Monthly payments increasing

I have been a bulb user for a number of years but recently things seem to have gone downhill. Each month despite my balance increasing in credit (now at £114) bulb insist we pay more. We used £92 of electric and gas in June but bulb want monthly payments to go up to £146. With July and August likely to be lower electric and gas usage I would be well over £220 in credit if I changed my payments to what they are suggesting. Am I only in this or have others seen the same experience.

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The electric prices are going up again for the third time this year, that is why they’re asking to increase monthly payments. This time last year the electric tariff was about 13p per unit, it has been 17p during June and is going up again to 18p. I have been paying £50 pm for gas and electric, that would need to go up to £75 pm now to cover the increases. I’ve already started the switch to another supplier as there’s no guarantee the won’t be further increases.

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I understand this if I wasn’t in credit. I have also just recommended another person so will get another £50 into my account. It seems Bulb want our money to perhaps earn interest or extra money for over payments. Perhaps I need to speak to Ofgen.

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A lot of the energy suppliers are doing this in anticipation of OFGEM raising the price cap in October(which they probably will).
my supplier done this then sent me a bill that was > £20 less than what they had raised my DD to. Needless to say I just gave them the big wave bye bye
The only way to combat this is a fixed price/term deal, but mark in your calender whn the deal ends

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Hi @Hotspur223

We don’t gain interest on your payments in your account. The reason your direct debit was assessed to be increased is because your estimated annual consumption is quite high so our system thinks you’re due to use more. We’ve adjusted this down for you as I can see you’re in credit and submit us pretty regular meter readings so your payments can stay as they are :blush:

As we continue to get meter readings over July/August and warmer months and it shows you use less, the system then updates and so the DD suggestion will too. The more readings we get, the more accurate it becomes.

@plasticdemons - we don’t have any plans to increase our prices this year. If we do ever change our prices we always give 1 month’s notice before it takes effect so people can choose to switch if they’d like to. The DD predictions are based on readings we have on the account and the current tariff a member is on, so this wouldn’t impact a payment review at the moment

The prices have gone up three times already this was in the letter I received in May
We’re increasing our electricity unit rate from 18.008p to 18.209p per kWh and electricity standing charge from 19.898p to 23.867p per day.

In March I had a letter as well
We’re increasing our electricity unit rate from 16.076p to 18.008p per kWh and electricity standing charge from 19.886p to 19.898p per day. Our gas unit rate is increasing from 2.818p to 2.961p per kWh and standing charge from 20.444p to 25.158p per day. These prices all include VAT at 5%.

When I joined Bulb the rate for electric was just over 12p that was only just over two years ago

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It has also been suggested to me that I increase my DD back up to £75, my usage hasn’t changed but the costs have which is why it’ll no longer be enough. The cost of the electric I used last month was about £15 more expensive than it was when I joined, so it has gone up from £30 to £45 not including the standing charge, that’s an increase of 50% in two years which I think is unacceptable.

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Hi @plasticdemons,

Sadly we have had to increase our prices twice this year as our wholesale costs have continued to rise over the last few months. We really don’t like increasing our prices but we’ve had to this year. If the wholesale costs were to decrease sustainably, we’d downward adjust our payments as well. You can read more about this on our blog.

We only offer a variable tariff, and we’ll always let you know at least 30 days in advance if we’re changing our prices. This is so that members can make a decision about whether to stay or switch away before the price change comes into effect. In the interest of transparency, we don’t have exit fees either in order to try and be as fair as possible.

With regard to your payments, I’d be happy to keep them as they are at the moment and re-evaluate in a few months time. I’ve paused any payment review on your account for 2 months.

Any questions, please do let us know.

Take care,

Niamh :bulb:

My bills have absolutely rocketed. And I get confused because sometimes the app tells me everything looks healthy and then I get an email saying my DD is needing to be upped. My bills have gone from £70 to over £200 …. Can only assume I was lured in with cheaper costs and now having to back pay … I can’t see myself sticking with Bulb for much longer which is a shame because I love the ethos….

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I can understand why energy prices has increased however the 15% increase in the electricity standing charge is unjustifiable. It feels like company has major cash flow crisis just hope not a sign post to ceasing g trading

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Hey @thelockettfamily I’ve replied to you on another thread about your bills- you can get back to us there!

