Monthly Payment and Credit

Hi,

I am so confused, and not really a fan of how Bulb takes there payments, we made a first payment of £72.03 and our monthly usage was just under £40.00 - we don’t use a lot of electricity as at work all the time!

I thought this amount would’ve been deducted from the first payment of £72.03 but this was not the case!

Another £72.03 was taken out and now in credit with over £100 and tbh, I would prefer that money in my bank account rather than it to keep on building and just sat with Bulb in credit.

Is there anyway they can take my payments out from my money in credit? and I pay for what I use instead of just over paying every month?

I will one day may come across needing this money for a rainy day (touch wood!) hopefully not! But you never know, but Im not sure how to make the payments more for what I use than just guessing and over spending!

Thank you for any help anyone can advise on!

See: https://help.bulb.co.uk/hc/en-us/articles/115003405632-How-do-payments-and-statements-work-

The way Bulb handle billing via the monthly payment system is the same as every other supplier monthly payment system. i.e., you overpay during the summer to build up credit ready for underpaying over the winter, and this is how the payments are stabilised to be the same every month.

Bulb offer no other payment system. If you prefer to pay upon receipt of a bill then you’ll need a different supplier.

Bulb offer no other payment system. If you prefer to pay upon receipt of a bill then you’ll need a different supplier.

OFGEM does say:

Consumers should be able to choose to pay their bills using the method that’s best for them. Suppliers can only charge more for one payment method than another if the price differential is cost reflective.

Suppliers with more than 50,000 customers must offer a wide choice of payment methods, including payment by cash and prepayment meter. Any differences in price between payment methods must be cost-reflective.

This is copied from: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/system/files/docs/2019/02/licence_guide_metering_billing_and_payments_1.pdf

Better take it up with OFGEM then.

In fairness here I am slightly confused as to what the issue is here.

Setting aside the comments regarding payment on receipt and OFGEM.

When you joined bulb you had the option to refine the quote based on actual usage. So for example I took my yearly summery from EDF for 2018 and told bulb what I used in total for kWh in a full year.

They then worked out that would cost me £123 a month which I pay via direct debit.

My first bill was for £49 but thats ok by me as I would rather build up a credit ready for winter instead of paying in excess of 150-200 November - Jan

Aside from all that you have the option to lower the direct debit amount in your account.

You can also request a credit back if you have enough to cover a months usage as per

"If your account is in credit by more than your monthly payment amount you can email help@bulb.co.uk to ask for a refund. "

Is this a case that you joined bulb and accepted to pay what the industry standard is for your house and have not refined and or changed your payments?

Bulb offer no other payment system. If you prefer to pay upon receipt of a bill then you’ll need a different supplier.

OFGEM does say:

Consumers should be able to choose to pay their bills using the method that’s best for them. Suppliers can only charge more for one payment method than another if the price differential is cost reflective.

Suppliers with more than 50,000 customers must offer a wide choice of payment methods, including payment by cash and prepayment meter. Any differences in price between payment methods must be cost-reflective.

This is copied from: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/system/files/docs/2019/02/licence_guide_metering_billing_and_payments_1.pdf

Could this possibly be down to credit checking?

Bulb state “3.19. If you’re a domestic customer, we may do checks with a credit reporting agency to ensure you are able to pay your energy bills. We will always ask your permission before doing this. If you’re a business customer, we will always do checks with a credit reporting agency to ensure you are able to pay your energy bills.”

I never remember being asked permission for a credit check so I am not sure if they do them.

If they make you pay in advance it may be a way to take on customers with poor credit where as cash on cheque is more of a risk to Bulb as they are effectively giving you the energy before you pay for it (A line of credit) If the user pays in advance then no credit is being lent.

Just a thought.

Saying that Bulb does say

“3.13. If you’re not paying by automatic payment, we will issue you an invoice for payment monthly, which you will have 10 working days to pay from the day you receive the invoice.”

Could this possibly be down to credit checking?.

I don’t see how this is anything to do with credit checking,

Could this possibly be down to credit checking?.

I don’t see how this is anything to do with credit checking,

I am not saying it is… I am only saying do Bulb actually do a credit check if they are making you cover the usage BEFORE they supply it.
If you pay for the usage AFTER they have supplied it then I see that as them giving you credit (The product prior to paying for it) whereas the way they work is you pay before they give it to you so no credit is being given.

I am not saying that’s accurate, just a hypothetical i can see.

Hi @Sophemet,

As mentioned by @Hooloovoo , the monthly payment based on the quote you received when you signed up, works as a monthly average of your usage across the year.

As mentioned you over pay in the summer, and underpay in the winter and balance evens out across the course of the year. We request that you pay in advance of the month because we by our energy in advance. We by the energy in advance to keep it cheap and void immediate market fluctuations from wholesalers.

If you see that you’re building up credit however, you can just log into you online account and lower your monthly payments to as little as £5 a month, in order to use up the credit in the account. Of course you may want to be wary of falling into debit.

Falling into debit is a bit like being leant the energy before you pay for it which is why we as a supplier try to avoid this situation.

Best

Oisin