Increase in payments- very expensive!

Hi,

When I signed up for Bulb my monthly payment was set for £34. Last month, they said I had used £74 based on an estimate. I then provided a reading at the end of October to try and get this reduced as it seemed very high. They’ve now said I will have to pay £104 a month, which I cannot afford at all!!

We are a couple living in a one bedroom flat. It has no gas so it’s just for electric. For heating we use one portable halogen heater and an oil filled radiator interchangeably a few hours a day when we’re not at work. Other than that, we use a dishwasher, electric shower, lights, kettle, oven and TV daily. We use the washing machine 2-3 times a week, and a bread maker the same amount. Surely £104 a month is too high for this?

Thanks in advance.

Hi,

When I signed up for Bulb my monthly payment was set for £34. Last month, they said I had used £74 based on an estimate. I then provided a reading at the end of October to try and get this reduced as it seemed very high. They’ve now said I will have to pay £104 a month, which I cannot afford at all!!

We are a couple living in a one bedroom flat. It has no gas so it’s just for electric. For heating we use one portable halogen heater and an oil filled radiator interchangeably a few hours a day when we’re not at work. Other than that, we use a dishwasher, electric shower, lights, kettle, oven and TV daily. We use the washing machine 2-3 times a week, and a bread maker the same amount. Surely £104 a month is too high for this?

Thanks in advance.

The Bulb team will be able to provide a more definitive answer.

For the future it is important to supply Bulb with a monthly meter reading just a day or so before your statement is prepared, you will get an email reminder to submit the reading, this way your account will be based on what you have used rather than estimated.

Depending on whether or not you are in credit or debit I would suggest you increase your DD to a figure between £34 and £74 and see how this pans out when you receive your next statement.

You are able to adjust your DD so it reflects your actual usage and if you are in debit you can always top up your account with a one off payment.

We are a couple living in a one bedroom flat. It has no gas so it’s just for electric. For heating we use one portable halogen heater and an oil filled radiator interchangeably a few hours a day when we’re not at work. Other than that, we use a dishwasher, electric shower, lights, kettle, oven and TV daily. We use the washing machine 2-3 times a week, and a bread maker the same amount. Surely £104 a month is too high for this?

Electric heating is very expensive. Whilst you might not be using that much electric at the moment, you’re going to be using considerably more over the winter. Yes, even for a 1-bed flat. Your monthly DD is set to 1/12 of your estimated annual usage in order to build up some credit over the summer, meaning you don’t get a shock huge bill over the winter.

As to whether this is too high - only you can tell! Do you give monthly meter readings? Do you keep track of those meter readings and look at the bills that are generated? Bulb, with their one tariff, is about the simplest supplier you can get. You know exactly how many kWh you get through a month, your electricity meter tells you this directly. It’s easy enough to work out how much this is costing, and to estimate how much your heating might cost in the winter. What is your estimated annual usage in kWh? If you’ve lived there for more than 12 months, you could even compare that with previous actual annual usage.

For £104 per month, £1248 per year, that works out of the order of 9000kWh per year usage. For reference, a typical 3-bed dual fuel property with gas heating might use 3000kWh of electric and 13000kWh of gas. Obviously you’d use less than this in a small flat, but as you can see heating uses a huge amount of energy. It’s not completely unrealistic that you could be using 9000kWh of electric over the next 12 months.

What we can say for sure is that £34 per month was far too low. If you’ve run up a huge debt, that high £104 per month will be to compensate for that and pay it off. Perhaps then your DD will settle down to something in between. If you do have a debt, you could make a manual topup payment to clear it, if you have the means, and then immediately set the DD to something more reasonable for your predicted usage.