@REJ - welcome to Community ! We have chatted about our standing charge in a thread before- unfortunately the increase in wholesale costs has been so significant that we’ve had to spread the increase across all elements of our pricing. However, we’re still below the price cap and when the cost of supplying energy falls sufficiently so will our prices. :relaxed:

My bills have gone through the roof. When joining Bulb it was the most competitive at the time on price and the green element was a bonus. Combined utility payment at its lowest was under £40, standard 3 bed property with 4 of us. Usage increased slightly with me working from home but just a laptop charging once per day and WiFi. Payments have just gone up and up, with the 3 increases this year now at £96. Just opened the app and its recommending I increase to over £110!! This is almost the cost when I left British Gas. Shame but its time to leave now Bulb are not competitive in the market. I’ll be recommending the customers I brought with me to follow.

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The correct route is to raise a complaint with your supplier. The supplier (Bulb) then has 8 weeks to try and resolve your complaint. If they cannot do so within that time, then you have the right to escalate your complaint to the Energy Ombudsman.

Bulb should be able to explain to you the basis on which they have determined your new monthly payments of £146, which implies an estimated annual consumption of £1752 (12 times £146). You should ask for the figures of annual consumption for gas and electricity (measured in KWh) which Bulb is using to calculate your annual costs. Once you have these you can (a) determine whether these look realistic when compared to your the consumption values showing from your bills over the past 12 months and (b) make your own calculations of the costs that you should be paying. For (b) you simply convert the two KWh values to money using the rate of 17.17p/KWh for electricity and 2.72 p/KWh for gas. You will also need to add on a year’s worth of standing charges (365 days) at a rate of 21.79 p/day for electricity and 23.96 p/day for gas. Once you calculate the final costs for gas and electricity, add on a further 5% for VAT.

If either:
the estimated annual consumptions (in KWh) look unrealistic in comparison to your past billed consumptions
or:
the calculated costs look out of line with what you are being expected to pay over the next 12 months (£1752)
or:
both

then seek explanations of these matters from Bulb.

My advice would be to do everything by email and be prepared to wait at least two weeks for a reply (my experience is that Bulb never reply in less than two weeks).

None of the above is rocket science and Bulb should be able to provide rational and reasonable explanations to you. If they cannot then that is indicative of underlying problems and you should feel free to escalate matters further.

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To be fair to Bulb, Holly sorted my query within 48 hours and my payments are acceptable. Can’t fault the response

Hi @TheDavisons

I’ve had a look at your account and we don’t receive regular meter readings meaning often estimates are used. At Bulb, we bill to meter readings we receive that show your monthly use so we need these to ensure accuracy of bills and payments.

Your use has been pretty consistent throughout your time at Bulb, so you’re using about £94 of energy a month based on these readings we have, which is what your payments are set to now. Prior to this your payments were set to around £40 but the bills were always higher based from the readings we got, so you were slightly underpaying for energy meaning debt built on the account over winter in particular when use may be more.

We recommend submitting a meter reading once a month 1-2 days before your billing date to avoid estimates, or at a minimum of every 3 months to keep bills accurate so we can set your DD to your monthly use (as it is right now). We’d be sad to see you go, but if you do decide to switch you should receive a final bill from us within 6 weeks :blush:

Same for us. I even spoke to them and they told us they would reduce the payment, but instead they have put it up much more than they originally had tried. Unbelievable. We’ll definitely be switching supplier soon if this service doesn’t quickly improve. The chat isn’t even working for some reason right now, so I thought I’d post here instead in case anyone decides to help.

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Hi @SimonUK - welcome to Community :slightly_smiling_face:

I’ve just had a read through your previous chat with a Bulb advisor and I can see that they agreed you could reduce your payments to £255.68. I’m really sorry that this wasn’t done, and instead your payments were increased.

Your July payment is currently pending, so once this comes through it’ll bring your account into credit. For this reason, I can get your payments reduced to £255.68, which will start on 17th August.

Again, I’m sorry for the way this was handled. Is there anything else I can help with?

All the best,
Megan

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Put me down on the “far from impressed list”. I think that it’s going to be “bye bye bulb” due to the constant price increases.

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Mine is exactly the same. Average payment was 60 quid now it’s nearly 160. I don’t get it. We are 2 ads no way we use that much gas and electric

The replies are always very vague. Time to leave I think

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So l sent you all the meter readings you asked for and you then start asking me to get the meter supply into the building checked which is the responsibility of the freeholder as l rent, all the electives in the flat were checked by the landlord 6 weeks ago NICEIC perfect, not once did you suggest my DD should be reduced, it’s just a con, no one that works for bulb on this community site care at all about smashing us with energy increases all the replies are stock rote empty platitudes, with childish smiley faces on the end please tell me l have to smile about on £2,400 a year bill for a single person living in a 2 bed flat, £2,400 A YEAR!!!:neutral_face: