Price rises are rediculous

Is it possible to only pay for the energy i use every month, and not to be expected to pay for what bulbs projection is for the next 12 months, in advance , just to make sure that i have enough money to cover my usage for the winter built up in bulbs coffers.
We are on basic state pension and cant afford tobuild up credit as they expect. We were paying £98 d.d. then they said they wanted £158 so i increased to £130 even though we were in credit now they have increased d.d. to £195 because they say its to build up a credit balance for the winter. And im still in credit just not by enough, for them.
Obviously they dont trust us to pay our bills.
So are allowed to just take whatever they
think is necessary.
I just worked out my usage for this month, which im usually fairly accurate with, and it is going to be about £113. So how can a payment of £195 be justified i would like to have a pre-payment meter supplied, even though it would be a little more expensive,
I wouldnt have to pay out for what i dont use yet, and only pay for usage as i go.
Sorry for the rant, but it is annoying to be held to ransome when your on a basic fixed income.

You are far from alone in raising this concern with Bulb and other Bulb customers. Despite the government’s pledge to crack down on sky high Direct Debit rises bulb continues to be guilty of this practice.

“IF” they respond they will probably say you need to supply meter readings at the correct time, usually 3 days before your bill is due.

The only advice I can offer is to do as I do and send daily readings so there’s no errors in your usage. I know this may sound like overkill but doing this has meant I haven’t had extortionate rises in my direct debit and or ridicules estimates of my usage even though bulb have told me this is unnecessary.

do what i did…cancel your direct debit with bulb and then pay exactly what you owe them each month by logging in to your bulb account and use top up feature. you will get annoying emails asking you to set up a payment method…just ignore them.
in your case i would use up your credit first

You are entitled to have your credit returned to you asking them for it. Bulb’s terms and conditions are they they have a month’s money in advance, so if you pay by DD then you would expect to always have at least the value of one month in credit AFTER you have paid a bill. To have a bit more in hand can be good going into winter.

You do not have to comply with their messages and demands provided you are sure that you are not going to end up in deficit - and you say that you work out your usage and are fairly accurate (general note for readers, remember to include the daily standing charge and VAT at 5% in your calculations). Also remember that there will be another rise (probably as great as the recent one) in October, and the cap will be reevaluated every three months thereafter.

They can indeed raise your DD if they want to, provided they think that you might otherwise be going into debt - but they have to contact you first. Send them an email reminding them that although they have the power to change your DD then YOU have the power to demand excess credit be returned to you. And that you will so demand the return of any excess - every single month if they raise your DD to an unjustifiable level. Raise a complaint with Ofgem if they fail to return excess credit. (Be reasonable, as I’m sure you will be, a bit of a buffer going into winter reassures everybody.)

They want to raise my DD to a stupid amount too and I do not want to build up significant credit in a company with Bulb’s current problems. I had over £500 credit when Bulb went into administration and I have let that reduce. However I am using the “top-up by DD” function every month to ensure that I am always in credit and am building a small amount of credit. I have calculated that this is not going to be enough to pay my winter bills, (Bulb are right about that) and I have factored in the October rise. So, having worked out the amount more that I will need in the winter, I am putting this amount in a savings account and I will draw down on it as “top-ups” when I need to in the cold weather. This is an OK solution as I have the discipline to keep the money for just the Bulb bills. For anyone with less discipline, or who is already living hand to mouth it could be a dangerous strategy - better then to build up the credit with Bulb. Debt collectors for Christmas no-one wants or needs.

NB I’m not sure that people on prepayment meters are getting the £400 from the government as there may not be a way to get the money to them. I know some folk are missing out if their landlords pay bills from rent - the landlords get the £400 as the bill payer. Check it out before you decide what to do.

You don’t need to get a pre-payment meter

Just switch to a variable DD and only pay for what you use.

You’ll need to ask Bulb to do this for you. So long as you then send in your readings 3 days before the bill date, Bulb will use your readings and not use an estimate.

Once switched over, any credit will be used first.

Hi @iancharlton48 :wave: and Welcome to the Community :partying_face:

You do not need to pay via a fixed direct debit each month if this does not work for you.

If you would prefer, we can set you up to pay via variable direct debit. With this, you keep the direct debit active and after your monthly statement, we take a payment from you within 14 days. This prevents any credit or debit from building up in your account.

If you choose this option, your payments will change each month, which can make it a bit harder to budget and keep track.

It is also important that you submit readings every month, if you don’t have a smart meter, so we can bill and charge you accurately. If you would like to pay this way then please let me know and I can set it up for you.

Luke :bulb: