How does Bulb come up with the figures we need to increase our DD?

I have been asked by Bulb to increase the Direct Debit payment by £35 per month otherwise this time next year I will be in debt by £96. How does this work, as surely if I have to pay £100 for my electricity and gas by next year, this should be less than £10 increase per month?
How does Bulb come up with the figures we need to increase our DD?

It will be based on estimated averages for your account. You can of course just increase the dd by £10 a month and keep an eye on your balance and top if/when required.

This is a new practice AFAIK. I am sure they allowed you to manage it yourself before, but I was quite annoyed to find they had unilaterally changed my DD. I was notified first “I may want to change my amount” but I didn’t. Then they just did it anyway. I have my own reasons for thinking their estimates are wrong, so why can’t I control this? Not impressed!!

I have had several requests over the last year which I basically ignored and topped up when required, I have never had it changed without permission, I would contact Bulb and discuss.

I shall be - and reporting back

This is a new practice AFAIK. I am sure they allowed you to manage it yourself before, but I was quite annoyed to find they had unilaterally changed my DD. I was notified first "I may want to change my amount" but I didn't. Then they just did it anyway. I have my own reasons for thinking their estimates are wrong, so why can't I control this? Not impressed!!

I don’t understand why you have your own reasons to think their estimates are wrong? I’m purely querying the word “think”.

Do you know what energy in kWh you used in the previous 12 months, if you know this then it would appropriate to challenge Bulb on how exactly they arrived at their estimates?

Have you been submitting regular monthly meter readings.

If your account is in debit and your monthly DD will not cover the following months energy use then it is totally legitimate for Bulb to increase your monthly DD if you decided not to so when requested.

@thirstforwine @MikeV The email is just advice that at this time of year it’s good to have two months worth of credit in your account which has been built up over the summer months. This is a buffer for the higher winter months. There’s also the increased unit rates due to the recent price rise to consider, too.

Since your projected usage is higher than your payments we advise increasing your payment to ensure that come next winter you’re in a good position.

It’s only advice, we’re just trying to make sure you don’t end up in debit this time next year.

Hi @DanP. It is not just “advice”. You have changed my DD. You increased it by over 20%. It may be well intentioned but this is guaranteed to surprise and annoy even your most ardent supporters. You don’t know, (but should since you also manage my FiT), that I have just installed solar PV and therefore suspect my usage will drop, so I DON’T WANT TO CHANGE MY DD. That is why I am annoyed.

I don’t understand why you have your own reasons to think their estimates are wrong? I’m purely querying the word “think”.

Do you know what energy in kWh you used in the previous 12 months, if you know this then it would appropriate to challenge Bulb on how exactly they arrived at their estimates?

Have you been submitting regular monthly meter readings.

If your account is in debit and your monthly DD will not cover the following months energy use then it is totally legitimate for Bulb to increase your monthly DD if you decided not to so when requested.

I answered some of this above before I saw your message. Why challenge me over this?

I have a new PV system and am maybe about to get a new boiler. I believe my usage will drop. I do keep track of usage and submit readings regularly, and I currently already have almost 2 months of credit - so I appreciate advice from Bulb but not that they force me to change. In addition, my average monthly cost across the year - based on ACTUAL usage and THEIR PROJECTIONS - should be an increase of <10% above my current rate, not >20% in any case. So it FEELS like I’m being asked to keep a healthy balance (for Bulb) in my account for no benefit to me

@thirstforwine We are very happy to leave your payments as they are. The reality is that most people don’t reply to our emails, but we do need to increase our members’ payments if they are going to end up in debt in the future hence why we make the change actively as opposed to “we think you should increase your payments”.

We don’t know what might change at their properties, whether that be PV systems, children going off to uni or an electric car, but we do give enough notice to stop the change and as always our members can change this themselves in their online account.

Additionally, we can’t always just leave altering payments to our members as not everyone is that actively involved with their Bulb account and we want to make sure that they don’t build up an unpayable debt.

We are not forcing any change, if you disagree all you need to do is ask us not to make the change and we can sort it out for you, we just want to make everyone aware of the state of the account. At the end of the day we are a business that needs to make sure everyone will be paying for what they use, if we allow debt to build up, we will fail as a business and not be able to help promote renewable energy.

PS. I have stopped the change on your account :slight_smile:

I have also been told that Bulb will increase my monthly DD by £17 per month to cover a projected deficit of £53 in 12 months time. “We’ll make this change from 27th November, 2018.”
I have emailed to say that any increase will be challenged with my bank as unauthorised. I have a substantial credit and supply monthly readings.
I am not happy with the tone of Bulb’s email, nor with their arithmetic. I shall await Bulb’s reply.

Because bulb still can’t handle the weird meter setup from British gas where I had free Saturdays (bulb see it as an economy 7 meter) my DD increase emails are a lot higher than mentioned here.

“We think you should increase your payments to £358 a month.”

Thats like triple what I pay currently! I’m glad bulb never actually adjusts the DD though. The ‘night rate’ never goes up, but the system obviously doesn’t understand that, so every month after submitting readings I get a negative adjustment on my bill.

My annual projections are around £4000 which is just ridiculous…

I have had the Bulb reply:
"We won’t be increasing your payment at this time, but we will check in again at a later date.

Do keep an eye on the balance on your Bulb account, should you find that a deficit is accumulating on your account over winter, it is a sign that usage is higher than your payment amount, so you would need to increase payments to avoid a deficit building up."

I have replied: “Thank you for your extremely patronising reply. Did you get that from the “Department for Stating the Bleeding Obvious”?”

Lowest common denominator customer support replies do not inspire great confidence in Bulb.

Maybe you should give an example as to how they should have replied as I am at a loss in determining what would keep you happy.

I have also been told that Bulb will increase my monthly DD by £17 per month to cover a projected deficit of £53 in 12 months time. "We’ll make this change from 27th November, 2018." I have emailed to say that any increase will be challenged with my bank as unauthorised. I have a substantial credit and supply monthly readings. I am not happy with the tone of Bulb's email, nor with their arithmetic. I shall await Bulb's reply.

Perhaps I’m fortunate in that I can’t recollect any email from Bulb requesting I increase my monthly DD.

There have been notices in my “Payments & statements” indicating I may need to increase my payments, but I didn’t find these objectionable.

Could you please post the exact relevant content of the email from Bulb (less personal information) to see in what context you find the tone and arithmetic not appropriate?

Hi Scudo and Allanr, 560 and 1015 comments respectively! No comment from me, I have a life outside here.

Hi Scudo and Allanr, 560 and 1015 comments respectively! No comment from me, I have a life outside here.

It’s a shame you have no comments. I say this only because it was you that raised your issue on this forum and then you back out not by not providing practical examples of the wording used by Bulb. I have to assume you twisted Bulb’s comments to suit your own interpretation? :o