I’m worried I’ve made the wrong decision

I’ve recently took the plunge and change energy suppliers to bulb. They have quoted £20 less a month and will pay my exit fees. I’ve got 11 days until the switch is finalised but I’m worried I haven’t made the right decision. It all seems to good to be true and I just want to know what the catch is with bulb? Is renewable energy more expensive or cheaper? Will my bill soar? Will my bill stay the same as the quote? How often do I need to give meter readings?

Hi there.

I was sceptical too as I used to be with British Gas and had smart meters.

I’ve only had to call bulb once in the last 3 or so months I’ve been with them and it was a pleasure to deal.woth them as I got through straight away and my query was answered there and then.

As for meter readings, Bulb say every three months at least however I personally submit readings once a month as it’s so easy to do with their mobile site.

Finally, the referrals I’ve earned were paid straight away. I’m so confident in Bulb I’ve persuaded my mum to sign up.

So far I’ve found no catch.

The big suppliers basically just rob everyone blind. An efficient modern company has nothing like the same overhead, hence Bulb being able to supply electricity cheaper.

Your bills will accurately reflect the tarrif that is offered and the amount of energy you use. Bulb’s tarrifs roughly follow wholesale prices so they may go up and down, but they’re consistently cheaper than the big 6 and most other suppliers.

Renewable energy generally is becoming less expensive than non-renewables, however in the UK I believe it is still more at wholesale.
We are however also stuck with crap like Hinkley Point at £92.50/MWh whereas Abu Dhabi have agreed a price for a new solar farm at less than $30/MWh, so I expect our new renewable ventures in the future will end up being somewhat cheaper than they are now.

Thank you both so much, it’s good to hear good things.

Thank you both so much, it’s good to hear good things.
Stick around with Bulb and you'll probably continue to hear good things!

Hi @Julie89 thanks for the great questions.

Wholesale renewable energy is slightly pricier than wholesale brown energy, but the difference is surprisingly small. And @mowcius makes a good point about the diversity in prices for both green and brown energy. Regarding retail prices, i.e. what we charge you, we are less expensive than the larger suppliers for 3 reasons:

  1. We are more efficient. We are obsessive about finding operational, trading, and technology-based efficiencies and passing on these savings to our customers.
  2. We are fair. We pass on wholesale price decreases (such as happened earlier this year) to our customers in the form of price decreases.
  3. Our business model allows us to be nimble and keep things simple. We have a variable tariff so that we can pass on wholesale price decreases (see point 2 above) but it also means we don’t have an unnecessary abundance of tariffs to manage, instead, every customer is on the same (best) tariff.

You also asked if your ‘bill’ will stay the same as your ‘quote’. The short answer is it depends on your usage. If you use more than we expect, you’ll need to pay more than your original quote. Symmetrically, if you use less than we expected when we created your quote, you’ll pay less than your original quote.

Meter readings – monthly is great, quarterly is fine, even yearly is actually fine. I personally give meter readings roughly once every 7 months, and Bulb hasn’t fired me yet. :slight_smile:

Hope this answers your questions, but feel free to chime in if you have any other q’s.

-Andrew

P.S. @mowcius and @carguy143 you are both absolute legends, thank you for the support and the <3.

Sounds like this is your first switch so understandably nervous, I have moved from BG to OVO and now Bulb over the last few years with no issues. Bulb is cheaper but do bear in mind that weather fluctuations can affect usage so on a monthly basis take this into account. Sometimes it is difficult to get a like for like comparison but as I have 3 years of readings to compare with I am satisfied that Bulb is much cheaper than previous suppliers.

As with all the switches I have made it can take a couple of months for everything to settle down as you have final bills from previous suppliers and these can take a few weeks to get through the system, however the good thing is the utility companies deal with that. Just make sure you submit readings monthly so as to eliminate estimate readings.

I would also add that at Bulb they will answer and explain any concerns that you may have, Their customer service to date has been good.

