We are increasing our tariff by £2 per month — Bulb Community

We are increasing our tariff by £2 per month

We posted a blog post this morning explaining why we are increasing our tariff by £2 per month.

As we noted in the post, we're increasing our tariff for the typical home by 2.8%. A typical home will see their annual tariff increase from £855 to £879 - a rise of £2 per month. Existing members will stay on their current rates for 60 days until 28th April. New members will start on our new rates straight away.

Increased wholesale and policy costs have driven the price rise, but Bulb has absorbed much of these increased costs.



How did we do in explaining this?
Here's how we've kept members in the loop:
  1. We sent an email to all of our members on the 18th of December explaining that we might have to increase our prices
  2. We let every new member since then know that we might increase our prices
  3. We’ve given all our members 60 days’ notice from today. This is double what Ofgem recommends
  4. We write a wholesale market update every three months so that everyone can keep on top of energy news
Is there anything else that we could do to make price increases less painful in future?

Comments

  • edited February 2018
    @tom6685 I saw you asked:
    How come the standing charge is going up? Or from doing a new quote it looks as if it is. Or is it just higher for new customers joining?

    23.39p currently to 24.56p. I thought the standing charge was more to cover sort of fixed costs i.e. staff, infrastructure etc and this would rarely change
    The standing charge is staying the same. It's 23.39 ex VAT and 24.56 inc VAT.

    (NB: I deleted your comment without meaning to. I'm sorry about that! It lives on in the quote within my comment...)
  • I've not received an email with the news of the price rise today, so I'm not sure that I agree with point 3 in the update above. Although I found the blog post (linked from an external source) I don't know if that counts as being notified of the increase today, in which case the 60 day point could be questionned. I could just be a bit early and the emails are on their way!
  • In the Personal Details of the "My Bulb/Account" at https://account.bulb.co.uk/dashboard/personal-details , I've now got a message from Bulb giving the new rates for this. I'm sure email notifications are on the way out, but sending several thousand personalised emails will take a short time to generate and then be pushed out (especially to avoid tripping spam filters) - but if you want to see what your new rates are, just login and view your messages. Looks like I'll be paying £24 per year more, but I've already saved £10/year from my previous supplier (who has since put up prices so I'm probably saving even more) and with the referral bonuses I'm saving a lot more and getting green energy to boot.
  • @CJG and @RichyB the roughly 300k emails take 8-10 hours to send to everyone :astonished:
  • Understood! Cheers guys
  • I’m sure it is not you intention, but to me, they way you have explained the increase is not very transparent and seems quite deceptive.

    You talk allot about % increases and costs for average households. You can’t do allot with that. It would be better to say this is the current standing charge and rate for our Gas/Elec and this is what it will be when it goes up.

    This way I can see exactly what MY increase will be, not some average of everyone on Bulb.
    I can also then compare the new tariffs to other companies to see if I am still getting the best deal. Right now I can’t do any of this.

    I have seen other companies explain rates like you have in order to make comparisons more difficult. I’m sure you don’t want to come across like this so perhaps include this information in your explanation.
  • Disappointing but less of a rise than EE for my broadband and mobile at 4.1% due to RPI index they say. But to me such logic is self-perpetuating. Is the price rise partially due to a poor pound as a result of Brexit?
  • @skr if I've understood your concern correctly, I think the email will give you all of the information you're looking for (your rates, and the impact on your household's specific annual or monthly spend).

    I do see what you mean about the need to have the unit rates, though. Here they are:


    No change to Standing Charge and Dual Fuel discounts.
    All tabled prices include VAT.
  • edited February 2018
    @phil321 interesting question! @Amit at Bulb's answer is basically that the wholesale price increases aren't linked to currency movements. The pound is weaker against the euro than it was pre-Brexit, but it is not much weaker against the dollar than it was pre-Brexit. And it's strengthened a bit against both over the last few months.
  • @skr if I've understood your concern correctly, I think the email will give you all of the information you're looking for (your rates, and the impact on your household's specific annual or monthly spend).

    I do see what you mean about the need to have the unit rates, though. Here they are:


    No change to Standing Charge and Dual Fuel discounts.
    All tabled prices include VAT.

    I apologise, I never saw the attachment on my phone before I hastily commented. The attachment was exactly what I was looking for.
  • So the price per kWh is going up from 00:00 on 28 Apr 2018, how does this work in practice for billing purposes? The April bill, issued around the 27th, will reflect old rates and the new rates will be reflected in the May bill?
  • @ODG if your statement comes on the 1st of each month, for example, on May 1 statement covering April 01 to April 30, usage through 27 Apr 2018 (at 11:59pm) will be at the old tariff. Usage from 28 Apr 2018 (midnight) onward will be at the new tariff.

