Electricity rate regional variance - hamonisation consideration?

Have you considered harmonising your electricity rates across the whole country?

I get that supply costs/distribution costs vary but from a customer’s point of view it doesn’t seem very fair that two people could use exactly the same amount of electricity from the grid but one pay more than the other.
Could you expand on why the industry thinks it costs more to send some electrons down a wire to a house in Manchester compared to a house in the middle of nowhere in the Yorkshire Dales?

[As someone living in Yorkshire, I think I’m getting the cheapest leccy you supply (outside of London) so I’m not trying to get a cheaper rate here]

On a related note, do you know how even a distribution of customers you have across the country? I’ve seen this but maybe you have a rough idea? Larger uptake in London, smaller in Scotland?

Hey @mowcius

There are two reasons for the differences in rates around the country; distance from our generators, and density of homes in the area.

Whenever you send electricity down a wire there is loss due to resistance converting some power to heat. The longer the wires the more loss. We also have to contribute to maintaining the infrastructure too, which is why the density of homes is important. The more wires and pipes there are per member the more we have to pay. In London for example, there are millions of homes in a very small area, whereas in the highlands of Scotland there are barely a million homes in a very large area. So a combination of these drives the cost of delivering energy.

I agree that it would be ideal if everyone could pay the same amount, but we’re committed to setting our costs relative to wholesale prices. If we were to artificially massage them, then we wouldn’t be keeping true to that. Whenever we can save members money by lowering our prices we will. And we only increase them when wholesale prices and our costs force us to.

On the distribution. last time I checked we were slightly over-represented in London, but I don’t actually know off the top of my head whether that’s changed. I’ll have to have a look at it and get back to you on that.

Hope this helps,

Hi @“Will at Bulb”, many thanks for the response.

I understand that you’re committed to keeping customer costs relative to wholesale prices but I don’t see anything in that necessarily stopping you settings costs as an average of the wholesale price across the country.
You’d still be one of the cheapest suppliers in all regions and it would be something to set yourselves apart from others.

Broadband and mobile providers have the same issues with distance and density but once a service is installed (getting it there is admittedly often a PITA), the big suppliers don’t charge people more money simply because they live further away from the exchange.

Region by region there is a significant cost difference in supplying customers and that’s already averaged out, so why not average a larger area? In Yorkshire, it’s likely significantly cheaper to supply me (in Leeds) than someone out in the countryside, but we both pay the same amount for power. That’s going to be a bigger variance than supplying Leeds vs Manchester. At the second lowest cost, we’re nowhere close to the second highest density; Yorkshire’s a big place!

I do understand the many reasons why this isn’t as easy or clear cut as I’m making it out to be, but I thought I’d just put it out there as a suggestion/point for discussion.

@mowcius At the moment we are trying to offer the cheapest prices we can for our member’s, so this is why some regions have cheaper prices because they cost less to distribute energy there. It might be something we look at in the future but for now for anyone who comes to Bulb wanting a quote we want to be able to offer them the cheapest we can do!

@danp, understood.

@mowcius Actually for Broadband every exchange is split into 2 markets (A and B) based on the number of operators available at the exchange. http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/broadband_access_market.htm has info about the older markets classification, and gives an idea of the differences. Some broadband operators give higher prices to people on the old market 1 or modern market A exchanges. Other don’t. There are various sites that you can use to find out which market your exchange is on, and other technical info.

@shaun8818, very interesting, I wasn’t aware of that.

Perhaps an even better example then if most companies keep the costs the same no matter which exchange you’re on.

Personally I’m on VM (with no phone) so no BT exchange connection for me :mrgreen: :bleep_bloop:
Also no real competition for the service so I do have to ring them up every year and harass them to give me better prices :angry: