how bulb does meter readings and bills

hello,
I submitted my meter readings when prompted to by email but now i checked my account and it states the projected estimated monthly amount will be taken out as it has gone through. It was so much simpler with Npower, submit readings and get an accurate bill so the correct amount gets taken out from my account. What is the point of requesting meter readings when you will go ahead and take out the estimated projected amount anyway ? email prompts should be sent out sooner than 1 or 2 days notice, surely?

Hi @saghirahmed

We don’t offer a pay on receipt of bill option, as described here.

We think paying the same amount each month is easier for you to budget.

You can control the monthly payment, so if you see every month that you’re paying too much or too little, just adjust the amount online.

I will have to disagree here, paying the same amount unfortunately is not easy to budget as you may end up paying too much or too little into your account. I prefer the certainty of knowing what my bill is and paying it off, thats it. I certainly dont find it helpful for budgeting purposes and im ok month to month, thankfully.
it just seems an incessant “paying too little, too much” merry go round.

I will have to disagree here, paying the same amount unfortunately is not easy to budget as you may end up paying too much or too little into your account. I prefer the certainty of knowing what my bill is and paying it off, thats it. I certainly dont find it helpful for budgeting purposes and im ok month to month, thankfully. it just seems an incessant "paying too little, too much" merry go round.

Hope you don’t mind but I have to disagree with you,

Purely from another customers point of view. My previous two suppliers (who happen to be two of the big six) set my direct debit based on an estimate of my future 12 months energy usage, In theory my direct debit remained the same regardless of my actual quarterly bills.

This in principle is the same as that adopted by Bulb.

My two previous suppliers provided quarterly bills but took monthly direct debit payments. Much better is the system adopted by Bulb which is to provide monthly bills backed up by monthly direct debit payments.

I retain my own spreadsheet of actual past and future estimated energy usage to work out my monthly direct debits. If I calculate my monthly direct debit is too high I go into my account dashboard and reduce it to my calculated figure. My aim is to arrive at a monthly direct debit which remains the same over a rolling 12 month period. Bulb goes someway to helping you in arriving at a suggested monthly direct debit if a customer doesn’t want to go the trouble of keeping their own spreadsheet,

I have to agree with Allanr. For some it wouldn’t matter if the bill varies each month but for many particularly now with high unemployment and many on minimum wage and zero hour contracts jobs it helps them in stabilizing budgets throughout the year without having to worry about higher winter bills.
Monthly bills v estimate/actual readings allows customers to keep a check on usage.

i think we can all agree its highly subjective and as circumstances vary from customer to customer
so to do their preferences . i was charged £83.99 first when i joined as an advanced payment, then another £83.99 the following month after submitting my readings (ontop of £50 for friend referral) and my actual bill was £47. Based on this, i didnt see how it helps customers in their monthly budgeting.

I totally agree with you that we all have different preferences. I wonder if your monthly bill is based on your estimated cost for the next 12 months divided by 12? This means you build up credit during the summer months to pay for the increased energy usage over the winter period. On this basis your monthly direct debit will more or less remain static over the next 12 month period assisting in your monthly budget.

Yes the £83.99 is based on estimated monthly usage based on property type etc.
Being in credit, as in paying too much, doesnt help those who are struggling from month to month who have to budget a set amount. I dont feel it helps with budgeting as Rob, from Bulb, asserts above. In my case, the logical step would have been to substract my actual bill of £47 from the £83.99 advance payment which was taken when i first joined and was a credit on my account, instead of taking more money quite needlessly. This is my unease about the way bulb do meter readings and payments. I very much prefer to know what my bill is and pay it off, without paying too much or too little.

Hi, given that it’s the middle of summer and the weather has been excellent, you should be building up credit at this time of year that will help to offset any higher winter bills. The referral credit also helps. We are planning to have a largely automatic review system that looks at your usage and account balance every few months and can make suggestions to adjust accordingly. We think an adjustment every few months is better than a different amount every month. We want to have one payment system rather than a range of options, and feel that on balance this is the best way for the most people. We also offer the flexibility of managing the payment amount yourself, and give as much info as we can with monthly bills (which should get even better when we roll out smart meters).

Ultimately for most people it isn’t a choice to use energy or not - we have to live in our properties and our consumption is to some extent beyond our control. What is more important for most people is knowing that a large bill won’t arrive unexpectedly and put them into their overdraft. That is why we have our current system. I hope that clarifies things a bit, and we appreciate your feedback on this.

I would wholly disagree. what is most important for most people is knowing what their bill is (actual usage) and paying as such rather than racking up an “in credit” account rather pointlessly. My account is in credit much more than my bill will be but still you will continue to take out more money. Also i feel bulb are rather disingenuous in sending an email requesting meter readings when you go ahead and take out (£) what is set in the monthly amount rather than taking out actual usage amount. normally readings are sent to provide an actual bill but with bulb despite sending out readings you still take out an estimated amount.

Purely as another customer, I was aware before joining Bulb that they take payment basically one month in advance.

If you feel you are building up a credit to more than enough to pay the next months energy usage you can always go into your “Payments & Statement” at: https://account.bulb.co.uk/dashboard/payments-and-statements and reduce your monthly direct debit. I should mention this useful facility was not available with my two previous energy suppliers who both were members of the so called big six.

In my case I have a spreadsheet showing my last 12 months energy usage in kWh and using the most recent tariff rates I can easily calculate my cost over the next 12 months and divide this by 12 to arrive at a monthly direct debit amount. This is the amount I set my direct debit,

I do however appreciate not everyone would want to their own calculations.