    You might ask how we will calculate usage between the two dates. Either we'll use a meter reading you give us on 28 April 2018 (which we will think of as being at 00:00, the first minute of that day), or we'll estimate that dividing read.

    Let me know if I've understood your question correctly.
  • ODGODG
    edited February 2018
    Yes you have, I will endeavour to submit a reading on the 28th.
    Many thanks.
  • I'm a new Bulb customer who joined to avoid the big six's confusing multiple tariff system & to get involved in the green initiative.
    The new rates still look good to me.
  • @ODG thanks -- note that as long as you submit readings regularly, the estimate will be very accurate.

    @beezer0418 thank you for the confidence and understanding :sweat_smile:
  • Update: So far we've sent the price change email to 85,000 members, with a further 145,000 emails being processed to send this evening. We'll send the final 80,000 emails tomorrow morning between 7am and 12 noon.
  • @Andrew at Bulb I think it's time you took a look at the ESP Market ;)
    A lot of them, even on a shared MTA could easily deploy 2million+ an hour - highly personalised emails with no throttling and high deliverability.

    Anyways, I really liked the email. Never in my life would i usually say that about a price increase... However the reasoning, the figures personalised to me and promises of returning it down as soon as the market allows kind of made everything ok.
  • From the email you sent me it appears that my bill is projected to go up up by 6.61%, which is quite a bit more than the 2.8% rise given for a typical home. I guess my home isn't typical :(

    Looking at the exact unit prices in the attachment, I see that gas is going up by 9.886% (ouch - that the heating) and night time electricity is going up by 7.12% (ouch - that's when I charge my car) and that daytime electricity is going up by only 1.895%.

    From this, I would have to guess that a typical home uses a lot more daytime electricity than gas or night time electricity, which puzzles me as I am imagining lots of typical people who don't have (or don't use) heating.

    I do find it card to understand how a typical home is going to see only 2.8% of increase, particularly given that 9.8% rise in the unit rate for gas. Can you explain this at all?
  • Good Evening All,

    Having just gone to uSwitch I see I can save £137 a year by moving to Ebico (this saving based on projected night time EV charging on top of existing usage)......................

    Regards

    Richard
  • Hi guys
    So here is where I’m conflicted:
    1. My switch to you was for environmental, ethical and rational reasons to do with who you are, what you’re doing and how your doing it - all a big tick
    2. Openness, language and approach - 2nd big tick
    3. Price was the next consideration, and to a certain extent whilst it is marginal (to my income) +/- c£100, I won’t look at comparable alternatives. Her I suspect it’s now more of a x than a tick.
    4. I see that the night tariff for me has increased c15%. That’s when I charge my car, and that becomes hard to swallow. Why is it necessary to impose such a large increase on that tariff, which in my view penalises not only people like me with car chargers, but others, who have made (and conciously) planned decisions to buy equipment which they can run during ‘off-peak’ when there’s little demand on the grid. It seems inequitable to say the least. I’d really appreciate the reasoning behind this.

    Thanks a million

    PS to anyone who has ever tried to deal in any way with the shower of sh** at BG, you’re a breath of fresh air!!
  • edited February 2018
    Seems generally pretty fair to me, but as a single rate dual fuel customer in Yorkshire, I think my yearly increase is one of the lowest (at 2.2%).
    linesrg said:

    Having just gone to uSwitch I see I can save £137 a year by moving to Ebico (this saving based on projected night time EV charging on top of existing usage)......................

    An interesting looking company. Their reviews seem very mixed and they don't supply renewable energy, but I can see the draw of a potential saving.
  • Lies, damn lies and statistics. Just joined and now not impressed with a 1.5p increase on the 6.72p night time current rate - that is a 22% increase and we use approx 80% of our energy on the night tarrif. 2.8% is just a load of b...... and a completely unfair penal move. Back to the drawing board I guess.
  • edited February 2018
    @Kernow, the 2.8% is obviously an average but I doubt they've just made that figure up. Statistics rarely lie.

    As always though, you can move away from Bulb with no exit fees if you feel that you'd be better off with another supplier. You have 60 days until the price increases come into effect, and it only takes 21 days to switch suppliers.
  • No one likes a price rise but the new rate is still the cheapest in my area on my usage. Plus we won't see the rise until after the worst of the Winter. I will say that the PDF communication was very clear however the 2.8% quoted in the e-mail might not mean much to many users.

    I guess after a increase is when a variable tariff is the toughest sell, but *so long as it's kept this competitive*, it's preferable to me than switching between fixed rates all the time to avoid penal standard rates. I hope Bulb sticks to it's guns on having one simple and low priced tariff.
  • AlanD said:


    I hope Bulb sticks to it's guns on having one simple and low priced tariff.

    Amen to that. It was a major selling point for me.
  • 198kHz said:

    AlanD said:


    I hope Bulb sticks to it's guns on having one simple and low priced tariff.

    Amen to that. It was a major selling point for me.
    :+1:
  • Just received the Price increase e-mail....and I would like to highlight the "Government Policy Cost impact to my annual bill of £63 which I understand is made up of Various Alternative Energy Subsidies and Smart Meter Roll-Outs which by the way we are told are at "No extra cost" to us.So here is my point.......why am I being charged £63 per year for things that I would prefer not having anything to do with I have absolutey no interest in "alternative green energy" and I will not be accepting a "smart meter" when offered one......So why am I being forced to pay £63.00 per year??and yes I will be writing to claire.perry.mp@parliament.uk and asking her the very same question.
  • Thank you for the questions about the night rate increasing more than the day or single-register rates. I manage electricity procurement at Bulb, so I'll jump in on this thread to give some explanation.

    The biggest reason for the higher increase in night rates than day or single-register rates is that distribution costs have increased substantially for off-peak electricity. Peak electricity distribution costs have not increased. Distribution costs are what we pay distributors like UK Power Networks and Western Power Distribution for building and maintaining the infrastructure that carries the electricity from power plants.

    Since April 2017:
    - Off-peak distribution costs have gone up by average 0.7p per kWh. This sounds small, but it's roughly 10% of our off-peak rates.
    - Peak distribution costs have gone down by an average 0.1p per kWh.

    These averages obscure large differences between regions. The off-peak distribution costs have gone up by more than 1p per kWh in some regions, and this has caused us to raise night rates by around 20% in certain parts of the country (but by much less in others). Because of this, some regions are seeing much larger increases in their off-peak tariff than others.

    The bottom line is that our commitment to making our pricing cost-reflective means a bigger increase for off-peak rates than for peak rates and single-register rates. That said, we do appreciate that this is frustrating for our members on Economy 7 tariffs, especially those who have made lifestyle changes and major investments in response to low off-peak prices.
  • @andrew1944 it was our billing software that slowed things down rather than our email service provider. We are certainly looking into better communications solutions, though. Thank you for the kind words about the email itself. :)

    @linesrg you're an absolute asset to the Community and a star Bulb member. We will be really upset if you leave us, but we do understand.

    @Kernow and @mowcius and @AlanD and @Chris2 -- here is a table showing the price increase for each 'typical' home in each region. We got 2.8% by averaging the 14 regions' typical dual fuel household. (Usage stats from Ofgem here. I can share the underlying spreadsheet if helpful.)


    @AlanD in hindsight, we realise the '2.8%' figure in the email should have been personalised for each user. Without the personalisation, one could argue that it is confusing. The lack of personalisation of that figure is certainly a lesson learned.
  • edited February 2018
    @AM55 the benefits from upgrading the grid and supporting a transition to a low-carbon economy accrue to everyone, so it makes sense to us that everyone should help pay for them. We view them as crucial down payments on a sustainable, healthy, and wealthy country and world.

    We also believe that smart meters are an important part of a low-carbon economy because they help homes be hubs within the energy system. They help households flex up their consumption when renewable energy is abundant and flex it down when it's scarce. They help them manage storage nimbly. And, they help them make the best use of home energy generation from solar panels.
  • As a newcomer this month I'm disappointed in the price rise but I guess it was just bad timing on my part!
    I am more disappointed that you have increased the price of gas by over 7% but have not made this clear anywhere, instead using generalised %ages for a typical household. I think you should be more up-front about such increases; it smacks of trying to pull the wool over peoples eyes. I'm not impressed.
  • Hi, thanks Selina for the explanation of the large night tariff increases. However, these seem arbitrary and way out of kilter with any normal CPI increases - are they allowed to do this, and do you have a choice of a provider or do they have a monopoly in their particular region? Are these huge price rises on Ofgem's radar?
  • edited February 2018
    @Andrew at Bulb You reduced the cost of the tariff in (I think?) August, and it seems to me that even with the rise it's still cheaper than it was before then (though I might be wrong!)

    From my point of view you guys are trying and succeeding to do something different and you still have my support for that.
  • @Alan_Reading point taken. We always aim to balance presenting information simply with presenting information thoroughly. Normally suppliers and Ofgem present price changes by explaining the % effect for a 'typical household' (one that uses 12000 kWh of gas and 3100 kWh of electricity), so we follow that format too. However, I see what you mean about the importance of segmenting out the tariff into its component rates.

    @Adrian_O -- @selina and I are looking into that question for you. Stay posted.

