First Bill is High — Bulb Community

First Bill is High

I’m currently going through the process of switching to Bulb on the assumption that it would be cheaper. I have received an email today with a bill that is nearly double that of my previous supplier - and nearly double that of my estimate when I signed up. I haven’t submitted meter readings yet but I don’t understand why a bill has come through already, and for such a high price.

Comments

  • Jonny5 said:

    I’m currently going through the process of switching to Bulb on the assumption that it would be cheaper. I have received an email today with a bill that is nearly double that of my previous supplier - and nearly double that of my estimate when I signed up. I haven’t submitted meter readings yet but I don’t understand why a bill has come through already, and for such a high price.

    That's quite strange to have a bill if you haven't switched. Have you actually switched to Bulb or as you say still going through the process of switching?

  • No need to take any notice of estimates..just submit some readings and go from there.
  • Still going through the process of switching. I’ve signed up and everything but I won’t switch until roughly another 10 days. I don’t understand either.
    Regarding the bill, I received an email saying they’ll take it via direct debit on the day i switch. I know the payments are in advance but for this price, before I have submitted readings, is the most expensive I have seen
  • edited January 13
    Jonny5 said:

    I’m currently going through the process of switching to Bulb on the assumption that it would be cheaper. I have received an email today with a bill that is nearly double that of my previous supplier - and nearly double that of my estimate when I signed up. I haven’t submitted meter readings yet but I don’t understand why a bill has come through already, and for such a high price.

    Has your switch completed yet? You say you haven't submitted any meter readings, surely you've submitted your first opening readings on your switch date? If not I don't understand why or how you've even received a bill.

    However, as @phproxy says you can ignore estimates. Bulb are not clairvoyant and you can't expect to receive accurate bills unless you give them accurate data.

    Don't confuse "the bill" with "the direct debit payment". Have you actually received a bill or is it a direct debit notification?
  • @Hooloovoo

    The previous response from Jonny5 was to say the switch has not yet taken place, it is due in 10 days time, hence at the moment no readings were due to be given.

    This is one for the Bulb team to sort out tomorrow.



  • edited January 13
    Allanr said:

    The previous response from Jonny5 was to say the switch has not yet taken place, it is due in 10 days time, hence at the moment no readings were due to be given.

    Ah, cross-posted. Thanks!

    I see now @Jonny5 is talking about the first direct debit notification and this is nothing at all about bills.
  • It’s a notification of how much my first bill will be - and it will be taken via direct debit on the day the switch is complete. Roughly 10 days time. There’s no estimate or explanation for why it’s so much unless it’s quarterly but it’s not, it’s monthly. I have no idea why and it’s one of a the first few communications I’ve had with Bulb so I just don’t understand
  • edited January 13
    Jonny5 said:

    Regarding the bill, I received an email saying they’ll take it via direct debit on the day i switch. I know the payments are in advance but for this price, before I have submitted readings, is the most expensive I have seen

    That's not the bill. That's the direct debit payment. Don't confuse the two, they are almost entirely unrelated for any given month.

    What's probably happened here is that you received a monthly payment quote either based on your property size, or on the expected annual usage that you entered. Then, after the switch started, Bulb have received the official usage estimates from the third party meter regulator and for whatever reason the estimates are not in line with your actual usage - perhaps you've only recently moved into this property?

    Rest assured that provided you submit your regular monthly accurate meter readings you'll only be charged for the energy you've actually used. The only thing that matters is the cost per unit of energy (pence per kWh) and the standing charge (pence per day). If these prices are lower than you could obtain elsewhere then you are saving money, regardless of the amount of the direct debit. Even if your direct debit is very high, it just means that you'll be building up a large credit. You could be paying £500 per month by direct debit, that doesn't at all mean that suddenly you're being charged £500 per month for energy use. Once your switch is complete you'll be able to log into your account dashboard and change the direct debit amount to whatever you understand is reasonable for your usage. Provided you keep an eye on your account, submit your meter readings, and always ensure your account stays in credit, there will be no problems.

    The article here may help you: https://help.bulb.co.uk/hc/en-us/articles/115003405632-How-do-Bulb-payments-and-statements-work-
  • Thank you for all the help so far. I’m still confused unfortunately and I know it’s probably looking at me right in my face.

