Economy 7

Hi, I’ve just changed over to Bulb on the 17th of this month and I can’t believe how fast my electricity is going.
I have storage heaters which I have had on overnight, as you would expect. I’ve just checked and in my account it says I’m on the Vari Fair tariff. Is this the most suitable for storage heaters? I feel like I’m being robbed! £10 in 3 days is unbelievable.

Hi, I've just changed over to Bulb on the 17th of this month and I can't believe how fast my electricity is going. I have storage heaters which I have had on overnight, as you would expect. I've just checked and in my account it says I'm on the Vari Fair tariff. Is this the most suitable for storage heaters? I feel like I'm being robbed! £10 in 3 days is unbelievable.

Purely as another customer.

Were you on economy 7 with you previous supplier if so then this is what you should be on with Bulb?

How do you know your energy was £10 in 3 days?

Hi @Brrrrr ,

I’ve split my answer into two parts to answer the question(s) you are asking:

Bulb only have one tariff - the Vari-Fair one - which all customers are on.

If you use storage heaters, you should have an Economy 7 meter to take advantage of the cheaper overnight rates and your heaters should be set to match your Economy 7 times to minimise your bill (your Economy 7 hours are ‘per meter’ and will be the same as your previous supplier. If you don’t know what they are, we fellow community members can lookup the most likely times for your region based on the first part of your postcode/county, but to be certain, you’ll need to ask Bulb directly at as they’ll be able to lookup your meter configuration on the national meter database).

However, that said, there is a different Vari-Fair tariff for each energy region (due to the cost of ‘transporting/distributing’ to that area: this ‘additional rate’ is probably on all providers but unless you get prices for different regions you won’t notice it) and there are several ‘variants’ available depending on how you pay

  • Single rate credit tariff. This is what most customers who pay by direct debit and who do NOT have an Economy 7 meter will be on.
  • Single rate pre-pay tariff (Vari-Fair Prepayment). This is what most customers who top-up by card/key will be on.
  • Economy 7 credit tariff. Direct debits and Economy 7 customers will be here.
  • Economy 7 pre-pay tariff (I believe this exists - Vari-Fair Prepayment). If you top up by key/card and have an Economy 7 meter, you’ll be here.
  • Smart Tariff. If you have a compatible Smart Meter and have opted in for the smart tariff, you MIGHT be on this tariff -

Credit tariff customers can check their rates on , but all rates should be displayed in your account at under ‘Tariff’.

Your specific case
£10 in 3 days is a lot (for context, we’re in a 3 bed house occupied 24/7 on the single rate tariff and our total energy usage [gas heating] is around £60 per month).

How are you working out it’s £10?

  • If you have a ‘SMETS1 smart meter’ from a previous supplier, then the odds are that the in-home display will be inaccurate/wrong (if it’s working at all).

  • If you are taking meter readings from the meter themselves and then applying the ‘cost per unit’ and still getting £10 for 3 days then I would say there is a problem somewhere.
    It could be your storage heaters aren’t functioning correctly or something else is odd: I know it may be extremely chilly at the moment, but perhaps try turning a couple of the heaters off for a night and see what the readings are (and perhaps take readings in the mornings and evenings to check that your higher usage is at night). If you’ve turned off all the night stuff and the ‘overnight meter’ is still high, then you might have a faulty meter - have a look at which might help.

Thanks so much for your responses. My brain is a bit frazzled with it all.
I checked my meter on Thursday evening after work as it had been a week since I topped up. I had used £10 in that week but I haven’t been using the heating at all as I’ve not been at home during the day and find the storage heaters have already gone cool by the time I get home. I live in a 2 bed flat with my little boy. Anyway, I checked my meter again today and between Thursday evening and today at about 2pm, I have used £9.50. We have been at home all weekend so using the tv and heating (only 1 radiator) a lot but still, it seems a lot. I was with sse previously, using the same amount of electricity and £10 Was lasting 11 or 12 days. I’ll try calling bulb tomorrow to see if they can shed any light on matters.
Thanks again!

Hi @Brrrrr ,

Sorry for frazzling your brain. Okay, you’re on a pre-pay meter and use it for heating as well, so your electricity usage will be a bit on the high side - although £10 per week for a flat ‘feels’ about right. But from just Thursday to today sounds high (I know it’s been cold so that might have had higher usage).

I assume you’ve gone round the flat and ensured that nothing is plugged in/turned on that shouldn’t be (XBox/PC left ‘on’ to play Fortnite all half-term for example [n.b. I’ve got no idea about the half term dates in your area, but somebody may have left their games machine one whilst they went out to school]?

Something in the flat is ‘chomping’ away at the electricity by sounds of things for £10/3 days - but what it is is difficult to say: as I suggested, it could be a faulty meter, but it is a low chance. Bulb may be able to make suggestions or at least put your mind at rest a bit (for example, ‘actually in your area, £10 for the last week isn’t uncommon due to the colder weather’ if they have that such level of detail).