    @matthew744 over the past year, we've reduced the tariff twice and now raised it once, and yes, the price decreases actually outweigh this price increase. Thank you for your support -- it means a lot to us.
  • Strange,how when the oil price drops to rock bottom that gas prices don't! Yet we are told that gas and oil are linked,so any oil scares the gas price shoots up,but when it drops gas doesn't move! Bulb quote again about the gas explosion in Austria ,yet we don't get our gas from there! Europe is supplied from Russia and Azerbaijan!!! We get most of our gas from the north sea,Morecambe bay ,southern north sea and mostly from Norway which has a surplus from .....the north sea due to them only having a small population and sell us their surplus gas! Next scare from bulb was the forties oil pipeline which had cracks in it! So,how does that affect us again? That pipeline only had "oil"in it and gas is sent separately via st.fergus!I worked on the forties and I can assure you gas and oil are not sent in the same pipeline!!!!!!So where does this bring us to? It ends up with greedy companies trying to hoodwink customers with scare tactics!!!!!Get my drift??????
  • @AM55 As a part of the various governments commitments to the likes of Tokyo and Paris agreements we all have to do something to try and head off any man-made contributions to climate change. None of us can distance ourselves from doing our part, it isn't somebody else's responsibility.

    As I have posted here and elsewhere on other forums I have been fortunate enough to be in a position to take advantage of several schemes. I had Solar PV (self) installed in 2008 with a FIT addition in 2009 so am benefitting from the maximum FIT pay out, this payment was a major factor in my going this route. The demand from schemes like this and the one in Germany contributed to larger scale production of both solar panels and inverters. Everybody goes on about how much cheaper panels are now but inverters have also halved in price. My 4kW is doing its bit to reduce our impact on the planet (I'm trying to add a subsidy free 1.675kW to this currently which will be take some time to get my money back on - in fairness it could be argued I'm re-investing the FIT subsidy???).

    Fitting a GSHP in Dec 2016 (along with Solar ET panels) was again driven by the availability of interest free loans and RHI payments which will pay me more than it cost to install the system (ultimately). The combination of having dumped our LPG condensing boiler and using a device with a minimum CoP of 3 has gone a long way to reducing our emissions and overall consumption of energy. (As a side note I notice recent articles pointing out that an unknown number of condensing boilers are not run optimally i.e. below what 57 degrees C).

    Finally we should be getting our Renault Zoe in 8 weeks time. The purchase decision was significantly influenced by the government £4500 'incentive' and also the large seller 'discount'. I know down to the last penny precisely what our 2004 plate Golf costs us to run including everything from depreciation, servicing, tyres, insurance etc. and buying the Zoe made sound economic sense and is a further step we're making to reduce our impact on the planet.

    As I say we all need to do our bit, it is already arguably too late and none us can be burying our heads, ostrich like, in the hope somebody else will do it for us.

    As somebody said, there isn't an Option B.

    Regards

    Richard
  • Still doesn't add up after your explanation. What proportion of your dual fuel customers are on 2-rate electric?
  • According to daily mail yesterday eon are cheap! When I signed up to bulb last august they were £6-00 a year cheaper than eon but throw the £50-00 sign up and it's £56-00! But bear in mind that bulb have no meter readers ,no paper bills and loads of telephone ops answering queries! now eon are cheaper than bulb so how does that equate? Why can't bulb beat their prices?Bulb are playing a dangerous game and will end up by losing customers like b.gas!!!!!! Take a note of talk talk and don't be greedy,they beat bt sky and virgin hands down!
  • edited March 2018
    John2152 said:

    According to daily mail yesterday eon are cheap! When I signed up to bulb last august they were £6-00 a year cheaper than eon but throw the £50-00 sign up and it's £56-00! But bear in mind that bulb have no meter readers ,no paper bills and loads of telephone ops answering queries! now eon are cheaper than bulb so how does that equate? Why can't bulb beat their prices?Bulb are playing a dangerous game and will end up by losing customers like b.gas!!!!!! Take a note of talk talk and don't be greedy,they beat bt sky and virgin hands down!

    Bulb do pay another company to read meters, and I'd like to see figures that say that Eon's cheaper (or will be in a few months when they also put their prices up astronomically). You also get £50 with Bulb when referring or being referred.

    TalkTalk is a terrible comparison though as they're (like Eon), a pretty terrible company. Have you ever tried to contact them for support?
    Bulb are more like Plusnet in your comparison. Not always the cheapest but very close, and a nice company to be supplied by.
    Virgin also can't really be included either as they run on completely different network infrastructure and are far a far better price than almost anyone else for anything over 80Mbps (although their yearly price increases that you have to ring up and complain about to get a reduction are bordering on criminal).


