Erroneous estimated yearly consumption

We live in a one bed flat, so do the people downstairs. Bulb charge them £80 a month and ours was the same until recently when they said we need to pay £186 a month. We don’t have a tumble drier or anything which has a large consumption. A 5 bed house nearby pays £80 also.

I have sent Bulb 3 messages and they refuse to respond.

The only course of action shortly for me, unless someone bothers to actually take a minute to reply is to bring in the ombudsman and write to the tabloid press.

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What other people pay is irrelevant as we all have different consumption rates. You also do not state if your readings are sent in within the time frame if not estimates will be used.
Your Bill again maybe irrelevant as you are only charged the DD amount which van be altered online.

…" The only course of action shortly for me"…

Should be to take note of your readings and work out if the bills are accurate, its not difficult.

I do agree though Bulb should make more effort to respond.


They won’t respond because obviously they’ve been caught out.
And yes - the consumption of a 5 bed house is likely to be more than a 1 bed flat.
I last sent in readings in Sept and followed their advice to send the next set of readings 3 months later.

My bill states I’ve been using on average £180 a a month on average throughout the year, but only paying £81.41 into my account. If that is the case then why they don’t they inform me of this earlier instead of letting me carry on paying £81.41 all year?

It seems others are posting very similar experiences. You get what you pay for with these small outfits. At least with the big companies - yes you pay a bit more, but their customer care/support is first class.


It’s the customer’s responsibility to monitor their credit and debit status.

Bulb always recommend a payment to try and ensure it stays consistent throughout the year. I’ve been with bulb for some time now and my payment hasn’t altered, but my highest bill is almost triple my lowest.

I build credit in the summer for use in the winter. And if I’ve got an excess credit I ask for a refund.

Bulb haven’t been caught out. Their email response times are very slow these days.


For me there is no point waiting an eternity each time I want to contact them, contact me back, me reply etc.

You never know where you are with Bulb.
This time last year I was quoted over £1000 a month.
In the end they rectified it saying someone at their end entered the figures incorrectly.
At that time their support was good, but things seem to have gone downhill since.
I don’t know what the reason is.

My best option is to quit the service and go with a professional outfit.


Bulb follow the same obligations as all other companies. I don’t know what you mean by professional?

I take it you’re doing the following.

  • Submitting monthly readings when requested
  • Ensuring your direct debit meets your energy needs

If both of these points are true, you can manually adjust your direct debit up or down, and if you’re submitting readings regularly you wont have a bill shock come in when your account is corrected with real readings.


If a company can’t have the courtesy to take the time to respond then that says a lot about it’s professionalism. Never had this issue with EDF.

I submit my reading every 3 months as per Bulb’s advice.
We also have an Economy 7 meter.

A lot of people are leaving.

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The wording of those emails is misleading. You should be submitting readings monthly. Statements are generated every month and so to make sure they’re accurate you should be submitting meter readings accordingly.

You’ll get an email every month stating that your payment is due in 2 or 3 days, thos is when you should be submitting readings.

And thay site seems to be filled with people not understanding how bulb operate as they buy their anticipated energy 3 months in advance. So if you’re not submitting regular readings they’ll overestimate your usage, often quite massively.

The site themselves recommend bulb.


I haven’t yet been caught out by Bulb since I joined about 20 months ago.

Simple reason I submit monthly meter readings just prior to statement preparation which means I have accurate bills based on my actual energy use.

I check my “Payments & statements” on my account dashboard each month and make sure my direct debit is set at the correct amount so that I don’t build up a large credit but still have sufficient to pay one month in advance as requested when you join Bulb.

Bulb send me an email reminder each month to submit my readings, don’t you receive these?

I completely ignore anything from Bulb which says to send meter readings every 3 months, this is contrary to where they request monthly readings.

Do you ever check your “Payments & statements” on your account dashboard?


Your best option is to submit readings monthly as suggested by the monthly reminder each month, and to read your statements so that you can keep on top of your usage and your account balance.

