I am at a loss for the next step as to our ridiculous electricity usage (and fees)

Hi everyone

I posted back in mid February about my shock at being told how much electricity we are using and the cost of it. Over a month on and still no joy.

To whom it may concern

I know Bulb’s reputation for renewable energy and good customer service speaks volumes but it is with regret to say I have encountered nothing but problems since we joined. IBulb have always responded with ‘but these are the readings provided so we are taking it from these’ and I get that, but I am hoping if anyone else can help or have had a similar experience.

We joined Bulb in Autumn (the first meter reading I submitted is down for 13th November). Before then, we were with Flow Energy. It was initially estimated we would be billed monthly for electricity and gas at £58.23 (a saving for us, as we were paying £70 or so for Flow, which is why we wanted to move). Flow’s final statement to us read that our annual electric usage (September 2017-September 2018) was 4352kwh. Dividing that by 12 meant an average monthly use of 362.70kwh. (Still higher than the average house use for a house our size which is 267kwh, but still appropriate).

Compare this to our readings since we joined Bulb. Our last monthly statement said we were using an extraordinary 766kwh in a month- 403khw LESS than we were using just months before. If this was kept up throughout the year, it would total 10122kwh, which of course is an insane amount for such a property.

It is worth noting Flow did finish their statement by saying if we stayed with them, they projected, with fees going up across the board etc, that we would pay on average £824.35 for the next 12 months. Divide that by 12 and it’s £68.69- higher than our Bulb quote but of course, appropriate and acceptable. At present, Bulb are billing us (for electricity alone) at £110- this is unsustainable, we are in debit with you already and we cannot afford this is this accumulates as the months go on.

I have tried as many things as possible our end: I have tried turning every major energy switch on then off whilst monitoring how this affects the meter, and there are no significant changes. I have had an electrician come in to check appliances, and these are deemed as fine. We had a recent boiler check (our heating is gas, but thought it may be linked) and this is deemed as fine too with no excess energy being used. We have intentionally used less energy (not that we ever used a lot anyway) by reducing our heating usage (tough time to do it when it is this cold but given the circumstances it needed to be done) and still it is coming out as high. (I know the line about using more energy over winter and whilst this is true of course, this has not happened in the previous two winters at this property, no where near). I have also submitted regular, now weekly, readings in a bid to gain more appropriate, but to no joy. I have also asked if you can provide a Smart meter for us, but have not been given a response to this.

Finally, I know Bulb offer to send someone out to check if the meter itself is broken, but for me this is double jeopardy: I have been told if it turns out it is within the right level of it working, we will be charged around £130 for the time and resources. As much at is a possibility it may be a defective meter, I am already in enough debit with Bulb and don’t want to run the risk of an extra £130 being spent to be told there is still no definitive reason for why our usage and bills are so high.

Sorry for the essay; any thoughts, comments or experiences would be warmly appreciated.

Thank you

Elliot

I would for the moment forget the £s and concentrate on the kWh usage, I have a 4 bed with gas heating and below is my kWh electric usage by month, so yours does appear high. Others may have other ideas but I would turn everything off and see if the meter still runs, then say boil a kettle of water and see what the change is, then keep adding to it bit by bit and see if it identifies a high usage issue with one of your appliances.
I would also take my elec readings on a daily basis to see how that looks.
Assuming the meter is correct there is definitively something amiss.

As much at is a possibility it may be a defective meter, I am already in enough debit with Bulb and don't want to run the risk of an extra £130 being spent to be told there is still no definitive reason for why our usage and bills are so high.
A simple "known load" test should establish whether your meter is seriously in error. Have you got, or can you borrow, a portable electric heater (oil, bar, fan etc) rated at 1, 2, or 3 kW? Turn off ALL other appliances, and check that the meter is not recording. Leave for half an hour to be sure. Note the reading, including anything after the decimal point. Then switch on the heater for an hour - with the thermostat on max if it has one. Depending on the rating of the heater, the meter should now have advanced by 1, 2, or 3 kWh. If the reading is significantly higher than expected, it would be pretty safe to have an official test.
Hi everyone

I posted back in mid February about my shock at being told how much electricity we are using and the cost of it. Over a month on and still no joy.

want to run the risk of an extra £130 being spent to be told there is still no definitive reason for why our usage and bills are so high.

Sorry for the essay; any thoughts, comments or experiences would be warmly appreciated.

Thank you

Elliot

I find it surpassing there was no follow up responses from you to your earlier posting on 19 February any reason for this this?

Two other customers posted some advice for you plus there was also a response from Bulb, I think it would have been better if you had included your latest query on the earlier thread which you started on 19 February to have given a fuller picture of your situation.

Hi everyone

I posted back in mid February about my shock at being told how much electricity we are using and the cost of it. Over a month on and still no joy.

want to run the risk of an extra £130 being spent to be told there is still no definitive reason for why our usage and bills are so high.

Sorry for the essay; any thoughts, comments or experiences would be warmly appreciated.

Thank you

Elliot

I find it surpassing there was no follow up responses from you to your earlier posting on 19 February any reason for this this?

Two other customers posted some advice for you plus there was also a response from Bulb, I think it would have been better if you had included your latest query on the earlier thread which you started on 19 February to have given a fuller picture of your situation.

Thank you all for the replies so far. Regarding not posting in the earlier thread, you’re right, I should have followed it up in there, I absentmindedly did not. I have, however, followed up on the advice in the aforementioned thread and have been in continuous dialogue with Bulb since, but to no avail, hence following it up by posting today.

I’d also suggest spending a day trying things:

  • Start of an hour, read your physical electricity meter and note the readings.
  • Go to your consumer unit/circuit breakers/fuse-box and turn off everything except one thing
  • Wait an hour.
  • Take a meter reading: make a note of the start/end readings and which circuit breaker was one.
  • Go the the circuit-breakers, turn everything off apart from one other thing
    Repeat until all circuit breakers have been eliminated.

The one hour break should be okay for things like freezers etc: and once you’ve got the data, you’ll have a good idea which circuit is responsible for the highest load (remember this could differ throughout the day: if you put your washing machine, tumble dryer, dish washer and electric heaters all on at night - then this will won’t show up on the above tests) and be a good start at elimination.

You could also try turning off all circuit breakers and waiting an hour - it should therefore be impossible for the house to be using any electricity at all, so if the meter does move, then you’ve got either a faulty meter, a faulty consumer unit (fuse box) or faulty wiring between them.