    Bulb have said before they're not striving to be the cheapest. They're striving to be open and honest with good customer service and 100% green electricity.
    I doubt they'll lose many customers over a necessary price increase.
  • Been with talk talk for two years ,no problems and very easy to contact! Myself ,I want reasonable prices for my energy and am not here for "open and honest good customer service"! That should come as a standard with all companies!!!! You should "read into"my message about gas and oil and scaremongering then make your choice!
  • edited March 2018
    John2152 said:

    Been with talk talk for two years ,no problems and very easy to contact! Myself ,I want reasonable prices for my energy and am not here for "open and honest good customer service"! That should come as a standard with all companies!!!! You should "read into"my message about gas and oil and scaremongering then make your choice!

    I think the point is that they don't come as standard.

    I also said "open and honest with good customer service". There's quite a distinction there. You'll find very few open and honest companies, whether or not they have good customer service.

    If you're wanting the absolute cheapest energy though, I'd probably recommend looking elsewhere.

    You're making wild accusations on your other post. The price rises are nothing to do with Bulb wanting to make some quick cash. Energy is purchased at the wholesale rate (+ REGOs if you're buying renewable) so price increases affect all suppliers.
    Most of the UK's surge demand electricity (which is the most expensive part) is produced using gas so its price can significantly affect electricity prices that way.
    The distribution cost increases aren't exactly being pulled out of thin air either.

    You've obviously not been with Bulb long though as at last count I believe they've dropped their prices 7 times and only raised them 2 or 3 times. Their current prices are still lower than before their last price drop I believe.
  • edited March 2018
    @John2152 you've brought up a really interesting point about the price of oil being low but other energy prices -- particularly gas -- increasing. Here's one key insight -- oil prices are up year-on-year (source):


    We decreased our prices twice in 2017 (and did not increase our prices at all), so one could understand this latest price change as catching up with wholesale energy cost increases (where oil prices are broadly increasing).
  • @GJ1 about 14% of our electricity meters are 2-rate.

    What did you mean about things still not adding up?
  • @linesrg we agree. Climate change is a problem that requires everyone and every company to pitch in.

    Even if humans colonise Mars, we'd prefer that it is a nice holiday destination rather than some dystopian Plan B should Earth become inhospitable to civilization!
  • @Adrian_O good question about why distribution costs have increased so much more for off-peak electricity. Let me look into that question for you and get back to you about it.
  • @Alan_Reading good point. See the chart we posted on the day of the price rise to try to clarify the different increases depending on region and property type:

  • This seems unavoidable to me and to be honest I would worry more if they didnt increase prices. There are some in the industry (i.e. a guy I got talking to on the train last year) scratching their heads about how Bulb have their prices so low with 100% renewables and some suspect they have been buying customers in the short-term. As long as they stay in the bottom 20 or 30% of the market on price and remain profitable as a company they will do extremely well in my view. Even if their prices rise significant and they lose an edge I will probably stay put. I used to use ecotricity due to their renewables policy even though this means paying over the odds.

    The timing of this could also play well. Get the price rise out of the way now and then pick up switchers when the large companies break ranks and people start shopping round en masse.
  • @andrew1944 it was our billing software that slowed things down rather than our email service provider. We are certainly looking into better communications solutions, though. Thank you for the kind words about the email itself. :)

    @linesrg you're an absolute asset to the Community and a star Bulb member. We will be really upset if you leave us, but we do understand.

    @Kernow and @mowcius and @AlanD and @Chris2 -- here is a table showing the price increase for each 'typical' home in each region. We got 2.8% by averaging the 14 regions' typical dual fuel household. (Usage stats from Ofgem here. I can share the underlying spreadsheet if helpful.)


    @AlanD in hindsight, we realise the '2.8%' figure in the email should have been personalised for each user. Without the personalisation, one could argue that it is confusing. The lack of personalisation of that figure is certainly a lesson learned.

    Too bloody right. Your tell me my usage will be £2.21 per month. On my last 12 month figures it is £12.16. I'm livid at your crass duplicity.
  • selina said:

    Thank you for the questions about the night rate increasing more than the day or single-register rates. I manage electricity procurement at Bulb, so I'll jump in on this thread to give some explanation.

    The biggest reason for the higher increase in night rates than day or single-register rates is that distribution costs have increased substantially for off-peak electricity. Peak electricity distribution costs have not increased. Distribution costs are what we pay distributors like UK Power Networks and Western Power Distribution for building and maintaining the infrastructure that carries the electricity from power plants.

    Since April 2017:
    - Off-peak distribution costs have gone up by average 0.7p per kWh. This sounds small, but it's roughly 10% of our off-peak rates.
    - Peak distribution costs have gone down by an average 0.1p per kWh.