  • Treat your Bulb account just like you would a normal bank account and monitor the payments going in and out, and the overall balance.
  • Read the statements that you’re given and check the supplied meter readings appear.
  • Don’t mistake the direct debit payment for “the bill”. They are not the same.

Do these three simple life hack tricks with any energy supplier and all your energy problems will go away! :upside_down_face: :upside_down_face:


I see that us fellow customers advised you to start submitting readings every month quite some time ago. The difference between your flat, the flat downstairs, and your friends in the 5 bed house, is that the latter two give their energy supplier sufficient information to keep their accounts up to date with their accurate usage. You don’t do that, meaning that your account bounces around from one unreliable estimate to another.

I appreciate that your previous problems were compounded by a transposed digit on a meter reading, but if you’d taken the advice on board that you were given back in May you wouldn’t be having this problem now.


I did actually say in my last reply “You can’t help some people” but thought better of it and edited it out.

I guess this one is a perfect example where a fully functioning smart meter would actually solve a lot of problems for the customer. I think all the people who go “smart meters are unnecessary, it’s so easy to submit readings and keep track of your usage” don’t ever consider people to the left side of the bell curve …


Hi @Siennabulb28,

I’m sorry to hear of the issues with your account. I’ve just taken a look myself, and hopefully I can offer some clarity on the situation.

Your electricity meter has a Rate 1, Rate 2, and Total Rate (1+2). Bulb need your Rate 1 and Rate 2 meter readings, so that we can bill you on our day rate and our night rate. Last year however, the total rate was accidentally submitted instead of Rate 1, causing a massive jump up in your usage and a very high bill. We have a system in place to prevent things like this from happening, so we’re really sorry that we missed this one.

At the time of the high bill, you gave us a call and we managed to resolve the issue by changing your readings back. Sadly however, we missed one vital step - your estimated yearly consumption had increased to be in line with the jump up in usage, and wasn’t re-adjusted back down, as we corrected the readings.

Therefore ever since this high bill, our billing system thought that the consumption at your property was much higher than it actually was, so all of your estimated statements were based off this erroneous usage.

Every time you submitted a new meter reading, we corrected your balance - but we completely agree that you shouldn’t have to put up with crazy estimates in between submitting actual meter readings.

I’ve just manually adjusted your estimated annual consumption and re-billed you to your recent readings. This should be the end of those high bills - we’re really sorry that this didn’t happen sooner. If you ever need a hand with an issue in the future, feel free to drop me a message.

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Thanks William

I noticed just now that you had credited me.
I will submit readings on a regular basis from now on. I just thought it was every 3 months as per the email I got from Bulb.

I will continue to stay with Bulb.

I am happy to delete this thread now. I cannot see a way to do it so if you are able to please go ahead.

Thanks again

Why delete the thread it may be useful if another customer has the same issue.


You are probably right.
Just thought my wording and the title was a bit strong at times.

Hope you don’t mind, but I’ve changed the thread title to better reflect what the issue actually ended up being. Glad to see the issue has been resolved.

@William_at_Bulb I thought the “next reading in 3 months” text on the meter reading “thank you” message was going to be changed? Monthly bills need monthly readings. I don’t think it’s sensible to still be recommending quarterly readings when most people now expect to submit readings monthly.


Thanks - I’m glad you managed to change the title to something more appropriate.

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I agree that, ideally, members should submit meter readings every month to keep their account up to date. This is why we send reminders each month, at the same time as the payment reminder email.

However, a meter reading every 3 months works perfectly for 99% of our members. And a big attraction of Bulb is our simple and easy billing process, so we want to avoid complicating the process where ever we can.

@Will_at_Bulb leads our comms - once he’s back from holiday, I’ll ask if there are any plans to update this.

I’ve had no issues with Bulb and must say using their App makes life simple and easy to send meter readings which i do most months in the App you can adjust your Direct Debit too. I like others “overpay” in the summer to build up a balance and so I’m usually well infront, as Bulb grow I’d like to think their customer service will catch up real quick too

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