    I received an email today saying “We're about to complete your switch to Bulb and your first payment of £101.43 will come out on 24 Jan 2019”

    This is £40 more than my bulb estimate and far more than other providers.

    I just don’t understand where this amount has been plucked from
  • Bulb dont make up the figures as Hooloovoo has said above the £61 will be based on figures (either house size or kWh) you entered when applying, with the switch in progress they will now have the historical figures for that property.

    Once your switch is complete you'll be able to log into your account dashboard and change the direct debit amount to whatever you understand is reasonable for your usage. Provided you keep an eye on your account, submit your meter readings, and always ensure your account stays in credit, there will be no problems.
  • Jonny5

    I think this can be explained.

    1. When you requested a quote to join Bulb did you enter your previous energy use or used the type of property and number of bedrooms etc. If you used the latter you could get an inaccurate quote or estimate?

    2. Once Bulb are in the process of switching you to them they will receive from a third party independent organisation an estimate of your future annual energy use for your property and Bulb will use this to work out your estimated annual cost and will divide this by 12 to arrive at your monthly DD payments.

    3. However as you joined in the winter months and most likely use more than average energy and since Bulb requires advance payment of typically one month, Bulb will need to increase your monthly DD payment mentioned in 2 above to make sure you account doesn't go into debit during these months.

    4. Once the winter has passed you should the find your monthly DD can be decreased to the amount worked out under 2 above.

    5. You have a fair degree of control on your DD monthly payments and can amend these via your account dashboard, however it isn't a good idea to reduce the DD payment to such an amount that it will put your account into debit.

    Useful information can be found on this Bulb page: https://help.bulb.co.uk/hc/en-us/articles/115003405632-How-do-Bulb-payments-and-statements-work-
  • Thank you. So the £101 for the first payment is for two months (one in advance) ?
  • Jonny5 said:

    Thank you. So the £101 for the first payment is for two months (one in advance) ?

    Without knowing any further details, your £101 is to cover the energy you will use during the first month after your switch. This is the advance element.

    Please make sure you submit meter readings when requested by Bulb to ensure your Bills are accurate. This in due course will start making your DD payments more acculturate. However don't confuse your DD payments with the actual Bill
  • Jonny5 said:

    Thank you. So the £101 for the first payment is for two months (one in advance) ?

    No. It's just your first month taken in advance.

    You're over thinking this. Please do read the article I linked above:

    https://help.bulb.co.uk/hc/en-us/articles/115003405632-How-do-Bulb-payments-and-statements-work-

    Your monthly payments by direct debit are simply payments into your account, like paying money into a bank account. The direct debit is not the bill for energy use. Each payment is 1/12 of your estimated annual usage for the next 12 months. Since this value is estimated based on historical usage at the property address, this may be completely different to your current expected usage particularly so if you've just moved in or have had energy efficient renovations done.

    Don't get fixated by the quoted direct debit amount. When comparing energy suppliers you need to look solely at the unit rate (pence per kWh) and daily standing charge (pence per day). These are the only figures that matter. Each month you'll submit your actual meter readings, and a bill will be produced for your actual usage that month. The amount will be deducted from your Bulb account. i.e., from the credit you hold with Bulb via your monthly payments.

    So, regarding your first payment of £101.43 ... if after the first month it turns out you've only used £60 worth of energy, then you'll be left with £41.43 credit in your Bulb account going forward into the next month. The direct debit could be anything, even if you paid in £500 per month that doesn't at all mean that Bulb have suddenly become massively expensive, it just means you'll be building up a lot of credit in your Bulb account. Do bear in mind though that your actual bills will be rather high at this time of year with the heating running. You may find that your monthly payments will have to be a bit higher than they might usually be for a few months while you get your Bulb account up and running with sufficient credit to ensure you don't go overdrawn.

    Are you fairly new to the world of property ownership and utility bills? Pretty much every energy supplier runs their accounts like this now, with monthly payments on account and bills debited from that account. While it might seem a bit complicated at first, it's not really. Just ask if something is still not clear. If there's only one thing you take from this thread please make it this - repeat after me "the monthly payment is not the bill". Once you stop considering the monthly payment to be the actual bill for energy use, it'll all start to become clear.
  • Thank you so much everyone for your help. Especially hooloovoo who’s been amazing. You’re right - I’ve been overthinking this massively and it’s now clear
  • You're welcome! I'm glad you've got everything cleared up.
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