bars on the top left of the screen show the strength of the signal between your IHD and your smart meters. The signal is stronger the closer the IHD is to the electricity meter. So, ideally, you should try and keep your IHD within about 5 metres of your electricity meter.
The time - you can use your IHD as a clock, too.
Battery charge - the small battery icon to the top right of the screen shows how much charge is left in the IHD’s battery. If it’s running low, plug it in to recharge it. If there’s a tiny lightning bolt in the centre, it means it’s plugged in and charging.
Wi-Fi strength - the 4 curved bars at the top right of your screen show the strength of the connection between your IHD and your Wi-Fi. We recommend keeping your IHD connected to Wi-Fi so the software is updated automatically.
Usage indicator for gas and electricity - the large curved bars on the left of the screen show how much energy you're using. The yellow curved bar shows your electricity usage, and the blue one shows gas. If you’ve set a budget for your gas or electricity, you’ll see it as a marker on these curved bars.
Electricity usage and cost - wherever you see a yellow lightning bolt, it’s referring to electricity. On the home screen shown in the picture above, you can see that the electricity usage so far today is £0.98.
Gas usage and cost - the blue flame icon always refers to gas. And so on the home screen shown in the picture above, you can see that the gas usage so far today is £0.65
The information shown on your home screen - you can press the words 'So Far Today' to see the cost of your energy so far today, this week, this month, or this year. Another press shows your energy usage now. And one final press shows your meter balance. If you like, you can set up your IHD so it always shows your meter balance when you switch it on.
Home button - the little house icon on the bottom left of the screen is the home button. Pressing this will always take you back to the home screen.
Menu button - the 6 little rectangles at the bottom right of the screen make up the menu button. Pressing it brings up the different options for your IHD. These include:
Settings - where you can connect the display to Wi-Fi, change alerts and tones, or choose which information to show on the home screen
Budget - where you can set a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly budget to help manage your spend
When you first switch it on, your In-Home Display will always show your daily energy usage. But because you pay for your energy by topping up, you might prefer to see how much credit you’ve got available on your meters instead.
To set up your home screen to show the balance on your meters:
Press the Menu icon in the bottom right corner to bring up the different options.
Find and press Settings.
Find and press Home Screen.
Use the arrows to find Meter Balance.
Press Set to confirm.
If you run out of credit on your smart prepayment meter, but you can’t top up right away, you can use Emergency Credit to keep you going until you can top up again.
This video shows you how to turn on Emergency Credit using your In-Home Display, and we've put the steps below, too:
Press the Menu icon in the bottom right corner of the screen.
Use the arrows to find and press E-Credit.
Tap on your chosen fuel — electricity, gas, or both.
Press OK to turn on Emergency Credit.
If you run out of credit on your electricity meter, you’ll need to switch the meter on again after you’ve topped up. This will bring the power back on.
You can do this on the electricity meter itself, or you can use your In-Home Display (IHD).
To use the IHD, press the Menu icon in the bottom right corner of the screen, then use the arrows to find and press Activate. After that, all you need to do is press OK to switch your supply back on.
Here’s a quick video that also shows you how to do it:
You can’t use your IHD to switch the gas meter back on. To do that, you’ll need to reconnect your gas supply at the meter.
If your top up doesn’t reach your meter because of a technical problem, Bulb will email a top up code (also called a UTRN), which you can add manually instead.
This video shows how to add your top up code to your meter using your In-Home Display:
Or follow these steps to top up manually:
Press the Menu icon at the bottom right of the screen.
Use the right arrow to find and press Top-Up.
Tap on the fuel you need to top up - you’ll see a lightning bolt for electricity, and a flame for gas.
Use the keypad to enter your top up code, and press OK when you’re done.
Setting a budget can help you keep track of how much you’re spending on energy. Your In-Home Display already comes with a budget automatically set up for you – the coloured curved bars on the home screen show you how you're shaping up against it. But you can personalise it to make it more useful.
This video shows you how to set up a budget of your own, and we've also explained the steps below:
Press the Menu icon in the bottom right corner to bring up the different options.
Find and press the Budget button.
The budgets for electricity and gas are set separately, so choose your fuel and press Change to get started.
Use the Plus and Minus buttons to set the budget in pounds and pence.
Press Day to choose the time frame for your budget. You can set it by Day, Week, Month or Year.
When you’re happy, press Set, and then Ok to finish setting up your budget.
If you’ve set up your home screen to show your meter balance, you’ll need to press the Meter Balance button to see how you’re doing against your budget. Once you’ve checked, keep pressing the button to move through the different options until you see your meter balance back on the home screen again.
You can use your In-Home Display to see how much electricity a single appliance uses. To start, unplug your In-Home Display and walk over to the appliance you’re curious about. On the home screen, press So far today (or Meter balance, this week, month or year, depending on your view). Keep pressing until you see Usage Now.
Make a note of the energy usage in pounds and pence, and kW (kilowatts). Don’t forget some appliances are on all the time, like your fridge/freezer, so straight away you’ll see the cost per hour for keeping your home running.
Next, switch your appliance on. Wait for 10 to 15 seconds and you'll see the cost and kW change. By seeing which appliances are the most expensive to run, it’s easier to understand where you could make changes and save in the future.
Like a lot of modern devices, your In-Home Display might need an update occasionally. We recommend connecting it to Wi-Fi to keep it updated automatically.
Here's a quick video to show you how, and we've put the steps below:
How to connect your IHD to Wi-Fi
Press the Menu icon
Press the right arrow until you see Settings
Press Settings and then Wi-Fi
Press the white button to ON
Press Scan to look for your Wi-Fi network
Choose your Wi-Fi network
Enter your password
Your In-Home Display is now connected to Wi-Fi