Aww don’t worry that’s me been with bulb since the end of June now. I can honestly say that they are a great company . Easy to deal with if you do have any concerns. But more importantly I’m saving £45 every single month as my direct debit with them is £45 cheaper a month than I was with British gas and the amount I pay covers the monthly bill. When I was with British gas I was always in debit . I’m sure you will feel happier when you see that you are consistently saving money. Relax and enjoy this fab company xx

@scudo great point about weather fluctuations. @Julie89 keep in mind that your payment stays the same for a bit, even if your usage is higher or lower. (A fair bit of confusion about this issue. As we take payments in advance we take one payment at the beginning of the month which enters your Bulb account as credit. At the end of the month we send you a statement based on meter readings summarising your consumption and the cost of your energy usage. If you use less energy than the monthly payment your account will be in credit. If you use more energy than the monthly payment your account will go into debit. If you see that you’re building up a large credit you can get in touch with us to get money transferred to you as a refund. If you see that you’re building up a large debit, you can make a top-up payment at my.bulb.co.uk in the payment details section. In fact, you can adjust your payment up – or down – at my.bulb.co.uk.)

@colette9141 wow that sounds like a huge saving. We’re only 10-20% cheaper than British Gas, so some of that decrease might be lower usage than before, perhaps you’ve become an energy saving guru. Do submit meter readings to confirm that our estimates of your usage are correct.

If you see that you're building up a large credit you can get in touch with us to get money transferred to you as a refund.

It’s telling that Bulb can have a massive operational inefficiency such as this still describe themselves as more efficient than others. You guys really need to start working on automating refunds (or at least having a refund request form on your site/app). It doesn’t matter how obligating your staff are…it’s still annoying to not be able to just click a button.

It's telling that Bulb can have a massive operational inefficiency such as this still describe themselves as more efficient than others. You guys really need to start working on automating refunds (or at least having a refund request form on your site/app). It doesn't matter how obligating your staff are...it's still annoying to not be able to just click a button.
I imagine that the number of people actually requesting refunds is very small, especially moving into the winter months.

It’s on their roadmap in the “next 3 months” category though.

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@flynndean You’re absolutely right and that’s exactly why it’s one of our priorities over the next few months. (Well spotted @mowcius!)

Can I ask why the weather makes a difference?

Can I ask why the weather makes a difference?
Typically in colder weather your energy usage is going to be higher as heating requirements are higher.

Also in the darker months people tend to have their lights on more and spend more time indoors, often using power guzzling electronic gadgets.

If you are OK with numbers, then I suggest you keep a note of the only four numbers that matter. Energy usage will be what it will be (weather, personal preferences, holiday absences etc), but costs come from these four numbers : Gas - Cost per kilowatt and Cost per day : Electricity - Cost per kilowatt and Cost per day. As long as Bulb’s four numbers don’t change, then their cost to you will remain as they originally quoted. If any of these numbers go down, then Bulb is giving you a better deal.

I just switched to Bulb from EDF. They wanted to “save” me money by locking me into a new tariff - that actually was 17% higher than I was paying. The way they justified “save” was by playing around with my projected energy usage - but their four numbers didn’t lie.

Can I ask why the weather makes a difference?

Julia find attached my graph of monthly bills going back to 2015, this easily identifies the rising costs during the colder/darker months and as you can see it is repeated each year, also worth noting that since joining Bulb my bills have been less each month, exception being when annual holidays can skew some months figures.

I’ve been with Bulb for about five months now. At first I had the feeling of “not another cheap energy supplier I’ve never heard of promising me cheap bills” but the more I read the more I liked them.

The main draw for me was no exit fees. I knew if they didn’t turn out to be as good as I thought they were, or if the variable cost suddenly went up, then I could just switch to another provider with very little hassle (a laughable idea now it has to be said!). So far I reckon I’ve saved about £100 in actual energy costs, I’ve referred two work colleagues which has earned myself and them £50 each time, and my bills were cut even further in (I think) August.

You have definitely made the right choice, but I applaud your caution, as it shows that you are sensible. I hope you’ll have the same viewpoint as me in a few months.

Great discussion everyone!
Love @scudo 's chart, @victor 's very simple way of thinking about energy costs (very Bulb-y) and @matthew744 's pragmatic answer to the question. And @mowcius for answering all of the necessary questions.

I hope you (@Julie89) feel satisfied with the answers and comment if you’ve any more questions!

Sorry I had a bit of a moment there, yes I understand summer you typically spend less.

I’ve been with Bulb for about 18 months and it’s great. Not only have I the lower energy prices than I 've had for years, it’s green into the bargain. Hang on in there, julie89!