    These averages obscure large differences between regions. The off-peak distribution costs have gone up by more than 1p per kWh in some regions, and this has caused us to raise night rates by around 20% in certain parts of the country (but by much less in others). Because of this, some regions are seeing much larger increases in their off-peak tariff than others.

    The bottom line is that our commitment to making our pricing cost-reflective means a bigger increase for off-peak rates than for peak rates and single-register rates. That said, we do appreciate that this is frustrating for our members on Economy 7 tariffs, especially those who have made lifestyle changes and major investments in response to low off-peak prices.

    I'm sure no commercial organisation in a competitive market would impose increases without reasons. However it does not change the fact that your e mail to me "For you, this means your energy will cost £2.21 more each month." Is a complete and utter lie. On my last 12 months usage the figure is £12.16 per month!!!!!!
  • We posted a blog post this morning explaining why we are increasing our tariff by £2 per month.

    As we noted in the post, we're increasing our tariff for the typical home by 2.8%. A typical home will see their annual tariff increase from £855 to £879 - a rise of £2 per month. Existing members will stay on their current rates for 60 days until 28th April. New members will start on our new rates straight away.

    Increased wholesale and policy costs have driven the price rise, but Bulb has absorbed much of these increased costs.



    How did we do in explaining this?
    Here's how we've kept members in the loop:

    1. We sent an email to all of our members on the 18th of December explaining that we might have to increase our prices
    2. We let every new member since then know that we might increase our prices
    3. We’ve given all our members 60 days’ notice from today. This is double what Ofgem recommends
    4. We write a wholesale market update every three months so that everyone can keep on top of energy news
    Is there anything else that we could do to make price increases less painful in future?
  • I'm confused. You are 100% green energy supplier so why has the price of wholesale gas got anything to do with price increase.
  • Just to add my agreement to a few comments particularly @Chris2 regarding the email confirming the increase by 2.8% in the headline. The majority of customers will probably see this and think oh that's not too bad, and not bother to work out the actual increase which will apply to them, which for me is actually over 9%!
    I have been really pleased with Bulb since I joined 18 months agoin all aspects, but this has really disappointed me. Not the fact that prices have increased, but the way you have communicated it.
    Now, if 2.8% is the average increase then I can only assume that some customers must be getting a tiny increase if mine is 9%!
  • edited March 2018
    Jim1 said:

    You are 100% green energy supplier so why has the price of wholesale gas got anything to do with price increase.

    Not quite true - as from https://bulb.co.uk/energy , Bulb do offer 100% "renewable electricity" but "only" 10% "green gas" and even then those figures aren't strictly true. If Bulb customers use 100 MW of electricity in a month, Bulb will pay renewable electricity generators 100 MW worth of energy - however, the power that reaches your home may be entirely coal (especially if you live next to a coal power plant) due to the way the National Grid works [see also https://bulb.co.uk/energy/fuelmix "We make sure that each unit of electricity supplied to our members is matched 100% with electricity generated from renewable sources."]
  • Dickyboy said:


    Now, if 2.8% is the average increase then I can only assume that some customers must be getting a tiny increase if mine is 9%!

    @Dickyboy You're right. I'm one of the lucky ones whose increase is only 0.66%.

    With respect to the figures Bulb used to present the impending increase, I think you'd be hard pushed to find a more duplicitous-looking means of informing customers of the rise. People who read the forums or have spoken to anyone from Bulb will know that this was not the intention, but others will not.

    I'm sure that @Andrew at Bulb has taken this on board.

  • I have checked on a switch site and after the Bulb increase the best I would be able to get is a £10 saving, not that I am looking to switch as quite happy with Bulb for now.

    I do however find the advertised % increase somewhat misleading, for me anyhow as an average user.

    Bulb states 2.8% average. Based on the new rates I get:

    Approx increase on same kWh my March gas bill will be approx £70 new rate would be approx £80 thats 15% increase.
    Approx increase on same kWh my March total bill will be approx £104 new rate would be approx £117 thats 12.5% increase.
    Unit rate for elec going from 12.26 to 12.48 thats 1.79% increase.
    Unit rate for gas going from 2.47 to 2.73 thats 10.53% increase.
    Bulb yearly forecast going from £837 to £885 thats 5.73% increase.

    I don't think the above equates to anything like a 2.8% increase. As stated above I am not looking to switch but it will be interesting to see how the above compares as other utility companies kick in with price rises.
  • I think I need to challenge the following statement from Selina:-

    The biggest reason for the higher increase in night rates than day or single-register rates is that distribution costs have increased substantially for off-peak electricity.

