Can I pay the full amount I use every month and not have my account sitting in credit or debit?

Hi, I’m interesting in joining Bulb but with my current supplier I pay for the exact amount of electricity I use every month. I want to pay the full amount I use every month to avoid being in credit or debit at any time. Can I do this with Bulb? thanks.

From :

We take payments in advance. Every month you make a payment to Bulb, which enters your account as credit.

I believe Bulb do this to reduce ‘bad debt’ scenarios (i.e people not paying bills) and allows them to pay for the power to be consumed “up front” from the generators: both of which help keep the prices low.

Bulb do allow you to change your payments whenever you want (subject to a minimum based on prior usage) via their account control panel so you can adjust things to suit. It’s usually a good idea, especially over the summer, to be ‘depositing’ more than you are spending so that during winter, when you may be ‘spending’ more than you are depositing due to the cold weather, your payments stay roughly the same.

Bulb, unlike most other suppliers, also offer a referral scheme where if you sign up using somebody’s referral link, you’ll gain £50 credit initially and so will the person whose link you used - and you’ll get a link yourself so you can save money by referring other people. (Bulb do actually frown on people promoting the links on this forum as otherwise it gets quite spammy - which is a shame as I’d love to provide you mine :wink: )

Thanks for your response. I’m guessing that’s a ‘no’ to my question!
If I pay for what I use every month via direct debit I’m confused how that increases the chance of a ‘bad debt’ scenario.
Ideally I want just a direct debit paying the full amount every month. This reduces the need to monitor yet another account, my energy account (as I have to do my bank account) and having to deposit and withdraw money periodically.
Thanks for your answer but I’m not sure Bulb is for me.

I understand your dilemma mcfetti, unfortunately not everyone is as conscientious and the current system that Bulb operate appears to suit the majority of their consumers in as much that it balances out over the year.

My personal view is that by paying the exact amount every month could for some people create havoc with their bank accounts as they would not know from month to month how much would be getting paid out.

I assume you mean a variable amount not the exact amount in your second paragraph.

Fair enough, although from my point of view its a shame Bulb doesn’t offer both systems to its consumers. Paying what I use every month doesn’t create havoc for me and as I said its in fact less maintenance\hassle as I don’t need to monitor my energy account statement to prevent massive positive and massive negative balances.
Many thanks.

Hey @mcfetti - We like to keep things as simple as possible, so we’ve made the decision to only offer one form of payment: a fixed monthly amount through the year.

@RichyB & @scudo are exactly right about why we do that, but there’s also an extra reason. While we obviously do our best to make sure all of our statements are correct before sending them out, there’s always the chance that we’ll miss something and charge too much, especially if we don’t receive meter readings or if we’ve been underestimating for a long time before getting a current meter reading. By taking the same amount each month, there’s an extra layer of protection for our members who won’t suddenly find an unexpected big chunk of money coming out of their bank.

Hope that helps,

I haven’t yet switched to Bulb but I too would much prefer to pay on variable dd each month. Currently I submit both readings every month to BG and I pay for what I’ve used. If you’re just guessing the payment amount, what happens when you want any overpayments refunded?

From what I’ve read up so far you can email Bulb and they’ll give you the refund. Another supplier who’s name eludes me right now does this automatically as and when but I don’t think Bulb does. I might be completely wrong here but I’m guessing Bulb make interest from accounts in the black and this subsidises the energy prices you pay here.

If you're just guessing the payment amount, what happens when you want any overpayments refunded?
Its not quite guessing, it is based on the previous years usage divided by 12 so it averages out across the year, Bulb probably do make some interest but remember they are buying their energy in advance which probably negates any interest made. Over payments would be an amount in excess of your monthly dd which if you discuss with Bulb re refunds.

@Mdh all of our members pay a fixed direct debit each month. The reason behind this is so that you can build up a credit over the summer and use it over the winter, rather than having your payments shoot up in the winter.

If you ever realise that your account is too much in credit, you can reduce your payments yourself online, and/or request a refund and we can get that straight back to you.

Thanks for the replies.