New Direct Debit Amount Double My Last Bill

On 4th of May I received my latest bill of £159 which was followed the following day by my direct debit of £244 so not only covering the amount in full but leaving the account in credit as I always do.

To say I have an email telling me that due to my usage my direct debit will need to increase to £319?

More troubling is the claim in the email that I hadn’t responded to requests for meter readings.

  1. I have a smart meter and 2. Due to electricity usage not appearing on the App I have purposely submitted electrical readings for the last 2 months.

I have sung Bulbs praises for so long but now they feel very much like the other companies out there. Smart Meters and App not fit for purposes and increasing direct debits on made up basis


The only way, in my opinion, to deal with bulb is to give them exactly what they need on a plate.

I send them DAILY meter readings despite having gas and electric “smart” meters. They’ve told me that this is unnecessary but I don’t trust them. There can now be no discrepancy with my energy usage and, fingers crossed, up till now they haven’t forced me to double my payments like they have with so many other customers.

It’s a slight pain having to send daily readings but so far it’s paid off.

I have also received this email when I always submit my meter readings monthly and can see them for May in the app!

It just feels a bit sinister that a company in Administration would look to increase your direct debit to double the amount of your most recent bill at a time of year when bills start to decrease as the heating goes off and it’s lighter for longer. Add to the fact that since entering Administration the majority of customer are complaining that their smart meters are no longer working correctly allowing Bulb to use estimates to generate bills.

I know Ofgem “protect” any credit but my new payments are going to see me going £150 further in credit every month and if the worst should happen to Bulb I know I’ll be waiting some time to see that money returned in any form.

I just can’t believe how quickly Bulb and their customer service have plummeted in recent months.

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I’ve just had the same email and increase. I phoned them and told them not to increase my direct debit as I’ve never used the amount they last said I would and am in credit. I informed them I’d pay what I owed if it was over the amount I now pay, and would increase it if I felt necessary. They couldn’t understand that I’d rather not be in credit and have my money in their bank, I’d like it in mine. After explaining this for what seemed hours, the lady agreed not to change it. They will, I have no doubt, and I’ll have to ring them again. Unfortunately it’s the way things work nowadays. I’ll just stop the direct debit. They were a good company, now they’re just like the rest. Shame.

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I too had the same email and the same unjustifiable increase applied to my account. I had recently doubled the amount I was paying and then they had the cheek to suggest that wasn’t enough, despite my monthly usage being under this amount! I have the bulb app and amended my direct debit back down to what I want to pay and then I promptly contacted bulb and let rip into them. I pointed out to them that I have not received any emails in which I have ignored and also that I have a smart meter, which they installed, so all readings were supplied automatically. This was confirmed by looking at my app and also was confirmed by the person I was speaking to. They suggested the email had been sent in error and there would be no repercussions for me amending my payment amount. I certainly do not wish to accrue hundreds of pounds of credit with them, as goodness knows if I’d ever see it again if bulb went completely under!!!

Hey everyone :wave:

I have checked through all your accounts and I can confirm we have up-to-date readings for all of you. I believe this email about readings was sent in error and I would like to apologise for any confusion caused.

I can see the majority of you have lowered your payments down slightly which is absolutely fine to do.

@hels_bels_us you have left your payment increase as it is but you are able to lower it slightly through the Bulb account if you wish.

Let me know if you have any questions about this,

– KT :bulb:

Same here. My monthly usage according to my smart meter has ranged from £60 to £80 (hell, from 22 April to 21 May I used only £62) but now it’s saying “we recommend £131.03 a month, based on your usage”

I hardly use that much at all, how can it possibly be so high, I’ll rack up a preposterous amount of credit for no reason. Why should I have to pay so much when I don’t use it? I don’t even have the heating on in Winter, I keep the house cold.

How do I decrease this inaccurate usage prediction back to the amount I actually use?


Bulb have sent me an email stating that they will increase my payment to an amount more than I use. It will go down in summer as usual so there’s no need as I am well in credit, so much so , that it would pay the monthly bill easily. It won’t let me pay any less than £127. Getting sick of these demands. I control my payment so that I’m never in debt,that’s why there’s a top up button. The chat with an agent seems that they work from a script , absolutely useless!!