    From a simplistic point of view the infrastructure that gets electricity to my property during the day is exactly the same infrastructure that gets it to the property at night so this 'simple' explanation needs expanding.

    The cynical amongst would observe it is the electricity suppliers aiming to make more from supplying electricity to what will become a time of day when progressively more people will be making more use of it.

    Regards

    Richard
  • It seems to me that you are penalizing electricity customers on Economy 7. My night rate is going up by about 1.5p perunit which effectively means that my bill will increase by about 10% as we use about 70% of our electric on night rate. Not happy! Bazza
  • Good morning to all, and thank you for the active discussion over the weekend.

    I want to share a slide from our weekly Friday all-hands team meeting before I respond to specific questions and comments.



    Hopefully, it's clear that we take onboard our members' disappointment with us for not being clear about the range of impacts on customers' bills from the price change. @Dickyboy, @xxx, @scudo, and @Bazza In hindsight, we recognise that by giving one single average, we created confusion and even the appearance of duplicity. Averages are dangerous.

    @Kernow are you saying that the £ figure we gave you was incorrect? This would not be related to the Economy 7 issues that have been the topic of most of this conversation thread. The reason may be due to similar issues discussed here: we have official annual estimated gas and electricity usage for you, from industry partners Xoserve and Ecoes. We used these official estimates to produce the price change's £ impact on your bills. It is certainly possible that those official figures are underestimates of your true usage.

    @alex thank you for the understanding and confidence. By the way, you can let that stranger on the train ( :) ) know that we have positive profit margins. Our margins are a bit lower than the Big 6's margins, but we see that fact as part of our broader commitment to fair pricing.

    @Jim1 different energy sources' wholesale prices are strongly correlated because they are substitutes for each other. As @Amit at Bulb wrote in our blog post:
    renewable generators will sell to whoever is prepared to pay for it (and rightly so!). This means that when fossil fuel prices go up, renewable prices go up too.

    @linesrg I would differentiate between suppliers (like Bulb and Ecotricity) and distribution companies (such as UK Power Networks and Western Power Distribution). We still owe you a proper explanation of why distribution companies have so significantly raised the cost (that Bulb pays) for off-peak electricity distribution. I'm working on finding a clear answer to that question.
  • Andrew,

    I'm aware that the DNO's are the 'villains of the piece', I really have no love for them at all. The fact they want to charge me £585 to come and 'test' the installation of and additional 1.675kW of solar panels (over and above the 4kW already installed) coupled to a G59/3 certificated inverter if installed by somebody they haven't 'approved' previously is a joke. I'm having to get an inverter with a power output limiting ability as I refuse to pay this fee. I'm also self-installing as it's not a 'FIT' install and therefore, technically (apparently), doesn't need to be installed by an MCS approved installer.

    This extra PV being installed to drive a Growatt SP2000 and 5kWHr battery pack. There's little economic sense in this in the first place but to have it 'properly' installed and pay the £585 'oversight' fee makes no sense.

    Regards

    Richard
  • Hi concerning increase in cost. I like bulb and very happy to be a member... For me the bottom line is this. Every year I ask all power companies for quotes on my power, and if bulb is still gives the best prices then I am only too happy to be a member...Chris
  • Hi @Chris3 That makes total sense - The best way to compare suppliers is by taking a look at your unit rates and standing charges - these vary a bit depending on where you live, but all your new tariff information is attached to the document on the recent price increase email.

    Obviously we would love to continue supplying you, but if you leave, we understand, and that's why we have no exit fees and you can leave at any time.
  • @Kernow are you saying that the £ figure we gave you was incorrect? This would not be related to the Economy 7 issues that have been the topic of most of this conversation thread. The reason may be due to similar issues discussed here: we have official annual estimated gas and electricity usage for you, from industry partners Xoserve and Ecoes. We used these official estimates to produce the price change's £ impact on your bills. It is certainly possible that those official figures are underestimates of your true usage.”
    Try doing your homework Andrew. Bulb have my past 12 month figures before I joined. Bulb also know I am all eleectric and send me an e mail saying “For YOU, this means your energy will cost £2.21 more each month. ”when the true projection is £12.16 because 83% of my usage is Economy 7 heating.
    Talk about pouring petrol on a fire!!!!!! Your 27/2/18 personalised e mail to me is not just incorrect, but contains a gross lie.
    In fairness after many years of inertia with E.on I am now looking to switch yet again and only small savings are achieved with others so I’m not attibuting blame to Bulb for the increases but Bulb is entirely responsible for miscommunication and as spokesman, you seem oblivious.
    A proposal beats an argument every time so why not put this to bed by honouring your £2.21 per month quote?
  • edited March 2018
    Kernow said:

    A proposal beats an argument every time so why not put this to bed by honouring your £2.21 per month quote?

    Because that would be completely unfair for all other customers and would leave Bulb with customers on different tariffs, something they have said they're not going to do.

    You've established that the figures quoted are a bit off and worked out your true figures, so it sounds like it's been put to bed already. Bulb will no doubt learn from this for the future and ensure that future emails are better worded and a more accurate representation of changes for all customers.
  • Andrew - any update on why DNO's have raised the cost for off-peak electricity distribution?

    Regards

    Richard
  • edited March 2018
    @linesrg still working on this -- sorry for the slowness
    linesrg said:

    Andrew - any update on why DNO's have raised the cost for off-peak electricity distribution?

    Regards

    Richard

  • edited March 2018
    @linesrg I think I have an answer.

    The key is a regulatory change in the way network costs are spread across peak vs off-peak electricity suppy for 2018/2019. There was a change from 2017/2018:
    such that all unit rates face the same absolute p/kWh adjustment (except where any unit rates are subject to a floor price)
    Of course, an equal absolute distribution cost increase across peak and off-peak rates will lead to a higher percentage increase for off-peak rates. Conversely in regions with negative scaling (i.e. tariffs would recover too much revenue -- for the change from 2017/2018 to 2018/2019, this applied to the London region only) this has had the effect of reducing off-peak DUoS rates, as we see for our London members' rates.


  • @kernow I looked into your account. We expect 80% day usage and 20% night usage from you. You seem to think the opposite is true.

    Can I confirm that your day reading is in the ~97,000 range, and your night reading is in the ~22,000 range?
  • you have transposed day and night. My latest readings are 22870 day and 99070 night.. Just tried entering as per e mail request and it will not let me!
  • Quick question- I am planning to join bulb and wanted to know if your "Get a quote" calculator is using current prices or the proposed prices.
  • Also, Do you have a economy 7 tariff for electricity or it just a single rate?
  • Andrew,

    Thanks for the reply. I strongly suspect the current differential between on and off peak electricity will continue to erode. There is also the unanswered question of where and how our beloved Government will gather the revenue it will be losing from decreasing fossil fuel sales.

    Regards

    Richard
  • Myself, and other dual tariff, electric-only users will suffer a 22.3% increase in the cheap rate and 1% up in the day rate - at least in my West Country area. About 83% of my electricity use is at at the cheap rate and I have estimated the total increase in my electricity cost will be about 16% (nearly 6 times higher than the quoted average increase of 2.8%). The consequence of this is that I am changing to a new, major supplier whose 1 year fixed tariff should give me an estimated £81 per annum saving over my new Bulb tariff. Not to be sneezed at!

  • @jackpotjane looks like 18.17% is the difference for the night rate in the South Western region. We hope you decide to stay with us and if prices decrease in future this will be passed onto our members.

  • @Kernow I'm glad that @Nasir at Bulb and @AlexH at Bulb were able to help you here.

    For those following along at home, Bulb had details showing that @Kernow's meter used most of its electricity during the day, whereas we've now corrected it so that it shows that the majority of the usage is during the night. This clarification would change what our price rise email would have predicted for the impact of the new prices on @Kernow's bills.
  • @linesrg yes, I think that as more people take advantage of low off-peak prices, the difference between 'off-peak' and 'peak' will narrow. Which is on balance a good thing for the grid.

    Regarding reduced fossil fuel tax revenue (you are referring to tax revenue, right?), could you not argue that some of the lost revenue will be counterbalanced by improved health outcomes from less particulate air pollution from fossil fuel power plants, etc.?
  • @Andrew - I don't have enough information to make an informed opinion. This article from the FT suggest the government may not have fully anticipated the revenue losses - https://ft.com/content/0dc01356-58b9-11e7-9bc8-8055f264aa8b

    This link certainly suggests the health benefits outweigh the revenue losses -
    https://airqualitynews.com/2015/04/28/air-pollution-costs-uk-economy-54-billion-a-year/

    How accurate the figures are I don't know and, generally speaking, politicians are not renowned for foresight.

    Regards

    Richard
  • Makes no difference to me whether Bulb is 100% renewable or not. The gas and electric still comes through the same cables/pipes with electric being generated from a multiple of sources, so regardless whether you want to be green or not, there's a strong chance you'll be getting power supplied from a mix of fossil fuels, nuclear, wind, etc. As for the price increase, only been with the company about 3 weeks, off to a cheaper supplier already.
  • @Ward, well it's a shame that you're just thinking of things in that way but I understand the draw of simply saving money.
    Renewable supply like most things is driven by demand, so more people demanding renewable means more future renewable generation, which is better for everyone's health, as well as the environment.
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