I have had the same email today telling me my DD is going up by £ 111.00. I have always refused to accept these increases and just topped up my account every month to ensure I didn’t go into debit. However today I hit a brick wall and was refused my request to keep things as they are and the lowest my DD could be set at was still £ 86 above what I pay now. In the end I have had to settle for a variable DD which will be for my exact usage assuming i give them a meter reading every month…which I will. I think its a shocking tactic as many will just assume they have no choice and will agree to these increases. There i s no way I want any of my money sitting in credit with anyone (especially a company which is in administration of any kind) other than my bank. Very frustrating when times are genuinly hard !


I have had the same email, now according to the Government’s rebate Bulb will receive £400 towards my account, which equates to £33.33 per month. Will Bulb be taking this into account and reduce my payments by that figure?

Hi everyone :wave:

If you prefer we can switch you over to a variable direct debit which would mean you only pay for what you use each month?

Just reply to this thread and let me know :point_down:


Jenny :star:

My monthly usage has gone from:
Feb to Mar 108.42
Mar to Apr 101.08
Apr to May £141.46
My next statement is due today, 1st of June 2022 its saying my monthly usage is £233 and the payments need to be increased to £224.98.

I have used less energy each month.
I called on the telephone but the lady I spoke to, I could barely hear and I don’t know what language she was talking in but it was not English.

I want to change providers immediately, being able to communicate on the telephone and be understood is a absolute must.

Going to take daily readings from now on.

Also my carer was on the telephone to bulb for 40 minutes and was put on hold and the person hung up, what a mess this company is.

Yes please, switch me to variable direct debit. John

Hey @ThomasHenson and welcome to the community :wave:

I have just adjusted your annual estimates as these were entered incorrectly and a more realistic monthly amount is now showing in your account. I’m sorry about that.

Hey @boropol :wave:

I have amended you to variable direct debit now. Your credit will be used first and then any outstanding balance will be taken 10 days after your statement is issued.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

– Robyn :bulb:

Hello everyone, been through similar to you all.

Main difference is bulb performed an update to the smart meter back in Jun/ Jul 2021 and broke it along with 20000 other meters i have heard…
It was completely unresponsive and I couldn’t even get a reading off the meter outside. I contacted them immediately and was informed they can’t replace it yet.

10months later after receiving estimated bills and many emails a new meter was installed.

The engineer confirmed there was no way the meter could be read and the new on will be installed at zero. He informed bulb and also made a note on the service tag which i also photographed and included in my online reading, the online system would not accept it initially as it was below the reading from last year. After adding the photo it was accepted. Also if you wanted to change your direct debit, the sysyem will not allow you to lower even if the debit on the account is based on 10months worth of ‘estimated’ monthly amounts …interesting…

Now the meter has been replaced we are using at most per day £3.50. Now then… after the 40% increase in March in the gas and electric tariff and 50% on the daily standing charge (£0.49). I am no mathematician but £3.50 x31(days) + £0.49x31(days)+vat totals £148.43… however, Bulb expect me to pay £370+ per month.

The customer service is terrible, they don’t or possibly can’t read emails and after clearing the £188 we originally had in debit from the estimated bills back in April (since they broke the meter) they setup a second, thats right a second DD on the account for £250 which placed our bill account into overdraft. I called them and they told me i would have to contact the bank and recall the DD due to their mistake!!!

I have since requested they tell me what the meter says now it has been installed for the past month and we have used 30KWh! Which is, using the more expensive ‘100% renewable’ electric tariff of £0.29p p/KWh+ £0.49p x 31days+ VAT = £28.67!!!

But they still expect at the very minimum of aroind £370+ per month.

If my bill doesnt get resolved in the coming months i am seeking legal advice. Bulb will loose this in court as i have all the evidence, including photographic to prove their incompetence and it will cost them dearly.

I can only assume ‘special administration’ means there is a strategy to recover as much as possible as part of the ‘special’ element and is a very dangerous tactic should the media find out…

Cancel your DD log into your account on billing day if its a smart reading within the last 24hrs pay your bill using the top-up feature if the bill is estimated, send a meter reading. Wait 24hrs for your new bill to be generated and pay it with the top-up function, im saving £100 per month. The smart meter and app are NOT fit for purpose, because they allow BULB to make it up as it goes along.